For the last while my old D-Link 524 has been getting touchy; the connection for a while would periodically drop for a second, and the DNS resolution was for whatever reason lagging.  So opting for a replacement, what better, I thought, than's 21x Customer Choice Award winner, the Linksys WRT54GL.


The killer functionality of the WRT54GL is that it runs off of Linux firmware, so there are plenty of available options for upgraded firmware.  It's not the only router that has this ability, but it's certainly the most popular.

So this week I've focused on DD-WRT wireless router firmware.


There are several different versions of the firmware to fit better depending on your hardware capacity and personal requirements.  Each has different features, with the 8MB mega version containing everything.  I set up the standard firmware, which don't let it fool you, has what I believe the technical term is "crapload" of features.

It supports, among plenty of other things, cron jobs, overclocking, SSH, real-time statistics and bandwidth monitoring, all in 14 different languages.  I'd go through more of what's available, but there's plenty in there that I honestly have no idea what it's for.

If I may take you briefly into the past, in my blog post, Enemies of Information, I can be quoted as saying with regard to port 445, "merely passing your connection through a router at default settings will likely do the trick on its own."  While I had forgotten to try this with the WRT54GL's default firmware, DD-WRT passes with flying colours.

There's no way for me to properly review the true value of DD-WRT because its capabilities reach far beyond my own needs, and thusly is likely more than enough for the typical user.

For those who need a guide to updating their firmware, Lifehacker has done it excellently.  Now if you don't mind, I've got a lot of needless tinkering to do.
Posted by Ellyoda Sat, 14 Mar 2009 04:25:24 (comments: 7)
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 06:14:14
I've got a DIR-615, so that could be useful, but I'm using it as a WAP atm so oh well.
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 06:32:19
The DIR-615 is in a bit of a nebulous realm of open-source firmware support of seemingly theoretical agreement that you could get it to work, but no real success stories.

The number one function for a NAT router ought to be as a firewall.  As such, you're still using it for more than simply connecting wirelessly, even at factory defaults.
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 14:18:17
Overclocking a router?

Is there any negative to overclocking stuff, like it will burn out much faster? Or why doesn't everyone overclock everything to maximize performance for the lowest cost.
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 15:37:08
A long time ago, I updated the wireless Linksys router I had at the time with an actual Linksys firmware update, but all it did was brick my router. It would only work for about 5-10 minutes at a time before losing all wireless connections, and requiring a reboot. I later read on the Linksys forums that I wasn't the only one to have had that happen. I hate Linksys.
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 17:23:11
On overclocking, there's a reason the CPUs don't default to the overclocked speed.  The main considerations are stability and heat; increasing the clockspeed is essentially increasing the electrical current, which can make it run hotter than it can handle and burn out, melt or start generating errors in computation.  Wikipedia would know better than I, though.

And Raven, you see the problem there is that you updated with the Linksys firmware Nyaa
Sat, 14 Mar 2009 23:52:57
I've since installed Tomato in place of DD-WRT.  I didn't really have any issues with DD-WRT, but was still curious.  Tomato is much more user-friendly, so the few missing advanced functions that I didn't know what they did in DD-WRT are a worthwhile trade-off.

Here is the equivalent Lifehacker article for Tomato.

♥ Tomato's bandwidth usage logging.

Bonus: blocking school night furries
Tue, 17 Mar 2009 02:58:36
For sure, though I have changed around the factory defaults somewhat to run it as a WAP rather than a router, and use my modem/router as the router...
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