Every router comes with default firmware, a set of commands embedded into hardware. However, sometimes you might want to upgrade your firmware in order to get better performance and security. DD-WRT allows users to significantly improve their router and add new features. So where should you start?
First, let’s start with etymology. “DD” stands for Dresden, a city in Germany, where DD-WRT firmware was developed. “WRT” refers to a wireless router.
DD-WRT is firmware compatible with most router brands and was designed to significantly improve their performance. It expands your router’s capabilities, enables new features, and even provides better speeds.
The process of upgrading your old firmware to DD-WRT is called “flashing” and could take up to ten minutes. “Flashing” your router requires some technical know-how, so you need to know what you’re doing before starting the process. Otherwise, you can “brick” your router, turning it into a useless piece of junk.
There are many benefits to installing DD-WRT, but we’ll discuss a few that might interest our readers specifically.
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R6700 is a router designed for large homes to ensure strong signal even in the furthest corners of your residence. Known for its blazing speeds, it can easily support a handful of smart home devices and is a perfect choice for streaming, gaming, and daily browsing.
WRT1900ACS is another router that can run DD-WRT firmware and provide users with a solid performance. With Linksys Wi-Fi app you can create separate networks, blacklist websites, and prioritize devices that need the most speed. And if you need even more customization, just install DD-WRT and get the best of this model.
RT-AC88U is more expensive than the routers mentioned above, but it’s packed with features and might interest users looking for high-end options. The router can provide speeds up to 3167 Mbps, making it a great option for gamers. It also has 8 Gigabit LAN ports, which should be enough even for the most demanding users.
Archer C9 is a budget-friendly router, suited for large homes with a demand for high speeds. It supports IPv6 protocol, allows users to create guest networks, and can restrict access to certain websites for additional security. However, if you’re looking for even more features, just upgrade to DD-WRT.
This router is like three routers under one roof; it has a 2.4GHz wireless band delivering speeds of up to 600Mbps, and two separate 5GHz wireless bands offering speeds of up to 1300Mbps. DIR-890L automatically chooses one of the three Wi-Fi bands and connects your devices. It guarantees that your gadgets are connected to the fastest band available and prevents older devices from affecting performance. Since it has six antennas, it provides users with the highest speeds no matter where you are at your house.
Setting up DD-WRT firmware will vary from router to router. You can find DD-WRT setup instructions for different routers on their website, but here are a few general tips:
OpenWRT and DD-WRT are both open-source firmwares, but the latter is supported by more devices and has a bigger community for support and advice. Configuring OpenWRT typically requires more technical knowledge than DD-WRT, so it can be daunting for less tech-savvy users.
IT experts claim that while DD-WRT tries to support as many devices as possible, this comes with a price — minor flaws are common.
Another interesting open-source project is called Tomato and is often compared with OpenWRT and DD-WRT. It’s hard to tell which one is better, as everything depends on your individual needs.
A VPN encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address, thus enhancing your online security and privacy. You can install NordVPN on your router and protect the whole household or download the app for every device separately. With one account, you can protect up to six devices: routers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more.
When you have NordVPN installed, it protects your network from hackers, snoopers, and even your geeky neighbor. Nobody can see what websites you visit, what you download, or where you’re located. You can set up a VPN router in a couple of minutes and take security into your own hands.
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