WGR614L - Router for developers

Happy New Year! A new router platform WGR614L is coming soon and what got me excited is that this new platform is well suited for many excellent community developed firmwares like like OpenWRT, Sveasoft, DD-WRT, Tomato. This Broadcom 5354 SoC based router has 4MB flash and 16MB SDRAM - good enough to run most of these popular firmwares. In fact most of the firmwares that runs on Linksys WRT54GL should be easily (relatively speaking) portable to WGR614L. Both the platforms uses the processor from Broadcom as well as the linux kernel source code is fairly similar. Netgear WGR614L’s BCM5354 is a newer generation SoC from Broadcom that has a 20% faster CPU and larger data and instruction caches than its predecessor BCM5352 used in Linksys WRT54GL. WGR614L also implements WPS and WPA2 standards to make it compatible with Windows Vista. But you will possibly miss these features when you install a third party firmware like Tomato. Let us have quick look at how this new router stands up against the present Netgear’s open source KWGR614 router.



CPU 240-MHz MIPS32® CPU core with 16-KB instruction cache, 16-KB data cache, and 1-KB pre-fetch cache LX5280 32-bit RISC CPU, clock rates up to 200MHz, Embedded 4K I-Cache, 4K D-Cache, 8K I-MEM, 4K D-MEM
WiFi Chipset Integrated Brodcom 5354 Realtek 8185L onboard.
CPU MHZ 240MHZ (could be over clocked) 200MHZ
Ethernet 4+1 port 10/100 4+1 port 10/100
Hardware Switch Integrated L2 switch Only Integrated L2/L3/L4 switch forwarding, filtering and Access Control Accelerator in ROME Harfware. Frees up CPU for most of the traffic and allows wire speed forwarding
External Antenna Single Dipole
Antenna gain 2dBi Two (2) detachable 2dBi antenna
Replaceable Antennae Fixed Replaceable

  Both of the hardwares are based on MIPS architecture. WGR614L uses a 240 MHz MIPS4k based core in bcm5354 chipset whereas KWGR614 uses a little known MIPS like CPU Lexra LX5280 based core Realtek 8651B at 200 Mhz. The Processor in WGR614L does provide a slight edge over the KWGR614 with its higher MHz and larger data and instruction caches.  Both the processors have an MMU and can run standard Linux kernels.But interestingly the NAT and WLAN bridging throughput is significantly higher for KWGR614. Realtek RTL8651B uses a unique architecture with  a Layer2/3/4 switching in hardware. Only a few of the bridge and NAT traffic  reaches the CPU – most of it gets handled and forwarded by the hardware switching engines. The CPU is utilized much less for normal packet processing it has lots of free cycle to have more applications.

Unfortunately, KWGR614 have very few third party community firmware available.

So if you intend to use the router in a situation where the WAN speed is only a few MBPS, if you want to run a community firmware with a rich feature set you probably are better off with WGR614L. But if you need to deploy the router in an environment where you need close to 100MBPS throughput for the LAN-WAN traffic, you will need the KWGR614. Customization effort is higher – but definitely worth it in such a deployment.I would love to hear your opinions on these routers.

hrlevy's picture
you failed to include the

you failed to include the standard wgr614v8 & v9 in your report.

is the wgr614L the same as ether of these if what are the differances??

Ashish's picture


dbp's picture
The Broadcom site says that

The Broadcom site says that the BCM5354 has a USB host port. Can I get at that?