Study of OpenWRT and Its Applications
9324-9680 / Travis Wright
OpenWRT is an open source project that in2009 joined the “Software in the PublicInterest” domain. This unique status gives itmore organizational structure and shows thematurity of its development. The distinctionalso allows it to work in concert with manyother projects that have similar interestssuch as Debian, PostgreSQL, OpenOfficeand MadWifi. This project will explore justsome of the many unique aspects thatOpenWRT can improve over the currentcommercially available router software inthe marketplace today.
OpenWRT is a Linux based firmwaredesigned for embedded devices such as a personal wireless router that has becomeubiquitous in the modern world for both thehome and commercial applications. Thesewireless routers are so integrated into our daily lives that the majority of people nolonger give a second thought to their capabilities and simply use them for their plug and play feature. While these initialdefault capabilities are well implementedthere are many other features, which could be very useful to the general public that arenot implemented. This project will explorehow to implement those additional featureswith OpenWRT such as:1.
simplified port forwardinga.
dynamic port forwarding2.
Configuration of wireless repeater This type of technology is becoming evenmore necessary as the development of smartphones has driven the need for better and better networks. With new 4Gtechnology attempting to handle the loads of these phones an additional solution would beto use wireless internet to relieve the loadoff these networks for data and allow themto handle voice only. By improving theability of wireless routers already in placewith a firmware upgrade this could greatlyhelp to improve current networks.Both commercial and private individualswould benefit from this advance as it wouldallow an existing infrastructure to handleeven greater loads. The use of OpenWRTitself may not bring about this ultimateadvance but it can be a stepping stone for development, which as an open sourcedevelopment project that is its main focus.
Currently I have researched online for thevarious techniques for customizing a homewireless router myself. In my research Ihave found the process is a little moreinvolved than I anticipated, but will attemptthe conversion over the next month toattempt it.Below is a list of the basic steps to theconversion process. The final report with gointo much more detail for each process andany problems that occurred.1.
Physically open the device you aregoing to install the OpenWRT on.A list of supported devices areavailable athttp://oldwiki.openwrt.org/TableOf Hardware.html.2.
Install OpenWRT using one of thefollowing methodsa.
Online GUI provided by thevendor. This is the easiestway but not always the bestas there is no way to go