Thrift stores and yard/garage sales can become a goldmine for computer geeks. You have to know your technology and how to upgrade the device – and you have to truly know the value of a device/computer you stumble on. Here’s an example –
The D-Link Dir-601 is a home router that lacks many features of other Wireless N routers. This $60 router lacks MIMO antennas and has a throughput of about 65 -150 mbps. However, the router can be upgraded to DD-WRT and dozens of features are added to this little router including power settings, virtual wireless, IPv6, QoS and more.
Amanda picked one up for the class for $1.99. A real bargain for anyone. So what can you get for $20 ?
D-Link, Belkin, Hawking, Linksys (WRT-54g), Cisco 150 – Most of which can take alternate firmware.
How about a cool project with a Pegatron motherboard so you can make a hardware firewall (Picked up for $0) -it included a quad core AMD processor and fan and 2 Gb of Ram. Add a laptop hard drive, a 220 watt power supply and Smoothwall firewall to create a tiny firewall that protect you from malicious activity. Total investment – $22. I have a hard drive from Amanda’s old computer and ordered the power supply from Amazon.
Speaking of Firewalls – How about a Netgear FVS328 VPN firewall for the home. Although it has reached EOL, $1.99 and uploading the latest firmware will still add extra protection to your home.