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NSA-busting secure, open, router seeks cash and code from crowd

Oz designers deliver TOR, IPSec and 1 Gbps box with locks

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Australian embedded systems designer Redfish is hoping to attract funding from the crowd to market a secure routing platform that open-sources both the hardware and software to protect users from unwanted snooping.

Speaking to The Register ahead of the launch, Redfish managing director Justin Clacherty said the project is designed to get security in front of ordinary users – those who don't have the skills or confidence to set up complex crypto schemes or dive into the world of TOR.

And, he said, open sourcing both the software and hardware means the security of the implementation can be verified by others.

Redfish developed the ORP-1 to prototype stage on its own coin. It's now seeking crowd-funding via Indiegogo to go from prototype to manufacturing.

Based on a Freescale processor with embedded hardware routing, the ORP-1 has a five-port gigabit switch, a gigabit DMZ port, and a gigabit WAN port (just in case Australia ever gets a network able to support gigabit end-user connections).

Clacherty told The Register the system can currently ship traffic at about 700 Mbps, and he hopes to achieve line speed when the system goes to manufacture.

The software is based on a custom Linux distribution.

The full list of capabilities is at the Indiegogo page, but the basic capabilities are that the ORP-1 will provide security via built-in IPsec VPN, firewalling, and TOR. Other built-ins include the normal DHCP and DNS that you'd expect in a consumer router, IPv6 support, and a SIP proxy.

Design for the Orp 1 secure router

The basic design of the ORP1 secure router

As far as The Register can remember, ORP-1 would be the first new face on the Australian networking hardware scene in quite a while. In an industry that once boasted not one but several modem makers (Netcomm being the sole brand to survive from that era), more than one local router manufacturer (one was an arm of what is now a major ISP, TPG; another was Datacraft), it's hard to remember the last time someone took a crack at the network hardware market here. ®

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