Third party wireless access point firmware


Many people are happily using a wireless access point or router in the home or office that lets you tap into your broadband internet connection and serve it up for multiple users at your location.  WiFi allows high speed internet sharing while offering firewall protection at the same time.  Anyone who has been using one of these devices for any length of time at all can attest to the importance of keeping the AP or router firmware upgraded as manufacturers often correct problems with these upgrades.  What most people don’t realize there is also third party firmware that can be obtained for the most common APs and routers for an annual subscription fee.

Sveasoft is the brainchild of James Ewing who is located offshore Sweden and has a set of firmware that not only corrects problems in Linksys (and other) APs but also adds a lot of new features.  He offers his firmware upgrades via an annual subscription that entitles the customer to a year of support and input to new features which includes enhanced security.  If you think there is not much market for such a service think again- he has over 44,000 subscribers who all plunk down $20 via PayPal for this service.  Do the math and it is easy to see that this is a lucrative service.

Sveasoft’s firmware is written for any AP or router that uses the Broadcom chipset including many of those produced by Linksys and some from other manufacturers.  A complete list of supported APs is on the Sveasoft support forum.  There has been some controversy in recent months about  whether or not Sveasoft is in violaton of the GPL under which the original firmware knockoff was released but Sveasoft distributes the source code with their updates so this should not be an issue.  People get excited when someone starts charging for a product based on GPL source code but there is nothing in the GPL that prohibits charging for anything produced on GPL-released code, but that is another discussion entirely.  If you are interested in seeing what an enhanced set of firmware can do for your AP check out the Sveasoft web site.

Note:  I have noticed that the Sveasoft web site has DNS problems and is sometimes unavailable.  It comes back so you have to keep trying if you have trouble getting in.


joao carlos

fimware on the Access Point WIRELESS Multilaser REAP054127ML


There is a common misconception about the GPL that people have. The perception is that work released free under the GPL must remain forever free in all future revisions by anybody and that is just not true. The GPL even allows for people to distribute the original work and charge for the media or support. I see nothing wrong with taking a GPL work, adding your own work to it and then charging for that. He is also providing a year of support which is not available with the original work and given the number of subscribers he has it is obviously of value to customers.

Everyone seems to think of “free” when they think GPL or open source and that is not always true, depending on the license under which the work was put in the public domain. The GPL does not mean free under any situations, it basically just controls what has to be included in any future modified distributions and how credit must be given to the original author.


The problem is not that he charges for the GPL’d software, but he prevents free redistribution of the work. Usually agressively.

He has done the work for the firmware, but has based his work on originally GPL’d work.

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