As originally posted by Michael Codanti on the PTP list, the firmware updates to the Apple Airport, Lucent/Orinoco RG-1000, and Lucent/Orinoco AP-500 are all interchangeable. I have tested this now (2/3 I don't have a AP-500), and it was successful. This was all done using the FreeBase software.
Hardware - Apple Airport Base Station
- Upgraded to: Apple Airport 1.2 Firmware
- Upgraded to: Lucent/Orinoco AP-500 Firmware
- Upgraded to: Apple Airport 1.3 Firmware
Hardware - Lucent/Orinoco RG-1000
- Upgraded to: Apple Airport 1.3 Firmware
This means that you can take a Apple AirPort, or Lucent/Orinoco RG-1000, or Lucent/Orinoco AP-500, and upgrade it to the functionality of any of the three since the firmware is all interchangeable.
I can now change my AP recommendation that has NAT and DHCP to include the RG-1000 since you can update it to the functionality of the Apple Airport, my previous recommendation. I highly recommend updating the RG-1000 firmware to the Apple Airport Firmware, or AP-500 firmware (if you don't need NAT & DHCP) as the RG-1000 firmware is a pain to work with and doesn't support setting all the options that way you might want. Buying the RG-1000 instead of the Apple Airport saves you $70.
Note: Nate Carlson is now maintaining an archive of firmware for various AccessPoints which might be useful.
From MichaelCodanti's post:
RG-1000, and AirPort
- DHCP Server
- NAT Server
- Modem with dial out capability (Possible Dialin capability soon)
Cost: RG-1000 $229.16 / AirPort $299
- 802.1x Support
- Radius Authentication using client MAC and/or EAP
- Better monitoring tools
- A LOT of control over what is bridged
- Link integrity testing (Takes the wireless down if the wired goes down)
- Cost: $659.77
(Note: Prices are from CDW)
The legality of firmware swapping is questionable at best, and hopefully will not be needed once Agere releases their Summer update for the RG-1000.
Also note that you can now download Orinoco's AccessPoint software and use it to configure your RG-1000, having MANY more options, including the ability to change the AP name and run as a full public access point.
I purchased the Compaq WL310 home office gateway and upgraded it to the Orinoco RG-1000 rom, then downloaded the AP-1000 software and upgraded to that included rom.
-- Dan Kelly
Q: Is there a magic site with all of the firmwares around?
A: Found a site (http://www.aciri.org/fenner/airport/) that lists the Airport v1.3, v1.3.1, and v2.0 firmware.
Q: Rumor has it you can upgrade the RG-1000 to the AP-1000. Does this make it functionaly the same as purchasing an AP?
A: This rumor is false, the AP-1000 is totally different hardware, and the firmware will not work on an RG-1000, RG-1100, AP-500, or Graphite AirPort (v1)
Q: What advantages does (did) the Airport firmware have over the RG-1000?
A: The ability to turn off WEP. The ability to specify your ESSID (this was originally why the RG-1000 didn't get the Wi-Fi Compliance certification, because you couldn't specify the complete ESSID, thus prohibiting proper roaming).
Update: As of a a while ago I think the current RG-1000 firmware is better then the current AirPort firmware. The main differences that I know of:
- Supports VPN (PTPP and IPSec) passthrough when operating in NAT mode
- Updates the firmware on the 802.11b card (not the flash)
- Fixes some problems
Uses Lucents new WEP Plus to prevent AirSnort attacks on traffic FROM the AP.
- If you use current drivers/firmware on a Lucent card it too uses WEP Plus to avoid attack on the data to the AP
Jan 2002. Successfully tested RG-1000 with AP-500 firmware using JavaConfigurator. Upgraded to AP-1000 firmware and it killed the Ethernet port. Restored RG to original firmware using the Restore Firmware Configuration procedure outlined on Rg1000Comments page. -- BrianBarrera
2002-07-27 tried uploading apple 2.0.2 (graphite update 3.84) firmware obtained from bill fenner's site into my RG-1100 using FreeBase and it fixes the closed wireless network bug that is present in all ORiNOCO firmware revs up to 3.95 (it still broadcasts beacons, but with blank SSID) - the AP is really invisible to NetStumbler now. The downside is AP Manager no longer works with it, so Freebase must be used to configure it, and I don't know if it supports WEP Plus. Although i haven't tried it, the Apple f/w is supposed to support MAC filtering, which is not supported at all with RG-1x firmware.
I also successfully loaded the latest AP-500 firmware - ap05395.bin on it, which effectively turns it into an AP-500 bridge. w/ this firmware, you lose NAT but you gain RADIUS and 802.1x support, as well as a lot more configurability of the bridging functions. i think the MAC filtering should work as well, because the AP-500 is supposed to support it, but i haven't tested it (I've been told by ORiNOCO support that the RG-1x f/w doesn't support MAC filtering).