Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between WRT54G and WRT54GL

linksys_routerWRT54G vs WRT54GL

Networking involves hardware such as routers, and nowadays, we prefer using wireless routers. Linksys routers have been one of the more popular routing devices on the market today, but they have lots of models and products that can sometimes baffle you. For now, let’s try to compare WRT54G and WRT54GL

The first WRT54G was released in late 2002. The original device comes with a network switch (4 + 1 port). There are two detachable antennae on the device, which are connected via Reverse Polarity TNC connectors. However, later versions no longer have the TNC connectors and removable antennae. This elimination of the connectors was to cut costs in production, and they were replaced with thin wires that were steered into the shells of the antenna.

Basically, the device allows you to share internet connections between different computers with 802.11b/g and 802.3 Ethernet wireless data links. It has many variants, such as WRT54GS, WRT54GL, and WRTSL54GS. At first, the original WRT54G devices were based on Linux, but then shifted to VxWorks, starting with the version 5. Thus, in 2005, WRT54GL was released as a new model line. The new line came back to its Linux roots. The ‘L’ in the name WRT54GL simply means that it is Linux-based.

Latest WRT54G models, apparently, continue using VxWorks. It is not surprising that they are not compatible with most third party firmware. Since the momentous version 5 release, the WRT54G line reduced its Flash Memory to 2 MB. On the other hand, the WRT54GL doubles the WRT54G’s flash memory. Other versions of WRT54G may be able to accept 3rd party, or open source installations with VxWorkskiller, by bitsum.com.

SpeedBooster is disabled in WRT54GL’s stock firmware, but 3rd party firmware will easily enable it. Its hardware is actually identical to WRT54G (version 4), with just a minor alteration to the internal numbering of the port switch.


1. The WRT54G was the original line, and the WRT54GL was basically its variant, along with WRT54GS and WRTSL54GS.

2. WRT54GL became a line of its own, which distinguishes itself by being Linux-based, as opposed to WRT54G (from version 5 up) that switched to VxWorks-based OS.

3. WRT54GL, being Linux-based, is compatible to third party/custom firmware, while the WRT54G is not flashed as easily with 3rd party firmware, because of compatibility issues. VxWorkskiller is needed by the latter to make it practical.

4. WRT54GL is practically similar to the WRT54G version 4.

5. Prior to WRT54G version 5, WRT54G devices 1 to 4 are also easily flashed by open source firmware, like the WRT54GL.

6. The first WRT54G was released in late 2002, while WRT54GL was released as a new model line in 2005.

7. WRT54G has less Flash Memory than WRT54GL.

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