Buffalo has announced a new AirStation Wireless-G MIMO Router claims to be the “first commercial wireless router to come with DD-WRT firmware pre-installed,” notes Engadget:
The WHR-HP-G54DD (WHR-HP-G54 pictured) is the first device to emerge from the firm’s partnership with NewMedia-NET (pdf). It features five QoS levels to prioritize traffic, optimized link state routing (OLSR), a data transfer application with VPN functionality, PPTP protocol support, WMM and DDNS, and a bevy of management applications including remote network status logging, remote web management via HTTPS and web-based backup / restore.
DD-WRT firmware (blog), is a free, open source firmware that features captive portal pages and management functions. It is estimated that 1 million DD-WRT based routers are already in use worldwide. Previously, users had to install the firmware at their own risk, thereby nullifying the manufacturer’s warranty. The new Buffalo router will have it built-in.
The new Buffalo “N” router will reportedly cost $86.
In other related news, Buffalo is appealing a US import ban of its WiFi gear. In June, a US court ruled the sale of Wi-Fi equipment from Buffalo Technology infringed on patents held by the Australia-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The injunction does not prohibit sales of pre-existing inventories.
But The Register points out that the CSIRO patent also underlies the 802.11a and g standards, which has been licensed world-wide with the help of the IEEE. Microsoft, 3Com, SMC Networks and Accton Technology, support Buffalo, filing an amicus brief. Intel, Dell, Atheros, Belkin, Consumer Electronics Association, Hewlett-Packard, NETGEAR, Nortel Networks, Nvidia, Oracle, SAP, and Yahoo! have filed a separate brief.
Open source software like CUWIN, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, HyperWRT and Tomato Firmware can be flashed onto $50 Linksys and Buffalo access points without the advertising and revenue sharing requirments of Meraki.
Successful “digital divide” programs include Free Geek, which recycles old computers. They install Linux software after giving hard drives a though cleaning. Volunteers do the work and get a free computer in exchange.
One Economy has an influential program that many consider a national model. Walmart’s $199 computer might be a good companion for an inexpensive DD-WRT router. The $199 WalMart computer has a 1.5-gigahertz Via processor, 512 megabytes of memory and an 80-gigabyte hard drive. What makes it stand out, however, is GOS, a version of Linux specially made to run Google applications like GMail and Google Documents, reports the NY Times.
Everex’s director of marketing, clarified that “popular applications such as those from Google are an integral part of our product, however, the g-OS is an entity entirely independent from Google. Furthermore, while we make use of many applications from Google, ‘Google Apps’ is not bundled with this particular system.” Everex studied the Lindows and Microtel PCs and is confident its $198 PC and $299 laptop will succeed, since GOS Linux brings familiar Google icons and applications to users, which earlier PCs didn’t have.
The Wifidog project is an open source captive portal solution, designed primarily for wireless community groups, but caters to various other business models as well. ChilliSpot, an open source captive portal or wireless LAN access point controller, is used by Toronto’s free community network called Wireless Nomad.
The Vancouver BC Wireless Group hoped to establish a free WiFi network by installing Meraki WiFi units around town.