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wireless-N routers which take dd-wrt firmware

 

about dd-wrt

dd-wrt is basically a linux OS specifically scaled down and configured for routing network stuff and made into firmware especially for a device.

this firmware is available for some AP's and routers. you can look up your router in the router database by searching for the make and model number or just the model number.

why dd-wrt

I have tried several off-the-shelf routers (Linksys WRT54GSv4, Linksys WRT100, and a Belkin N+) and they are flaky. the one of them which could take dd-wrt firmware (the WRT54G series) turned solid as a rock after flashing dd-wrt firmware on it (if dd-wrt is supported).

once they have dd-wrt they are rock solid. I have heard this over and over again from reviewers. flaky router,dropped connections, lockups-->good router. but there are 2 security measures which must be taken at least for once you have dd-wrt up and running.

only reason to power down the router is in an emergency, such as a storm (power lines) or power outage (where the power turns on and off wildly and may take out equipment) so as to not damage the router.

having internet Denial Of Service?

If you are having internet Denial Of Service (DOS) issues, this can be cause either by the commercial router firmware or by the modem or a bad NIC. I have had issues with Qwest modems locking up once a month - they get hot, which could be the issue - just bad firmware or design. take modem issues up with your ISP. you can temporarily solve modem issues by power-cycling the modem. You don't have to power off the router usually in order to power-cycle a modem. There is one router, the WRT320N I think, which gets so hot (many reviewers) it melts the plastic and often stops working after heating up. I don't know if there are any other routers with such issues.

One thing which can cause a DOS is having the modem power plugged in one wall while the router power is plugged into another wall. this happened in my apartment. I don't know what causes it, and if someone could please explain this, I would like to know. my router is a Linksys WRT54GSv4, and the modem was a Motorola WiMax modem at the time and I use UTP cable. It is possible one or both sets of ethernet transceivers were not fully designed to be fully isolated as they should have been. or, a capacitor(s) somewhere has degraded over time into resistors - they do that sometimes.

flashing dd-wrt is not for beginners/faint of heart

It's not easy, and you can brick your router (becomes a lifeless brick/doorstop) if you do it wrong.

it requires a pageful of special commands to get IPV6, which is rapidly going to replace IPV4. I hope this gets into new firmware as a default or a checkbox.

it requires special commands to put in the security patches.

dd-wrt installation

30/30/30 reset - a sure-fire way to reset any router's NVRAM and clear the password, etc.

30/30/30 reset:
this is best accomplished with the router disconnected from its cables except the power cable. In fact, having an extra power strip to do this with will make it a LOT easier, since you can simply turn the power strip switch on and off instead of plugging and unplugging which is may be difficult with one hand.

push reset button down with router powered on.
hold it for 30 seconds with router powered on.
STILL holding it, pull power cord for 30 seconds.
still holding it, plug router back in for 30 more seconds.
then let go of the button.

you will have held the button for a full 90 seconds without releasing it.
you will find these instructions in the peacock thread.

dd-wrt (and only dd-wrt firmware) routers will require a 30/30/30 reset before and after flashing the firmware, but WAIT 30 minutes for the router to boot (at least 10 minutes) after flashing. read the directions for your router or dd-wrt instructions to learn how to perform a 30/30/30 reset. Note that there are often 2 different types of resets one can perform on a router (sometimes only one), a short, soft reset and a hard reset. this is sometimes called a hard reset, but stick with the 30/30/30 reset, because this is sure to wipe the NVRAM. dd-wrt uses a 30/30/30 reset to get the nvram into the condition that it should be in before and after flashing the router.

reading the directions

read the dd-wrt directions for your router [type] carefully. read the install wiki and the dd-wrt forum peacock thread carefully.

after you have read the install wiki and related information, look up your router in the dd-wrt router database and install the firmware. use the google chrome browser to do the flashing (it's the only thing I find chrome is good for right now).

oftentimes you will need to flash a "mini" firmware before you can flash "std" or "mega". depends on the router what the requirements are.

browser to use

use Google Chrome browser to flash the firmware. you can use IE or Firefox or Safari for everything else, because I find that Chrome often breaks as a browser - the only thing Chrome is good at is flashing firmware: it doesn't mess up there.

reading the directions

  1. 30/30/30 reset
  2. flash with mini dd-wrt firmware or whatever they tell you to do FIRST, could be micro
  3. let it do its thing and reboot itself for the next 5 minutes. It may look like it has rebooted, but don't be fooled.. be safe and give it longer.
  4. create administrator login (you choose username and password)
  5. 30/30/30 reset
  6. let it do its thing and reboot itself for the next 5 minutes. It may look like it has rebooted, but don't be fooled.. be safe and give it longer.
  7. create administrator login (you choose username and password)
  8. flash with
  9. 30/30/30 reset
  10. let it do its thing and reboot itself for the next 5 minutes. It may look like it has rebooted, but don't be fooled.. be safe and give it longer.
  11. create administrator login (you choose username and password)
  12. configure the router
  13. apply security patch #1
  14. apply security patch #2
  15. apply IPV6 support
  16. enjoy as solid computing as your modem is

at least this is how it was for me.

Always give dd-wrt 5 MINUTES TO REBOOT ITSELF OR STARTUP

Security Precautions after getting the dd-wrt'd router up

preventing certain worms

wireless-N-routers which have dd-wrt firmware or vendor firmware upgrade makes it dd-wrt
some reviewers have said that they have needed to reboot router a lot on certain models, I think WZR-HP-G300NH, even after firmware upg (hw?).
BUFFALO WHR-HP-GN IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless High Power Router & Access Point - Retail, available from newegg.com $40
already has dd-wrt on it, or try latest firmware update. only has 100Mbps LAN/WAN ports, but specs somehow says it can do 150Mbps(?). Will have this firmware in June 2010.
BUFFALO WHR-HP-G300N IEEE 802.11b/g/n Nfiniti Wireless-N Essential High Power Router & Access Point - Retail, available from newegg.com $60+$3
already has dd-wrt on it, or try latest firmware update.100Mbps LAN/WAN ports. Will have this firmware in June 2010.
BUFFALO WZR-HP-G300NH IEEE 802.3/3u/3ab, IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE802.11n 2 Nfiniti Wireless High Power Router & Access Point - Retail, available from newegg.com <$110
already has dd-wrt on it, or try latest firmware update. gigabit LAN/WAN ports. Will have this firmware in June 2010.
wireless-N routers which take dd-wrt firmware
ASUS RT-N10 yes, no activation, available from newegg.com $40+$7.28
100Mbps LAN/WAN ports.
NETGEAR WNR3500L yes, no activation, available from newegg.com $150+$7.28
gigabit LAN/WAN
NETGEAR WNR3500 yes, no activation, available from newegg.com <$119 newegg limit 5
gigabit LAN/WAN
LINKSYS WRT610N dd-wrt yes, no activation, available from newegg.com $180+$3*, volume savings up to 17%, linksys wappoe12 PoE kitnextag.com $25-65
gigabit LAN/WAN. it is said this gets excellent range. dual band router.
NETGEAR WNDR3300 yes, no activation, available from newegg.com $100
LINKSYS WRT160N dd-wrt yes (1.1, 1.0, 3.0), no (2.0), no activation, available from newegg.com <$100 limit 5, linksys wappoe12 PoE kitnextag.com $25-65
100Mbps LAN/WAN
TRENDnet TEW-632BRP wip, activation required, available from newegg.com $40 limit 5
100Mbps LAN/WAN. 300Mbps wireless.
TRENDnet TEW-652BRP wip, no activation, available from newegg.com $35
100Mbps LAN/WAN. 300Mbps wireless.
TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND dd-wrt yes, no activation(1.1,1.4), available from mwave.com $74.99
Atheros chipset. 3 detachable antennas. 8MB flash (takes mega probably)
ASUS RT-N16 IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 300Mbps Gigabit Wireless Router with USB Storage, Printer And Media Server DD-WRT support + 2 X MWAVE Premium cat5e 10ft 350mhz stranded network cable, available from mwave.com $79.99+10, newegg $94.99
10/100/1000 WAN/LANx4. 802.11n Draft: up to 300Mbps. supports big (6.82MB).
D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, available from dlink $159.99, newegg, $149.95
10/100/1000 WAN/LANx4. 802.11a/g/n (Draft 2.0 n). up to 300Mbps. usb port. NAT,SPI,WPA,WPA2,WPS,VPN pass-thru, Multi-sessions PPTP, L2TP, IPSec.
wireless-N routers which will take dd-wrt firmware soon
LINKSYS E4200 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz simultaneous Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router up to 300+450Mbps with USB Built-in UPnP AV Media Server, available from newegg.com <$179.99 (they bumped the price up $30), nextag $147-196
1000Mbps LAN/WAN ports. dd-wrt is not available for this router yet, but when it is, I think you will be able to use mega. USB Storage Port w/uPnP AV Media Server. Full 3x3 MIMO antenna array. 8MB flash, so it's probably mega.
LINKSYS E3000 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz simultaneous Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router up to 300Mbps with USB Built-in UPnP AV Media Server, available from newegg.com <$179.99 (they bumped the price up $30), nextag $147-196
1000Mbps LAN/WAN ports. dd-wrt is not available for this router yet, but when it is, I think you will be able to use mega. 8MB flash, so it's probably mega.
Linksys E2000 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Selectable Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router up to 300Mbps, available from newegg.com <$119.99, nextag $79-100
1000Mbps LAN/WAN ports. 8MB flash, so it's probably mega.
Linksys E2100L 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Selectable Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router up to 300Mbps, available from newegg.com <$119.99
100Mbps LAN/WAN ports (why get it?). 8MB flash, so it's probably mega.
Cisco Valet M10 802.11b/g/n Wireless HotSpot Router up to 300Mbps/ Easy setup by USB dongle inside, available from newegg.com <$99.99
100Mbps LAN/WAN ports. 4MB flash.
Cisco Valet M20 802.11b/g/n Gigabit Wireless HotSpot Router up to 300Mbps, available from newegg.com <$149.99
1000Mbps LAN/WAN ports. 4MB flash.