Install Custom Firmware On Your Router

custom firmware

Installing custom firmware on your router leads to better router speed, intelligent traffic routing, better internet privacy, and much more features. These advanced features are the ones which the router’s default firmware cannot manage. So, if you are facing a problem with a slower Internet speed, then you can skip to installing router custom firmware.

DD-WRT will help you work since it is feature-packed and easy to get grips with. You may opt for a more modular OpenWRT if you have very specific needs. For Broadcom based router, Tomato is user-friendly.

Step 1: Get started

There are a variety of routers available on the market with different hardware. It’s not sure that all these are compatible with custom firmware. This may be because it doesn’t supply enough RAM and CPU power or the supporting software doesn’t exist. The regulations around the wireless frequencies are screwed tight, so only, compatibility is the spec that seems to get down with time. You can check the compatibility of the OpenWRT or DD-WRT just by performing a Google search. You can select the correct version of the Software for your hardware from the list in the compatibility database. If the specification differs, then the firmware goes wrong resulting in destroying the device.

Getting to work on with a particular router’s firmware like the DD-WRT can be perfect to get the things done. If not, something may just go wrong or even it may result in a dead device. So, it worth to have the wiki and the peacock thread on the DD-WRT’s forums in case of any issues. You can grab your .bin file.

Connect your router with a wired Ethernet cable since wireless connections won’t work during the installation process. And mainly, you need to stand close to the hardware to switch it off as required. In any cases, it would be better to maintain a secondary connection. This will help you out in a situation when your main Internet connection is slow or disconnected.

  • Make sure that you are ready with the custom firmware connected via wired connection.
  • Switch off your device’s wireless modules and disconnect the router from Internet.
  • Perform a 30/30/30 hard reset on your router.
  • Then login to your user interface, which usually may be found at, with the default password.
  • Find its firmware upgrade option and perform a manual upgrade using the.bin file downloaded before.
  • Click “Start” to initiate the downloading process.
  • Once the installation is done, perform another 30/30/30 hard reset 5 minutes after downloading. This will ensure the memory clearance in order to work with a fresh memory.

Step 2: Wireless Configuration

  • Go to the router’s setting page and check for the DD-WRT interface.
  • Set an admin login and password which will lead to a system info page. This will give an overview of the running hardware.
  • Take the internet connection and now you can see the WAN address. However, the wireless connection will reset the settings given before.
  • Click the “Wireless” tab to see all the wireless interfaces which your router should offer and name them accordingly.
  • Click “Apply settings” and go to the “Wireless Security” tab. Then setup WPA2 Personal (AES) passwords for each of the access points. Check the “Advanced Settings” under each SSID to find the required options.

Step 3: Required Tools

There are many features like firewall, VPN options, ad blocking, a web server, and all the required tools to use your router as a NAS. You will find more option on the wiki than your router’s default firmware could manage.

As we will discover by connecting to DD-WRT’s Linux shell, there is a number of options available. Windows users should grab PuTTY to get connected. Linux and macOS users can just use their terminal app. We’re using macOS vintage terminal app Cathode. Connect it via Telnet to your router’s address with the appropriate software on the command line. This is as simple as typing, for example, “telnet”. Log in with the username “root” and the password that you have set earlier.

Step 4: Taking command

Now you are in a Linux shell. It’s like a sort of condensed Linux shell, running “ash” (which stands for “another Shell”) on the top of BusyBox. This compresses common Linux commands into a smaller space. You can use all the shell commands to poke around with it. When there is an appropriate web interface, there is no use of having access to the console.

For instance, try running “top” to see the individual elements and threads being run on your router at any time. And direct access to your router can be massively useful for diagnosing network issues later on. You can use the “ping” and “traceroute” commands to test connectivity with the web or individual devices in your home.

Finally, to connect to your home network safely and privately, OpenVPN is the best option. If the DD-WRT is a secondary device, set it up as a repeater bridge to increase the efficiency of your wireless network over a long distance. This is done for installing custom firmware on your router.

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