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Posts Tagged ‘router’

$25 GL.iNet 6416A is an Hackable OpenWRT Router with Easy UART and GPIO Access

August 25th, 2014 5 comments

There are plenty of low cost routers supporting OpenWRT, but GL.iNet 6416A has several advantages compared to devices like TP-Link WR703N. Both are based on Atheros AR9931, but GL.iNet router has more memory and storage (64MB RAM + 16MB Flash vs 32MB RAM + 4MB Flash), two Ethernet ports instead of just one, and 6 GPIOs, the serial pins, and power signals (5V, 3.3V and GND) are all easily accessible via though holes or headers. Gl.iNet 6416A can be purchased for about $25 on DealExtreme or Amazon US, and it used to be listed on eBay, but is now out of stock.

GL.inet_6416AGl/iNET 6416A specifications:

  • Wi-Fi SoC – Atheros AR9331 MIPS processor @ 400 MHz
  • System Memory – 64MB RAM
  • Storage – 16MB Flash
  • Connectivity – 2x 10/100 Mbit Ethernet ports, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-FI up to 150Mbps
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port for power
  • Debugging – Serial console via UART header (GND, Tx, Rx)
  • Expansion – 6 GPIOs, 5V, 3.3V, and GND.
  • Misc – Reset button, LED indicator
  • Power – 5V (micro USB)
  • Dimension – 5.8 x 5.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Weight 42 grams.

The device is also said to support USB webcams (MJPG or YUV), and USB mass storage with FAT32, EXFAT, EXT-2/3/4, and NTFS file systems using the stock firmware. There are also Android and iOS apps to manage the router.

GL.iNet_6416A_Board

GL.iNet 6416A Board Description – Source: Stian Eikeland

6416A router, and its little brother, 6408A, with 8 MB flash, are now part of mainline OpenWRT. You can also follow news and access short tutorials for the board on GL.iNet website, and check out the product page.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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How to Use an Android TV Box as a Wi-Fi Access Point

July 3rd, 2014 3 comments

Today, I’ve come across another potential use case for Android TV boxes with Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Let’s say you are in a room with Ethernet, but there’s no Wi-Fi signal or the signal is too weak, and want to use your smartphone to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. If you don’t have one of these small (openWRT) Wi-Fi router with you, but instead brought an Android mini PC, you can configure the “Portable Hotspot” function to transform it into a secure Wi-Fi access point.

Assuming you’ve connect an Ethernet cable, and powered the device, first make sure Ethernet is enabled\, and Wi-Fi is disabled in the Settings menu. To click on Settings->More.. in the Wireless & Networks section, and select “Tethering & portable hotspot” or simply “Portable hotspot” depending on your firmware. In the next menu, click on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to enabled it, then “Set up Wi-Fi Hospot” to optionally change the Network SSID and Security protocol, and enter a password. Click on Save, and you’re done. Now you can connect with your smartphone to you Android mini PC SSID, by default “AndroidAP”. I’ve tested it with Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite, and it worked nicely.

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Soap is a Touchscreen Enabled Router Supporting Gigabit Ethernet and Lots of Wireless Standards (Crowdfunding)

June 12th, 2014 2 comments

Soap is a strange creature, and I’m not convinced there are that many use cases for such hardware, but I find it interesting that the developers decided to pack a Freescale i.MX6 Solo/Dual or Quad SoC powered Android 4.4 tablet and a router supporting five Gigabit Etherner ports, as well as WiFI 802.11ac, Wi-0Fi 802.11 b/g/n,  Zigbee, Z-wave, Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE), Insteon RF, X10, 433Mhz, NFC, and infrared into one and only device which they call an “Intelligent Home Management Hub”.  It’s also complete with an HDMI output port so that you can use it as a media player.

Soap_Router_Tablet_Automation_Gateway_STB

Let’s go through the specifications for the four version this little monster (Soap Solo, Soap Dual, Soap Quad, and Soap 8.4):

  • SoC
    • Soap Solo – Freescale i.MX6 Solo single ARM Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU
    • Soap Dual – Freescale i.MX6 Dual dual ARM Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
    • Soap Quad and 8.4 – Freescale i.MX6 Quad quad ARM Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU
  • System Memory – Soap Solo: 1GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz, Others: 2GB DDR3 @ 1066MHz
  • Storage
    • Soap Solo – 8GB internal storage,
    • Soap Dual and Quad – 32GB internal storage
    • Soap 8.4 – 32 GB internal storage, and 128GB SSD
    • All – Internal micro SD card slot and SATA II connections
  • Display
    • Soap Solo/Dual/Quad – 7″ TFT LCD display; SVGA resolution (800×600)
    • Soap 8.4 – 8.4 TFTP LCD display; SVGA resolution (800×600)
  • Connectivity – 1x WAN Eternet port, 4x LAN Ethernet ports, 4 SMA antenna ports for a dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi 4×4 MIMO module (Up to 1.3 Gb/s), and a dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module. Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Insteon RF, X10 RF, 433MHz RF and NFC
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Misc – Infrared sensor
Android and iOS Apps are Available for Soap Routers

Android and iOS Apps are Available for Soap Routers

The Freescale i.MX6 is brought to the device via Congatec SoM, probably their conga-qmx6 Q7 modules. Beside the Android kitkat tablet, router, home automation, and media player applications possible with this device, the developers are also promoting the device for its parental control abilities, controlling when you kids can play games by the touch of a button, preventing them to access not-safe-for-kids websites, and so on.

The project is now on Indiegogo (Fixed funding) where Soap’s designers plan to gather $42.000 or more to start production. Soap Solo starts at $240, Soap Dual at $280, Soap Quad at $360, and the most expensive option, Soap 8.4, will go for $500. Shipping to North America is $6, and $35 for the rest of the world. Delivered is scheduled for February 2015. Please note it’s not the first time the project is crowd-funded, as it was on KickStarter last March with perks at a much lower price point.

Via Hack a Day

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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