Netgear WNR3500L router runs Tomato, DD-WRT, etc...

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by bripab007, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. bripab007

    bripab007 Network Guru Member

  2. The Doctor

    The Doctor LI Guru Member

    480Mhz CPU, Gigabit Ethernet & Wireless N. And it reads like it's been tested with Tomato. Just in time for Christmas :)

  3. FattysGoneWild

    FattysGoneWild LI Guru Member

    Very nice router. I am a bit confused. Can you basically buy this and flash straight to Tomato? Or do you have to go through all those steps first? The only thing I see wrong with it is the N. Tomato does not support N right? But that processor and ram is a very nice bump in performance.
  4. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    The beta source-code for Tomato is available to download - not sure if Victek is involved - or if he knows that the build script downloads the old Linksys GPL source-code from his website!

    Doesn't say anything about wireless N, but clearly the wireless drivers or the firmware are not yet usable:-

    I'm sure Victek and teddy_bear could fix that...

    But if the wireless N is single band on the Wireless B/G 2.4GHz it won't be on my Christmas list! And only internal antennae?
  5. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Wow, that seems pretty interesting, I hope it turns out to be workable...
  6. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    Until Jon (Zarate, Tomato owner) posts the official firmware anyone wanting to run Tomato on one of these routers will either need to compile it or download from someone who has. has it for download with the limitations mstombs mentioned above. The article on about upgrading to Tomato wasn't clear on this.

    I'm guessing N will work fine. The reason why it hasn't worked before was a driver issue for the wireless chip and I would think that has been addressed now?

    Since I don't push much data over my wireless network I'm holding out for a Linksys N for Tomato before I upgrade. Netgear is fine, I've just been happier with Linksys.
  7. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    If Netgear have released the driver for that wireless chip, do we know if there are any other N routers using this same wireless chip, and therefore now theoretically useable with Tomato? Or am I missing something....?
  8. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    DD-WRT supports some N routers, and I seem to recall seeing that someone had hacked an N driver into Tomato for the WRT600N but I can't find any posts for that now.

    But with any luck, Tomato N support is getting closer.
  9. bripab007

    bripab007 Network Guru Member

    It does appear to be just 2.4Ghz, single-band, not a 5Ghz, dual-band Wi-Fi chipset, however, I don't know how much that affects the average home user with several b, g and n devices.
  10. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    I need to read up on 2.4GHz vs 5, dual-band, and the benefits thereof. Anyone have good linkage?

    occamsrazor, I don't think you're missing anything. If the Linux drivers for that chipset are released open source it just takes someone to do the work. But I'm not a developer.
  11. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    I respect Toastman's opinion here

    It would be ideal for 2.4GHz for backward compatability with your B/G, and 5GHz for all your new N stuff. The Broadcom chipset in the WNR3500 seems up to it, maybe it is just a driver issue?
  12. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

  13. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with binary Linux kernel modules for specific hardware - that is such an old argument and Linus himself has made statements clarifying it.

    There are issues in how much support Broadcom (not Netgear) will give in allowing linking against different kernels.

    This is a bold marketing move by Netgear, and it should be applauded.

    Still don't know what the page about OpenWRT is about :-

    still mentions Tomato and tries to leach the old Linksys GPL release from Victek!

    I suspect it is just a placeholder copied from the Tomato page - as far as I can tell mainstream OpenWRT does not yet support this device. the download is a patch on the brcm-2.4 target!
  14. teddy_bear

    teddy_bear Network Guru Member

    Yep, seems to be a work in progress... Neither OpenWRT, nor Tomato versions for WNR3500L are ready for prime time yet.
    The guy who does firmware ports for myopenrouter just recently posted on Openwrt forum seeking for some answers, so it's going to take time....
  15. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Its going to be interesting to watch - but surely Netgear fund, so why are they suggesting taking Broadcom drivers from Asus, dd-wrt (Buffalo etc) or Linksys? Netgear are the customers of Broadcom - they need to get the info direct - or select a different hardware platform for their "opensource router". This is presumably the issue Harald Welte refers.
  16. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    "but there are at least two places where binary drivers for this chipset are available for Kernel 2.6.22 (In the Asus RT-N16 code) and Kernel 2.6.24 In the dd-wrt svn 13000."

    I am a complete greenhorn about the possibilities. But I am wondering .... Pretty soon I think many people will have connections which need rather more processing power for throughput/NAT/QOS over what we are used to. From what I have seen of most of the current batch of "N" routers, many don't come up to my expectations.

    The new breed of router will probably be on another platform, not necessarily broadcom. It will be N based. Assuming we would like to use QOS, then I want Tomato - because I consider every other router-based QOS solution I have tried to be almost useless.

    Therefore, what would we be looking at? What is involved with porting Tomato to another platform with newer N based hardware - assuming we don't use Broadcom wireless, and therefore are not restricted by the Broadcom drivers support for our existing software on kernel 2.4x? Would kernel 2.6x be needed? Teddy Bear has just updated Tomato to the newest version of 2.4x. Would it be an exercise of the same order of magnitude to jump to 2.6x? And so on?

    E.g. designs based on the Ubicom processor. DIR-655 / Netgear TEW633R - Vitesse VSC7385 switch, a Ubicom 5160 processor, and an Atheros 5416 baseband/MAC chip and AR2133 3x3 MIMO 2.4 GHz radio (AR5008 series).

    Is there a possibility of using the available Broadcom drivers with the newer designs? Such as for example porting tomato to the new ASUS RT-N16 platform? CPU: Broadcom BCM4718 533MHZ RAM: 128MB (2x 64MB) ROM: 32MB ETH: 4x GIGABIT (LAN) 1x GIGABIT (WAN) USB Ports: 2 WLAN: Dual Radio N (the firmware runs to around 10MB).

    [That is a router I *can* get excited about. Dual band version will undoubtedly follow.]

    What about a version of Tomato to run on an Intel x86 platform, plenty of low power PC's and old laptops around nowadays ?

    Would anyone with more insight than me like to comment if any of these routes seem possible?

    Also, has anyone seen an RT-N16 on the shelf yet?

    EDIT: here's a review of the RT-N16:
  17. kenyloveg

    kenyloveg LI Guru Member

    Yeah, almost the same i want...
    While would the cost up to equal to a Route OS running on RouterBoard? I'd rather give a try, decent performance and bunches of features (PPPoE Server, Radius Server, reconfigurable vlan......)
  18. Azuse

    Azuse LI Guru Member

    RT-N16 internals, although technically it's dual band, it just lacks 5GHz antennas /transmit/receive and ofc tomato support, only dd-wrt/openwrt have planned support :frown:. It also seem the uk is bottom of the release list, probably December at the rate asus is shipping.

    Anyway, I like netgears approach but it's really just re-hashing past mistakes, notably internal antenna. Sure, they work well, but if I'm buying a router because it's open source I'm buying it because I plan on making it do what i need, removing my option so swap antennas doesn't provide the flexibly I want.

    It's also launching 64mb rotuers a long, long time after the competition did, asus is already on to 128mb ram which tbh, is the level of buffer we really need. 50meg cable has been common place in UK for a long time, BT and fibrecity are both deploying 100meg lines and virgins trialling 200meg. Relatively speaking, the uk has the worst broadband infrastructure in Europe (look at Sweedens fibre rollout) and my little wrt54gl comes close to maxing it's cpu ad ram on an 13meg connection.

    A year ago it would have been great, but it's closer to being just a nice gesture now netgear :).
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