Installing Netgear's Open Source Wireless-G Router (WGR614L) w/o a Windows machine in sight

Date: Thu May 07 2009
My latest gadget is a Open Source Wireless-G Router (WGR614L) from Netgear. I'm wanting to use WiFi around the house and my prior routers weren't working so well. Being an open source kinda guy the open source nature of this router appealed, however upon bringing it home and starting the install I was alarmed shocked and enraged to learn that it required a Windows machine to do the install. The install steps start with inserting an autorun style DVD into your Windows machine, and following the wizard on the screen. Not having a Windows machine this made it hard to follow the steps. Further this router is said to be "open source" (more on that later) and requiring a Windows machine is going to be offensive to the typical open source geek (like me). Curious, curious, something is wrong with this picture. Fortunately there's a way out but the box contained no clue about this. Only after a couple hours of screaming and yahoogling did I find the answer.

Let's cut to the chase: WGR614L Setup Manual

As is typical with these routers there is an HTML web-app approach to configuring the router. The details are in the setup manual. The answer is: with user ID= "admin" and password= "password". Since these are well documented default values one required step is to change the password once you have the router set up.

Yes, you read this correctly, you are instructed to visit the domain "". For all prior routers I've set up you were supposed to visit a URL like however for this router they say to visit that domain.

% whois
Netgear, Inc.

Ah.. it's a domain which owned by Netgear. Therefore it must be that the router is configured to answer for this domain.

Setup is fairly straightforward once you know this URL and user ID and password. Further the setup manual contains good documentation over what to do. Therefore I'm not going to walk through the setup, just to say that it works fine through the browser. Except that the in-browser-wizard did not work (perhaps they're depending on Internet Explorer for the wizard?) but a manual setup using Firefox was pretty simple and straightforward.

While I'm here let's talk a little about the open source nature of this router. is the website dealing with the software for this router. This is nice compared to prior open source routers I've looked at where the source was difficult to locate. Seems that Netgear is learning. compares among the several router firmware projects being worked on by the community.

There's a lot of documentation on the site, and I've only lightly breezed around. But I've seen information on using a JTAG cable for various purposes such as unbricking a dead router. Also how to set up a firmware image, and install it in the router. etc etc etc. Lots of good stuff.