updated 10:05 am EDT, Mon October 5, 2009
Netgear bows Linux-based RangeMax router
Netgear this morning challenged Cisco in customizable routers with a new Linux-based RangeMax model. The WNR3500L has the same 802.11n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet and USB device sharing as the regular WNR3500 but runs on an open-source Linux platform and will take common unofficial router firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato. These give it much more customization than the proprietary OS and can bring features that Netgear wouldn't introduce itself.
To help, the new RangeMax has a 480MHz MIPS processor with 8MB of flash and 64MB of RAM that combined should help run more strenuous network tasks.
Out of the box, the router can reach up to 350Mbps in peak conditions and supports up to WPA2 security. It can help DLNA and UPnP devices share their media over the network, and its USB port can be used both to share an external drive through those standards or as general attached storage. The port can also recognize cellular modems and is optionally usable for other purposes with modified firmware.
Netgear anticipates the WNR3500L shipping sometime this fall for $140.