This project has been stalled/mothballed since Summer 2013 due to lack of resources
and full-time collaborators (though not due to lack of external interest!)

rooter is an effort to create a better open-source wireless router for everybody

The infrastructure of the internet is evolving fast, and we need flexible new hardware at the "edge" to unlock its full potential.

The vision for rooter is a fully programmable, always-on network device that extends connectivity to a new generation of internet devices and also serves as a platform for new secure and easily accessible software services to complement the cloud.

We want to make a powerful device that will allow developers and hackers to build the bright future of the internet, and make it affordable and easy to use so that future is accessible to everyone.

happy rooter

fancy diagram

why do we need a better router?

Most home routers today are intended to do just one thing well: deliver content from the outside world. We can easily consume what is delivered to us through this one-way pipe, but many people do not take advantage of their ability to directly participate in the global network because it's such a hassle. Using rooter, you won't have to upload your content to the cloud; you'll already be in it.

Router vendors often leave software security problems unfixed and expect customers to upgrade to new devices to get new features. This keeps the entire internet unsafe and obsolete. rooter will allow you to automatically keep up to date with the reliable open source software running the world's most trusted websites.

how does rooter do all that?

Like any router, the device is essentially a tiny computer that coordinates traffic between several wireless and wired mediums. But more so than most routers, it will also act as a server providing local and global network services.

It will have computing resources comparable to a netbook computer or a low-end virtual private server, run a contemporary libre software stack with progressive security and performance updates, and utilize open internet standards and protocols throughout.

The core hardware features are: four or more gigabit ethernet ports; an upgradable high quality 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi radio; an 802.15.4 radio gateway for wireless sensors and meters; USB host and device ports; and removable flash data storage.

Go to the nitty gritties ≫

for the everyday person

All rooter owners should experience performance, reliability, and security improvements. The interactive interface can provide curious users with a better understanding of their local network and the nature of their connection to the internet.

  • Persistent platform for services like file serving & security cameras
  • No more crashes requiring a power reset
  • Share your connection without sacrificing privacy
  • Customize application bandwidth usage
  • Faster browsing with optional DNS & HTTP proxies
  • Connect your local "Internet of Things" to the web
  • Be a full participant in the internet, not just a content consumer
Similar existing consumer devices include the PogoPlug, Excito B3 and CloudFTP internet appliances, and the Open Mesh and Fon wireless routers. Some consumer routers now ship with open source DD-WRT firmware.
happy home

for the hacker

It should be easy and legal to modify and extend a rooter device, or to clone the design to create compatible devices with specialized features. The router, firewall, and plug computer firmware communities (OpenWRT, dd-wrt, CeroWrt, pfSense, FreedomBox, etc) are very strong and we'd like to work closely with them. Other similar hardware devices include the Raspberry Pi, the BeagleBone, the Chumby, bare boards from Soekris, PC Engines, or Uniquity, and the DreamPlug.
blue dot

for the world

The internet as a network has been an explosive success beyond the dreams of its original architects. Technical updates to the foundational protocols are necessary for healthy continued growth, yet have been delayed for years by the major service providers.

The open and "free as in freedom" nature of the network - which has enabled underdog innovation and the spread of human knowledge and ideals far and wide - is also under increasing pressure from groups that demand top-down control.

It's time to stop waiting and start building the network we all deserve now and for generations to come.

Some of the many great organizations working on these issues are the IETF, the EFF,,, Fight for the Future, and the Free Network Foundation.

so what's next?

If you've got any feedback or suggestions, we are all ears. We're exploring funding options, getting to know other projects and companies, and assembling a crack team of passionate engineers.

Read a FAQ, some more info, or browse the wiki!
  This project has been stalled/mothballed since Summer 2013 due to lack of resources
and full-time collaborators (though not due to lack of external interest!)