The software aims to do several things that existing routers don't do well—or don't do at all. We are beginning a journey that we hope will attract supporters and fellow travelers to help reach the following goals:1
- 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.
- 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.2
- Provide state-of-the-art network queuing, so most users can expect an improved Internet experience—especially with latency-sensitive applications—compared to what commonly available consumer grade routers are delivering today.
- Offer a minimalist, secure, and elegant Web user interface to set up and configure the router. Advanced, non-minimalist administrative options are accessible by SSH.
- Advance the state of the art in consumer Wi-Fi router security and begin turning back the growing tide of attacks against them. Most or all existing router software is full of XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities, and we want to change that.
- Include a secure software auto-update mechanism. In addition to using HTTPS, firmware signatures and metadata are fetched via Tor to make targeted update attacks very difficult.
This Open Wireless Router prototype is made possible by the generous contribution of project resources and developers from ThoughtWorks, which came about through their exemplary social impact program. We are also very grateful for assistance from Dave Täht of CeroWRT and the Wi-Fi router hackers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).