In a shocking number of cases, the router is the bottleneck or the weak security link.
But, let’s not talk about bottlenecks. Let’s instead talk about firmware. If your $60 router’s firmware meets your standards for a thing that carries all of your internet traffic, then, cool. But if you’re not running openwrt on it due to incompatibility, then indeed, your router is a piece of shit. (almost all of them are, that is the point more or less.)
PS: Does your 300mbps router actually achieve 300mbps? Probably not, I think. Those numbers are more or less made up.
Actually how idiot proof it is really depends on your ISP. If your ISP uses plain DHCP, then you will never need to ever as long as your home has electricity, ever, no matter what-- touch anything in the router’s settings. It’s pretty good like that.
If your ISP doesn’t use DHCP or sets your network up to restrict your address to a certain mac address, then you will need to configure those things in the Web UI.
It’s actually designed to be quite idiot proof-- the whole webui consists of three screens-- login/password setup (PW setup is run when the router is first turned on. At first boot it’s a hotspot with no wireless password. Since there’s not really such a thing as a wireless password, this router won’t force you to make one. Instead, it’s ready to go from day one. I think there’s substance to the theories that suppose that this (open vs closed wifi-- since most traffic is encrypted, anyway, and unencrypted traffic shouldn’t really happen (but does of course… however that’s the thing: It shouldn’t.) is one of the keys to meaningfully improving our society(EFF on Open Wireless Networks). Once that shift has occured, we can begin to think seriously about things like meshnets.
Anyway about defaults and the like, a LOT of thought and planning went into providing the easiest possible “default” experience. Most users should never even need to use the webUI. If they do have to use the webUI, they’re also told that their network provider isn’t giving them the simplest possible setup by providing addresses based upon almost ancient standards to do that. For power users ssh is expossed on the internal network only.
This is an opinionated router. It’s easy, customizable, and safe. I think that those are pretty well hammered down now. One thing it isn’t, is cheap-- I wasn’t able to make it all four. In the settings screen, power users can enter an ssh public key. Saving that key turns on SSH access and adds your key to authorized_keys. By default, SSH is not turned on.
Another way to look at it is that it’s an application of SystemD to SOHO routing.
I’m having fun with mine, anyway :)!
Thanks to both of your for your questions and interest.
@whiteoutmashups - The answer to your question about modems is “it depends on your ISP.” Cable/DSL users would require a modem in most**(nearly all) cases. Users of fiber optic lines would need the “converter” that translates the optical signals into electrical signals. If anyone ever gets around to pushing ISPs to use the standard, “normal” fiber optic connector, there could be a standard (emerging possiblity around SFP)
The router’s software will grow in feature set over time, but the UI will not need to grow, because the router is going to have highly opinionated defaults about what should or should not happen. We will be making separate releases of our software completley free. See, the router is a systems hack back to sanity. If we chose to act sane, we could all have secure, fast internet AND internet privacy. Your neighbors aren’t the security threat. And if you use https://sites, indicated by the big greeen locky thing that should always be green, no matter what the context, your neighbor ISN’T a threat.
Now, if you were some kind of centralized oh, ISP, or agency, or what have you, you could exploit both setups equally. But by banding together, you and your neighbors gain something: Privacy. We have not yet implemented mesh networking support, but that’s going to be a part of the experience at some point.
We will coordinate with others in the cryptocurrency space, as well. This device makes an incredible platform for a full node of any kind.
As soon as we can figure out how, all specifications will be open sourced. As more open compute platforms become available, we will migrate to them. We will iterate on the product, too, and ensure that differences between generations are clearly provided to the users. Right now it’s an open platform, but not open hardware. We will get there, though.
So basically, you buy it to have a really great router, and to buy into the concept that infrastructure should be open. Others might even consider buying it to participate in its further development, which will of course occur on the level of hardware and software alike. If you support our project with your code or designs, you get a significant discount on each new version.
If you don’t care about software, it’s shippable today, and you can simply boot Arch, Ubuntu, or… any distro you’d like or even… Windows… or Hackintosh(gasp!)… installations straight from the USB drive.
If this goes well enough, we will make other highly opinionated, open electronics. The world is a platform guys, but today, it’s a closed platform ant the mfers lie to you about the rules. That’s immoral.
If you care about software or need a webui it can ship in a few weeks.
Repositories going up soon. The settings in them will be applied to hopefully millions of devices (remember, we’re making what ROMs we can to help people who have dangerous/uncivil routers convert their devices into safe, civil routers) and also, that we’re happy to help other router makers ship our software. Expect prices to sink like a rock when we get really rolling. Volume is what makes hardware affordable, and we’re doing what it takes to get it.
Later editions can include MaidSafe, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, <-etc=softwarelikemaidsafeeg:softwarethatsupportsdecentralizedsystems that other hardware makers somehow neglect to ship. (users should run maidsafe on their machines regardless of weather they have this router.)
For the advanced users, as well as the beginners:
It has an HDMI port and standard USB ports so you can always plug in a TV or monitor, or use it as a Media Player in additon to a route, by installing the software to the SSD using a USB drive. It’s the same procedure as nearly any computer (that doesn’t use even worse boot systems that don’t give the user the ability to customize them): press the power button while tapping delete, and it wil fall into BIOS. This also means you’ll never again experience being locked out of a router you’ve modified. Providing the HDMI interface solves that cleanly.