Asus routers: past and future reflection
It was back in 2004 when I bought my Asus WL-500g. It was one of those state-of-the-art home routers at that time. Features like open source, USB port or having 802.11g made that router my favourite on the market, not to mention the very good forum that supported it called chupa.nl those days. It was after about one year when I started to suffer from its limitations like USB1.1 or slow processor for having external mass storage connected to it.
Then came WL-500g Deluxe which mainly added USB2.0 and some more speed -from 125MHz to 200MHz. All the new specifications were not revolutionary enough for me to go for it.
Then the WL-500g Premium arrived providing again more speed as well as the possibility to expand the RAM up to 128MB via an unofficial documented mod. This was a go for me. All the services I installed on my WL-500g where anxiously devouring the 16MB of RAM it had. I sold my old Asus 500g and bought a brand new WL-500gP.
Today I feel somehow that Asus is getting behind the leading thread when it comes to attending the demands on home wireless routers. The absence of having a home router able to deal with VLAN's/Trunks, double simultaneous radio 2.4GHz and 5GHz or multiple SSID is something I would consider a must to be up there. Note that I am not talking about a low budget router.
Today a home data network is an environment where multiple devices coexists demanding different services and security levels that somehow Asus is not satisfying. TV's demanding Full-HD (media VLAN or 5GHz 802.11n), streaming music, torrents, own web server on DMZ VLAN segment, guests that come with own laptop or iPhone/iPad (guest Wi-Fi), etc are some of the examples experienced today to which Asus seems does not have an answer. Nevertheless the new not lunched yet model RT-N76U seems to provide some answers to today's modern home wireless router requirements at least hardware wise, still to see the firmware/software part of it.
My question now is: Is Asus to fulfil the needs on modern home networking and return to the leading position?
There you have an interesting point: Asus developing a robust, powerful and well documented open source platform to be used by forums like this one for further developments whilst they (Asus) can just develop an easy user interface for average home users. More or less is what has happened so far.
Originally Posted by wpte
It is worth mentioning that Asus did a sort of "open hardware platform" when they launched the WL-500gP. It allowed skilled owners to further improve the device by memory upgrade, adding extra USB ports, changing wireless PCI cards, adding console ports, etc.
An open software and hardware platform with basic but relevant functionality for basic home users together with the support of forums like this may be a turn to bring home networking into a new direction.
An Internet community can easily join efforts to develop software. Rather more complicated is to have an Internet community to develop hardware than exploiting it. Why don't to take advantage of this synergy?
It seems Netgear has somehow taken the lead on this topic. Interesting to see:
680 MHz powerful MIPS 32-bit processor
Memory: 8 MB flash and 64 MB RAM
Simultaneous Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Gigabit Ethernet ports
Netgear website Retail Price $169.99
Some users claim it uses a branded version of OpenWRT.
At the same time Netgear is merchandising routers on their website as "open-source routers" supporting community website http://myopenrouter.com
imo the cpu is nice
but not a lot of ram or flash... meh
furthermore, I'm not a real fan of netgear
the fact that they have a community site, that promotes alternative firmware is great. But I think that way it's also hard to find the best firmware for you, due to the vast amount types of firmwares
Also their website is for their products only, which I do understand from corporate view, but I'd rather have a website for every good router
Tags for this Thread