Sputnik + DD-WRT = Inexpensive WiFi Management

Sputnik, the low-cost WiFi management system that runs on a Linksys WRT-54g router (and other Sputnik platforms), today announced that the popular DD-WRT open-source firmware now includes Sputnik Agent software.

DD-WRT-powered Wi-Fi access points now plug-n-play into Sputnik networks. Sputnik’s David LaDuke credits Sebastian Gottschall (Brainslayer) of DD-WRT, for adding adding „Cisco-class“ features to affordable wireless access points.

Sputnik provides centralized authentication and web-based management.

  1. Sputnik now works with a wide selection of Wi-Fi access points from Asus, Buffalo, Gemtek, Linksys, Motorola, Siemens, and Zcomax, making it easy to find Sputnik-compatible gear anywhere in the world.
  2. Sputnik now supports several advanced features typically found in expensive, carrier-grade Wi-Fi devices, including:
    • Enhanced security – with client isolation and built-in VPN server
    • Flexible Quality of Service (QoS) – enabling different levels of service, or optimization for VoIP, gaming, etc.
    • Wireless Distribution System – for extending hotspots wirelessly
    • Built in site survey tools – for faster network setup
    • Fine control over output power – to increase range or bandwidth density
    • Better administrative tools – for remote troubleshooting

DD-WRT-compatible routers include popular models from ASUS, Buffalo, Linksys, Motorola, and Siemens. Sputnik says it adds up to „the most powerful, flexible, and affordable suite of tools for building managed, access-controlled Wi-Fi networks available anywhere“.

LinksysInfo has the related news about getting DD-WRT into the WRT54Gv5. The Linksys WRT-54G wireless router is a favorite platform for hobbyists because it is cheap (around $60), used open source Linux for easy modification, and had enough on-board memory to store a variety of hacks that provided customizable splash pages and other handy features.

But version 5 of the WRT-54G changed all that.

Linksys switched to VxWorks software and reduced the on-board memory (to safe money). That prevented users from using most of the free custom software now available. Users had to go with the more expensive and harder to find open source version, recently announced by Linksys, called the WRT-54GL. It kept the older software and memory (but cost more). Now, Brainslayer says he reduced the memory requirements so DD-WRT now runs on Version 5 of the WRT54, too.

WikiPedia has a concise table of Linksys Router versions:

 

Hardware revisions

WRT54G version CPU speed RAM Flash memory S/N Prefix Notes
1.0 125 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF0/CDF1 20 front panel LEDs (including link/activity, collision detection and speed rating indicators for each RJ-45 port). Wireless capability was provided by a Mini PCI card attached to the router motherboard.
1.1 125 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF2/CDF3 Front panel LEDs reduced to 8 (1 link/activity LED per port, plus one each for power, wireless, DMZ and WAN/Internet connectivity). Wireless chipset integrated onto motherboard.
2.0 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF5 Same as 1.1 with a CPU upgrade and greater wireless transmitter integration (fewer transmitter parts).
2.2 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF7 Same physical appearance as 1.1 and 2.0 models. Switching chipset from ADMtek 6996L to Broadcom BCM5325EKQM.
3.0 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF8 Identical to 1.1 and later models, except for the CPU speed. Undocumented switch behind left front panel intended for use with a feature called „SecureEasySetup“[1] for setting up wireless security. This button is illuminated with a Cisco logo on it, to the left side of the router. To activate this feature, upgrade the firmware to the latest Linksys one.
3.1 216 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDF9 The Version 3.1 hardware is essentially the same as the Version 3.0 hardware. The SecureEasySetup button has been activated by the original firmware included in this model, even though the switch existed in Version 3.0. 

There is new (EU?) firmware version 4.01.1

4.0 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CDFA BCM5352E Chipset
5.0 200 MHz 8 MB 2 MB CDFB BCM5352EKPB Chipset – Switched to VxWorks OS and reduced Flash Memory and RAM; not compatible with most 3rd party firmware

 

WRT54GL version CPU speed RAM Flash memory S/N Prefix Notes
1.0 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CL7A New model line, released after the version 5 WRT54G, which returns to a Linux-based internal OS as opposed to the v5’s VxWorks firmware. NOT SpeedBooster enabled in stock state. Essentially the same as the WRT54G version 4.0, but with a new model number.
WRT54GS version CPU speed RAM Flash memory S/N Prefix Notes
1.0 200 MHz 32 MB 8 MB CGN0/CGN1 Added SpeedBooster technology (Broadcom Afterburner technology) boosting the throughput of 802.11g by 30% (needs adaptor with SpeedBooster technology)
1.1 200 MHz 32 MB 8 MB CGN2 Chipset changed from ADMtek 6996L to Broadcom BCM5325EKQM.
2.0 200 MHz 32 MB 8 MB CGN3 10 LED Front Panel (two new ones behind Cisco logo button). Also capable of SecureEasySetup, but use of the logo button and lighting of the new LEDs behind it requires firmware upgrade. Use Hynix RAM.
2.1 200 MHz 32 MB 8 MB CGN4 Add SecureEasySetup. Radio chip is changed from BCM2050 to BCM2050KML.
3.0 200 MHz 32 MB 8 MB CGN5 Use System-on-Chip: processor, MAC, and switching are handled by Broadcom BCM5352EKBP.
4.0 200 MHz 16 MB 4 MB CGN6 Reduced RAM & Flash
5.0 200 MHz 16 MB 2 MB CGN7 Switched to VxWorks OS and reduced Flash Memory; not compatible with most 3rd party firmware ( Confirmed 18th January 2006 By Chris Chapman @ Linksys.) The WRT54GS version 5 models have been spotted in stores such as Staples, so they have been shipped now.

 

DailyWireless has more on WRT-54G modification at; FON-atics, Community LAN Partnership Models, Linksys WRT-54GL, Backstory: The WRT-54G, PersonalTelco Hosts Local Music and Join Vonage, Get Free Linksys AP.