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I am looking into buying a Linksys WRT54G series to use as my router, DNS and Firewall.

I would like to be able to share my internet connection with a couple of other small organisations too and have control over the management of such a service.

Which of the firmware options is best suited for sharing connections and possibly boosting the signal in other offices?

EDIT: There will probably be a maximum of approx. 25 people using the network at 1 time.

OpenWRT, Tomato or DD-WRT

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It's not really answering the question, but you might run into trouble with the hardware itself not being capable of handling office volumes of traffic.
The WRT54G is a home-grade router, and often not even capable of handling home traffic levels! (I've crashed at least one with my home network.)

You'd probably be better off with a Cisco 877W router.

To answer the question, probably DD-WRT, it seems to have the most robust featureset.

It's also not clear whether any of the modified firmwares support VLAN tagging (I suspect not), but it's something that I'd really want if i were sharing a connection between multiple separate networks. Another reason why a more high-end router would be more suitable for the job.

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Thanks for your answer. The offices are going to be pretty small. It will probably be a maximum of 25 people at any one time, do you still think the Linksys is too light-weight? Thanks! – Jon Jan 20 '10 at 11:25
Anecdotal, I know, but with 3 wired and 3 wireless stations my WRT45G experienced numerous freezes requiring reboots. Tomato, DD-WRT, OEM firmware didn't seem to make a difference. – jscott Jan 20 '10 at 12:06
Yeah, I've had massive problems with Linksys SOHO gear in 2 jobs now. It's just really not cut out for heavy-duty packet shunting. Unsurprisingly. – Tom O'Connor Jan 20 '10 at 12:44

I run Tomato on my WRT54Gs (thats plural, not the GS model) and I like it the most. However, I do second what Tom O'Connor says, it may not be able to handle your traffic simply due to the nature of the hardware, especially the newer versions of the wrt54g.

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Not a direct answer to your question as I don't recommend WRT54G type hardware for business use.

PFSense on a ALIX board with an external access point if you need to provide wireless (alas, I don't have a recommendation for a WAP) is what I would recommend.

The ALIX board is perhaps a little weak for pfsense these days if you want to do extensive traffic shaping, have really high speed connections, or want to run squid or similar. If that's the case, look at other embedded hardware.

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At my small office.. which has about 5-6 techs working on 4-5 computers at a time.. so like 20-30 connections at once going our linksys router will stall and slow the network down immensley. As soon as we just replaced it with a pfsense PC acting as a router the problem went away. I just dont think they are made to withstand the constant beating of that amount of connections.

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I run OpenWRT at home and really like it. But I do get the occasional hangup. Maybe once in a week. Haven't had one in a while now though.

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