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
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
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
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
Go to the nitty gritties ≫
for the everyday person
All rooter owners should experience performance, reliability, and security
The interactive interface can provide curious users with a better understanding
of their local network and the nature of their connection to the internet.
Similar existing consumer devices include the
Excito B3 and
internet appliances, and the
Open Mesh and
Fon wireless routers.
Some consumer routers now ship with open source DD-WRT firmware.
- 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
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
etc) are very strong and we'd like to work closely with them.
Other similar hardware devices include
the Raspberry Pi,
bare boards from Soekris, PC Engines, or Uniquity,
- Full hardware design files in various formats
- Absolutely no NDAs, delays in source file release, or boot lockouts
- No additional licensing or patent issues beyond upstream constraints
- Stable hardware with easily sourcable, well documented components
- Accessible and documented internal interfaces
- Ships with security certificates/keys from multiple trusted vendors and
organizations (no vendor lock-in)
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
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
, or browse the wiki