What is the problem?
Probably everybody has a router in home. That dusty, forgotten device that gives access to the internet for whole family. In fact every router is embedded device - it’s basically small computer - with processor(CPU), RAM and Flash memory. Life cycle of consumer routers is very short, security updates are issued rarely. It’s probably the least secure device in Your home, just after smart LED bulbs, smart TV, and that poor WiFi printer. In some circumstances, hackers can get onto Your router, then home network. If they do so, they can perform network attacks, that You may be responsible for afterwards. And what if I told You, that You can have safer home network, by just installing alternative firmware called OpenWRT on Your home router? OpenWRT is actively maintained project, so updates are regular. On the other hand, OpenWRT allows You to install almost every non-standard software on Your router.
What is OpenWRT?
OpenWRT is alternative firmware for network equipment. It’s based on GNU/Linux, and actively mainained. It has a huge repository of packages. You can:
- use router as network disk/print server(if it has USB port)
- use router as a VPN/TOR gateway(for all devices connected, you can not accidentally leak identity)
- create multiple subnets, and create rules that limit type of traffic between them
- create non-standard firewall rules
- and A LOT more!!
I’m going to show on an example, how to install OpenWRT on Common-Of-The-Shelf router. I picked up Tp-link TL-WR1043ND model. It it inexpensive, but has gigabit ethernet ports. After I will get it, I will write next post!