Need a more flexible router device for home network

Discussion in 'Network Routers' started by Pavel, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    Hello,

    I would like to replace my router with something that could run DNS and
    DHCP servers for my internal network and automatically update DNS from
    DHCP so that I could run services on my internal network (no external
    connectivity is required or desired) and access them by host names. I am
    currently running old wired LinkSys which is otherwise ok for my needs
    but does not have this feature. Ideally DNS and DHCP should be on the
    same appliance where the switch and router are because any other
    computer on the network can be switched off.

    Any ideas?

    -Pavel
     
    Pavel, Dec 13, 2009
    #1
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  2. Depending on what model of Linksys router you have you may be able to
    upgrade it to dd-wrt, a 3rd party router software (firmware). It is free
    for your use and can be found at http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/

    Another 3rd party upgrade that can be considered is Tomato, again provided
    your router is in the supported category. It can be found at
    http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato.

    Check out the features these two software packages offer. If your present
    device does not qualify you might find it worth purchasing a used router
    that does meet the specifications and loading the firmware into it or
    purchasing one on EBay that has already been upgraded with it.
     
    GlowingBlueMist, Dec 13, 2009
    #2
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  3. Pavel

    Char Jackson Guest

    I agree with GlowingBlueMist in recommending dd-wrt for someone asking
    the kinds of questions you're asking, (increased networking
    functionality), but having said that, I can't say that I understand
    your question.

    You want a centralized DHCP server - every NAT router already has
    that, so there's no need to upgrade anything to get it.

    You want a centralized DNS server, but it's for LAN only, no WAN
    connectivity required or desired. To my knowledge, DNS isn't used
    within a LAN, so I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish with
    this requirement.
     
    Char Jackson, Dec 13, 2009
    #3
  4. Pavel

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Hi,
    Considered dd-wrt firmware? Find a router compatible with full dd-wrt
    and you can do a lot with it. I use standard dd-wrt(latest version).
    I wish my router had bigger memory.
     
    Tony Hwang, Dec 13, 2009
    #4
  5. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    Thanks! I heard of dd-wrt before but at first sight I could not figure
    out if the feature I need is there and now I seem to see it:

    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/DNSMasq_as_DHCP_server

    Will get a supported LinsSys (my current one is not supported but will
    keep it as a backup for a while in case things go ugly..) and try..

    -Pavel
     
    Pavel, Dec 14, 2009
    #5
  6. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    Yeah, the feature seems to be there:
    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/DNSMasq_as_DHCP_server
     
    Pavel, Dec 14, 2009
    #6
  7. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    It is usually not used but I need that and not only that: I want DHCP to
    update DNS records as new leases are given to hosts (DHCP server knows
    the client hosts names -- I can even see it in my current LinkSys's
    lease table). See here:

    http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/DNSMasq_as_DHCP_server

    it says among the others:

    "An added advantage is that DNSMasq can intelligently add DHCP leases to
    its DNS database, providing local name lookups for any DHCP client,
    static or dynamic. "

    sounds exactly like what I am looking for.. will see if it works as
    advertised..
     
    Pavel, Dec 14, 2009
    #7
  8. The router models very quite a bit in memory size. I'd make sure to get one
    that has the maximum capacity so you can have the most flexibility in the
    software features you can install.

    Another thing is to check the list of compatible routers as Linksys is not
    the only brand that is supported by dd-wrt. You might get lucky and find
    one of the other brands at a lower cost with the capacity you want, not that
    anything is wrong with Linksys.
     
    GlowingBlueMist, Dec 14, 2009
    #8
  9. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    Thanks! I think I will get myself LinkSys WRT54GL unless you or someone
    on the group had issues with this model and dd-wrt. And it looks
    precisely like my old guy, BEFSR41 except for those ugly antennas (for
    which I hope to find a way to turn them off anyway...)

    It's 16 MB and 4MB flash, dd-wrt seems to support it without
    reservations (the table on Wiki says "any" for "dd-wrt version required"
    whereas for some other routers with 8MB it says "mini only").

    Just found out NewEgg runs a great discount on it -- will get it for
    $54.95 and free shipping (the tag is 79.99).

    Wish me luck.. this will be my first time with 3rd-party router firmware.

    -Pavel
     
    Pavel, Dec 14, 2009
    #9
  10. Pavel

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Hi,
    Go to dd-wrt site and peruse for one with most memory to load full
    featured version dd-wrt.
     
    Tony Hwang, Dec 14, 2009
    #10
  11. Pavel

    Char Jackson Guest

    I'm currently running 5 GL's without any issues. I think you'll like
    it.
    Easy, just go to the Wireless tab, then set the Wireless Network Mode
    to Disabled. After that you can remove the antennas.
    I don't think you'll have any issues.
     
    Char Jackson, Dec 14, 2009
    #11
  12. Pavel

    Pavel Guest

    So, DD-WRT worked for me -- thanks to all who helped!

    One minor glitch (I think) is that if the router is rebooted and the
    computer is not, the router loses the hostnames from its DHCP table and
    DNS stops resolving. If I remember it correctly there was no this glitch
    in the original linksys firmware (but, of course, it did not have DNS
    server for local network at all so the host names on DHCP server were of
    no use..) It's easy to re-request leases from the clients; also, I hope
    I won't have a reason to reboot the router often so I do not expect it
    to be a major issue for me.

    For those interested: I used "mini" version, BS build 12548 NEWD.
    WRT54DL could run the standard version, too but I did not need any
    features that were not in mini and mini had to be loaded first anyway so
    I decided to stop there for now.

    Turning off the radio worked all right, too.

    -Pavel
     
    Pavel, Dec 27, 2009
    #12
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