Custom firmware routers (also known as alternative or open source firmware) is our bread and butter here at FlashRouters. Custom firmware is, in fact, the very key to flashing our router. Without custom firmware routers, we’d be nameless and directionless.
That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to us, but a newcomer may not have such a firm grasp on why a router flashed with custom firmware should be important to them.
Suffice to say, we believe that a good wireless network is run on a router that has its stock firmware replaced with custom firmware. Read on and we’ll tell you why you should feel the same.
What Are Custom Firmware Routers?
First of all, let’s clarify a bit what firmware is and how it differs from software. For a more detailed explanation, check out the Router FAQ post on What is Difference Between Firmware & Software.
What Makes Custom Firmware Routers Different?
Plainly and simply, your average router’s stock firmware severely limits the functionality of your wireless network. And though one might suspect that’s just an unfortunate reality, there is plenty you can do about it.
This is where the idea of custom firmware routers come in.
Basically, your router’s firmware is its operating system which controls flow of your network’s traffic. In addition, the router firmware offers an assortment of standard settings. But if you want to get the most out of your router’s capability, a third-party firmware/community-vetted (like DD-WRT or Tomato) can give you a whole lot more flexibility. Furthermore, you have the ability to access to features you just can’t find in your stock firmware.
What features, you ask? Keep reading…
Top Features of Custom Firmware Routers
To go into the full list of advantages that come with owning a router flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato, we recommend checking out those linked items. It’s a long list. In the interest of brevity, we whittled down the advantages of custom firmware routers to a succinct five.
Quality of Service
This is a great starting point because its one of the great custom firmware features people have a hard time believing exists. First of all, you can prioritize activities on your wireless network with the help of Quality of Service (or QoS) settings. That means that you can make sure bandwidth isn’t loaded down with things you don’t much care about in favor of things you do care about. Give priority to applications, IP addresses, and even whole devices with the help of QoS.
As we’re seeing again and again, the security on WiFi routers with stock firmware is dangerously lax. These companies often take months to patch significant security holes only to have a new major issue pop up a few days later with the same lax response. Open-source firmware are community vetted by users looking for a more secure continual firmware interface experience.
That means that if you use DD-WRT on this router and switch to another compatible router (which there are hundreds), you will be familiar with the setup options from the continuity and the continual troubleshooting and performance improvements. It also means the goal isn;t profit by making a more secure platform for users to best utilize this hardware however they like whether it is for consumer purposes or more advanced enterprise features.
Open-sourced firmwares are far more surgical about protecting against backdoors with constant security updates. Routers flashed with DD-WRT and Tomato have VPN client/passthrough capabilities, which is typically omitted on stock firmware as it is considered a commerical function.
Therefore, VPNs all but require DD-WRT and Tomato to work at top security levels. Follow that link to learn more about the utter necessity of a VPN in this day and age.
As we’ve explained before…
Access Restrictions can be configured to control what Internet content is available to the users on the LAN (Local Area Network). This may be beneficial for many reasons, including Office Control (limiting personal use during office hours) and Parental Control (restricting what websites can be accessed during and after school hours).
Don’t want your kids clogging up the network with hours of gaming? Don’t want your employees spending all of their work time on Twitter? This is how you prevent unwanted activity on your network, and it’s easy with custom firmware routers.
Stronger Wireless Signal
Using a custom firmware router allows you to strengthen and extend your wireless signal. By allowing you to find the wireless channel with the clearest signal, a FlashRouter ensures clear WiFi service. Alleviate dead spots in your home and apartment with the help of DD-WRT and Tomato.
You should know about port forwarding, because it’s a simple and popular networking solution. Since your router assigns one IP address to every device on your network, it can make receiving information a bit confusing for your router. Port forwarding allows you to more precisely direct the information. As a result, the info only goes to the device you want it to go to.
Most of all, custom firmware routers provide stability. Sick of constantly needing to reboot your router and waiting while your network struggles to get back online? Running a Linux-based, non-proprietary firmware is a surefire way to boost your router’s stability, and you can have that with DD-WRT and Tomato.
Best Custom Firmware Routers
Of course, flashing your device into a custom firmware router is possible to do on your own. But why torture yourself with tricky installation processes when FlashRouters will do the whole thing for you on a top-of-the-line router?
All custom firmware routers sold by FlashRouters are tested and re-tested since we want to ensure the strongest, fastest, and most versatile devices for our customers. We offer a wide variety of routers at a range of prices, all of which are guaranteed to revolutionize your wireless network. Therefore, whether you’re buying for your home or for a large-scale office, a FlashRouter is the way to go.
Since we’ve got a lot of routers we’re proud of, picking favorites doesn’t come easy to us. Nonetheless, we thought we could highlight a few additions to our line that are wowing customers around the world.