I nipped into PC World before I came into the office this morning and swapped the D-Link router for the LinkSys. I’ve just had a chance to try it out at the office to see what it is capable of. Unfortunately, it’s no brighter than the equivalent D-Link – which I find surprising given that LinkSys kit is badged with a Cisco logo these days. The DHCP server is just as weedy, only it can’t even reserve addresses!
I figured I might be able to alter the firmware to something more useful, as my previous LinkSys kit was a WRT54G – a fantastic little ethernet router that has a Linux based operating system. This means that some very clever chaps have been able to reverse-engineer the OS, and rewrite bits of it. I managed to use my WRT54G to route, effectively, backwards… instead of connecting to a wired network and sharing it wirelessly, I had it set up to connect to a wireless (mesh) network in Basingstoke and then share the wireless connection amongst the 4 wired ports on the router. I had hoped that the WAG54G was similarly blessed with Linux hackable firmware.
Your first port of call, if you have a WRT54G and a penchant for hacking should be SveaSoft. The firmware pre-releases they have allow all sorts of clever hacking, like my wireless/wired setup, and extending the range of existing access points (I’ve tried both these uses, and they’re great!). They’d taken a look at the WAG54G too, only to find that LinkSys had moved back to a proprietary OS for the new unit. So there’s no way to hack it to do anything more useful.
So my options now are either to use the router function of the WAG54G, and keep my old device for its DHCP server (turning off wireless/routing), or to take the WAG54G back, and find myself a straight ADSL Modem->Ethernet device and plug that into my existing router.
This D-Link DSL-Ethernet device is about forty quid, but hasn’t had great reviews. Hmmm. I’ll fiddle with the home network tonight, and see what I can magic up!