Home Router Into a Super-Powered Router with DD-WRT


Everywhere routers are the force that makes happen wirelessly. Why not supercharge yours to take proper advantage of it? DD-WRT lets you boost your router’s range, add more features.

DD-WRT has many features more than we can cover in this guide. This is focused on helping you get your router upgraded. Put focus here, as we’ll go into more depth in a couple more days on all the great things you can do with it. On Concord, DD-WRT is worth installing to make your router work better even if you don’t use the additional features.

What Is DD-WRT?


The Netgear WNR2000 might be fine but not the best. The software makes it tick as your router is only as good as its firmware. You are bound to Linksys/Cisco, D-Link, Netgear, or other software when you buy a router from those. They help to solve your problems then you respect their limitation. On Concord, what if your warranty’s expired, or you want to shuck their limitations? May be you take your hardware and push it to its most extreme limits. That’s where DD-WRT steps in.

For routers, DD-WRT is an open-source alternative firmware. This software unlocks features aren’t present on all routers such as VPN, static routing, repeating functions. This also unlocks settings that aren’t accessible normally such as antenna overclocking and power.

Router Support

Router Support

Turning your home router into an almost professional-level tool is a great project. This has one major caveat support that not all routers are built or designed the same way. Even two of the same model can have different revision numbers with very different internal components. The first step is doing plenty of research. This is best to have a router that’s fully supported. So if you end up buying one, conform to check the DD-WRT Supported Routers page first. Also, make use of their Router Database which helps you find particular instructions for your revision and model. Most devices have revision and model numbers on the back panel. It’s safe to assume that it’s 1.0, if there’s no revision number.

The important spec to consider is ROM or NVROM for our purposes. This is where the firmware is kept, so even if your router has 16MB of RAM. It won’t work with a 4MB image of DD-WRT without at least that much ROM. There are a few different versions of DD-WRT available at varying file sizes. Some are trimmed down to fit in smaller ROM configurations. Others are built with specific features in mind such as SD card support, Samba client, or a VPN. Check out the File Versions table for more information.


The most important thing in any project is research. Do all of your homework for this one because here it comes:


Changing your router’s firmware can result in unintentional consequences such as “bricking.” We have never had a device that couldn’t be fixed in some way. But, it’s important to understand that it’s a very real possibility. You assume all responsibility for anything you do, we aren’t liable for anything that should go wrong.

Start with the Supported Devices page to see if you have got a DD-WRT-friendly router as mentioned above. Check the Router Database if you do or don’t see anything specific. You will find links to forum pages of those who have completed the process for specific revisions/models. As well as workarounds and setbacks they have found. You will find links to compatible versions of firmware importantly.

The friendly forum gave us some useful info for our particular model. The Netgear WNR2000 is revision 2 which means it’s compatible with our router as revision 1 is not. It’s only got 4MB of ROM, so we had to stick to the mini version. We followed the download links and read up on what to do to complete the procedure in full detail.


Unanimously, almost all sources recommend three specific things:

  • Do a hard reset on your router before you update. Usually, this requires a 30/30/30 procedure.
  • Hard wire your router when you update the firmware. NEVER over wireless.
  • Use Internet Explorer or Safari unless specifically stated that other browsers are okay.

There are many reasons which the documentation reveals to you. On Concord, the first two are written in stone, and the last has held true for almost any router and it won’t hurt either.

Most routers have a pinhole on their back with you need to push and hold to perform a hard reset. The 30/30/30 procedure is primarily directed for devices with DD-WRT already on them. On Concord, it’s also required for some other models and won’t hurt to do anyway. Non-Volatile RAM is also deleted. The procedure is as follows from the DD-WRT website:

  • With the unit powered on, press and hold the reset button on back of unit for 30 seconds
  • Without releasing the reset button, unplug the unit and hold reset for another 30 seconds
  • Plug the unit back in STILL holding the reset button a final 30 seconds (please note that this step can put Asus devices into recovery mode…see note below!) [Note]

This procedure should be done BEFORE and AFTER every firmware upgrade/downgrade.

Do not use configuration restore if you change firmware builds (different svn build numbers).

The Process


Hard reset as per the instructions for your specific router as outlined above.

We waited for the lights to return to normal after our hard reset, and we hard-wired the router to our laptop. We turned off the wireless connection during this phase. So that just the wired connection to our WRN2000 was active. This prevents any mishaps and makes it simple to connect to the web-interface through the defaults.


Go to your router’s default page and log in by firing up Internet Explorer.

log in

Usually printed on your device’s back panel or easily found on the internet, use the default username and password.


Click on the Router Upgrade link.



Browse to the correct image and click Upload, and wait patiently. Very patiently. You’ll see the loading screen tell you to wait while the router reboots, and you’ll see the lights flash on and off for a while. Wait about five minutes, and err on the longer side. When you’re ready, log in to your router. DD-WRT’s IP address is, the username is ‘root’, and the password is ‘admin’.

You will be greeted with your brand new interface.


UPDATE: We need to do another hard restore/reset to factory default settings. This solidifies your DD-WRT installation and prevents any issues that would come up otherwise. This is mentioned in the block quote above. But to reiterate perform another hard reset now.

You may have had a “bad” flash if things didn’t work out. Your router may be bricked. You can recover from it in some fashion. How to Recover From a Bad Flash is the first place to check out. The second is the DD-WRT Forum.

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