Articles: Networking

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Firmware and Web-Interface

As I wrote in the previous section, the TEW-633GR is based on the IP5160 CMP. This processor is quite an odd thing in terms of software support. It features a unique architecture which, as far as Ubicom’s documentation can tell, has a unique instruction set that is not yet supported by Linux developers. It means the processor is unlikely to get support from the authors of alternative firmware (OpenWRT or DD-WRT). So, the user of the TEW-633GR has to be content with the functionality offered by the official firmware because even the source code of the router’s firmware is not open. The latest version I could find at the developer’s website is I updated the router’s original firmware to that version.

The router’s web-interface resembles the style and design of the router itself as it uses black hues and a minimum of extra features. The web-interface window displayed in your browser is not the same size always – it changes depending on the amount of information displayed.

Otherwise, it is quite a regular interface consisting of three logical sections. The header shows the manufacturer’s logo and the router’s model name. The rest of the page displays a menu (on the left) and a current page with settings (on the right). The menu has only two levels, with groups and individual pages. It is very easy to navigate this menu. The individual pages are not so intuitive, though. They often contain links to pages you cannot access from the page menu or have some settings hidden until you enable an appropriate parameter or feature.

The Help system is satisfactory. There is a brief tip about the currently displayed settings at the top part of each page but it is often uninformative. More details can be got in the Help menu, yet the information provided there is not exhaustive, either.

The settings menu of the TEW-633GR consists of five items, three of which (Basic, Advanced and Tools) contain all of the router’s settings and the remaining two (Status and Help) are purely informational. I will describe the Basic item first.

Basic Settings

This group contains the basic settings of the router without which it cannot operate normally.

Wizard is the first page here. It provides a simple way to set the router’s basic parameters up.

The next page is called Internet. You can specify connection parameters for the WAN port. DNS servers are also specified here.

The Wireless page is for setting up the WLAN connection. You can specify such parameters as router’s SSID, channel number, channel width, WLAN standard to use, security parameters, etc. You can enter all the values manually or use the Wizard.

The last page in the Basic group is Network Settings. It contains very different settings such as the operation mode of the WAN port, the settings of the router’s LAN segment, DHCP server settings, etc.

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