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My Experience Installing DD-WRT on Linksys WRT320N

So I replaced my router / see this blog post / and I decided to see what hacking I could do with my old router and what I could learn. Otherwise I stay away from custom firmware and unofficial mods for devices that I am using for various reasons. By all means if you can justify it and you are willing to take the risks (bugs, overheating fixes and security fixes for example) then help yourself. Just don’t say you were not warned. First thing I had to do was research and decide which custom firmware I should try first. I got the impression that DD-WRT would be the least troublesome and most supported for my router. The documentation and articles make it seem daunting but it turned out to be easy to get started.

First thing I needed was what they call a trailer firmware that is specific to my router brand and model. I decided for the latest beta (at that time) – dd-wrt.v24-33006_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_wrt320n.bin. Notice that this is found in the broadcom_K26 folder as linked below

ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2017/08-03-2017-r33006/broadcom_K26/

Documentation says reset router to factory settings and then update the firmware to dd-wrt using the bin file above and through the settings page / 192.168.1.1 / and Administration / Firmware Upgrade. That was it. If you need additional features like OpenVPN then you will need to upgrade to a generic dd-wrt firmware on top of the trailer firmware. In that same folder above you will see options for openvpn, mega and big. The router database below and other links online might help in determining what could work with your brand and model of router. I am content and working with the trailer / mini / firmware for now and it uses less of the limited storage on the router.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database

Made a couple of notes so far

  • Hotspot portal is a useful feature
  • SSH and telnet access is useful
  • It is a linux based firmware
  • You really should test this before using in a live environment
  • There is built-in DNS caching which can speed up your connection to websites
  • The settings portal has a lot of things that you can change

Some info on the DD-WRT name from wikipedia

The firmware project’s name was taken in part from the Linksys WRT54G model router, a home router popular in 2002–2004. “DD” are the German license-plate letters for vehicles from Dresden, where the BrainSlayer’s (His real name is Sebastian Gottschall and he’s the founder and primary maintainer of the DD-WRT project.) development team lived. “WRT”, also used by the OpenWrt router firmware project, comes from the generic abbreviation for “Wireless RouTer”, which may have been the original Linksys meaning.

One of the first hacks I decided to do was modify the router to serve static html pages. Could be useful for something. Here are the steps I followed.

Host – 192.168.1.1
Port – 22
Username – root
Password – Same as password for web settings page
File protocol – SCP

  • Create htm file in /www/user/ folder as below

You will see a link to the user folder. Go in there and create a test.htm file. Preferably create and edit the file in WinSCP. I tried doing it outside and copying it across and it did not work. Most likely a file format issue. Read that the filename must be lower case and must end in htm. And that is it. You should be able to access it from http://192.168.1.1/user/test.htm. Share your uses and hacks for dd-wrt or other custom router firmware.

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My Experience Setting Up FLOW’s TG2492LG-FLO WIFI Modem

I had one of the early purely modem devices for about 7 or more years now. I connected this to my Linksys router and I was set. The router is old and does not have all the features of modern routers but it worked. Did a house call the other day and saw that the person had the WIFI modem with their AVS setup. Then it occurred to me that I should switch out my modem for a WIFI modem. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about buying a new router when it was time for that. Made some notes after setting up my device and I am sharing it on my blog here.

  • I access the settings using the https link so that credentials entered are encrypted while communicating with the router – https://192.168.0.1/
  • I was told to skip the change password on first login prompt. Do it afterwards from the admin menu.
  • I chose to not broadcast SSID. You will have to manually add your WIFI to your devices if you do this. This is an extra layer of security.
  • I disabled 2.4 GHz. Reading that 5GHz gives less range but supports higher speeds and has less interference.
  • Love that there is a guest network separate for visitors where I can set a timer.
  • Discovered that there is nowhere to specify custom DNS. I can do that at the device level in Windows 10 for example if I really need it.
  • What I will do with the old router? Probably use it for experimenting with various custom firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and Tomato – if they support my aging router. Read that MAYBE you can brick your device or not go back to stock with custom firmware sometimes.
  • WIFI modem is behind Flow’s NAT. I guess if you need a public facing IP on the router you have to contact Flow.
  • There is a modem mode if you want your own connected router to be internet facing.
  • I always enable MAC address filtering to only allow my devices.
  • The branded settings UI is easy to use and simple and beautiful.
  • Initial passwords for the router settings and WIFI are labelled on the device. It is recommended that you change these.
  • Couldn’t find a user guide online. Arris does not have one and says I need to contact the ISP. Maybe they should put a link to one or something. Hire me to do a video guide.
  • You can restrict internet at certain times for certain devices. Maybe something for the kids.
  • I disable UPnP because I don’t use it and it feels more secure that way.

Share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments below.

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Press Release : Deep Blue Cable and TE Subcom to build new fibre-optic subsea system connecting the Caribbean to the Americas

SAINT LUCIA – July 11, 2017 – Deep Blue Cable, the developer, owner and operator of a state-of-the-art subsea fibre-optic system providing connectivity across the Caribbean islands and to the Americas, has announced that they have contracted with TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, to build and deploy the Deep Blue subsea cable system. The pan-Caribbean system design spans nearly 12,000 km with initial landing points in 12 markets throughout the region, including the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands, with dual diverse landings in the U.S., which will include the first landing of a cable on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The Deep Blue subsea cable network, which will offer an initial capacity of 6 Tbps per fibre pair and is projected to be completed in Q4 of 2019, will ensure availability, competitive pricing and capacity resilience. The Deep Blue network will benefit the region’s businesses and consumers by offering significantly higher design capacity, lower unit costs, lower latency through direct connectivity, and the ability to leverage advancements in reliability such as improved route planning and installation techniques.

Deep Blue Cable has great confidence in TE SubCom and its ability to build a state-of-the-art subsea cable system that will provide long overdue advanced connectivity across the Caribbean islands and to the Americas,” commented Stephen Scott, CEO of Deep Blue Cable. “The Deep Blue cable system will play a critical role in serving developing Caribbean countries that are now experiencing a surge in demand for advanced telecom services and currently rely on fibre-optic connectivity that is technologically and economically disadvantaged.

The Deep Blue cable system will be a network providing direct fibre connectivity between major traffic hubs, as well as optical add/drop connectivity to many smaller markets throughout the region. Using TE SubCom’s proven OADM (optical add/drop multiplexer) branching unit technology, Deep Blue Cable can cost-effectively supply international bandwidth across a range of Caribbean markets, large and small, in a scalable manner over time.

TE SubCom is pleased to be entrusted by Deep Blue Cable with the construction of their fibre-optic subsea cable system, which will expand and enhance connectivity across the Caribbean region and to the Americas,” said Mike Rieger, vice president of sales at TE SubCom. “In a region that has experienced no significant fibre-optic deployment in recent years, this submarine cable will satisfy not only the current spike in demand for connectivity in developing Caribbean countries, but also future requirements driven by projected growth.