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Wi-Fi Planet: The Open Source WRT54G Story

Nov 10, 2005, 10:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Weiss)

"The story of the Linksys Wireless-G Router (model WRT54G) and how you can turn a $60 router into a $600 router is a little bit CSI and a little bit Freaks & Geeks. It's also the story of how the open source movement can produce a win-win scenario for both consumers and commercial vendors. What's especially exciting is that tricking out this router doesn't require any eBay sleuthing or other hunt for some off-the-wall piece of hardware. Instead, grab it off-the-shelf. The WRT54G is stacked high in every Best Buy and Circuit City across the country and, of course, most online retailers--Amazon.com sells it for $55. It's ubiquitous and, some would say, a diamond in the rough. Or a wolf in sheep's clothing.

"While routers used to be the domain of networking specialists, they've gone mainstream along with residential broadband. Commodity routers can be had for as little as--well, 'free after rebate' in some cases, and often not much more. To keep them cheap, consumer-grade vendors like Linksys repackage designs from OEM vendors rather than design the hardware and software in-house..."

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