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Re: HardWare: wireless router for Debian ?

Jerome BENOIT wrote:

Hello List,

I am envisaging to buy a (cheap) wireless router (at least b compatible)
which can run (Debian) Linux ?

Any idea ?


My experience is cheap ones can be pretty useless - for a start, they often need a USB connection, and make use of the processing power of your PC, rather than have a decent CPU in them.

I bought an US Robotics 8000-02 for 30 UK pounds from a shop which is expensive, so I guess you could get it 25 UK pounds online. I bought this to use professionally. It is total junk.

1) It has significant latency, so is slow.

2) The firewall always leaves one port open. I have phoned their support line about the latter issue, and was told to email the full details, which I did. That was about a week ago. No answer.

3) You are limited to 20 firewall rules. But only 10 incoming and 10 outgoing. That is not really enough.

4) The 'DMZ' is next to useless - it is not really safe, being on the same subnet as the rest of the LAN.

At home I use an Intertex
IX66 ADSL modem, router and firewall. That is very good. It is not as expensive as the Cisco's but is not too cheap either.

For example, it has a Demilitrised zone (DMZ), as all the routers do. But the DMZ machines are on a different subnet. So if you run a web server, and someone hacks the web server, there is no way they can hack your LAN. There is no communication between the DMZ and the LAN, although there is the other way around. Most DMZ's have the thing on the same subnet as your LAN, which is not a good idea. It is safer than having the web server on your LAN, but not as good as having it on a different ethernet cable, on a different subnet. The cheap ones have everything on a small switch.

Intertex are a Sweedish company, with excellent support on an online forum
You will see a post by me yesterday, and the answers came back within hours.

There are numerous IX66 models, all of which differ a little, and you have to be careful to get what you want. But I would highly reccomend them.

Yesterday I bought an Intertex IX66 PF for work use. It was about 150 pounds with VAT/carriage, compared to 30 for the US Robotics bit of junk. But it was well worth the money. Although in this case I am buying it for work, so are not payingfor it, I would buy another for home. I am very pleased with my home model, which costs a bit more, as it has the ADSL modem too.

I would add that the Intertex things require no USB connection to the PC. Although there is a USB, it is not needed, so drivers are not needed at all. You do all the configuration via a web interface. I run a Sun at home with Solaris on it, and use the ADSL modem with that. It has its only digital signal processor, running at about 150 MHz, so has plenty of power.

Good luck. But take my advice, beware of routers that are too cheap.

Dr. David Kirkby PhD CEng MIEE
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Medical Physics
University College London
11-20 Capper St
London WC1E 6JA
Tel: 020 7679 6406 (direct line)
Tel: 020 7679 6262 (office)

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