updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon June 30, 2008
NETGEAR today jumped into the still relatively young market for aftermarket router hacking with the WGR614L. Rather than clamp down on firmware changes, the 802.11g Wi-Fi router is explicitly approved for use with Linux-based hobbyist firmware like DD-WRT and Tomato and should also support OpenWRT soon--all of which let users fine-tune settings such as signal strength and security without having to depend on NETGEAR to add the features itself.
The move also marks a collaboration with My Open Router to encourage posting source code, discussion, and other updates on this and earlier routers.
Out of the box, the WGR614L supports VPN as well as WEP, WPA and WP2 security; Wi-Fi Protected Security lets users easily pair up the router with a new device without having to enter settings by hand. The router supports four hardwired Ethernet connections in addition to its wireless and should be available now for $69.