What if you could get full control over your router’s software/ firmware? This can be a great way of ensuring the routers give you the performance in line with your needs. This is what DD-WRT offers and much more.
The name DD-WRT is a commonly used word in the networking sphere. It is a word you need to be cognizant of if you want to explore the opportunities of improved router control, configuration, and safety.
When exploring what makes an internet connection, the routers are the least mentioned component. However, the device is one of the most important in the internet connection loop. It helps to bring the internet to your devices. Therefore, having a way to control the device is very important for optimal performance.
The DD-WRT firmware has been shown to help achieve the needs for better safety, improved performance, and better control. You can get the best DD-WRT router from Flashrouters. Let us explore these together.
In this article, we will explore what DD-WRT routers are, their benefits, how to get them, and how to manage the connection and safety.
Do you have multiple devices in your home? Check these best routers for multiple devices.
What is DD-WRT?
DD-WRT stands for Dresden-Wireless Router. The DD-WRT is an open-source firmware that was developed for routers to effect greater control over your router. The firmware is Linux based as is also seen in Linus OS for PCs.
In the initial stages, DD-WRT had been developed exclusively for the Linksys WRT54G router. Over time, however, the firmware has been adopted by several router manufacturers. In several DD-WRT router brands like Buffalo technologies, Netgear, Asus, D-Link, Linksys, and other router brands.
It is not the official manufacturer’s router firmware for most of the routers above. It was developed as an alternative operating system for the routers. What this means is that if you decide to use the DD-WRT, you will be changing the router operating system software.
To view the DD-WRT approved routers check the best DD-WRT routers.
Reasons for using DD-WRT firmware
The DD-WRT firmware, is one of the best router configuration and management software. It enables you to have complete control over your connection as compared to when you are using the manufacturer’s firmware.
DD-WRT is well known for its advanced features. These features may not be used when the manufacturer’s firmware is in use. The features enable you to achieve much more with your router.
This means that you can change the router configuration to improve performance to suit your preference. Besides, we all know that DD-WRT firmware is very stable. This means that your router will not be hanging in the middle of your activities as seen in some manufacturer’s firmware.
Moreover, DD-WRT firmware helps to improve the privacy when using your connection. One of the reasons is because it supports the use of better VPN services as compared to the manufacturer’s firmware. The DD-WRT being an open-source software also limits the ability and motivation for a hacker to obtain backdoor access to your router’s connection. Additionally, it minimizes the use of tracking technology that hackers use to gain control of your router.
Looking for the best router for your home, here are our reviews.
Benefits of DD-WRT use on your router’s connection
The use of DD-WRT comes with several benefits for your connection. We have broadly described the reasons for using it but the following are the several benefits
Use of OpenVPN:
OpenVPN enables better security and privacy features for your connection as compared to other VPNs. It is very easy to run OpenVPN on DD-WRT as compared to the manufacturer’s firmware.
Besides, OpenVPN is an open-source, free server, and client. This ensures that as compared to PPTP VPN technologies, you get a more secure and private connection.
One of the conditions for enjoying OpenVPN is your router must have a free space of more than 8MB.
Better Bandwidth prioritization:
DD-WRT gives you better control over your router’s connection. One of the features that make DD-WRT a more superior firmware is the bandwidth prioritization through granular Quality of Service (QoS).
What granular QoS does is to give you a better way of giving some devices more bandwidth more than others. This for example is very important for gaming or 4K streaming.
In those instances, running all the devices on normal bandwidth may mean that you will get lags in your gaming or 4K streaming. Even though there are several routers that are not running on DD-WRT that support this feature, it is not a common stay in all routers.
Running a local DNS cache
The DD-WRT firmware uses the Dynamic DNS (DDNS) to enable you to resolve sites and other web resources quickly. This takes place on any device that you may be online with.
Having the ability to resolve sites quickly gives you the user, a better experience when browsing.
Ability to overclock the router hardware speeds
Even though we do not recommend overclocking, the DD-WRT enables you to overclock your routers hardware speeds. This will increase the speed of your router by increasing the ability of the router’s CPU to make more operations per second.
This can enhance the performance of your network. Thus you can run this when you need to conduct internet-intense activities like gaming or 4K streaming.
Tracking the network performance to the finest details
DD-WRT enables you to track how your internet performance is faring on to the finest of details. This is very important when you want to know which part of the router is slowing down or making your network to be disconnected.
Therefore, DD-WRT ensures that you can work on those finer details for a better online performance. It also makes it easy to track your internet use and either regulate or limit some devices.
Signal strength controls
This is one of the most important feature for using DD-WRT. DD-WRT gives you the ability to control the Wi-Fi signals generated by your router. By getting this control, you can easily improve the Wi-Fi range of your router.
What this gives you is the ability to eliminate all dead spots in your home. Therefore, without dead spots, who needs the expensive and unreliable Wi-Fi extenders?
One of the other benefits of using the DD-WRT firmware is the support accorded to the users. DD-WRT has a website and people ready to help you solve any problem that you may be experiencing with your connection.
Customer service is one of the main complaints in the routers world. You will find in the product reviews, that people complain that they can’t reach customer service easily or they are not helpful which is not the case with DD-WRT firmware.
Setting up the second router wirelessly
DD-WRT can be used to set up the second router wirelessly as described here.
How do I get and install the DD-WRT firmware?
The process of getting and installing the DD-WRT firmware is as easy as apple pie. Most people are able to download and install the software without major concerns.
The DD-WRT firmware can be downloaded easily from the DD-WRT website. Installation of the software is as per the prompts and as guided by the DD-WRT website.
Before you embark on the installation process you need to have a DD-WRT supported router and the downloaded DD-WRT firmware files.
The supported routers as discussed above are manufactured by a number of router manufacturers. These manufacturers have with time understood that there are some people who want more control over their routers than they could provide. This way, they produced routers capable of supporting DD-WRT.
On the downloaded firmware, you need to check the compatible devices before downloading it. The website will offer you support on the software you need to download to suit your needs. Once you access the compatible device, download the firmware and store it on your computer.
Once you have the router and the firmware ready, you can proceed with the installation process. For this process to take place, you will require access to your router’s admin panel.
Accessing the admin panel can be easily done using the manual that comes with the router. You can also refer to this setup process where the IP address of the router is required.
Once the login has been done, you look for the section on the admin panel that deals with ‘update the firmware’. In this section, you need to click on it and upload the downloaded DD-WRT firmware files. Please do not unplug or switch off the router when this process is going on.
The router will thus upload and activate the firmware once you completely follow the installation prompts that follows. From then you can easily modify and configure the connection to your liking.
Risks associated with installing DD-WRT
DD-WRT is an excellent router network management firmware. However, the installation and use also comes with some risks. These risks include:
- Damage to your router: This might happen on a rare occasion but it does occur. If the DD-WRT software is installed without following the laid down procedure, you may damage the router. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t mess with the installation process.
- Overclocking risks: We informed you that one of the benefits of using the DD-WRT firmware is the overclocking of the processor. However, this also comes with the risk of causing hardware failure. This thus shortens the life of your router.
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DD-WRT is an excellent router firmware to give full control and a performance boost for your router. The firmware is very easy to download, install, and configure to give you control over your router.
For people who want a little bit more, it is very easy to achieve it from this firmware.