[svlug] router DIY

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Sun Jan 15 08:07:03 PST 2017

On 01/14/2017 05:10 PM, Dan Ritter wrote:

> Ubiquiti is still violating the GPL, too.

> Or, as a practical concern: they don't ship you enough to
> rebuild the OS yourself.

I think I've heard it and thought that someone already took them to a 
court. But yeah still not nice to give money to people that had to be 
taken to a court. Actual situation seems to be worse. Thanks for the 

Mikrotik could be in a similar product space.

Anyway the person that suggested Ubiquiti warned me I was not going to 
use a real open product... in the sense I wouldn't be able to hack it 

So yeah avoiding companies that don't play nice with the GPL is not just 
a matter of principles but it is a practical concern and it doen't take 
much to understand it is generally not a good compromise even when 
you're tempted by the price tag.

>> I could keep a poor man OpenWRT router around and build up a 1Gbit
>> capable home made router, but right now it looks it's going to cost way
>> more than $250.
> Coincidentally I revisited this yesterday:
> https://randomstring.org/blog/blog/2017/01/13/revisiting-a-new-firewall/
> TL;DR: It's still happy three years later; you can probably
> build a similar one on new components for $250.
> Can you get a gigabit/second of NAT? Very likely, but I haven't
> tested it.

People wrote on OpenWRT forum they were unable to obtain Gbps on Netgear 
R6250 (BCM4708A0 dual core A9 at 800MHz) and a TP-Link Archer C7 
(Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558 MIPS single core?).

Of course a quad core 1.6GHz CPU is another kind of beast but if eg 
transferring one file from one side to the other of the NAT can keep 
fully busy a 2 core ARM running at 800MHz and still not saturate the 
Gbit port, I would tend to be a bit cautious.

Furthermore, while such kind of solution just will let me install debian 
and probably will be able to run plenty of useful software it is too 
expensive to consider having spare parts around.

I've an HP microserver that run samba, horde, 
postfix/spamassassin/dovecot and including storage it costed about $500.
Horde runs slower than I would like. It is reasonably old (AMD 
Turion(tm) II Neo N54L Dual-Core Processor) and it has few ram (2Gb).

But it already does so few things that I can't see any space to delegate 
something to a more capable router to lower the cost of replacing the 
And there is no cheap solution where to just plug HD.
eSATA enclosures + board or barebone PC is going to cost as a microserver.

I can uncomfortably survive without my file server and a local email 
server for a while. I can't survive without internet connected lan.

Yudhvir already made an estimate of the cost of building a cheap router 
without wifi. $143 are nearly reasonable since I could use old OpenWRT 
routers as AP... but they miss 802.11ac and some android phones here get 
really bad connections with my TP-Link TL-WDR4300.

I hope to find something cheaper by April.

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo
http://www.webthatworks.it http://www.borgonovo.net

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