Modified firmware R7500v1 for use with Entware-ng and Debian

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Voxel
Voxel's picture
Modified firmware R7500v1 for use with Entware-ng and Debian

I’ve prepared modified firmware for R7500. It is compiled from source codes of stock FW 1.0.0.82. The goal of my modifications is to allow full utilization of ipq8064 CPU and FPU power. Stock firmware restricts use of FPU (compiled with soft float) and does not use all instructions of CPU (ipq8064 supports full set of Cortex-A15 instructions, but firmware compiled for generic ARM7-A CPU).

I do not believe anymore that Open-WRT or DD-WRT guys will release FW for R7500v1. So I do what I can do to explore power of my routers.

Use of Entware-ng extends the initial functionality of R7500 (similar to OpenWRT packages). I compiled Entware-ng optimized for use with Cortex-A15 CPU and with hard float. According to my tests, it is faster on some operations with CPU up to 30%. For tests with float point: up to two times faster.

Also, it is possible to use chroot-ed Debian Jessie for ARMHF (hard float point). This version of Debian is also prepared by me especially for R7500.

NOTE: Use it on your own risk if you wish to try my FW. Of course, I flashed this modified FW to both of my R7500. They work OK. I do not think that there should be problem with my modified FW. But your router is your router. You can brick it. I am not responsible if so.

Also, important: this mod is prepared mainly for use of Entware-ng and Debian with R7500v1. If you do not plan to use Entware/Debian – it has no sense to try it.

Download link is https://yadi.sk/d/LvVgCxE5qYELE if somebody is interested.

!!! Read readme.docx from archive (MS Word format) before you decide to go ahead !!!

Voxel.

Danielos
Danielos's picture
I will give it a try :-) Not

I will give it a try :-) Not using the R7500 at the moment because of the LTE Dongle Problem.... So I will give it a try.... This is a big file..... what you put inside there :-)

By the way... had some more playing with the R7500 and LTE Dongle ?

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Is possible with your custom firmware install a proxy server and local DNS cache on R7500 v1 ?

I'd like to insert a USB key into router for proxy storage.

Now I using firmware 1.0.0.94 and I would also increase WiFi power level for 2.4 and 5 GHz.

Is possible to do it with your custom firmware?

I can't access via telnet with telnet enabler.

Thanks in advance for your infos.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Danielos!

Hi Danielos!

Yeah, maybe my mistake that I put everything into single archive.

So, new links (part-by-part):

debian-jessie-armhf.tar.gz           https://yadi.sk/d/_JnHJaGBqpz7z

entware-cortex-a15.tar.gz           https://yadi.sk/d/z82gKbw_qpz8A

entware-initial-cortexa15.tar      https://yadi.sk/d/wgMUe9n7qpz8D

entware-initial-official.tar            https://yadi.sk/d/kXzTB9k2qpz8E

firewall.tar                                       https://yadi.sk/d/-j8ckA24qpz8H

R7500-V1.0.0.96-voxel.zip           https://yadi.sk/d/0zcd1k7Aqpz8P

readme.docx                                   https://yadi.sk/i/ipLqXywqqpz8b

setssh.tar                                         https://yadi.sk/d/Y8l57YP2qpz8h

debian-jessie-armhf.tar.gz – Debian Jessie for ARM with hard float

entware-cortex-a15.tar.gz – full set of Entware-NG packages compiled by me for utilization of CPU and FPU.

entware-initial-cortexa15.tar – minimal set of preinstalled packages to be used (for my version of Entware-NG). It includes workable wget. So user can install this minimal version and then install needed packages from entware-cortex-a15.tar.gz

entware-initial-official.tar – minimal set of preinstalled packages for use with official Entware-NG (no hard float, generic ARMV7)

R7500-V1.0.0.96-voxel.zip – my modified firmware itself. Yesterday’s version. Compiled by me yesterday – more advanced. I am happy with this version. Well, I changed the version (1.0.0.82->1.0.0.96) to avoid suggestions of upgrade FW from WebGUI.

readme.docx – instruction how to setup Entware etc. Most important file J

setssh.tar – archive how to unlock SSH login with your own authorization key(s).

firewall.tar – example how to open WAN port (e.g. to access R7500 by HTTPS from external world)

Yes, I changed once more FW, so in link above the most fresh my version. I upgraded several libraries to latest version. What I could to refresh. Most important are OpenSSL, ZLIB, LZO. You probably know that our R7500v1 is now under “End of Life” status, so no any new stock FW anymore L So I did everything what is possible to improve this FW. BTW, latest official has a problem – so called “battery drain”, when gadgets connected to R7500 with 1.0.0.94 are discharged very quickly. Problems in last drivers from Qantenna… So no way (for me) to be with 1.0.0.94.

Regarding LTE Dongle. No problem for me to compile necessary modules for my FW. If you wish. Problem for me is to test them. I practically have no access to my LTE dongle. I live in city, so I visit my “village” very rarely. Let me know if you need these modules.

BTW, maybe you will be more lucky with LTE and this FW. Not everything is so bad. At least I succeeded to use R7500 with USB thermometer. So not only USB HDD are supported. Currently my R7500 works as a weather station J (put current temperature every hour to my web page). It is important for me to monitor temperature in my country house.

Regards,
Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi robysax,

Hi robysax,

I think it is possible. At least I tried to use proxy with R7500. Worked. Full list of Entware-NG packages is here:
 

http://pkg.entware.net/binaries/armv7/Packages.html

Check it - is what you need is here.

I did not try to setup local DNS cache, but I tried to use (and use) dns-crypt (this is more important for me). So check the package you need.

BTW I included dropbear into my FW. So no telnetenable is needed anymore. SSH server is available. See readme.docx in my previous post addressed to Danielos  re: how to enter to R7500 console.

Regards,
Voxel.
 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
robysax:

robysax:
 

Now I using firmware 1.0.0.94 and I would also increase WiFi power level for 2.4 and 5 GHz.

 

I am  not sure with this. Probably somewhere in nvram there are some values. It is not documented of course. So I just do not know. Maybe it is enough for you to set specific country code to increase the power level.

nvram command (named "config" in R7500) are available from console. A lot of values. You can try to play with them.

config show

displays all values. "config set" and "config commit" - to change value in nvram.

Voxel.

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Many thanks for your feedback.

I will try to install your firmware but, before of this step I have a few questions:

1. After installed your custom firmware, router maintain same features than original firmware ? (Webgui, parental control, ReadyShare etc)

2. Is telnet or SSH already active after flashed router  ?

3. Is possible revert to original firmware via webgui or TFTP ?

 

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi robysax,

Hi robysax,

1. WebGIU - yes, parental control - yes. Regarding Sharing, namely samba: if you will not label your USB key then it should work as before. If you will have a label, then (maybe) sharing from standard WebGUI will not recognize such key. To force not-using labels you shoukd run the following command from console:

echo > /root/.nolabel

After this label will not be used (mount as /mnt/sda1 or /mnt/sdb1 etc). Also: permissions for ext2/3/4. If you want all as before then set 777 permissions for target directory.

In general use of Entware supposes not using such Netgear's specific features like their samba. Entware has own samba server, more fresh, more usual, more fast. But anyway you can get all like in stock FW and do not use Entware.

2. SSH activated, telnet - not. But to enter by SSH client you should "unlock" the access. See readme.docx and setssh.tar. It should be done once after flasing. After that you will have SSH access forever. Until next flasing of FW/

3. Yes. Nothing specific. Like you revert from one stock FW version to another.

Voxel.

 

Zdenkod
Zdenkod's picture
Hi Voxel!

Hi Voxel!

 

Excellent work done, Congratulate!

Your readme.docx states:

10) WebGUI of router use now only http on port 80, but not https on port 443, so you can use https and default port 443 for your own web server.

So as I understand, secure remote access to it's own WebGUI is not possible any more. Or it is, but only by setting up a working OpenVPN. Am I wrong?

 

Other questions:

Is it possible to use your Entware Cortex A15 packages on stock 1.0.0.96 FW?

Have you removed limitation on USB to recognise only storage devices (oh no, you are the only one person to compile the drivers for a USB devices for R7500)?

 

Have nice day, Z.

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Zdenko, nice to meet you
Hi Zdenko, nice to meet you here again!
 
Regarding WebGUI and https. In general, I am against of accessing router from WAN. I do not understand what for. And use of https from LAN is a some kind of paranoia IMO :-). So, we can leave standard https port 443 for own need like own webserver.
If you need access to your router from WAN anyway, I’d see three alternatives:
1) Return back this modified by me script to its initial state. I can help you to do this.
2) Use of OpenVPN, right. I did not try, but I think it is possible.
3) Use on nginx from Entware or Debian. Accessing your router by https (with password set in nginx) and using the same nginx for you own webserver. IMO nginx is more reliable and proven technology.
 
Use of my version of Entware with stock FW (1.0.0.94, not 1.0.0.96). It is possible of course, but again with all these tricks designed in my initial topic.
However, there are several reasons to do not use stock 1.0.0.94. First of all, Quantenna SDK has a bug in this version. It is discovered not only for R7500, but for other routers with this SDK (ASUS). Bug is that your gadgets like Android phones are discharged very fast when you use 5GHz connection to R7500 with 1.0.0.94. There is beta FW 1.0.0.95 from Netgear. Not quite official. Mentioned somewhere in Netgear’s forum. I checked it a bit (usquasing image). IMO done in hurry. Not accurate, so could be problems. So even w/o my modification I’d use 1.0.0.82.
Second, I was able at the end of all to find the reason of 777 permissions with ext2/3/4. It is corrected by me in my modification of FW. Use of ext2/3/4 for Entware/Debian and any official FW from Netgear is problematic (everything is allowed for everybody is against Linux logic, so potential holes and not workable daemons like dropbear or so). I suggested before to use HFS+ instead of ext2/3/4, but this FS does not like Linux. Often crashes of whole FS. I had to recover my FS twice from backup.
 
Third is that I just put all my tricks for Entware/Debian into my modification. Dropbear, fsck.hfsplus, firewall etc.
 
Regarding USB gadgets. I am not sure, I did not try yet 4G modem. No possibility for me now. But at least my USB thermometer is working. I am not sure that it is only because of my modification. Did not try to use webcamera or so yet. All these gadgets are in my country house. I practically cannot test all of this.
P.S. If you decide to try my mod, better to use the link from my second post in this theme. More fresh and what I use now.
 
Have a nice day too,
Voxel. 
 
Zdenkod
Zdenkod's picture
Hi Voxel.

Hi Voxel.

Nice to talk with you again.

Thank's for the answers.

You were very active regarding R7500 lately.

My R7500 have issues and so I considered a non Netgear router. By now no harware comparable on the market.

So you published modified FW and I'll give R7500 another chance with your modified 1.0.0.94 FW & Entware.

The issue:

At a time for no reason the router refuses to authenticate WiFi connections first on 2.4 and at later 5 GHz also. At that time file sharring (internal Samba) become so slow and unresponsive that normal work was impossible. WebGUI was also unresponsive.
So I checked CPU load with top over dropbeear - minimal CPU load. dmesg and log files did not show any anomalies.
Two shut downs and wait 10 minutes off, solved the problem.

The above happened twice this year on a "set and forget" device + problems last year - enough to consider replacement.

The next time the router refuses to do its job, will be the time to replace the FW with yours - it is used as living house Internet access, and do not want to be interrupted.

 

Have nice weekend.

Zdenko

 

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Zdenko, I had similar problem

Zdenko, I had similar problem with samba, when I used HFS+ partition. If you have HFS+ then it is the same problem. Does not matter: samba from Entware or from Debian or from FW. Now I am able to use (and I use of course) ext2/3/4 and my problem with samba disapeared. Linux (and its author) does not like Apple stuffs.

Danielos
Danielos's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

worked all perfect so far and the installation you made pretty easy. Its now very good expandable with the packages included. Anyway I will say goodby to the router and just sold it yesterday and replaced it with the AC68U which ist that fast from the specs but with a bit of overclocking it reaches the same power. The The Wireless is even faster on the 5GHz :-)

Anyway thanks for the effort to make this router to a better router! But because of the Quantenna Wireless chip the Router is completly worthless in regards of different FW. I hope Netgear will not do this mistake again....

Dan

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Czesc Daniel, thanks for good

Czesc Daniel, thanks for good words in my address,

 

Yes, AC68U is a good choice. Exactly this model I do use in my country house with 4G LTE modem. Overclocked a bit too :-)

OK, R7500v1 is a hard nut, so I'll leave it for me while: too much efforts to crack it :-) I'll leave one of my router. And replace second one to R7500v2. Using Netgear's waranty which is still valid for my routers. New fight, with new hardware, it is interesting.

Na razie,

Voxel.

 

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

For me, R7500 has a good hardware but, stock firmware very bad and slow, Netgear has failed.

Unfortunatly, DD-WRT firmware for R7500 does not support 5 GHz and not ready to use at 100%.

So at the moment, your custom firmware 1.0.0.96 is the only hope to boost performance on this router.

Is there any chance to compile fw 1.0.0.94 with updated version of Quantenna SDK ?

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi robysax,

Hi robysax,

 

The main obstacle here is that GPL codes of 1.0.0.94 published by Netgear do not correspond to binary FW. I am not sure that these latest drivers of Quantenna are really here.

Well, long explanation. First of all, codes have several serious bugs, except this bug with “battery drain” in Quantenna drivers. Bugs are in  minidlna package (spoiled header file), in WebGUI (symlinks) and main problem is in Linux kernel codes. I could correct bugs in minidlna and WebGUI, but bugs in kernel…

Previous versions of Netgear FW (not only for R7500) used 3.4.0 kernel. Moreover, it is not original kernel, but some specific modified version with not-documented changes. Then they migrated to 3.4.103, but codes in FW 1.0.0.94 are crazy mix of 3.4.0 with 3.4.103, for example headers are from 3.4.0 and do not contain definition of several variables. Fatal errors during compilation. I tried to use kernel codes of 3.4.103 taken from R7500v2 FW, and I even succeeded to compile this whole FW. But binary results differs from binary of official 1.0.0.94 (I unsquashed both versions, mine and original FW and carefully compared them). Differences are that some files related to drivers exist in original FW and do not in compiled FW and vice versa: files in compiled FW do exist in original FW. Different filenames, different init scripts, lack of some precompiled binaries etc. I.e. codes published by Netgear do not correspond to FW. Previous version of drivers, previous version of kernel, bugs etc. As far as I remember, they released 1.0.0.94 a week later after attempt to publish 1.0.0.92 with some serious bugs (removing this 1.0.0.92 from public downloads). So I guess that these codes are just not-checked buggy dirty “on-the-fly” snapshot of intermediate beta development. Just to follow GPL formally.

Anyway, I tried to flash this compiled by me FW. Not workable. Reboot after reboot. I had to use TFTP to restore router. So we just do not have codes of 1.0.0.94. Plus serious bug in this version of Quantenna drivers with “battery drain”. Confirmed also by users of other routers with Quantena.

Codes of 1.0.0.82 I used for my modification are much more accurate.
Well, no alternatives yet. Router w/o 5HGz with “WRT” FW (useless for me) or previous version of drivers with additional features (my mod). I do not have any problems with stability of previous drivers.
Maybe we’ll have an alternative with WRT and workable 5GHz. I have some hopes:

https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=64195

Meanwhile I’ll use my mod with previous drivers.
Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
OK, I'll try to make an order

OK, I'll try to make an order with mess in codes of 1.0.0.94 - last attempt. Probability of success is about 20-30%. It is too problematic, tonnes of codes I have to use 1.0.0.94 sources for R7500v1 and 1.0.0.82 codes for the same  R7500v1 and codes of R7500v2 (which are workable at least). Plus Quantenna SDK codes.

 

Voxel.

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Many thanks for your explanation, very detailed.

Are you IT developer or Sysadmin ?
I don't understand like Netgear can publish these crazy firmware and sources.
Perhaps Netgear software engineers have worked in pies shop before write firmware.
The best goal should be to have a web gui similar to Asus WRT Merlin with bug free quantenna drivers and more Wi-Fi options like DDWRT.
I see that is very difficult to reach this goal especially if Netgear support is missing.
I have written several mail to Netgear support to claim bugs and features, they have sent me firmware beta 1.0.0.95.
I have tried it in these days but for me they have to work a lot again.
I don't know if Netgear will release new firmware since R7500 EOL...
robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Thanks for your job on this custom firmware.

Do you know if R7500v1 could support MU-MIMO with firmware upgrade like v2 ?

Good luck for work on firmware 1.0.0.94 fix.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi robysax,

Hi robysax,

About me:  I am rather universal monster :-) My main area is computer graphics, but due to this fact I got an experience in Unix  even before Linux/Windows were released. Working with SGI Irix and HP-UX. So I even saw Windows 1.0 (sounds funny, right?) and initial versions of Linux. And specifics of my job required me to get the knowledge in sysadmin area, in IT development, in low level development of drivers for Unix (but graphics drivers, not Wi-Fi or so). So I know what is a real release of commercial product level software. I am not a specialist in OpenWRT, DD-WRT or other FWs, but I am able to investigate what is what and how to improve in Linux-like development.

BTW, your nick, seems I know it – was it you who tried me to help testing Entware with R7500 about year ago? When I did not buy this router yet? This forum was different.

Back to our routers: published codes of 1.0.0.94 are fake or flop or  better to say piece of sh… Released binary FW 1.0.0.94 and these codes are different stuffs. Note: a lot of packages in FW codes are proprietary drivers of Quantenna, Qualcomm and Netgear (i.e. just precompiled binaries w/o sources, “blackbox”). And after unsquashing official 1.0.0.94 and compiled from codes after making an order I can conclude that a lot of such black boxes are just absent. Formally, it is a violation of GPL by Netgear. They did not publish real codes of published binary firmware. I had to unbrick my router again after flashing. You can try to push them to follow GPL :-) At the end of all, 1.0.0.94 is their last official FW, and no new FWs are expected since R7500 EOL… So if we’ll have true codes of 1.0.0.9x from Netgear then something is possible to improve.

Regarding MU-MIMO – as far as I understand it is know-how of Quantenna and it is on the level of their drivers. Black boxes. Impossible do for a reasonable time. Practically all WRT gurus refused to do something with Quantenna drivers. I play with this in my free time. During weekends, evening or so. Just hobby.

 

From the other hand, not everything is so bad. R7500 has some significant advantages comparing for example with ASUS routers. E.g. use of kernel 3.xx – means that it supports USB3 hubs. Impossible with ASUS routers with 2.6.x kernel. It has 1.4GHz CPU supporting hard float. Compare with broadcom’s ASUS routers, main competitors. Soft float, 1GHz maximum. It has two USB3 and eSATA, so it is almost NAS plus router functionality. In general I did not have any problems with 1.0.0.82 even before my attempts to modify it. WebGUI is bad, sure, especially comparing with ASUS and Merlin’s work. But as a rule WebGUI should be used only one time: to setup the router according to your preferences. Set and forget. So R7500v1 is still competitor for a lot of routers around. Even if I would succeed in 1.0.0.94, let us suppose this: we would have the same battery drain problem.

So, I’ll better try to improve 1.0.0.82. Compilation with maximal optimization for concrete CPU. Refresh of OpenWRT package versions in this FW (using latest versions). Hoping that WRT people will be able to add support of 5GHz. And create stable WRT FW. Meanwhile it is possible to use the router with optimized custom FW.

Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Funnily enough, but I
Funnily enough, but I succeeded with new drivers of Quantenna…
Well, don’t ask me “HOW”, but I extracted latest (as far as I can guess they are exactly “latest”) drivers of Quantenna from this “battery drain” FW version R7500-V1.0.0.95-trial-battery.img and inserted them to my modified FW based on 1.0.0.82. Instead of hopeless attempts to make an order in the codes of official 1.0.0.94 with their fatal mess…
It seems that this is most right way, because if I would be able to get workable 1.0.0.94 then: again the same problem with battery drain. And after my check of 1.0.0.94 “interior” I’d say that even official 1.0.0.82 is more attractive. And now with latest corrected drivers… At least people who faced problems with “battery drain” were satisfied by 1.0.0.95 beta.
So, let’s see: R7500v1 is with “EoL” status. No more official FW versions could be expected from Netgear. I can suggest my alternative custom FW with _significant_ changes and improvements (vs official 1.0.0.94). Who has wishes to use it of course. Mainly it is aimed for use with Entware.ng and Debian.
 
Changes in 1.0.0.98 (comparing with my previous custom 1.0.0.96):
1) Latest drivers of Quantenna (w/o “drain battery” bug).
2) SSH server dropbear (allows SSH access to router). Latest version with disabled X11 forward (security reasons).
3) I compiled this FW with options which should increase the overall performance of R7500. Netgear uses generic options for compilation: 
 
-Os -pipe -march=armv7-a -mfpu=vfpv3-d16 -mfloat-abi=softfp.
 
I changed these options to:
 
-O2 -pipe -march=armv7-a -mfpu=neon-vfpv4 -mtune=cortex-a15 -mfloat-abi=softfp
 
So all binaries should be more fast in general (-Os -> -O2) and optimized for use of concrete R7500 CPU.
4) The following libraries were changed (I replaced them using most fresh versions from OpenWRT repository):
 
confuse
expat
libxml2
mxml
ncurses
libevent
libevent2
libnfnetlink
openssl
lzo
zlib
 
This should influence to a lot of other packages. Performance, closed vulnerability holes etc. E.g. use of latest openssl, lzo and zlib influences to OpenVPN from Netgear’s FW (though I did not change OpenVPN itself).
 
5) The following packages were changed (I replaced them by versions taken from latest R7500v2 firmware):
 
ffmpeg
forked-daapd
minidlna
net-wall
 
Main goal of these changes is to decrease the size of resulting FW.
 
6) Scheme with Netgear firewall (open own ports) is changed a bit. Now it is enough to have the file /root/netwall-rules with your own rules. You can open your own ports for use from WAN. 
Run the command: 
net-wall rule
 
and check generated file by Netgear’s firewall /tmp/netwall-rules file to understand how to create your own.
 
7) If you have the file /root/.nolabel then no labels will be used when mounting external USB sticks/disks. Just standard Netgear’s names like:
 
/dev/sda1 or /dev/sdb1 etc.
 
So you should not have any difference with say NTFS disks connected to R7500 and if you use Netgear’s versions of samba, minidlna. This strange “ReadySHARE” by Netgear.
 
Plus some other minor improvements. Rest is described in readme.docx pointed in my second post in this theme. Scripts to run optware, unlock of authorization of SSH etc.
 
IMO it is almost maximum what is possible to improve in official FW. LTE modem and webcam would be good, but in next versions maybe…
 
And again, under your own risk. I flashed both my routers. They work. 5GHz too :-) For me it looks as OK. I did not test everything with my routers and this custom FW of course, so if you flash it, please write some words here.
Link for download:
 
 
Voxel.
 
robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Compliments for your last firmware, as soon as possible I will try it and I will give you a feedback.

Netgear has confirmed to me that no others updates will be created for R7500v1

and sent me link http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25763/~/netgear-product-en...

So I hope that your last firmware 1.0.0.98 can resolve problems that Netgear has left.

I have tried your custom firmware 1.0.0.96 for a few days and this is my feedback :

1. Installation worked fine without issues, reset before and after firmware upgrade 

2. Download speed slightly slow than firmware 1.0.0.94.

I have a 100/10 internet line, with your firmware I obtain 88/9 and with stock firmware 100/10.

Tests done via Wi-Fi at 5 Ghz about 5 meters from router with same settings each test.

Speed measured with Speedtest Ookla http://www.speedtest.net/?noflash=1

3. One morning, I had to reset router because unable to connect Wi-Fi.

I didn't installed any package on router, only flashed firmware.

4. Router gui and response in general good, Wi-Fi signal stable.

bombz
bombz's picture
Hello,

Hello,

I am a R7500 user, still on stock firmware. I have always been a fan of custom firmwares for my previous routers, so I decided to pop by. My question is, the firmwares that are posted for the R7500 are very very brief, as in no hardware specifics posted about the firmware.

 

I see a OpenWRT R7500 firmware -->

http://www.myopenrouter.com/download/openwrt-final-netgear-r7500

 

and a R7500v2 -->

http://www.myopenrouter.com/download/openwrt-firmware-r7500v2

 

Will these work on ANY R7500 or are they hardware specific. It would be nice if there was a note in these posts that reference what to check on the bottom of the router sticker -- if it needs to say V1 or V2 etc
 

mine says neither , says Netgear R7500 --- could anyone clear this up for me ... thank you .

AC2350
Nighthawk X4 Smart WiFi Router

bombz
bombz's picture
EDIT:

EDIT:

I am running

Router Firmware Version
V1.0.0.94

Sort of wish I didn't get this model now, being there is a Asus one I have grown to like. Perhaps someone can suggest or recommend the proper course of action to take with this netgear R7500 to make it any better then stock. Thanks

AC2350
Nighthawk X4 Smart WiFi Router

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi robysax,

Hi robysax,

Compliments are not needed (a much) :-), but feedbacks (i.e. real tests) are welcome. I just have no possibilities to test everything.

Regarding speed degradation. In general your test with Ookla is not quite correct. De facto you are testing the current speed of your WAN port and your ISP. Plus current load of server used for test. Even cheapest router with 802.11n provides the speed about 150mbits. So even this connection speed covers

 

client<---maxspeed--->router<--100-->Internet

 

connection. So correct test would be:

client<--maxspeed-->router<--maxspeed-->another client

 

(or at least speed over samba to USB disk connected directly to the router).

 

Overall, my 1.0.0.96 vs official 1.0.0.82 - no any changes in Wi-Fi or ethernet modules.Your tests would be the same as you will test official 1.0.0.82 vs official 1.0.0.94. The same drivers, the same compilation options. My changes in 1.0.0.96 can influence only to OpenVPN, samba, minidlna (vs official 1.0.0.82).

Stability (no Wi-Fi)... I did not face such problems using 1.0.0.96 for about week. It would be better if you face such problem to check: is router alive at all (connecting by cable), check other clients like phone, tab or so - is Wi-Fi visible for others. Check 2.4 Wi-Fi. And after this: reset of router.

GUI and responce of router: also should be absolutely the same as in official 1.0.0.82. I did not touch this.
Well, we should expect the changes in speed, stability, responce etc in 1.0.0.98. Significant changes. Other new drivers for 5GHz. Compiled with optimization and tuned for IPQ806x. This influences to all modules because of other compilation options at least. And some other newest low-level libraries.

Thank you for feedbacks,
Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
bombz,

bombz,

If your router is with stock 1.0.0.94 firmware then you have R7500v1 router.

I would not recommend the version of OpenWRT from this site. It has no any advantages of OpenWRT - no usual OpenWRT' software packages for this version. I tried it - my impression is that it was created just from stock FW. It has the same problem with 777 permissions for external drives.

There is a beta versions for this router available from OpenWRT and DD-WRT. With significant disadvantage: 5GHz does not work. (He-he, probably I know now how to get workable 5GHz with these WRT, but it will require a lot of time...)

 

So the goal of this theme is to improve stock FW for R7500v1. Having possibility to use extra packages and with workable 5GHz.

 

Voxel.

bombz
bombz's picture
Hm ok

Hm ok

Thank you for the response. I jumpped the gun on this router before I researched the Asus routers with use a nice merlin custom firmware. So as for this netgeat R7500 there is no real good custom firmware that exists for it ?

As for the version number for identification purposes -- it is based on firmware number revision.

First number that starts with either 1 or 2 ? that's how you know what version it is ? (if that made sense)

AC2350
Nighthawk X4 Smart WiFi Router

bombz
bombz's picture
I really wanted to see a

I really wanted to see a feature that allows you to make the time-out timer longer when you're logged into the router. It's annoying how many times you need to enter password when you're configuring things... I figure a CFW would have that maybe

AC2350
Nighthawk X4 Smart WiFi Router

bombz
bombz's picture
Follow Up: It's surprising

Follow Up: It's surprising you can block IP specific addresses with this router. You'd think with the price point it was, it would have these types of features. I may consider selling it, and looking for something more feature rich (that seems like a very common admin feature for a gateway to have)

AC2350
Nighthawk X4 Smart WiFi Router

Voxel
Voxel's picture
bombz,

bombz,

There are no identification of R7500 v1 vs v2 in FW number version. Only in filename of firmware when you download it from Netgear\s website. I just know that latest FW for v1 is 1.0.0.94 and latest FW for v2 is 1.0.2.4 (and there was no 1.0.0.94 for v2).

Regarding R7500 itself. It is very attractive hardware but with very weak software. You should not expect from R7500 such features, as in nice Eric's (Merlin) FW for ASUS in its WebGUI. If you are in touch with Linux and its configuration from the command line, you can get almost all functionality like in Eric's FW (plus additional features). But if you suppose to drive the router only by its WebGUI then it will be impossible.

There is for example analog of Eric's FW but for r7000, not for R7500. Not so good hardware, but possibility to have Eric's WebGUI. http://xvtx.ru/xwrt/about.htm
BTW, I'd suggest to move this discussion to PM. It is rather has no relation to the theme. 

Regards,
Voxel.

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi bombz,

Hi bombz,

You can view version of R7500 if v1 or v2 by package.

R7500v2 has written "NOW WITH MU-MIMO" on the package, while R7500v1 no.

I agree with Voxel, this is a discussion about custom firmware, this argument is out of topic.

I don't know if R7500v1 could support MU-MIMO with firmware customization.

 

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