To use 3rd party or not, that is the question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ramarco1, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. ramarco1

    ramarco1 LI Guru Member

    I ordered a WRT54GL from Amazon and expect it any day now. I wanted the option to use 3rd party firmware but still am not sure if it's the right choice for my situation. I share our home network with my wife. Her computer is wired and I use a laptop for my wireless connection. We use a Netgear FM114P as our current router (this is b only). She is an accountant and works from home using VPN. She often gets support from her company's IT dept.

    My 3rd party firmware concerns are:

    1) VPN is a must!
    2) Will it cause difficulty for IT dept. support?
    3) Will the Linksys "Easy Setup" button still work?

    It took me months to get our current b only system to work properly so maybe I'm not savey enough to play with 3rd party firmware. On the other hand, I would like to be able to increase the transmit power on the router (that's my main goal). I'm not sure what other bells & whistles I'd use.

    Opinions? Is 3rd party for me? If so, which one?

  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Well thats kind of a loaded question and one not to many folks by themselves can answer: reason being that most dont use or even try many of the firmwares out there. I for one am one of those folks, i stumbled into Thibors and love it so i have never changed, it looks and feels exactly like linksys og but has more features and for me has been super stable. The wife connects through it via a pptp tunnel all the time to get back to work without incident. On the other hand i have a few more devices for one reason or another that i have loaded on factory software that i am happy with as well. So to answer your question as directly as possible, to each his or her own and you will never know until you try. Hope that doesnt convolute the situation even more :-P
  3. ramarco1

    ramarco1 LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the info. Thibors sounds like it might be a good choice for me since it has a Linksys look and feel. Maybe I'll give it a try. Does it retain the "Easy Setup" capabilities? Can I change back to the original firmware without losing all my settings?

    Thanks again for all your help!
  4. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    what type of VPN are you wanting? one on the router or one running on a server?
  5. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    Can certainly try it...if it doens't work out...flash her back to default Linky firmware.

    It shouldn't cause a problem for their IT support...sounds like she's simply doing a VPN Client to their office from her all you need to make sure is that the router allows outbound VPN.

    I've used DD-WRT quite a few times...but if you want to stick with something that is easier to work with...something like Hyper-WRT may be good, it's built on Linksys firmware, so pretty much has the exact same look to the web admin, for support purposes.
  6. ramarco1

    ramarco1 LI Guru Member

    She uses Windows Remote Desktop Web Connection to connect to work. When I click on "Network Connections" it displays the following: Type - Virtual Private Network, Device - WAN Miniport (PPTP) and then the host address.

    I don't believe VPN is in the router. I think the router/firmware just needs to allow VPN pass through. I'll try checking with her IP department.

    The router hasn't arrived yet but I'm trying to get my ducks in a row. Perhaps I will try a simple setup for starters and then venture into the 3rd party realm. Hyper-WRT sounds like another good one to try.

    Is there a way to save the router's settings, etc (perhaps on my computer) before flashing to a 3rd party fimware? Then I could easily change back if needed. Kind of like XP's system restore feature.

    Thanks a bunch!
  7. ramarco1

    ramarco1 LI Guru Member

    I spent today setting up my WRT54GL. In case any other newbie happens to read this post I'll answer a couple of my own questions.

    VPN pass-through is enabled as a default and it worked well for me.

    There is a way to save your router's settings. It's under Administration - Config Management - Backup. This saves your configuration to a file on your hard-drive. I feel more adventurous knowing that I can easily switch back if a third party firmware doesn't work out for me.

    I hope this is of some help to a fellow newbie.

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