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Posts Tagged ‘router’

Make-WiFi-Fast Project Massively Improves WiFi Performance of Busy WiFi Routers

November 16th, 2016 7 comments

WiFi is a great way to add connectivity to a large group of people, but once everybody tries to connect at the same time, the network often becomes unusable due to very high latency, a problem that can occur on servers on the ISP side too, and that’s usually caused by excessive buffering, Bufferbloat. The Bufferbloat project aims to resolve this issue with both routers using CoDel and fq_codel algorithms, as well as WiFi  via Make-WiFi-Fast project.

Dave Täht gave a presentation of his work on Make-WiFi-Fast project entitled “Fixing WiFi Latency… Finally“showing how latency was reduced from seconds to milliseconds. It’s quite technical, but two slides of the presentation clearly shows the progress made.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The first chart shows 100 stations connecting to a website using unpatched code with the top of the chart showing the bandwidth per node in MBits/s, while the lower part showing latency in ms. We can see that about 5 stations can download data at up to 100 Mbps, but 95 stations need to wait, many give up, and after two minutes some other stations start to download again. Average bandwidth is 20 Mbits/s and not exactly evenly distributed among stations. Latency is about 15 seconds based on that chart.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The second chart shows the same test with make-wifi-fast patch to the Linux kernel, mainly improving queue handling. Both chart shows many more stations are served with an average of 1 Mbits/s, and latency is slashed to about 150 ms, meaning the vast majority of users get a much better user experience with that “airtime fairness” solution

I understand the tool used to test network connectivity and generate data for the charts above is flent, the FLExible Network Tester. The video below discusses benchmark, make-wifi-fast, and TCP BBR using the presentation slides shared above.

There’s also an article on LWN.net discussing about this very topic. Make-wifi-fast project patchsets are queued for  Linux 4.9 and 4.10 already, and yet-to-be submitted patchsets for LEDE (OpenWrt fork) can be found here.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip.

NETGEAR Gigabit Class LTE Mobile Router MR1100 is Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem

October 18th, 2016 5 comments

Qualcomm, NETGEAR, Telstra and Ericsson have jointly announced the very first commercial Gigabit LTE modem router  with NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100 based on Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

netgear_mr1100

NETGEAR MR1100 LTE Modem Router Connected to a Laptop

The NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100 leverages 3x carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, and 256-QAM, to achieve download speeds up to a peak of 979 Mbps. The device also integrates Qualcomm 802.11ac solution with 2×2 MIMO and dual-band support for overall Wi-Fi throughput of up to 1Gbps.

Qualcomm Technologies has recently conducted a simulation of a Gigabit Class LTE network, using a mix of LTE devices (LTE Category 4 to 16), and found average throughput to be between 112 Mbps and 307 Mbps for Cat.16 devices depending on traffic type, but speeds up to 533 Mbps should be possible for 90th percentile users. Beside shortening download speeds, this kind of performance will enable new applications such as 4K 360 degrees VR videos up to 60 or 120 fps, and possibly change the way apps operate, as opening files from the cloud might be faster than from internal storage…

Telstra is expected to offer NETGEAR MR1100 to its customers in the next few months, to operate on Telstra’s Gigabit-ready network, managed by Ericsson. Snapdragon X16 LTE modem will also be integrated into the next Snapdragon 8xx processor, with Gigabit Class LTE smartphones expected sometimes in 2017.

Looking further ahead, Qualcomm also introduced Snapdragon X50 modem for 5G networks operating in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz band, and designed to support peak download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second. The 5G modem will sample in H2 2017, and the first commercial products for 5G networks are expected in H1 2018.

VoCore2 WiFi IoT Board Launched with Audio, PoE & “Ultimate” Docks (Crowdfunding)

October 6th, 2016 1 comment

Vocore WiFi IoT board was popular at its launch in 2014 because affordable WiFi boards with I/Os were not common at the time, and it came with an Ethernet dock making it a complete router within a tiny and cute cube. The developers have been working on VoCore2 (aka Vocore V2) with a faster processor, more memory, a lower power consumption, a better WiFi signal, and more I/Os for several months, and have now launched the board on Indiegogo aiming to raise at least $6,000 for mass production.

vocore-v2

Vocore2 and Audio Dock

Vocore2 board specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7628AN MIPS processor @ 580 MHz
  • System Memory – 128 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16MB NOR FLASH, 1x SDXC via I/O pins
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11n 2T2R up to 300 Mbps with either 2 u.FL connector or 1 u.FL connector + on-board chip antenna (Max signal output >19.5dbm peak)
    • 2x 10/100M Ethernet interfaces via I/O pins
  • I/Os – About 30 GPIOs multiplexed with 3x UARTs, 1x I2C, 1x I2S, 1x reference clock, 1x USB 2.0, 1x PCIe 1.1, 1x high speed SPI (40Mbps max), 1x SPI slave, 2x hardware PWM
  • Power Supply – Input: 3.6~6.0V; output: 1.8V, 3.3V.
  • Power Consumption – 74mA @ 5V (wifi on, no data transfer); 233mA @ 5V (max speed cpu and wireless)
  • Dimensions –  25.4 x 25.4 x 2.8 mm

The new board runs OpenWrt/LEDE based on Linux, and can be programmed in C, Java, Python, Ruby, Javascript, etc… The developers claim they’ll release the “full hardware design including schematic, circuit diagram(PCB); full source code including bootloader, system, applications”, something which they’ve already done with Vocore (v1).

Vocore2 + Ultimate Dock

Vocore2 + Ultimate Dock

Considering we have an embarrassment of choices of low cost Linux WiFi boards with easy to use platforms such as Mediatek LinkIt Smart 7688 or Onion Omega2, the main draw to the new Vocore V2 is mostly because of its three docks:

  1. AirPlay Dock – Adds a micro USB port for power, as well as an audio codec and 3.5mm audio jack to connect to speakers. Dimensions with Vocore2: 25.4 x 25.4 x 9.0 mm
  2. PoE Dock – To upgrade existing wall-mount Ethernet panel to a wireless hotspot
  3. Ultimate Dock – Combines audio jack, Ethernet (RJ45) port, micro SD slot, USB 2.0 host port, micro USB port for power and debugging, and a AD/DA converter to connect sensors. It can be used to store data in the SD card, as CCTV DVR system by adding a USB webcam, as a voice command system with a microphone, and so on. Dimensions with Covore2: 28 x 28 x 22 mm
vocore2-poe-dock

Vocore2 and PoE Dock installed in a (not included) Wall-Mount Ethernet Panel

Some extra details about the docks, and some earlier firmware release would have been nice to have, but I could not find this information on their Indiegogo page.

VoCore2 module starts at $12 (Early bird), Vocore2 + Airplay or PoE dock goes for $29, and you’d have to pledge $39 for Vocore2 with Ultimate dock (and case?). Bundle rewards are also available with 5 pieces for each kit.  Shipping is not included but only adds $3 to $10 depending on the selected reward, and delivery is scheduled for November 2016 for most rewards, except PoE rewards which should be shipped later in January 2017.

Routers, IP Cameras/Phones & IoT Devices can be Security Risks even with the Latest Firmware, and a Strong Admin Password

October 6th, 2016 43 comments

I’ve just read an interesting article entitled “who makes the IoT things under attack“, explaining that devices connected to the Internet such as router, IP cameras, IP Phones, etc.. may be used by Botnet to launch DDoS attacks, and they do so using the default username and password. So you may think once you’ve updated the firmware when available, and changes the default admin/admin in the user interface, you’d be relatively safe. You’d be wrong, because the malware mentioned in the article, Mirai, uses Telnet or SSH trying a bunch of default username and password.

That made me curious, so I scanned the ports on my TP-Link wireless router and ZTE ZXHN F600W fiber-to-the-home GPON modem pictured below, and installed by my Internet provider, the biggest in the country I live, so there may be hundred of thousands or millions of such modems in the country with the same default settings.

zte-zxhn-f600wI’ve started by scanning the TP-Link router in the local network:

UPnP and the web interface ports are open, plus an extra post likely opened by UPnP, which looked fine.

Now I did the same on the ZTE modem in the local network first:

The telnet port is opened that’s not good… I would be much worse if  it was also open with the public IP:

Oh boy…. That’s not good at all. Can I access it from the outside?

No, because I don’t know the password. That is until I do a quick web search and find this video telling me to use root and Zte521 to login to ZTE modem. Bingo!

That’s huge as it means millions of modem routers can be access (likely) around the world with minimal knowledge, I would not even consider this a hack…. Telnet is also kind enough to return the modem model number (F600W), so any script would be able to detect that and try the default username / password. This little trick should also works on other ZTE modems/routers, and since the HTTP server is also running by default, you don’t even need to check the model number as the server field indicates it’s a ZTE device…

I don’t know if the Internet provided uses telnet for any purpose, but it could be a good idea to at least change the password or completely disable the service. However the rootfs is in read-only mode:

Normally, this is no problem as you can remount the root partition in read/write mode:

But it’s not working in this case… I’m not there must be a way to remount the system to change the password, or edit the configuration to disable telnet, but I have not found a solution yet. Those are the command at our disposal:

busybox
BusyBox v1.01 (2015.01.15-08:36+0000) multi-call binary

Currently defined functions:
[, ash, awk, brctl, busybox, cat, chmod, chrt, cmp, cp, cut, date,
df, diagput, echo, egrep, free, fuser, getty, grep, hexdump, hostname,
ifconfig, init, insmod, kill, killall, linuxrc, ln, login, ls,
lsmod, mkdir, mknod, mount, mv, passwd, ping, ping6, ps, pwd,
reboot, rm, rmdir, rmmod, sed, sh, sleep, sync, taskset, test,
tftp, top, traceroute, umount, wget

A temporary solution is to kill telnet:

But obviously telnet will run again, at next boot time…

Anyway, it would be good if the service providers could make sure to change the default password before installing them on the customer premise, and hopefully, they’ll be able to change the password, or disable them remotely in due time…

Two More Google Products: Google WiFi Mesh Router, and Google Home, an Amazon Echo Competitor

October 5th, 2016 3 comments

Google made a bunch a new product announcements with their Pixel phones, Daydream View VR headset, and Chromecast Ultra 4K dongle, but in this post I’ll write about two other new products: Google Home an Amazon Echo competitor powered by Google Assistant and supporting multi-room, as well as Google WiFi (Mesh) router aiming at providing WiFi all over the house by combining multiple WiFi routers.

Google WiFi Router

google-wifiMost households now use a single router to provide WiFi to the home, but inevitably this introduce some dead or “slow WiFi” zones within the house. One way to work around this is to use WiFi repeaters, but it’s not always easy to setup and may lead to lower bandwidth. Google WiFi router uses a technology called mesh WiFi, where each router work together to determine the best path for your data using Network Assist technology to automatically choose and update the best channel for your device in real-time.

mesh-wifi

The router(s) can also be managed with an Android or iOS app, for example to pause WiFi for your kids when it’s time to go to bed or dinner,  prioritize devices within your network, etc…

Google Wifi will be up for pre-order in the US in November for $129 for a single router, and $299 for a pack of three routers on Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. Visit the product page  for more details.

Google Home

google-home
Google Home is Google’s answer to Amazon Echo, a voice controlled system to play music locally or from services such as Google Music, Pandora, Spotify…, get answers to questions, manage home automation (IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings…), adjust the thermostat or lights (Nest, Philips Hue), etc… But instead of Alexa software, the device relies on Google Assistant.

Google did not provie many technical details about “Home”, but we do know it uses two omnidirectional microphones and neural beamforming in order to hear people from across the room, and “integrates a high-excursion driver with a dual passive radiator design that delivers crystal-clear highs and deep lows for Hi-Fi sound”.

Google Home supports multi-room features so you can have multuple Google Home devices or Chromecast Audio devices playing music all aroudn the house, while at the same time being smart enough to only answer questions within the room your are located.

Google Home can be pre-ordered today in the US for $129 from the Google Store, Best Buy, Target and Walmart including 6 months of YouTube Red (Youtube without ads).

Roqos Core AC Router Runs Debian on Intel Atom Bay Trail-I Processor for $19… Plus Monthly Subscriptions

September 26th, 2016 20 comments

Roqos Core router is interesting on several front. First it’s quite powerful and features-rich with an Intel Atom E3845 processor, five Gigabit Ethernet ports, 802.11ac WiFi, a USB 3.0 port, and even an HDMI port allowing you to use it as a Media Center too. It should also be quite customizable, software wise, since it runs Debian, and finally the business model is also different, as you only need to pay $19 for the router, with the catch that you need to subscribe Roqos Service with “advanced cybersecurity and parental control features” for $17 per month for at least 12 months, bringing the total to $223. After one year, you can opt out of the cloud service, and continue to use the router without the extra security features.

roqos-core

Roqos Core RC10 router hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Bay Trail-T E3845 quad core processor @ up to 1.91 GHz (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB storage + SATA port on board (But AFAICS the latter is not easily usable)
  • Connectivity – 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports (4x LAN, 1x WAN), 3×3 802.11ac WiFi (5.0 GHz), and 2×2 802.11n (2.4 GHz) with 5 high gain antennas (AC1600 router).
  • Video Output – HDMI output
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A power supply
  • Dimensions – 165.1 x 162.6 x 53.3 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 40℃

The router shop with a wall pluggable power adapter, and a flat Cat6 Ethernet cable.

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Roqos Core Router Board – Click to Enlarge

The Debian installation in the router comes with MongoDB, Suricata, Squid, Bing,m Nging, OpenVPN and iperf installed by default, but since the company provides a account with sudo access, you should be able to easily install any Debian packages provided it fits in the 8GB flash.

The company also offers Roqos app for Android and iOS allowing to configure your device, use WPS to add new devices, manage security and parental control and more.

roqos-appRoqos Service, which requires a $17 monthly subscription, offers parental control to block inappropriate content, set Internet schedule time, filter websites, pause Internet access, etc.., as well as “enterprise grade” Cybersecurity protection blocking malware and virus, blocking ads, updating firmware for security patches continuously and so on.

You can find more details about the hardware and the services on Roqos website, where you’ll also be able to purchase the router if you are based in the US.

Via HackerBoards

SolidRun ClearFog Base is a $90 Router/Networking Board with USB 3.0, M.2, mSATA, and Gigabit Ethernet Support

August 3rd, 2016 11 comments

SolidRun introduced ClearFog Pro and Base board based on Marvell Armada 380/388 processor at the end of last year, but at the time, only the higher-end ClearFog Pro board was available for $170 and up. Now the company  has officially launched the cheaper ClearFog Base board based on the same processor, two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, one SFP cage, a USB 3.0 port, an M.2 slot, mPCIe expansion slot, and more.

ClearFog_BaseClearFog Base board specifications:

  • Processor – Marvell ARMADA 388 (88F6828) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ up to 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache, NEON and FPU
  • System Memory –  1GB RAM by default (2GB optional)
  • Storage – 1x micro SD slot, optional 4GB eMMC flash, 1x M.2 slot, 1x mSATA/mPCIE
  • Connectivity – 2x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x SFP cage
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansions
    • 1x mini PCI Express slots (shared with mSATA )
    • 1x M.2 slot with USB 3.0, SATA, GNSS, 3G modules
    • mikroBUS socket for GPIOs, MikroElektronika Click Boards
    • 2x SIM card sockets
  • Debugging – micro USB port for serial console
  • Misc – RTC battery header, LEDs, user push buttons
  • Power Supply – 9 to 32V DC input; PoE expansion header
  • Dimensions – 103 x 75 mm (optional metal enclosure)

The board is comprised of a baseboard and a microSoM (in green), and runs OpenWrt or a Yocto Project build based on Linux 3.10.x, and other operating systems such as Arch Linux ARM, and Debian also appear to be supported. Hardware and software documentation can be found in the Wiki.

ClearFog_Base_M2_mPCieTypically applications for such boards include home media clouds (NAS), IoT gateways, and secure routers.

The board sells for $90 without power supply, nor internal storage, but 110V or 220V power adapters, a blank 8GB SD card, and a 4GB eMMC flash are all available as options.

Via Liliputing

AsiaRF AP7620-MPE-1 OpenWrt WiFi Router mini PCIe Card is Made for Computers and Embedded Systems

July 26th, 2016 5 comments

There are many mini PCIe WiFi modules on the market, but what AsiaRF provides with AP7620-MPE-1 is a little different, as it’s a router based on Mediatek MT7620A fitted into a mini PCIe card to be plugged inside a computer or embedded system.

WiFi_mini_PCIe_OpenWrt_RouterAP7620-MPE-1 mini PCIe card specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7620A MIPS 24KEc CPU @ 580MHz with 2T2R WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (but board only supports 1×1)
  • 802.11ac WiFI Chipset – Mediatek MT7612E AC1200 chipset limited to 433 Mbps [Changed to MT7610E chipset @ 433 Mbps]
  • System Memory – 64 or 128MB DDR2
  • Storage – 8 or 16MB SPI flash
  • WiFI features
    • Security: 64/128-bit WEP, TKIP, WPA, WPA2, AES; 802.1X Authentication with RADIUS Client
    • Multi-mode support: Access Point/Client mode
    • Support Multiple SSIDs
  • mini PCIe interface with USB2.0 to Ethernet, UART, 8 GPIOs, 1.5V, 3.3V and ground
  • Dimensions – 60 x 41.5 mm (bigger than standard mini card: 50.95 x 30 mm)

The card is seen as a USB 2.0 to Ethernet dongle from the system, with the dongle connected to a router. The reason why the AC1200 chipset is limited to 433 Mbps is because of the USB 2.0 interface in the mini PCIe card itself limited to 480 Mbps.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The company also told me there will be three versions of firmware SDK for this router:

  • Mediatek official SDK
  • Mediatek OpenWrt SDK with Mediatek WiFi driver
  • OpenWrt.org SDK with “public” WiFi driver (most of time uses less power)

The company does not have an habit of release firmware and documentation publicly, so you’ll probably get them after you purchase the card. In case you wonder why you’d ever need such mini PCIe card the company claims “it is ideal for multi-purpose installations for sharing wireless connections”.

The first engineering samples have just been produced. Price will be around $20 per unit, with discount in larger quantities. You can find some more technical details on the product page.