Saturday, January 12, 2008

my Motorola WR850G v2 and DD-WRT firmware and my personal public wifi project

happy 2008 everyone! (yes, i'm a bit behind already, and the year just started!)

this year i've decided to try to give back more to the community and the public as a whole; last week i started it off by donating blood and at quitting smoking cigarettes. this week, i've decided to unshackle the chains on my wifi network/internet access and in turn open it up to the public or those in my area. the main reason behind this was because of my gratitude to whoever's unsecured wifi network i had to use for 2 days when my own internet was down. i realized that without that connection, i would have been pretty lost since i rely perhaps a bit too much on my internet connectivity (yes, i could have tethered my phone to my desktop via bt or usb but doing it w/my PS3 would have been a bit more complex and prob very laggy).

the first thing i wanted to check on was: how can i do this to not only allow anyone laptop or wifi device on but also still be able to run a secured wired/internal network that only my pc's could access?

i realized from the start that this would not be an easy project at all and i still really am kind of winging it right now. however, we have a very similar setup at the firm i work for that i wanted to try to use as a model to build my network infrastructure off of (plus, the guy who setup the network is my pal too so i can always get advice from him). basically i want to setup a public wlan that would not be able to see anything on my private network; this would include wired, wireless clients on two APs.

first things first; what would i use for hardware? the firm was using some pretty spendy cisco based hardware to do this and i didn't want to spend hardly any money if any at all since i already had a wifi router w/4port hub (Motorola WR850G) and also an additional AP via my Sony LocationFree TV base. after speaking w/my network pal at work, he pointed to me in the direction of the DD-WRT project/wiki page. This site was dedicated to converting/upgrading a normal, basic commercial routers/wifi ap into enterprise level functions (such as wifi repeating/bridging, radius authentication, Kai Console, gaming network, etc).

so today i am starting my public wifi project by first upgrading my current router/ap with the DD-WRT custom firmware. Again, i have motorola WR850G version 2 (sticker on router/ap will display version type). See the video below of the firmware update in place. Again, use a cat5, wired connection when you do the update and ALSO DOING THIS CAN BRICK YOUR ROUTER!!!! BE CAREFUL!!

[youtube h4wbcuFj0qI]

check back for more posts on my persona public wifi project.. i may even add another wif ap in living room to extend the range once i get an prelim setup going. :)