Asus WL-500G Deluxe
This was one of Asus' first offerings in the WLAN area, and in the time it has been on the market it has built up a loyal userbase, who appreciate the device because of its extensibiliy and hackability. Numerous custom firmwares have been produced to use the device's capabilities to the fullest - Oleg's firmware for example - and also OpenWRT, although not specifically intended for the WL-500G Deluxe, is an excellent solution for this. I originally picked the WL-500G Deluxe because of its two USB ports - it's a pity so few routers out there offer something similar. Either you have to resort to a real network printer or an extra USB to RJ45 converter - anyway, you spend lots of money on that.
I put on Oleg's firmware almost immediately after I purchased the router. Both Oleg's and Asus' firmware support some hybrid form of WPA they call "WPA AES". Technically, WPA uses the TKIP encryption scheme, which is structurally very similar to WEP, but without the inherent flaws of the latter, while WPA2 uses CCMP, an AES-based algorithm, which is more advanced. CCMP also works in a different way than TKIP, so they aren't really interchangeable. OpenWRT Whiterussian 0.9 did support this form of hybrid WPA encryption; with Kamikaze (7.xx) this is no longer the case; you have to take your pick - 'only' WPA or full WPA2.
Lots of general firmwares (DD-WRT for example) are integrated very tightly, but offer scarce support for the USB ports available on the router. It is often very difficult to integrate extra features onto the device. Almost all of those firmwares use the ipkg package management system, initially used on the Zaurus PDA. This allows you to install additional packages (like USB kernel modules for example), however, OpenWRT is (imho) lightyears ahead of other solutions here. Configuration and installation is far easier than on the web interface oriented firmwares. In the end this flexibility and maintainability was also why I decided to run OpenWRT on my router. Although the initial setup requires a lot of work, and the upgrade process is less user-friendly because it wipes your settings (at least, on the legacy brcm47xx platform).
- Broadcom BCM5365 Revision 1 200 Mhz MIPS SoC
- 32 MB RAM
- 4 MB flash
- Broadcom BCM4306 802.11b/g wireless adapter
- 2x USB 2.0
I won't get into the gory details here. Let it suffice the router is up and running from the moment OpenWRT has been flashed, and configuration is done on the CLI (unless you grab the X-Wrt web frontend or installed a firmware image with X-Wrt integrated). Wireless is disabled by default, so that does have to be set up (you'll need to set an AP name, encryption type, encryption key, etc. anyway, so...).
From Backfire (10.03) on things have been much improved. You can almost completely set up your router from the web UI if you wish. Configuration settings can be backed up and restored later, although this is not recommended if you upgrade between releases. It e.g. broke my 10.03 to 12.09 upgrade on a few routers.
system type : Broadcom BCM5365 chip rev 1 processor : 0 cpu model : BCM3302 V0.7 BogoMIPS : 199.47 wait instruction : no microsecond timers : yes tlb_entries : 32 extra interrupt vector : no hardware watchpoint : no VCED exceptions : not available VCEI exceptions : not available