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Open Source Router Platforms - Part 1: The Hardware

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A few months ago we asked a simple question - what do you use for your router, and what would you look for in a router review. Unless you’re entirely mobile, getting online these days pretty much requires the use of some kind of NAT router. Picking that hardware is often a function of what software can be tossed on top, and having a consistent and familiar set of configuration pages makes setup and maintenance much less of a nightmare than dealing with the third party alternatives. There are so many arguments for using some open source package instead of the first party software which is usually derived from the board software package the SoC vendor hands out.

Ganesh and myself are currently sitting on two 802.11ac routers from Buffalo and Netgear, and a big part of this piece is simply feeling out what axes of performance need measuring for a typical router review. This is by no means a be-all or end-all review, but hopefully gives a bit of perspective for users setting up a connection for the first time and looking for a router, or wondering about the differences between a few different popular platforms.

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