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Home Built Wired/Wireless router

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February 13, 2012 3:27:58 AM

Hello all,
I have a few extra parts laying around and my router is going out. So i thought for a project, i would build a router.

I have my old q9300 cpu (might trade it to a buddy for his dual since quadcore is a bit overkill for a router) and some corsair ddr2 memory. As i dont know to much about making my own router i came to tom's hardware hoping for some feedback.

What is the best/cost effective way to create my router? I know i need two lan cards, but is there any features needed or special requirements? Also, how do i go about getting it to broadcast a wireless signal?

I want to make it as small as possible, but i realize having 3 cards in it will limit that goal a bit.

thanks,
Terry.

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February 13, 2012 3:53:09 AM
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Ok I build these all the time.

The answer to your questions depends on how much time / effort you want to put into it. All you need is a working x86 system with two LAN cards. You can install Smoothwall or ClearOS are both easy to do and provide you with all the options you could want. Also Vyatta or Pfsense but those are more tailored to enterprise solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_router_or_firewall_distributions

If your wanting to do it yourself, you can turn almost any linux distro into a FW / router with the right software.

I use mini-ITX as my form factor, it's incredibly small and you can get a 60w picoPSU to run it. Jetway makes some nice boards that have the Via Nano CPU and from one to four network interfaces all integrated on the board or available through daughter cards. Install CentOS and custom configure all the services and put it at run level 3. Install Shorewall, Quagga and OpenVPN and you have an amazingly device that is capable of real OSPF routing, stateful packet inspection and intrusion detection system (IDS). This all require some work though, not for the faint at heart.
February 13, 2012 10:55:57 AM

Your idea seems to be like an entrepreneur, building your own router with some lying parts. Huh??? But are you gonna use it only for your home or you are planning to start a business :lol:  ?

If the answer is only for your home then check out the latest innovations, nowadays wi-fi routers are really tiny with fully loaded features. I've seen one at this CES 2012, when I was covering the news. You may check out this almond :wahoo:  made by a Taiwanese company securifi. I guess, you are looking for a new one like this : www.securifi.com
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February 13, 2012 2:44:29 PM

palladin9479 said:
Ok I build these all the time.

The answer to your questions depends on how much time / effort you want to put into it. All you need is a working x86 system with two LAN cards. You can install Smoothwall or ClearOS are both easy to do and provide you with all the options you could want. Also Vyatta or Pfsense but those are more tailored to enterprise solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_router_or_firewall_distributions

If your wanting to do it yourself, you can turn almost any linux distro into a FW / router with the right software.

I use mini-ITX as my form factor, it's incredibly small and you can get a 60w picoPSU to run it. Jetway makes some nice boards that have the Via Nano CPU and from one to four network interfaces all integrated on the board or available through daughter cards. Install CentOS and custom configure all the services and put it at run level 3. Install Shorewall, Quagga and OpenVPN and you have an amazingly device that is capable of real OSPF routing, stateful packet inspection and intrusion detection system (IDS). This all require some work though, not for the faint at heart.


Thank you for responding with good insight, but how do you go about broadcasting a wifi signal?
February 13, 2012 2:47:29 PM

Routersforhumans said:
Your idea seems to be like an entrepreneur, building your own router with some lying parts. Huh??? But are you gonna use it only for your home or you are planning to start a business :lol:  ?

If the answer is only for your home then check out the latest innovations, nowadays wi-fi routers are really tiny with fully loaded features. I've seen one at this CES 2012, when I was covering the news. You may check out this almond :wahoo:  made by a Taiwanese company securifi. I guess, you are looking for a new one like this : www.securifi.com


Hello,

I like to take on little project, when ever i get done with one i normally start another.

I took a look at your link, and im not looking for anything fancy. I just want to make a router partial because i am tired of the mainstream routers. I have had a few and they seem to go bad quickly where I have read that pc/routers seem to last much longer and have much fewer issues.

I have a dir-655 right now, and its nice but i have had it for about 1.5 years and its starting to drop my DNS.

Thank you for replying.

Terry
February 13, 2012 11:17:10 PM

tdunlap0001 said:
Thank you for responding with good insight, but how do you go about broadcasting a wifi signal?


Get a Wifi hotspot service application.

http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Documentation/hostapd

Wifi is just a network type, any adapter will do the signaling part. "Access Points" are just 802.11 authenticators. So you only need to configure an authenticator app. Some of those above distro's support WLAN access points, pretty sure Smoothwall Express 3.0 has that support built in.
February 14, 2012 8:31:55 AM

palladin9479 said:
Get a Wifi hotspot service application.

http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Documentation/hostapd

Wifi is just a network type, any adapter will do the signaling part. "Access Points" are just 802.11 authenticators. So you only need to configure an authenticator app. Some of those above distro's support WLAN access points, pretty sure Smoothwall Express 3.0 has that support built in.


I am confused. I thought wireless cards and adapters receive WiFi signals. I did not know they can also transmit them.

Just so i understand right. I could take my WiFi connectivity on my laptop, run some software and generate a hotspot?

Thank you again, this is a topic i have found sparse information on.

Terry
February 14, 2012 11:02:16 PM

tdunlap0001 said:
I am confused. I thought wireless cards and adapters receive WiFi signals. I did not know they can also transmit them.

Just so i understand right. I could take my WiFi connectivity on my laptop, run some software and generate a hotspot?

Thank you again, this is a topic i have found sparse information on.

Terry



Ok then ....


Receiving a signal would be absolutely 100% useless if you couldn't transmit. Imagine picking up a phone and only being able to hear the other person but not answer, wouldn't be much of a phone call.

ALL wireless radios can receive and transmit, there is no super special "signal" involved. They communicate with each other, establish a session and transmit packets back and forth. Anything with a wireless radio can become an AP, it just needs the right software running on it.
February 15, 2012 12:05:30 AM

palladin9479 said:
Ok then ....


Receiving a signal would be absolutely 100% useless if you couldn't transmit. Imagine picking up a phone and only being able to hear the other person but not answer, wouldn't be much of a phone call.

ALL wireless radios can receive and transmit, there is no super special "signal" involved. They communicate with each other, establish a session and transmit packets back and forth. Anything with a wireless radio can become an AP, it just needs the right software running on it.



When stated that way, yeah i feel a bit special for even asking :) . Thank you again for all the helpful information.

Terry.
February 15, 2012 12:05:56 AM

Best answer selected by tdunlap0001.
February 17, 2012 9:43:52 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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