09 April, 2014

Turris - The Open Enterprise Wi-Fi Router

Few months ago I joined the Turris project (turris.cz) which is a not-for-profit research project of CZ.NIC. I don't want to describe the details of the project, because you can find it on it's web page. In short the company standing behind the project take care about the Internet security and their idea was to measure number of attacks / suspicious traffic by giving the wifi routers to the participants.
The wifi router was designed by the company and it's quite powerfull machine costs 600$. In the first "round" some project members got the wifi router for free so I would like to share here the details bout it, because it's open hardware/software platform.


The details about the hardware including design and manufacture data is published under the terms of the CERN Open Hardware License and can be found here: https://www.turris.cz/en/hardware-documentation. These details are really nice, because everybody can look at it and improve...

Here are some pictures how the router looks like:

Well designed metal box looks much better than any cheap routers I worked before.

Another photo showing it form the back side:

Let's see the hardware side - which is the really interesting:
  • Processor Freescale P2020 running at 1200 MHz
  • 2 GB of DDR3 RAM in a SO-DIMM slot
  • 16 MB NOR and 256 MB NAND flash
  • Dedicated gigabit WAN and 5 gigabit LAN ports (using the QCA8337N switch chip)
  • Wifi 802.11a/b/g/n with 3x3 MIMO and removable external antennas
  • 2x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 free miniPCIe slot
  • UART, SPI and I2C connected to a pin-header for easy customization
  • Power consumption is 9.5 W without load, 12.5 W with CPU load and 14 W with maximum wired and Wifi network load. Measured power consumption includes the supplied power adapter.

Software - OpenWrt

The most important part (at least for me) is - the router is delivered with preinstalled OpenWrt. The router itself was designed to "fit" to this Linux distribution. Again all software used can be found in git repositories: https://gitlab.labs.nic.cz/public/projects?search=turris
The details about used software are here: https://www.turris.cz/en/software

Once you turn on the router you have to finish the wizard which will help you to do the basic configuration and register the router.
After the registration you can see these stats, collected by router and send to the NIC.cz.

Screenshots from wizard are in the photo gallery at the end.

Here are some outputs of the commands executed on the fresh router, which may be interesting:

Comparing to the cheap routers there is much more disk space:

The same apply to the memory used by application:

Two core processor can be handy as well:

The rest of the command can be seen in my github repository. On the same page you can see the "original" /etc directory compressed right after I finished the "connection wizard".

Gallery showing the original package, t-shirt, invoice, etc:

Next time I'll describe the additional OpenWrt configuration which I did to make the router working better.

1 comment :

  1. Hi Peter, I am looking, that You have experience with using HDD with OpenWRT router (samba, nfs, apache, ftp). Have you tested this with Turris too? I have upgraded from TL-WR2543ND to Turris but unfortunately the transfer speed on powerfull Turris (with the same HDD and filesystem) is lower than old TP-link (turris: 4 MB/s and TP-link 7 MB/s). What I am doing wrong?