Friday, September 3, 2010

The RNX-GX4, a well-priced Broadcom router

Remember how I blogged about OpenWRT and Broadcom routers a few months ago? Turns out I've been looking for a new router and I found one which did what I wanted at a good price:
I introduce you to Rosewill's RNX-GX4. This is a rebranded Netcore NW618, a chinese router which is not available this side of the Pacific. What makes this router special is that it is tested with, and officially supports, DD-WRT at a reasonable price -- I got mine on sale, at almost a quarter of the price of a WRT54GL. It has the same quantity of RAM and flash as the WRT54GL, but a faster CPU. It's not a straight WRT54GL clone; there are some differences such as a serial flash chip which isn't as common as parallel flash. But the patches have been submitted to the various distributions, and up until now, it has been working well.

What further sets it apart from many other low-cost routers is how Rosewill openly brags about how it runs a BCM5354KFBG 240MHz CPU in the technical specs online, and even on the back of the retail box. When you see things like this, you know it is made for geeks. I also appreciate that the antennas can be removed. I don't intend to use the wireless radio on this device, so I'll put them out of the way.

I've started playing with it tonight. My intention is to replace my m0n0wall PC with a RNX-GX4 running OpenWRT. While I like m0n0wall very much, running it on a generic PC takes some real estate and electricity, and using a smaller devices would be a better fit. I've investigated purchasing an Alix board, to keep running M0n0wall, but there are many, many times the price of the RNX-GX4 so I decided against using one.


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