When we decide we acquire a new router, it comes with a firmware installed from the manufacturer. Many times we find that, because of the installed firmware, we cannot take advantage of all the hardware capacity provided by the acquired model.
Luckily, it is possible to install custom firmware on router so we can make economic routers have the configuration options of expensive router. What is the main benefit of custom firmware? One of the top reasons to install an alternative firmware, is to be extend many useful options that are usually unavailable in standard firmware and modify routers’ web interface in many languages.
DD-WRT is an alternative firmware for open-source routers based on Linux. This firmware guarantees the user a logical configuration for the fastest and most stable operation possible, as well as to mainly improve the signal and stability of the WiFi networks of the routers.
The main features of DD-WRT are:
- It supports more than 200 different devices.
- It is fully functional. It has all the functions required in a router.
- Supports the main WLAN standards (802.11a / b / g / n / ac)
- It supports the improvement of frequencies and the use of wireless outdoor networks.
- Integrate server and VPN client.
- It supports VLANs
- Supports Hotspot mode.
- It allows to manage bandwidth efficiently.
DD-WRT: The preparations
In this article, we are going explain the global way to install the DD-WRT firmware on any router. Each brand and model can vary the steps, even the necessary files may be different, so it is advisable to carefully follow each step one by one and correctly.
We remind you that the firmware change, in most cases, implies loss of product guarantee.
- Compatibility: Check the manufacturer’s website to see if your router model is supported. For safety’s sake, look at the bottom of your router, as there are often different versions of a device.
- Download firmware: With DD-WRT there are almost always two files. The first file “factory-to-ddwrt.bin” is responsible for the initial installation, the second file ” -webflash.bin” is specially adapted for your router. Download both files.
- In rare cases, only one file is shown during the search. Then you only need this one file to flash your router.
- Factory settings: Restore the factory settings on your router. You can do this either via web access or via the reset button on the router, if your router has such a button. For routers from TP-Link you will find this point, for example, under “System Tools” -> “Factory Defaults”. It is advisable to make a backup of your configuration before resetting.
DD-WRT: Firmware flash
Important: The following steps are at your own risk. The manufacturer’s guarantee is void if an alternative firmware is installed. If there are any problems during installation, your router may become inoperable.
- First installation: At the beginning you have to open the web interface of your router. Most routers have the “Upgrade firmware” menu item in the system settings. Upload the first file (factory-to-ddwrt.bin) and confirm with “Upgrade”. The upgrade may take some time. The router will restart in the meantime. Therefore, do not be surprised that no page is displayed in the browser.
- Web interface: You can reach the new web interface using the IP address “192.168.1.1” in your browser. Next you will be asked to change the username and password.
- Install customized router firmware: Go to “Administration” -> “Firmware Upgrade” in the router menu. There you have to upload the second file ( -webflash.bin). Under “After flashing, reset to” select the entry “Reset to Default settings”. With a click on “Upgrade” the final firmware is installed.
That is it. Now you have custom firmware installed on your router. If you have any questions regarding any step feel free to comment below.
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