I’ve been a big fan of the $9.99 special wireless routers for a while, but I’ve started having problems recently. I’m not sure if it’s because everybody in the neighborhood is buying fios and all the lame actiontek routers are being installed with the wifi enabled, but for whatever reason I’ve been having a hard time associating and staying associated with my ap for a while. In the last couple days it’s gotten really bad, to the point where I’d put in the wpa shared key and retry for twenty minutes before being able to get on.
I decided what I needed to do was get some reasonable router and put some nice stable package on it like dd-wrt.
Digging through the dd-wrt forums, it looked like the recommended highest performance router was the Asus 500g Premium. I found it at NewEgg for $79, not a bad deal at all.
Factory out of the box, it’s a pretty neat little router – it’ll take an external hard drive, act as a UPNP stream server, print server, run bittorrent apps, fileshare, streaming webcam, etc.
Instructions for installing the dd-wrt firmware are here. I accidentally followed the ones for a slightly different model and did a bunch of tftp prep files that were entirely unnecessary, but ultimately had it running in ten minutes.
It’s pretty amazing the stuff people are doing on these little routers – here’s a bunch of prepackaged apps ready to be installed. If you want, you could run just about anything on this little device.
And only fair to say that I was reminded and inspired by this project.