NETGEAR WGR614L Router Review: Perfect for Hackers and Novices Alike

Have any of you every played the "cheap router shuffle?"  Those of you who have are laughing right now, remembering the $15 special they picked up online.  Given that I come from a long line of budget shoppers, I'd been stuck with one of these very special cheap routers, which got the job done but was rife with problems and plagued with horrible firmware.  Personally, I'm not a hacker, but was eager to try NETGEAR's WGR614L, a high performance Wireless-G router that has the added ability to upgrade to various third party open source firmwares, with endless potential.

NETGEAR WN111v2 Wireless-N USB 2.0 Network Adapter Quick Review

If you're in need of higher network speed in your home - either for industrial-strength internet browsing, multiplayer games, or streaming HD media - upgrading to Wireless-N is a great idea.  (For more on the differences between Wireless-G and Wireless-N, click here.)

 WN111 RangeMax Wireless-N Adapter

Should I Buy A Wireless-N Or Wireless-G Router?

A very common question on the community is - should I upgrade my router to Wireless-N?  Should I buy Wireless-N, or just stick with Wireless-G to save some much needed cash? Depending on your computing behaviors and what you are using your network for, Wireless-N can be a great solution.  Let's get a quick overview of Wireless N and G to see which one might work best for you.

802.11g - or Wireless-G

Creating a JTAG Cable For WGR614L - Access The Flash Directly

Building a JTAG cable can be helpful to those who have inadvertently "bricked" their WGR614L.  Generally, one would try the serial cable method first to try to revive the router, but if you need to bypass the software altogether and access the flash chip directly - the JTAG cable is your weapon of choice.

Here's the list of materials you will need to create your JTAG cable:

Port-Mirroring / Span Port / Monitor Port with iptables on NETGEAR WGR614L

I have a NETGEAR WGR614L and I needed to attach a tcp monitor pc (tcpdump) to one of its LAN ports. The fact the the router is a switch makes that not so trivial a task. 

The switch only forwards packets to the port where the destinaion MAC address is known.  As such, each connected network device only receives the packets which are destined for that specific device.

Expensive switches provide a functionality which is called “Port-Mirroring," “Span Port,” or “Monitor Port."  This feature copies all packets from another port to that monitor port.  Sadly, our WGR614L doesn't have that functionality built-in.

Resetting Username and Password in DD-WRT on NETGEAR WGR614L

This document describes the method of resetting your user name and password in DD-WRT firmware on WGR614L.  First, we'll discuss how to set this up when a hard reset has been performed on the router.

Resetting Username/Password In DD-WRT On WGR614L After A Hard Reset

After doing hard reset, access your router through your browser.

(NOTE: The default IP address of the router is 192.168.1.1.)  It will prompt a page that will ask for setting user name and passwords in place of the default values as shown below:

Configuring NETGEAR WGR614L as an OpenVPN Server With DD-WRT

OpenVPN is used to build site-to-site VPNs with SSL/TLS protocol, or with pre-shared keys.

This article describes the procedure to configure your NETGEAR WGR614L as an OpenVPN server using DD-WRT firmware.

I am using the static key method to configure the server.  This guide also assumes that you have OpenVPN installed on your PC.

Step 1:  Generating Static Keys

At first, we generate a static key at our PC using the following method(s):

Unix:

In Unix based systems, we need to issue the following command to generate a static key:

openvpn –genkey –secret static.key

Resources, Firmware, and How-To Guides For NETGEAR's WGR614L

Configuring NETGEAR WGR614L with DD-WRT as a RADIUS Client

Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) is a networking protocol that provides centralized access, authorization, and accounting management for people or computers to connect and use a network service.

A RADIUS setup basically consists of an authenticator / RADIUS client, an authentication server and a user client.

One needs to perform the following steps on the NETGEAR WGR614L with DD-WRT firmware installed to configure it as a RADIUS client:

Hacking Your NETGEAR WGR614L: How To Install A Serial Port

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