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Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 5, 2012 16:24 UTC (Thu) by awesomeman (guest, #85116)
Parent article: Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

I think the idea of making the FreedomBox a router is a really, REALLY great idea.

I personally drop my jaw at people I know that spend $150 on a router, it just seems insane, (I buy a $20 8-port gigabit switch, and pick up a wireless access point from goodwill) but they do it, and the FreedomBox can say, we do all that, and all this privacy stuff too. Store you picture!, etc, etc---getting ricer types excited about it would be nice. Its Debian, so we want all these home media center features anyways, it doesn't detract that it would basically be a differn't project--cause its just Debian, and it would get people using, and enabling their Freedom!

Very good idea making a router distro as the central one for the freedombox. There are too many problems with most routers people use too. (as is mentioned in the article). Its also a way to get people introduced to Linux in general.


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Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 5, 2012 16:29 UTC (Thu) by awesomeman (guest, #85116) [Link]

Also, the reason I've seen users rationalize over-spending on routers, is that they think it won't go out of date as soon.

While is this may or not be true, having the software stack based on Debian, means there is a clear and long-term upgrade path (both hardware and software-wise) for that router they are buying, which is much more than other suppliers can say.

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 5, 2012 22:30 UTC (Thu) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266) [Link]

> I personally drop my jaw at people I know that spend $150 on a router, it just seems insane, (I buy a $20 8-port gigabit switch, and pick up a wireless access point from goodwill)

Does that access point do 450 megabit 802.11n simultaneous dual-band (which needs two independent radios, each with 3 antennas)? Or is it a no-name 802.11g access point, which tops at 54 megabits (the difference is greater than the numbers show, since the newer 802.11n standard has less overhead), and which can only work in the very congested 2.4GHz band, and which probably is vulnerable to the recent WPS exploit?

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 5, 2012 23:03 UTC (Thu) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

>Does that access point do 450 megabit 802.11n simultaneous dual-band (which needs two independent radios, each with 3 antennas)? Or is it a no-name 802.11g access point, which tops at 54 megabits (the difference is greater than the numbers show, since the newer 802.11n standard has less overhead), and which can only work in the very congested 2.4GHz band, and which probably is vulnerable to the recent WPS exploit?

I would expect there to be no difference for 99.9% of people, since most don't transfer massive files around, and those who do, probably do it infrequently enough that they can go through the hassle of plugging in a wire. (I'm a fairly tech-savvy guy, and I fall into the latter category, for example.)

Also, I'd be surprised to see more than a dozen AP's in a typical suburban location, so while 2.4GHz may be congested in general, by the pigeon-hole principle, you can probably find an empty channel.

In my experience, people who buy expensive consumer routers are the same ones who buy computers with 8Gb of RAM, and use it to browse the Internet. In both cases, there will be no performance gain from the better hardware, but there would be a big performance gain from using Free Software.

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 5, 2012 23:51 UTC (Thu) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> I would expect there to be no difference for 99.9% of people, since most don't transfer massive files around, and those who do, probably do it infrequently enough that they can go through the hassle of plugging in a wire. (I'm a fairly tech-savvy guy, and I fall into the latter category, for example.)
Many people want to stream 1080p videos to all TVs in the house without having to rewire the house.
> Also, I'd be surprised to see more than a dozen AP's in a typical suburban location, so while 2.4GHz may be congested in general, by the pigeon-hole principle, you can probably find an empty channel.
Suburban, yes; urban, three to four dozen APs at any time.
> In my experience, people who buy expensive consumer routers are the same ones who buy computers with 8Gb of RAM, and use it to browse the Internet. In both cases, there will be no performance gain from the better hardware, but there would be a big performance gain from using Free Software.
Yes. I agree.

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 6, 2012 3:07 UTC (Fri) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106) [Link]

> Also, I'd be surprised to see more than a dozen AP's in a typical suburban location, so while 2.4GHz may be congested in general, by the pigeon-hole principle, you can probably find an empty channel.

There will be at least some overlap if you have more than three access points in range. There may be eleven "channels", but at best only three of them (1, 6, and 11) are completely disjoint. Worse, access points too weak to properly detect can still cause interference. You may only be able to _list_ a dozen APs with at least marginal reception, but there can still be others close enough to cause problems.

MIMO and beam-forming can help immensely in cutting down on the interference, but you won't find those features in bargain-basement 802.11g routers.

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 6, 2012 9:13 UTC (Fri) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Define a "typical suburban location" - do you mean half-acre-lawn detached-house American suburbs, postage-stamp-lawn terraced-house English suburbs, or French tower-block banlieues?

Can FreedomBox be an alternative to commercial home routers?

Posted Jul 13, 2012 17:06 UTC (Fri) by SteveAdept (guest, #5061) [Link]

In my last apartment, I could see 40 (!) wireless routers from my front room. This is not at all uncommon.


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