Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gargoyle router for bandwidth limiting / cap linksys wrt54g

Not as bad as it sounds. Actually this firmware wins me over the best right now!

Gargoyle is based on openwrt, in fact if you have it installed gargoyle is just a package install away!

Basically what i love about this firmware most is that it allows me to STOP [Update: now you can throttle it to slow it down after the cap is reached!] internet traffic when i reach my bandwidth cap (rogers allows me 60GB a month at the moment)

but that is definitely not the only feature, it's also great with other features you would expect from a good firmware, like; QoS and live bandwidth display and monitoring, port forwarding, iptables and ssh with your usual Linux commands normally provided in the busybox system on these types of firmware, as well as the dnsmasq and other packages that are typical in this firmware distros (ie.e dd-wrt, tomato) .

It had some drawbacks as you can expect, but they are fixed and patched as the firmware is actively being developed you can track versions and fixes provided. New features and addition to previous ones so always be on the lookout for new updates on the main site.

in this post i talked about tomato and sure it is great with neat features (which mostly gargoyle has) including javascript, ajax, svg bandwidth graphs, QoS - but the major feature that i was looking for and could not figure out how to do (i have extensive Linux knowledge, which is what these firmwares are based on... just look in the blog - and take my word for it * ) which was to stop my internet when my cap is reached, when you go over - you pay extra;

i used a lot of bandwidth recently and found that only 5 extra GB cost as much as $12 which might not sound like much but looking at my history from before the new caps i quickly found this project on my hands...

*of course i suspect there is a way to do this with lots of scripts but it just isn't what i am used to, can't save scripts except for the gui, nor is there much if any documentation; found a bandwidth statistic backup script which didn't work... go figure reverse engineering these things... much too complex to try to do, i should hope they will have this in the future in which point i will be glad to switch back to tomato because it still wins the graphics and usability [maybe stability too] of most things but for now it was just easier to implement gargoyle for my needs...

But I am open to any custom scripts or implementations of tomato that anyone may have out there, feel free to send them my way and i will test it out!

so for those American users with 200gb or 250gb cap from Comcast or Time Warner (which is a heck of a lot more than what we Canadians get!) - i found posts while searching for a solution and seems they were searching for one also, well for the time being, this is your match.

to update to gargoyle: use the .bin if your upgrading from the default Linksys firmware or .trx files when upgrading from tomato or dd-wrt (or any other third party firmware except for openwrt) but make sure to read the documentation - it is well documented for what seems like a small but growing project

so install and enjoy the benefits!!!

P.S. I forgot to post this before but the first few months after installing the initial versions (new ones are even much better now) I can confirm that the bandwidth is very accurate. From my research which composed of taking daily Mb usage from the router and comparing to my ISP's Mb usage (from the self service interface) the results are great, although not 100% I would put it at 99.9% which is excellent
So it is very safe to use and with the new throttling instead of internet stopping once the quote is reached you have a great service that is unmatched.

And I use the web interface as a quick check on much percent is currently taken which is way faster if anyone knows how slow login into rogers is :)

(Updated Sep. 1 2010)

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