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Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:48 pm
by jclarkw
I'm not finding much in the way of reviews of either the Gargoyle Router or Gargoyle firmware itself that compare them to commercial hardware/firmware. I see that the subject has been raised here, but apparently not since about 2011, so I guess it's fair to ask again. Realizing that this is not an unbiased group, I would still be interested in comments from this forum.

I guess I have two main questions arising from my search for a strictly single-band, 2.4 GHz, g/n router:

1) How does the Gargoyle Router stack up against the commercial competition (read, D-Link, Netgear, Linksys, etc.) in terms of speed, range, and **especially** security?

2) To emphasize the last issue, security, I've been told that open-source firmware (e.g., OpenWRT, DD-WRT, Tomatoe) is much less vulnerable to exploits from the WAN side than its commercial counterparts. I have most recently been using a D-Link DIR-645 (not currently supported by either OpenWRT or DD-WRT) and have seen several iterations of firmware released since I bought it to respond to new vulnerabilities and other significant bugs in the code. Still a nagging problem with disappearing passwords remains unsolved that would leave the router unprotected if the user is careless about the sequence of Web commands that he/she issues to it. One gets the impression that the big manufactures have so many products with such short market lifetimes that they can't be bothered to really fix any of them. So...

Can anyone elaborate on the advantages/disadvantages of open-source firmware (and of Gargoyle in particular) relative to the major commercial manufacturers' offerings?

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:04 am
by ericwong
Gargoyle is based on Openwrt. You can just read relevant information on Openwrt and it will apply for Gargoyle too.

Please post here if you find a review that answers your questions.

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:04 am
by jclarkw
ericwong wrote:Please post here if you find a review that answers your questions.



Probably you already know this, but I did find two reviews of the router (http://danswain.com/2013/03/router-revi ... le-router/ and http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/08/11/gar ... ni-review/), but neither really addresses the security aspects. There are also several reviews of the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND that are moderately positive but don't mention Gargoyle. Any more on stability and security would be appreciated...

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:21 am
by ericwong
jclarkw wrote:Any more on stability and security would be appreciated...


I don't think anyone will give you the answer you want.

Stability and security are highly dependent on exactly which revision of Openwrt you are using. A single line change (or revision) in the code can render problem on the ROM itself which I have personally experienced. The open source nature of Openwrt means you enjoy the same benefit and risk as any other Open source software.

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:32 am
by jclarkw
ericwong wrote:The open source nature of Openwrt means you enjoy the same benefit and risk as any other Open source software.



OK, I see your point. But I have no experience with open-source software. I was hoping that somebody could either confirm or deny the claim, read on Wilders Security Forums, that open-source router firmware would be free of back doors and generally less vulnerable to outside exploits than commercial firmware.

I'm OK with the occasional bug, although I'm assume that Gargoyle doesn't adopt a new version of OpenWRT until most of the bugs have been eliminated -- not so?

Sorry to keep pestering you. -- jclarkw

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:48 am
by ericwong
jclarkw wrote:OK, I see your point. But I have no experience with open-source software.

You are probably using open source software already without knowing it. Most browsers like Firefox, Chrome are open source.

jclarkw wrote:I was hoping that somebody could either confirm or deny the claim, read on Wilders Security Forums, that open-source router firmware would be free of back doors and generally less vulnerable to outside exploits than commercial firmware.

This make sense in general but does not mean it is always true. Security wise, most of the time the problem is at the user's hand who fail to update the software which is already patched. Look at windows vulnerability discussions. Most computers out there do not install the patches as soon as they are released and are running unpatched or unsecured windows months or years after the fix is released.

jclarkw wrote:I'm OK with the occasional bug, although I'm assume that Gargoyle doesn't adopt a new version of OpenWRT until most of the bugs have been eliminated -- not so?

Not true. Eric (the author) releases new Gargoyle whenever he feels it is ready but it does not mean it "works" on all the routers that is "supported". Read the news thread and you will see plenty of reports on such matter. Eric doesn't and can't test on all "supported" routers nor test all possible use cases before it is released. Most of the time, it is changes at Openwrt repository that causes unexpected problems.

As with all open source software, it is always use at your own risk.

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:18 pm
by tapper
Have a look here mate
AnandTech | Spotlight on Open Source Router Platforms - Thoughts?
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5596/spot ... s-thoughts

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:46 pm
by tapper
i use Gargoyle because i can see what my kids are searching for and what sites they go on. i all sow run a script to block ads and spyware sites through a hosts file. one other thing which will not matter to most people is the web interface for Gargoyle works really well with screenreaders like jaws and NVDA which as a blind person is a grate thing lol. the router that i got from my ISP was a pile of crap! If you have hardwair that works with Gargoyle just give it a go what do you have to loos? You can go back to stock if you dont like it.

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:53 pm
by tapper
Yes it's me again lol! more here
Gargoyle Router – A Not So Ugly Solution to Bandwidth Monitoring and Quotas – Mini Review
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/08/11/gar ... ni-review/

Re: Gargoyle Router in Comparison to Commercial

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:05 pm
by jclarkw
tapper wrote:Have a look here mate
AnandTech | Spotlight on Open Source Router Platforms - Thoughts?



Thanks! If you haven't already seen it, take a look at "Open Source Router Platforms - Part 1: The Hardware" by Brian Klug on the same site,

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6180/open ... -platforms

I can't wait to see Part 2, but apparently it isn't out yet... Glad to hear you like Gargoyle. I think I'm going to try their preloaded router, although the hardware is reported as just average for a single-band, 2.4 GHz g/n model. At least they'll get some profit to support their good work. Cheers! - jclarkw