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Posts Tagged ‘router’

802.11ah Wi-Fi (900 MHz) to Provide Low Power, Long Range Connectivity for the Internet of Things

February 21st, 2014 3 comments

Most devices now feature Wi-Fi modules capable of handling 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 Ghz (and 5 GHz for dual band Wi-Fi), and newer devices and routers boast 802.11ac connectivity @ 5GHz with increased bandwidth (up to 1.2 Gbit/s in theory, maybe around 400 Mbit/s in practive), and in some case increased range with  beam-forming. But thanks to an article on EETimes, I’ve learned there’s another upcoming Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ah operating in the 900MHz range, with data rates from 150 Kbit/s with a 1 MHz band to as much as 40 Mbit/s over an 8 MHz band, lower power consumption, and a least double of the range of a typical 802.11n device,capable of covering an area of about 1 km2. The target applications are sensors networks, backhaul networks for sensor and meter, and extended range Wi-Fi, as the standard allows long range and more clients at low bitrates.

Smart Grid with 802.11ah - Source:

Smart Grid with 802.11ah – Source: Seoul National Univeristy

This new Wi-Fi standard will compete with other sub 1GHz wireless standard such as Zigbee, and Z-Wave, and it seems to have similar applications as Wi-Fi 802.11af standard operating in the TV white band. Companies such as Broadcom, CSR, Huawei, Intel, LG, Marvell, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ZTE are participating in IEEE 802.11ah standard which is expected to get ratified by the end of 2015. If you want to learn more about technical details, you could read a publications entitled IEEE 802.11ah: A Long Range 802.11 WLAN at Sub 1 GHz by the Department of ECE and INMC from Seoul National University.

802.11ah_specturmA Greek company, Antcor, will demonstrate its 802.11ah DSP block supporting 4×4 MIMO for home gateways and industrial automation networks at Mobile World Congress 2014, and the first 802.11ah SoCs should hit the market before the end of this year, using the draft specifications.

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Xiaomi MiWiFi 802.11ac NAS Powered by Broadcom BCM4709 SoC

December 16th, 2013 8 comments

Last month, Xiaomi teased the public with pictures of a new device, but gave very few details. The company have now provided further details, and the box shown below turns out to be an 802.11 NAS (Network Access Storage) powered by Broadcom BCM4709 dual core Cortex A9 Wi-Fi 802.11ac SoC.

MiWiFi_NASXiaomi provided the following technical specifications for MiWiFi NAS:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM4709 dual-core Cortex A9 processor @ 1 GHz
  • System Memory – 256MB DDR3
  • Storage – SATA interface with 1TB Hard drive
  • Connectivity
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports
    • Dual band WiFi 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz)
    • NFC (at the top of the device)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Misc – Fan for cooling

The company will launch a sale for Beta units on the 19th of December, for the Chinese market only, and the NAS will come disassembled in a wooden case with a TB harddrive, a power supply, cables, and the tools to put all pieces together. It will also include a membership card to access a movie download service.

MiWiFi_Suitcase

The SATA drive is inserted via the bottom side of the NAS, and the top features an NFC chip to communicate with a your smartphone. I understand (via Google Translate) that the NAS will be somewhat customizable, as you’ll be able to develop and install your own plugins, an smartphone app is available for management, and you’ll also be able to use it as an home automation platform to control your lights, aircon, TV, etc… It also appear the router features a technology, not involving beer cans, to direct the beam to extend Wi-Fi range. You can find details on miwifi.com (Chinese).

Retail availability and pricing is not available at this time, and the device may never officially be sold outside China, excluding of course, via sites like Aliexpress.

Via AndroidPC.es

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Categories: Hardware Tags: automation, nas, router, wifi, xiaomi

Linux.Darlloz Worm Targets Embedded Linux Devices

November 29th, 2013 1 comment

Symantec has recently discovered a new Linux worm, called Linux.Darlloz, that targets Internet-enabled devices running Linux in addition to traditional computers. That means devices such as home routers, set-top boxes and security cameras could be at risk of infection, although no attacks against non-PC devices have been confirmed yet.

The worm exploits an “old” PHP vulnerability, which was patched in May 2012 (PHP 5.4.3, and PHP 5.3.13), and currently only affects Intel (x86) based systems. So you’d need an embedded system powered by an Intel processor, running Linux and PHP to be at risk. Having said that, Symantec also explains code for other architectures such as ARM, PPC, and MIPS, is also present in the worm, and these systems could potentially be at risk too with small modifications.

ARM ELF Binary Code found in Linux Worm

ARM ELF Binary Code found in Linux Worm

Here’s how the worm operates:

Upon execution, the worm generates IP addresses randomly, accesses a specific path on the machine with well-known ID and passwords, and sends HTTP POST requests, which exploit the vulnerability. If the target is unpatched, it downloads the worm from a malicious server and starts searching for its next target. Currently, the worm seems to infect only Intel x86 systems, because the downloaded URL in the exploit code is hard-coded to the ELF binary for Intel architectures.

So it seems the most obvious way to protect the system is to change the default password, and create a strong password. Unfortunately most people don’t seem to do that. I stayed in about 15 places during a recent trip, and most Wi-Fi routers could still be accessed with the usual “admin / admin”.

Contrary to computers, which nowadays automatically install security patches regularly, embedded devices seldom get firmware updates, and security is sometimes and afterthought. So beside making device passwords stronger, the company also recommends to following measures:

  1. Verify all devices connected to the network
  2. Update the software to the latest version
  3. Update the security software when it is made available on their devices
  4. Block incoming HTTP POST requests to -/cgi-bin/php* paths

To add to the complexity, many vendors do not disclose the operating systems running on their products, so it might be difficult for the average user to even know if their system is at risk.

Via Arstechnica

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Categories: Linux Tags: Linux, arm, intel, mips, router, security, x86

$27 TP-LINK TL-MR10U is an Hackable OpenWRT Wi-Fi Router with a Power Bank

September 29th, 2013 3 comments

TP-Link WR703N is a cheap 802.11 b/g/n router (you can now get it for about $20) that can easily be hacked to run openWRT and for example, act as an home automation gateway, printer server and more.  But if you need a battery powered router for your application, TP-Link TL-MR10U,  based on similar hardware as TL-703WR, should be a better match as it comes with a 2600 mAh battery, and costs just about $27 on DealExtreme.

Here are the specifications of the devTPLink_TL-MR10Uice:

  • CPU – Atheros AR9331 CPU @ 400Mhz
  • System Memory – 32MB RAM
  • Storage – 4 MB Flash
  • Connectivity:
    • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
    • 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps
    • 3G support via external USB dongle
  • USB – USB 2.0 port + micro-USB port for power
  • Misc – Serial port access
  • Dimensions – 91mm x 43mm x 25.85mm(L x W x H)

The device comes with a microUSB cable and a user’s manual in English and Chinese.

TP-Link_TL_MR10U_PCB

TL-MR10U Internals (Click to Enlarge)

Instructions to install openWRT, perform hardware mods (including upgrading to 64MB RAM), and more are available on OpenWRT MR10U page. You can also visit TP-Link TL-MR10U page for further details about the product in Chinese.

If you need more battery capacity, another model called TL-MR12U comes with twice as much battery capacity (5200 mAh), but at $42 it does not seem as attractive price-wise.

Arnd who shared this product in G+ mini PC community, also mentioned that it could be used as a SqueezeBox slave when combined with a USB speaker, and after installing squeezeslave-alsa_1.2-r365AA_ar71xx.ipk.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux Tags: Linux, hack, mips, openwrt, router, tplink, wifi

$14 Marstek MPR-N9 WiFi/3G Router with 2,400 mAh Battery

January 14th, 2013 15 comments

One of my readers (Onebir) brought Poray M3 mini Router to my attention a few days ago, as it just cost $17 at the time (now over $20) and OpenWRT developer Squonk seems very interested about it since it features microSD and SD card slots missing in TL-WR703N. However, the device only has 16 MB memory which makes it somewhat difficult to run OpenWRT, or at least some of its features.

But today, I’m not going to talk about this. Mentions of Poray M3 router came in HAME MPR-A1 OpenWRT forum thread, and I discovered a new (to me) type of low cost, small form factor device: portable Wi-Fi/3G routers. Those devices are about the size of android mini-PC and contain the chips to handle Wi-Fi, USB host (for external 3G dongle), and comes with a built-in battery so that you can use them anywhere (beach, mountain, car…), as long as there is 3G coverage. You can also use them as a battery bank for your mobile phone. HAME MPR-A1 is built around Ralink RT5350 (like Poray M3), comes with a 1,800 mAh battery, has some limited support for OpenWRT (Wi-Fi experimental support just hit github a few hours ago), and costs about $24 on DealExtreme. You can also get it for around $19 on Aliexpress.

If you haven’t come across this type of device before, you may want to have a look at HAME MPR-A1 video review  below (~10 minutes) to find out what it’s capable of, and have a look at the user interface.

I’ve been searching for the cheapest Wi-Fi/3G router with built-in battery, and Marstek MPR-N9 router is the cheapest I could find at $13.90 on Aliexpress from a seller that has decent feedback.Marstek MPR-N9

I could not find the processor used in the device, but the key features are as follows:

  • Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g/n (150Mbps)
  • Ethernet – 10/100 Mbit port used as WAN or LAN
  • 3G – Supports HSPA/HSPA+,EVDO A/B, TD-SCDMA dongles
  • USB – Micro USB plug for charging + standard USB port for 3G dongles
  • Battery – 2,400 mAh (Working time: 4-6 hours; Standby time:10 hours)
  • Dimensions – 6.1×2.3×1.5cm
  • Weight – 71g

The package includes the router, a USB cable and a user manual. The router is said to support up to 20 users simultaneously, and can be used as an external battery for devices that can be charged via an USB OTG port. Please note that the seller indicates a 2,400 mAh battery in the title and picture, but 1,800 mAh in the description. Other sites all indicate 2,400 mAh for MPR-A9. One user has reported that many 3G dongles appear to work with this router, but Huawei E173 Evo 3G dongle does not work, although it works fine when connected with MPR-A1.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux, Video Tags: 3G, Linux, marstek, openwrt, router, wifi

TP-Link WR703N – $23 Hackable openWRT Wi-Fi 802.11N Router

July 19th, 2012 17 comments

TP-Link WR703N is a tiny 802.11N 150 Mbps Wi-Fi router smaller than a credit card (5.7 x 5.7 cm) and 1.8 cm thick based on Atheros AR7240 processor with 4 MB flash and 32 MB RAM. It costs just above $20 US and can be hacked with openWRT. It features one USB host connector that allows you to connect USB devices (USB flash drive, printer…) to it.

Low cost openWRT router

TP-Link TL-WR703N

TL-WR703N Specifications:

  • Atheros AR7240 CPU @ 400Mhz (MIPS24k core)
  • Atheros AR9331 Chipset (integrated wireless)
  • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
  • 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps
  • 3G support via external USB dongle
  • 4 MB flash memory
  • 32 MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 port
  • micro-USB port for power
  • Dimension – 5.7 x 5.7 x 1.8 cm

All you need is a USB to TLL board to access the serial console, open the box to access the serial pins (TP_IN and TP_OUT) and follow the instructions on openWRT website to convert it into a Linux router.

You can do all sort of things with this board such as an home automation system, a printer server (there may be limits to the document size due to the lack of memory), a sensors gateway and more. It is powered via USB and only consumes 0.5W on average.

The router is available for $23 including shipping on Dealextreme, Aliexpress and eBay, and comes with a power supply and a micro USB to USB cable. You can get further information on the device on TP-Link website (in Chinese).

Via DangerousPrototypes

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Categories: Hardware, Linux Tags: Linux, hack, mips, openwrt, router, tplink, wifi