Introduction to DD-WRT - What is DD-WRT Firmware?
DD-WRT is a Linux-based firmware project developed to upgrade and enhance wireless Internet routers. This open-source firmware was developed for specific router models and is used as a replacement for the factory default firmware. This modification lifts restrictions built-in to the default firmware, providing advanced capabilities to make your Internet and Home Network more controllable and versatile.
Manufacturers develop routers for non-technical users in mind, making them simple and easy to use, while limiting their effectiveness as a web-access gateway. DD-WRT transforms a personal-class router with limited functionality into a powerful, multi-use, business-class router. With DD-WRT, a router's enterprise potential can be unlocked at a home user's price.
Benefits range from being able to create Wi-Fi hotspots in your home and increasing your antenna signal transmission strength, to encrypting your entire network by tunneling all traffic through a VPN connection in your router. You can find a more full list of DD-WRT benefits further down the page.
Below you will find answers to some of the general questions you may have regarding DD-WRT firmware. If you have any other questions about this amazing open source project, then you can either send us a support ticket or check out www.dd-wrt.com - the official home page of DD-WRT.
General DDWRT FAQ Answers
Flashing is the process of replacing the firmware on a router. Due to the limited size of memory on a router, you cannot simply uninstall the factory firmware and then install DD-WRT, as you would do if you were replacing a program on your computer.
In order to alter the firmware you must first upgrade the router's control panel. If this process is done improperly your router will cease to function correctly and the router's hardware may become permanently damaged.
While flashing a router with DD-WRT is highly beneficial to you, the risks that are involved can sometimes outweigh the benefits for the user. Flashing a router with DD-WRT can be risky and when done improperly, you may "brick" your router. "Bricking" a router renders it entirely useless as a networking device.
Choosing the correct router and then the correct DD-WRT release candidate for your firmware update can be an arduous process in itself. Then you must complete the 'flash' process correctly, which may be complicated for anyone who is inexperienced in dealing with SoC (System-on-a-Chip) devices.
FlashRouters always come flashed and tested. No need to worry about "bricking." We have chosen high quality units with the best bang-for-your-buck to meet all levels of networking needs.
Additionally, we can customize your router to internally run Overplay's VPN services. Using a VPN Passthrough will give you increased locational security and protection for those worried about the prying eyes of others. Additional immediate benefits for some might be a workaround for many applications that have localized-based services such as YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix. These services geographically restrict their videos and content based on the viewer's IP location. Using a VPN allows you to take the web on the road with you, whether it is internationally for business or on vacation for pleasure.
Instead of running a client program on your computer to access Overplay's VPN service (or your VPN service of choice), all you have to do is connect a device to your FlashRouter, and it will automatically tunnel all network traffic through the VPN. This process provides a layer of encryption for all wired and wireless devices you may use to access the Internet.
Remember we are also here for DD-WRT technical support after you purchase a FlashRouter. If you need help setting up your network or taking advantage of any specific DD-WRT benefits we will be glad to assist.
Ready to order? Head over to our selection of Best DD-WRT Router of 2014.
Benefits FAQ Answers
DD-WRT firmware lifts restrictions on a router by providing advanced capabilities that can improve your Internet experience. Here's a list of a few specific DD-WRT benefits:
- Stability of running a linux-based, non-proprietary firmware.
- VPN (Virtual Private Network) passthrough capabilities.
- Advanced QoS (Quality of Service) controls for bandwidth allocation to your various Network connections.
- Adjustable antenna power to increase your wireless spectrum.
- WDS wireless bridging /repeating protocol AKA the "Repeater Bridge" mode, which allows you to easily expand your network using a second wireless router.
- Cycle your router from the Administration settings.
- Built-in DNS (Domain Name System) caching - speeds up your connection to an array of sites.
- Viewable performance graphs and statistics to watch your network performance and measure your bandwidth levels.
- Configure the router as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your business or neighbors with a verification page using the integrated Chillispot or NOCATSPLASH.
- Radius Authentication for additional wireless security.
- VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) Support.
- A functional DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server.
- Create unique SSIDs (service set identifiers) when using multiple routers.
- NAT (Network Address Translation) support.
- Frame Bursting Capabilities.
- Software support for the SD-Card hardware modification.
You may not be familiar with all of these features but that should not deter you from migrating to the DD-WRT platform. This added functionality is intended to give you access to a plethora of features that will make your router more useful. As soon as you receive your FlashRouter our specialists will help you with any configurations.
Additionally, any of our FlashRouters can be utilized as a Wireless Access Point/secondary router, to allow for any DD-WRT modifications to permeate through your entire network.
Yes! When properly used, your DD-WRT has many advanced wireless settings that allow you to extend and boost your wireless signal.
You may use your FlashRouter as a main access point and utilize advanced controls to boost the antenna strength; or you may use your FlashRouter as a secondary router, to increase the signal strength of your main router.
DDWRT Technical FAQ Answers
The DD-WRT build placed on each FlashRouter is dependent on the Flash memory available on the router. Each FlashRouter has a different size, allowing for different interfaces. Routers with more Flash memory allow for Mega versions of DD-WRT to be installed, which offer a greater variety of router functions and features over the vpn-small version of DD-WRT.
Due to the increased demand and rapid rise of DD-WRT firmware, it can be difficult for the uninitiated to get a handle on which build or release is best for your router. We have tested many different variations (or "flavors") and chosen the most up-to-date and stable releases to accommodate a variety of customer needs.
If you are purchasing your FlashRouter for use mainly as a VPN-client router then you do not have to worry about DD-WRT builds. ALL of our routers offer this VPN client functionality!
Yes. OpenVPN and PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) are two different protocols for logging into VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) in order to secure your identity and encrypt your connection.
OpenVPN is a full-featured SSL VPN solution which can accommodate a wide range of configurations. Those include home, office, and campus telecommuting, Road Warrior access, WiFi security, secure branch office linking, and more.
PPTP is another a method for implementing VPNs. PPTP uses a control channel over TCP and a GRE tunnel operating to encapsulate PPP Packets. The intended use of this protocol is to provide additional levels of security and remote access for VPN products.
Remember, you need an active subscription with a VPN provider in order to encrypt the network traffic on your FlashRouter. We provide setup help and information for just about any VPN provider including OverPlay, IPVanish, HideMyAss, PrivateInternetAccess, VPNSecure, EarthVPN, IVPN, Proxy.sh, 12VPN, CyberGhost, VyprVPN, WiTopia, ExpressVPN, and many more. For a complete up to date list, see our Supported VPN Services comparison chart for more information.
If you have any additional questions regarding settings or configurations once you have received your FlashRouter, please open a Support Ticket and our DD-WRT specialists will be glad to help!
Remember to check our FAQ page for Setup Guides as they may be able to help with your issue.