Gallery: $60 router + DD-WRT = high-end wireless router

Gallery: $60 router + DD-WRT = high-end wireless router

Summary: DD-WRT can turn this cheap device into an enterprise-class product with features normally found in devices costing hundreds of dollars more.


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  • Standard port forwarding or port redirecting is supported.

  • uPnP (Universal Plug and Play) works very well with Windows Vista or XP. Ports are automatically opened and configured.

  • QoS or (Quality of Service) can prioritize latency sensitive applications like Internet gaming or VoIP applications.

Topics: Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

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  • Linksys WRT-54G

    The Linksys WRT-54 family of products have been doing this for years.
    • Linksys

      Ah.. what about Linksys features to amplify receiving signal .. not on part with this device?
    • Yes I know, but they've skimped out on RAM and Flash lately

      Yes I know, but they've skimped out on RAM and Flash lately and every model you commonly find has half the RAM and Flash. The old Linksys routers were nice but all the model variants are too confusing and sometimes you can't tell which version you're buying online.

      This particular Buffalo router is in all the local stores like Circuit City, Fry's, Best Buy, online, etc. I wanted to highlight something easy to find.
      • Linksys WRT54GL

        I see your point about the variants (SpeedBooster, Pre-N, version numbers, etc.), but if you're going to be enough of a hobbyist to risk bricking your WAP, you're also going to look for the right hardware for the project, and you'll also do sufficient research before launching into it.

        The best Linksys units are WRT54G version 4 and WRT54GL. Second best are WRT54G versions 1 through 3, and WRT54GS versions 1 through 4. I don't recommend WRT54GSv4 as a top choice because the SpeedBooster feature is unnecessary (and may not be supported under DD-WRT). The WRT54G versions 5 and above have the RAM issues you referred to. WRT54GC, WRT54GX and others are incompatible with DD-WRT. Most of this is explained in the DD-WRT web site ( -- check the Forums).

        Yes, the forums are quite extensive. However, I refer to my earlier statement about being a hobbyist.

        bricking: if the installation of DD-WRT doesn't work perfectly (and there are [i]many[/i] ways this can happen), your router just got turned into a high-tech brick. It can be recovered in some cases, but doing so voids the warranty because it involves opening the case. I know this because I've bricked and recovered two different units.

        WAP: Wireless Access Point
        • There are ways to un-brick during the startup sequence

          There are ways to un-brick during the startup sequence with TFTP. In fact this Buffalo requires you to go through the unbricking procedure for the first time install and I linked to the specific how-to guide.
          • TFTP is not 100%

            There are ways to brick a router that cannot be recovered by just using TFTP. I had an occasion where the transfer wasn't clean, the firmware file was corrupted, and the router wouldn't boot at all (TFTP doesn't do any error checking or correction). My only option was to open the case (voiding the warranty) and put a jump between two specific points. Granted, mine was a Linksys unit, but I seriously doubt that the Buffalo is immune from corrupt firmware installations.
  • RE: (Gallery: $60 router DD-WRT = high-end wireless router)

    except DD-WRT crashes when there is a power failure on the Linksys WRT54G v8 - goes back to default or bricks the box -
  • $60 Router and DD-WRT

    The article does not say exactly what DD-WRT is. Is it software or additional hardware? If you write an article about a new product you should at least clarify what it is for those of us who don't keep up to the minute with every new product.When does the DD-WRT become useful as opposed to a regular router such as the Linksys?

    Ken Hess
    • "what is"

      iof you have to ask, you probably should not try this.
      • IT?

        Nice reply. I suppose you're one of those IT guys that gives those of us who actually work with and help users understand what is going on a bad name.
    • DD-WRT Answer

      Try this: It may ansswer your questions.
    • Sorry, should have explained better

      I provided a link to DD-WRT but should have explained it as free software.
  • Click on the DD-WRT hyperlink to find out

    If you click on the DD-WRT hyperlink in the article, it points to you to a page that gives more info on what DD-WRT is.
  • Is this an ad?

    Looks like an ad to me
    • ad?

      except that the article is about the firmware update, which is public domain (free).
    • It's about a cheap router and a free open source firmware

      It's about a cheap router and a free open source firmware. It just shows you what's possible.
  • RE: (Gallery: $60 router DD-WRT = high-end wireless router)

    DD-WRT is a 3rd party firmware, based on Linux.
    If you do a search for router firmwares or go here:
    You'll have enough information here to learn all about 3rd party firmware for home routers.
  • Why?

    Why would you run DD-WRT? It suxx ass compared to Tomato!

    Get yourself a nice Linksys WRT54L instead (for around the same price!) and flash Tomato on it, much more stable and twice as fast!
    • What is up with Linksys

      I know Linksys is owned by Cisco but I have to admit it just sucks. I have a WRT54GS(I think that is the full model) and I had nothing but issues with it. Being a CCSP and managing and managing all Cisco network, from Aironet Wireless to 4507 blade switches I thought Linksys was a good way to go but boy was I wrong. I constantly lost connections from my PS3 and IOGear USB Wireless adapter. This was using simple AES 128 and 3DES for security. I thought it was the devices but I finally bought a cheap $32.00 Belkin and man talk about solid. It seemed to have all the features of the Linksys plus it could do wireless bridging and it stayed up.

      Anyway, maybe Cisco will get Linksys to improve but until this I will probably never buy another linksys.
      • Don't blame Linksys

        I have three WRT54GS routers, configured with DD-WRT. Two form a wireless bridge configured on a DMZ from my main router (m0n0wall), and the other is a general access point for my laptop. Actually the WRT54GS with DD-WRT will do more than the dedicated router running m0n0wall. I have had no problems at all with any of them. I have some replacement antennas that help give me more range, but none of these consumer class devices will give you more than about 40-50 feet without directional antennas. Transfer rate is good from about 30 feet away, but drops further away.
        You may have had some interference issues from other wireless devices, microwaves, etc. Did you try changing the radio channel on the Linksys? There's a lot of those things out there running fine, perhaps you got a lemon.