Sjur Usken

Views on new technologies and business opportunities from Sjur Usken

So cute, but full p2p wlan routers! Incredible!

On the village-telco mailinglist there were a lead about these Accton wlan mesh routers. The routers are not new, FON uses them extensively, but I decided to try them out. I ordered three of them from the open-mesh website and got them a week later. My first impression was: “Damn, so small!!”.

They came in a brown box each, no manual, just a power supply and a strange flat Ethernet cable. It was really just to plug them into an Internet connection and do all of the configuration on‘s Dashboard. Here you can edit the two SSIDs, one open and one private. On the open SSID you can configure a splash (welcome) page and if you want to use user authentication. You can choose from four commercial or if you have your own RADIUS server. I would believe FON would be one of these, but was not there. Probably you gotta flash the router with FON software, but that is probably a one-way road since FON has closed the SSH access.

The units were up and running from the box, I only had to type in the 5.x.x.x IP or MAC address to add the nodes to my network. I thought of what would happen with these unit if Open-Mesh put down their business, but was really relaxed reading their roadmap: Open Source management. is supporting open-source mesh management solutions. We are contributing to a project being done at UNC Chapel Hill ( to create a truly open-source management server for RO.B.IN mesh networks. It will automatically migrate your open-mesh networks to your own server without needing to re-enter data. We will re-integrate with that solution when it is complete and release our server as open-source as well (as one combined project). So stay tuned, these projects are both expanding and merging and will be completely open source.


I plugged a pc into the LAN port on one of the units directly linked to the one with Internet access. First I just managed to get 390/90 Kbit throughput, but realizing it was set a bandwidth limitations on it through the Dashboard. I set this to “0”, disablign it, and I was able to make up to 4Mbit throughput either ways. I found this very little to be a 802.11g WLAN. I will do further studies of what limits this traffic.


There is no encryption as far as I know on the mesh connections. These are open-air traffic easy to sniff. There is a strong advice also to change the default root password on SSH through the Dashboard. If you put one of the routers on a public IP, anyone can SSH into it with the default password. They will then get a shell like this:

BusyBox v1.4.2 (2007-11-02 12:20:05 PDT) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

_______                          ________             __
|       |.-----.-----.-----.  _  |        |.-----.----|  |__
|   -   ||  _  |  -__|     | |_| |  |  |  ||  -__|__--|     |
|_______||   __|_____|__|__|     |__|__|__||_____|____|__|__|
|__| ---------------------

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Version: r1421



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