DD-WRT is an alternative router firmware that works with many major router brands including: Belkin, Linksys, Motorola, and Siemens. DD-WRT is considerably more robust than most commercial router firmwares. DD-WRT has built in QoS (Quality of Service), SSH server capabilities, wireless transmission strength configuration, and many other capabilities not typically found in personal router firmware. This tutorial will demonstrate how to flash the Linksys WRT54G v4.0 firmware to DD-WRT v23 SP2 firmware. However, the firmware install process is the same for all supported routers. Please check to see if your router is supported at the DD-WRT Supported Devices wiki page.
The entire process requires you to upgrade your firmware twice. The first firmware installation will prep your router for the second. You will need to download DD-WRTv23 SP2 Mini and DD-WRTv23 SP2 Standard. You can download both the Mini and Standard firmwares from the DD-WRT homepage.
The first step requires you to upgrade your firmware to DD-WRTv23 SP2 Mini. Log into your router by entering http://192.168.1.1 (this may be different for you if you’re not using a Linksys router) in your browser. Navigate to the “Administration” tab and then to “Firmware Upgrade” and click Browse…
In the Firmware Upgrade section, navigate to the appropriate .bin file for your router. Since I am using a Linksys WRT54G, I will browse to “dd-wrt.v23_mini_wrt54g.bin” and click Open:
You are now ready to upgrade your firmware. To start the process click Upgrade:
After you have upgraded to DD-WRT Mini you will get the following screen, click Continue:
Go back to http://192.168.1.1 (again this could be different for your network) and you will notice that the DD-WRT Mini firmware has been installed. However, you still need to install the rest of the DD-WRT firmware (DD-WRTv23 Standard). Click on the “Administration” tab and then choose “Firmware Upgrade” and click Browse…
You should now select the version of DD-WRTv23 Standard that is appropriate for your router. Once again, since I am using a Linksys WRT54G I will choose “dd-wrt.v23_wrt54gs.” To begin your upgrade click Upgrade:
After the upgrade is complete your router will reboot:
Congratulations, you have successfully upgraded your firmware to DD-WRT. You can begin exploring DD-WRT. Please note: the default username is “root” and the default password is “admin.” You will want to change these as soon as possible. One of the many features of DD-WRT that I find particularly impressive is the ability to boost your wireless power. Navigate to the “Wireless” tab and then to “Advanced Settings” and change Xmit Power from 28 to whatever you like (be careful not to over clock your router).
Here is what you’ve learned how to do:
- Upgrade your router firmware to DD-WRT v23 SP2
- Enhance your wireless transmission power
Keep in mind, this is only an introduction to DD-WRT. DD-WRT has tons of features to explore. To read about the many features of DD-WRT, visit the DD-WRT features page.