The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released Open Wireless Router, an experimental alpha release of wireless router software that is meant to improve some and add new capabilities to existing routers.
The software is solid push towards the creation of open wireless networks, and is a direct result of the Open Wireless Movement (OWM), a campaign launched in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and spearheaded by the EFF, and aimed at making wireless Internet accessible everywhere and to all users.
The aim is to open wireless networks to users without them having to pay and/or log into the network by using an ID and pasword, but at the same time to ensure the security of these wireless networks.
The released software will “allow small business and home users to easily enable an open network, so guests and passersby can get an Internet connection if they need one, while keeping a password-locked WPA2 network for themselves and their friends or coworkers” and “let you share a bounded portion of your bandwidth on the open network, so guest users cannot slow down your Internet connection or use a large portion of your monthly quota,” the EFF noted in the announcement.
It will also allow provide better network queuing, a “minimalist, secure, and elegant Web user interface” for setting up and configuring the device, and a software auto-update mechanism that uses HTTPS to fetch firmware signatures and metadata via Tor (to prevent targeted update attacks).
This alpha release is not meant to be used by regular users, but only by technical users who are willing to test the software and help make it secure.
“Currently the software runs on one specific model of hardware (the Netgear WNDR3800) and is based on the CeroWRT project,” they pointed out, and provided the code for the software on Github. A FAQ section for the software as well as a link for downloading it can be found here.