The Benefits Of A DD-WRT FlashRouter In A Dual Router Network

Many people are content with their existing network configuration and do not want to overhaul their entire network by getting a new router. However, when using a FlashRouter with DD-WRT or TomatoUSB already installed, you can take advantage of many upgraded features, without changing any of your existing configurations.

Obviously a dual router setup will add 4 more Ethernet ports to your network, and depending on the router, these four new ports may also provide significant speed boosts if they are Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) ports over the old standard Ethernet (10/100Mbps).

Additionally, adding a second router can provide your network with entirely new features and setup options…

1. Run two different connections simultaneously.

One for your local ISP and to your VPN provider; creating multiple connection gateways.

Benefits of a FlashRouter Dual Router Setup

Let’s say you are planning on setting up multiple networks in your home, perhaps for the purpose of starting a small home-based business, which requires additional network security. By segregating your network activity across two separate routers, your home-based business network can remain isolated from the regular network activity of your household.

One of the greatest features that come with running multiple networks in this dual router setup is the ability to connect to a VPN client within your FlashRouter, creating an entirely encrypted network connection and other benefits of a VPN.  Your existing router and network can then be utilized for public use and access.

Depending on which of the two networks you would like to access, you simply enter the appropriate information into your network settings on any Internet-enabled device. Every FlashRouter comes with a setup guide explaining this very simple process.

Popular routers for the dual router setup include

2. Wireless Repeater/Extender

If your primary router is not up to the task of transmitting a strong enough wireless signal to cover your entire home, a secondary router can act as a wireless repeater, duplicating and extending your wireless network. For a basic repeater, we recommend DD-WRT devices such as the Netgear AC1450 or Asus RT-N16 .

By creating a secondary Access Point (AP) on your network in closer proximity to parts of your home with a weak signal, you can greatly improve wireless networking capabilities. Browser-based DD-WRT & Tomato firmware settings make this process quite simple.

3. Guest Network

Do you trust everyone that may try and gain access to your wireless home network? If not, then creating a separate gateway can be a smart solution for giving guests Internet access while locking them out from your most sensitive and private data. Check out our post on how to setup a WiFi Guest Network in DD-WRT.

4. USB

The Backside of a Netgear WNR3500L with full port schematic map

  1. Many router models (such as the Asus RT-AC87U AC2400 DD-WRT RouterNetgear AC1450, & the Asus RT-N66U Tomato) have built-in USB support.By adding a DD-WRT router with a USB port to your existing network you will have a publicly accessible NAS (Network Attached Storage) to back up your data or make a shared folder with media files to be accessed by the different computers in your network without wasting storage space.
  2. Use the networked router USB port to share a 3G/4G USB device with your entire home.
  3. Additionally, a USB port can often provide a printer in your home with a direct connection to your entire network- saving you money by only needing to maintain one printer for your entire home.

If you are looking for the benefits of DD-WRT or Tomato without making large changes to your existing network, then you should know that when a FlashRouter is ordered as a secondary router, we configure it specifically to work with YOUR existing network. Part of our mission is to limit your network setup time as much as possible and so with our process of pre-configuring each router, we can meet specific demands of each customer’s network needs.

Updated: 05/02/2016

30 thoughts on “The Benefits Of A DD-WRT FlashRouter In A Dual Router Network

  1. Pingback: Quora

  2. trevor allen

    hi i purchased one of the netgear 4000 and a roku xs2 of you , im have trouble hooking it up im just confused we tried to go tothe router login it wont got to the page for me

  3. Gau

    I am interested in buying this setup from you but have questions.
    1. Do i have to buy only one router which will have dual network functionality? so that I can run vpn on one network and home network on other
    2. Do i have to buy 2 routers. One connected to ISP modem which will host my home network and second router connected to first one and running vpn. If this is the case, will my vpn traffic be anonymous to isp like running vpn software on your computer?

    Thank you,

    1. joeso

      Hello Gau,

      The recommended setup is the second one you have laid out. Our router can also be added to a current router if you like.

      If you have any more specific questions, drop us a question through the support/sales button so we can answer more in depth.

  4. Pingback: Most Popular DD-WRT FlashRouters & VPN Service Provider List | FlashRouters Blog

  5. etgohomes

    How to setup a dual router with my Netgear 4500 to access my ISP and your flashrouter (eg ASUS) with VPN?
    Will ASUS flashrouter do auto firmware upgrade ?

  6. Derin

    Is it possible to have a DSL router in transparent bridge mode, with wifi off. And connect that to one of these flash routers running Ddwrt with openvpn setup…. but also be able to access the LAN remotely (despite being shielded by openvpn)?

  7. Terry

    I have a free modem/router from my ISP(Telmex) in Mexico. I use a DNS service from a VPN provider. Do I need a VPN service when all I want to do is stream video and not change my IP address? The service works with my PC but not my Roku as I can not change the DNS in the Roku. It appears that I can receive more internet channels with a DD-WRT enabled device. What flashrouter would you suggest I purchase if I only want to connect to my Roku and receive US channels and increase my WiFi distance? Do I just connect in tandem from my existing modem/router using one of the LAN ports in the unit? Sorry for all the questions but I want to purchase the right router the first time.
    Thank you.

    1. joeso

      Hello Terry,

      You do not need VPN to just change location just for unblocking content. You can integrate SmartDNS into a flashrouter if you wish behind the Telmex router.

      If the goal is a Roku and US channels wirelessly, something in the mid range should work fine like the WNDR4000 –

      The setup you have stated of LAN to WAN would be correct.

      For more info on SmartDNS versus VPN, I suggest checking out –

  8. dougstrickland

    I have an Xfinity modem, ethernet to an Apple Airport Extreme, and wifi bridged to a couple of Airport Express’ to extend the network through my house. I’m looking at the Linksys E2500 TomatoUSB FlashRouter as a way of getting a captive portal, possibly a VPN, and a separate wifi network (as opposed to QoS) for video.

    My question is what’s a good use of the gear I have, and is this a good router for a cheap entry into Tomato?? BTW, I have a hard drive on one of the Airport Extreme’s USB port, and I don’t think the E2500 has a USB port…

    1. joeso

      Hello Doug,

      Thanks for the in-depth question. We’d be glad to try and help you out.

      The E2500 – is a definitely a good, cheap entry that offers dual band wifi that can be segemented as a video dedicated band if you wish, can integrate VPN and can use a captive portal option as well.

      The one major issue for this model trying to handle a multitude of task as well as a dedicated video stream is that is quite low end on its processor at 300 MHz which is just about as low as is out there on Wireless-N device. And if the goal is max performance video streaming, a good processor and external antennas are usually recommended. We do offer the Asus RT-N66U – which doubles the processor to 600 MHz and adds 3 external antennas. It is our best selling Tomato model for that reason. We offer it new for $249.95 and factory recertified direct from Asus at $199.95.

      Please let us know if we can assist you any further.

  9. Tenzarelli

    I have a Huawei HG630a VDSL modem (which provides a flimsy 2.4ghz signal) and an Apple Airport on 5Ghz in wireless bridge mode. Net connection is 100/40. I’d like to be able to send files around faster on the LAN to/from my NAS, and provide guests (e.g. AirBNB visitors) with a separate network that prevents them from seeing the NAS (or other devices). Guests would also get a VPN connection so any of their filesharing etc isn’t linked to me. I’d probably like to run through the VPN myself most of the time and have full LAN access but it would be convenient to change the default route easily if I wanted to use my ISP directly or for troubleshooting instead of the VPN, or to check if the VPN is slowing me down.

    Most of my devices support 802.11n and I have one 802.11ac device (but it’s also convenient for ethernet). The Airport could act as a range-extender in a further away room for browsing since I have some powerline ethernet adaptors (300mbit supposedly).

    I’m thinking of trying to put the modem into bridge mode, run a better router that can push the wireless-n to some decent speeds and provide 802.11ac support, plus I’d like to have the spare network for guests (no high speeds needed, just net). If I wanted to switch VPN, the web interface would ideally be very easy to edit. Checking the VPN status or knowing if it goes down should ideally also be easy too (web browser?).

    Sorry about the essay but I’ve been puzzling on this for a while!

    1. joeso

      Seems like you have it mapped out pretty well to us!

      Bridging the underpowered gateway should allow for a better router to be the gateway of the network and create some guest segmentation as well as add VPN integration. If you have questions about certain models or anything else, send them over to and they should be able to help you out.

  10. VPNinChina

    I live in China, but will be visiting the USA for a short time this USA. I am currently a PIA customer, but have not been completely happy with some aspects of their service that one of your preconfigured routers might help me obviate.

    First: I have two routers bridged together, because my internet comes into the house at one point (which can’t be changed, but I have four wired devices in another part of the house. These are two TotoLink A2004NS AC1200 routers which I am extremely happy with, since the Chinese version is very, very inexpensive(~US$42) but can easily be flashed to an English language version. The first router provides wireless to any guests that come over using the G channel, the second router uses the AC channel to pass my desktop, Chrome Cast, a Chinese version of the Chrome cast, and my internet enabled TV over to the first router. Second router G channel is disabled. The modem is not my property and is actually located outside the house (but is a fiber connection, 50 Mbit).

    The Chinese TV box and TV both have to have a Chinese IP address to work properly, but my desktop, notebook, and phone need to be able to switch back and forth between using the VPN or not (the notebook and phone can do this by switching wifi networks, the desktop is wired only to the second router- running a wire to the first router is completely unacceptable to the SO).

    How could I utilize one of your routers to achieve this and which one do you recommend? The Netgear AC1450 seems a good match, or if I got you an A2004NS (how many would you like at this price?) could you configure it for me for a fee?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. joeso


      Sounds like a pretty good use of the Dual Router setup outside of the wired device.

      If that is a requirement you may want to look at the new VPN Splitter option on the latest Tomato model the R7000 – which can assign different devices to VPN and non VPN on the same device. You can read full details of this option here – . The Dual Router setup is intended for simple use for switching back and forth with WiFi enabled devices.

      The AC1450 – should also be able to do it with DD-WRT but the interface is a bit clunkier in this respect and harder to setup.

      We do not offer or support the A2004NS at this time though.

      If you have questions about certain models or anything else, send them over to and they should be able to help you out.

  11. confused on VPN

    I have a mac household, with an Xfinity Arris router going into an Airport Extreme, which is hardwired to several airport expresses and connected to one via wifi. The Extreme has a ton of ports configured for computers, iphones, NAS, Roku, AppleTV, etc, and I don’t want to have to reconfigure if at all possible. Almost all the hardware devices are hardwired via ethernet, and the Airport network provides a wide, seamless roaming network for my house.

    I’d very much like to set up a VPN router as described above to secure all these connections and provide a mechanism to offshore some IPs for TV etc, but am really confused on some issues. Is it true that if I plug my Airport extreme into the VPN, it has to go to bridge mode, and I lose all my ports and have to redo everything? Or, if I set up the VPN router in parallel, and run a separate subnet, I will need to plug the Roku and all the hardwired computers into that network in order to use the VPN?

    In this second scenario, it sounds like I won’t be able to connect simultaneously to my apple network and the VPN router. So, in order to use the Apple Roku app or Apple TV app, my iphone needs to go over to the VPN router wifi network. If this is the case, it sounds much harder to use.

    Do I understand this correctly? With such a setup, am I pretty much obligated to put the AEx in bridge and just reconfigure the whole new router?

    1. joeso


      You do have it mostly right but you wouldn’t necessarily need to turn the Airport Extreme into bridge mode.

      As for the Roku, if you run wirelessly then you would just select the VPN or non-VPN network in this instance. If they are hardwired then you would need to probably do some switching or pick some devices to go permanently VPN and some non VPN.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.

  12. mark

    I am looking at purchasing a router modem will it stop dns leaks also will it be able to use AIRVPN which I use. Plus would it work on Australian networks as I am an aussie.

  13. Bgin

    My question is similar to others, but I still am confused. I have a comcast modem hooked up to my airport extreme. I have 3 airport expresses wireless connected to that airport extreme to extend the wifi throughout my house. I use airplay to play through speakers hooked up throughout the house. Many other devices are run off this network and it runs great.

    Without affecting the setup I already have, is there a way to have a separate vpn router running alongside my apple network? If so, what do I need to get that set-up? I’m fine with the apple network – which I still want to be able to airplay music throughout the house. I want to be able to hook some other devices to the vpn network. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  14. Marc

    We have an Apple Time Capsulte (Wireless AC) currently pointed to OPENDNS to filter content/sites from for our young kids.

    We’ve also got 4 AppleTV’s (2nd, 3rd and 4th gen) that point (usually point to Unblock-us DNS).. Due to the current Netflix crackdown, these boxes now point to Google DNS to stop proxy errors).

    Thinking about a setup like listed above but have a few questions.

    Can the TC be the first router, converned with VPN throughput and transparency issues?

    The Apple TV’s would be pointed to the VPN router and then through the TC to ISP modem?

    Thinking forward to gigabit internet (which boxes will have WAN side throughput for Gigabit?
    (currently running 150Mbps down, 15Mbps up).

    Is it possible to configure VPN router to point to any OPENVPN service (even one I roll myself via DigitalOcean?

    1. joeso

      Hey Marc,

      Do you mind if I put this through to our support team so they can start a dialogue and make sure we can find something that meets your needs?


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