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Note: for advanced users only!
Acting wrongly may render your router completely useless ("brick it"). Furthermore, the installation of DD-WRT on your router, may void the manufacturer's warranty.
Tomato or Tomato RAF. With that, you have a tremendous lot of tweaking possibilities, much more so than with the standard firmware of your router.
Isn't there a Tomato / Tomato RAF build available for your router? Then you might consider DD-WRT. DD-WRT is not as good as Tomato and its offspring (often less stable, more bugs, less reliable, less easy to install), so it's definitely second choice.
You can get DD-WRT here.
Note: the information on the website of DD-WRT is very unclear and confusing. There is some additional information on the DD-WRT forum, but in my opinion that's not clear enough as well. That's why I've written this page.
Tomato or Tomato RAF is always the far better choice. Better than DD-WRT, and even better than the commercial version of DD-WRT.
Especially on the matter of QoS, Tomato / Tomato RAF is both technically better and much easier to set up. And all versions are free.
wrong information about that!
So the database is only useful for checking whether your router can run on DD-WRT at all.
For the time being (september 2011) this database problem hasn't been solved, although there appears to be some work in progress. For now, this is the recommendation by many advanced DD-WRT users:
Build 14929. This is more or less the non-official Service Pack 2 of version 24 of DD-WRT.
The common router Linksys WRT54GL isn't present in the ftp list, by the way: the files for that router are in the folder "broadcom". For build 14929 for the Linksys WRT54GL you need to download the following two files:
If, for some reason, this build isn't good for you, then Build 15962 is the best alternative: less good than 14929, but better than the rest.
Only exception: router models that are too new for 14929 or 15962.
This recommendation applies to both Broadcom and Atheros based routers, although the advice of the moderators of the DD-WRT forum, is placed in the Broadcom section.
All newer versions (and some older versions) contain much more errors. Furthermore, they are less stable or even downright unstable. In short: better avoid them!
Note: on a Linksys WRT54GL router I've experienced that build 15962 causes short, but irksome occasional outages of the wireless signal (lasting up to 30 seconds). This is probably hardware specific for this router only. Build 14929 works fine.
Therefore, when first switching to DD-WRT, you need to install new firmware on the router twice. First the mini, and then from the mini the full version.
The 30-30-30 reset means that you keep the reset button on your router, pressed for at least 90 seconds. During those 90 seconds you perform several actions. More about that later.
Perform the 30-30-30 reset before and after each firmware change.
This is absolutely necessary for a faultless installation. Don't skip it!
It may be easier to do with assistance from someone else, because you need to keep the reset button pressed all the time.
Note: the following router models may suffer damage when performing a 30/30/30 reset:
- Linksys WRT54GS v1.1
- Linksys WRT54GS v2
- Linksys WRT54GS v2.1
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The installation of DD-WRT goes as follows:
1. Turn on the router with the old firmware still in place. Use a (temporary?) ethernet cable to connect the computer that you wish to use for this operation, to the router. Wireless connections aren't suitable for this!
Also make sure that your wireless connection with the router is disabled. It's very important that you perform the operation by means of a wired connection, and also that there is no simultaneous wireless connection between your computer and the router.
2. Now press the reset button on the router and keep it pressed. Wait until at least 30 seconds have gone by. Don't release the reset button after that, but continue to keep it pressed!
3. Pull the power cord from the router. You still keep the reset button pressed, and you wait again for at least 30 seconds. Don't release the reset button after that, but continue to keep it pressed!
4. Connect the power cord again to the router, so that it powers up again. You still keep the reset button pressed, and you wait again for at least 30 seconds.
5. Release the reset button. Now you need to wait for at least five minutes, until the NVRAM has rebuilt itself. Simply wait! Continuing too early may brick your router.
6. Now perform a "hard reboot": pull the power cord from the router, wait a full minute and reconnect the power cord. Then wait at least three minutes.
7. In the configuration panel of your router, apply a "reset to factory defaults" (usually called that way).
At this point the firmware of your router has become completely clean and default: the NVRAM is entirely clean.
B. Install the mini version of DD-WRT
8. Check whether the operating system on your computer still has connection with the router. If not, re-establish the connection (Linux: click the icon of Network Manager in the system tray - click Auto eth0).
9. Now flash the router with the mini version of DD-WRT. That can be done from the configuration panel of your router; usually in the section Administration or Advanced, where it's usually called something like "Firmware Upgrade".
10. Repeat the 30-30-30 reset (step 2 to 4)
11. Release the reset button. Now you need to wait for at least five minutes, until the NVRAM has rebuilt itself. Simply wait! Continuing too early may brick your router.
12. Now perform a "hard reboot": pull the power cord from the router, wait a full minute and reconnect the power cord. Then wait at least three minutes.
C. Install the full version of DD-WRT
13. Check whether the operating system on your computer still has connection with the router. If not, re-establish the connection (Linux: click the icon of Network Manager in the system tray - click Auto eth0).
14. Now flash the router with the full version of DD-WRT, from the mini. The configuration panel of your router is at 192.168.1.1 (type this in the navigation panel of your web browser and press Enter); then go to the section Administration - Firmware Upgrade.
15. Repeat the 30-30-30 reset (step 2 to 4)
16. Release the reset button. Now you need to wait for at least five minutes, until the NVRAM has rebuilt itself. Simply wait! Continuing too early may brick your router.
17. Now perform a "hard reboot": pull the power cord from the router, wait a full minute and reconnect the power cord. Then wait at least three minutes.
18. There is no next step. You're done!
192.168.1.1 (type this in the navigation panel of your web browser and press Enter). The default user name is root and the default password is admin. You should change these rightaway (don't use spaces in names and passwords).
Save and then Apply Settings. Only then will the new setting be stored and applied correctly.
Note: for certain settings changes a further measure is needed as well: Click tab Administration - click the button "Reboot Router" (at the bottom of the page).
Note: it may occur that after clicking "Apply Settings", your configuration panel seems to quit. When that happens, simply reload the page, or type 192.168.1.1 in the navigation panel of your web browser and press Enter.
2. Make sure that your wireless security is OK.
3. Don't overdo it: the optimal Tx Power is not that high. In fact, the ideal Tx Power is the lowest value that still provides an adequate signal for you. Both because of security and of your health. For example: in my case a value as low as 5, proved to be quite adequate.
4. Keep your router lively and fast: schedule an automatic reboot. As follows:
Administration - Keep Alive - Schedule Reboot.
Weekly is generally sufficient; I myself have scheduled my routers to reboot daily (at 03:00 AM).
a. Amplify the wireless signal of your router
b. Apply a second router in your home
c. Reduce electromagnetic radiation of computing devices
d. Replace Windows XP by an easy free Linux
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