Using NETGEAR WGR614L as a Wireless Hotspot with Sputnik

Hi all,

There's been a lot of talk over using the WGR614L as a hotspot device and while using a guest SSID is sufficient for most setups, I'm sure that some of you are look for a deeper breathed solution.

Sputnik ( offers a free service called SputnikNet Express that I've gotten to work with Netgear open source router. SputnikNet Express uses a DDWRT build to connect to your account with them.

With SputnikNet Express installed on your WGR614L, you can:

  • Brand a login page (while limited, it's decent for most rollouts)
  • Block private nets
  • View some very basic usage reports
  • Auto-authenticate up to 5 devices using MAC addresses such as Wi-Fi printers, employee laptops, etc.
  • Run local ads on your login page (I'm not sure if you get to keep revenue from ads or not?)
  • Theme your login page with popular themes like Google Local, MSN, Yahoo! Local.

To Install SputnikNet Express:

  1. Download the DDWRT firmware
  2. Flash your WGR614L with the firmware using the GUI flash interface
  3. Login to the router and hit up the services page
  4. Under the service page, select the Hotspot tab
  5. Enable SputnikNet express and put in the account domain Sputnik gives you when you sign up
  6. Wait for your router to restart then open a new browser page
  7. You should be redirected to the setup page where you input your email address, etc. Do that.
  8. You'll receive an email with an account login so that you can manage the router remotely. You can change the SSID, the content on your login page, add devices to auto-authenticate and a few other things.

SputnikNet Express doesn't do much fancy and you're limited on what you can do with branding, authenticating and limiting customers, there's no promotion, etc. but it's a good start and most of all fun to mess around with.

Have a great weekend.