Note: For a newer version of this post visit Best DD-WRT Routers of 2013 list for the latest information.
Since our previous post about the best and most popular DD-WRT routers is far and away the most visited in our site’s history with readers, we figured it was time to provide visitors with an updated list.
Technology moves fast, lightning fast. Gadget life cycles that previously lasted a few years, shifted to a year, and now new versions of mobile devices and operating systems are released every few months, if not more often. To keep up with proper security measures and techniques as well as the desires and demands of connected users today, a wireless router with better firmware that keeps up with the times and can be consistently upgraded as new services and integration opportunities like a DD-WRT router is a must!
Stop your wireless connection issues with iPads, Xbox360s, PS3s, Apple TVs, Rokus & more. Don’t let your under-performing router get in the way of your maximizing your speed, connection stability. Choose and upgrade to a DD-WRT router for your needs today!
What to look for when purchasing a DD-WRT Router?
Before choosing a router as the backbone of your network, it is imperative to map out the specific options you need and plan how to utilize and implement them within your network configuration. Ask yourself, “Is there a specific setting that I know is available but is missing on my current router?” Think about it and then ponder the additional benefits and advantages to be acquired from running DD-WRT.
- Do you want simultaneous dual band transmissions?
Adding the 5 Ghz band to your network allows for you to get better speeds in this less crowded, more powerful wireless spectrum
- Do you need Virtual Private Network (VPN) client integration (PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP) to?
Using VPN Service Providers allows you to provide extra secure connections for all your devices and users while anonymizing your IP address and access geo-restricted services such as Netflix from outside the UK.
- Are you looking for advanced NAT controls for preventing lag and delays with online console gaming like XBOX Live?
- Does your VPN Service Provider recommend DD-WRT router setups for PPTP or OpenVPN connections like including Overplay, IPVanish, HideMyAss, Cyberghost, PrivateInternetAccess or one of the 30 plus VPN Service Providers we support?
- Would you like Universal Plug and Play (UnPnP) and networked USB printer/backup storage support?
- Need to set up a Guest Network or Free WiFi Hotspot (NoCatSplash, Worldspot) for your home or office?
- Do you want to create a Wireless Repeater/Extender or Wireless Client Bridge to create your networking range without running cables?
Default router firmware often hinders a person’s ability to have many of these options at their disposal. Replacing a router’s lackluster firmware with DD-WRT creates an upgraded, open source solution which make these previously impossible tasks as simple as a few clicks.
The DD-WRT platform supercharges a router with a wide breadth of abilities, turning the average a $100 router into a $500-plus router.
Just a few improvements from DD-WRT installation include: advanced QoS (Quality of Service) bandwidth controls for specifying spectrum and speed for specific network devices, settings for boosting a router’s antenna strength, WiFi Hotspot and NOCATSPLASH integration & a Wireless Repeater Mode to extend wireless range into wireless deadspots in a home or office.
Dissecting router specifications and quality can quickly become an endless, frustrating task; so here is a handy, time-saving list of the DD-WRT recommended router choices to meet dissenting tastes and differing pricing and feature needs. That’s where FlashRouters comes to the rescue!
When purchasing a DD-WRT from FlashRouters, our network specialists can assist you in making sure DD-WRT network is up and running the way you desire. FlashRouters also includes free setup for any VPN service provider that supports DD-WRT router setups, PPTP, OpenVPN or L2TP, including PrivateInternetAccess, Overplay, HideMyAss, IPVanish, EarthVPN, and many more.
Ready to find the right DD-WRT router for you? Keep reading!
The Best All Around DD-WRT Router
Linksys Cisco E4200 DD-WRT
The Linksys Cisco E4200 is a DD-WRT router that users have craved. Stylish, lightweight, and designed to fit fashionably into a home as the latest networking accessory. Providing high-end antenna & processing power, alongside the bells and whistles that a wireless networking experts have long preferred.
E4200 DD-WRT Router Performance
The E4200 running DD-WRT has undergone extensive and continual DD-WRT version flashing tests, scouring for the most all-encompassing version for its Broadcom chip; testing its stability and durability for long term and heavy use for power users.
Converting the firmware from Linksys Cisco’s subpar firmware to DD-WRT Big or Mega build allows the E4200 to flourish and become the perfect network solution for the most memory intensive networking setups and operations.
The Linksys Cisco E4200 DD-WRT Router handles all the tasks you may need in stride from high-end streaming video to screaming download speeds to a high volume of connections with guest networks and P2P torrents while also providing consistently the strongest VPN connections. The E4200 Router works perfectly with almost any popular VPN service provider that offers DD-WRT support including: Overplay, HideMyAss, EarthVPN, IPVanish, PrivateInternetAccess, CyberGhost, & ExpressVPN.
Touted by Cisco as part of their Maximum Performance router series, here’s a quick list of the most highly sought after and desirable features on the Linksys E4200 DD-WRT Router:
- Maximum Wireless Speed up to 750 Mbps (300 + 450 Mbps).
- Six Powerful Internal Antennae with full 3×3 MIMO antenna array.
- Simultaneous Dual-Band N (2.4 & 5 GHz).
- Gigabit Ethernet 4-port switch.
- Network USB port for data sharing, media storage backup & networked printing.
- Unrivaled HD Video Streaming via Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, and more.
- Guaranteed E4200 V1 Router.
Get an E4200 for $189.95! (Psst! Just because you read our blog, use the coupon code “best2013″ and get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter valued over $70.)
Best Overall DD-WRT Contenders
(Late 2013 Addition) Asus RT-AC66U DD-WRT AC-1750 ($299.95) – The ultimate in next gen Wireless-AC now with perky DD-WRT, offering top level speeds twice what we have ever offered in the past for DD-WRT router. It is a full spec upgrade across the board: Massive 600 MHz Broadcom processor, 256/32 RAM/Flash Memory along with 3 powerful external antennas. The RT-AC66U is still not the item for everyone since Wireless-AC is just beginning its implementation but ideal for users looking to future-proof their wireless network for years to come. If you need best of the best, newest of the new then the Asus RT-AC66U is perfect for you.
Netgear WNDR3700 N600 ($149.95) – Offers the full package of top shelf consumer grade router options including Simultaneous Dual-Band, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, Max Wi-Fi speed of 600 Mbps (megabits per second), eight internal antennas for signal-boosting strength and a networked USB port for network printing and NAS/system backup capabilities.
Netgear WNDR4000 ($169.95) – Here’s the new guy in town. The high end specs of the E4200 in Netgear style.
The WNDR4000 really packs some wireless networking punch. PCMag chose the WNDR4000 as an Editor’s Choice and praised it as the “throughput thoroughbred in the 5 GHz band.” Upgraded with DD-WRT gives this powerful hardware, advanced stability alongside other favorite DD-WRT upgrades.
The Most Popular & Recommended DDWRT Router
For the second year in a row, the Asus RT-N16 ($159.95) tops the list as the most popular DD-WRT router.
After surveying DD-WRT users, scouring router reviews and message boards, the ASUS RT-N16 emerges as the most highly rated by DD-WRT users for its excellent price, dual USB ports, and huge installed memory.
The Asus RT-N16‘s huge 128 MB of RAM with 32 MB of Flash memory is a distinct advantage over more expensive, higher-end routers is its — even the Linksys E4200 and the Netgear WNDR3700 only contains 64 MB RAM with up to 16 MB of Flash memory. This extra memory gives the RT-N16 space to burn when it comes to installing the mega/big build of DD-WRT allowing for ample space for buffering your network activity.
A bedrock of consistency, the Asus RT-N16 offers just about everything that a DD-WRT router user would want. The DD-WRT RT-N16’s three potent external antennas compared to the trendy internal antennas provide one of the most consistent signals from strenuous streaming and sharing tasks to everyday Internet surfing use. It is especially popular with users who prefer its high-powered external antennas that can be upgraded to even stronger signal receivers/transmitters.
The variations of firmware dedicated to this DD-WRT favorite is astounding and overwhelming but can also lead to confusion and anguish. OpenWRT, Kongmods, and lots of other fun little flavors. So let FlashRouters use their expertise and constant testing of new versions to pick the best DD-WRT firmware for you.
Ready to get an upgrade to an Asus RT-N16 right now?!?
Up and Coming Best-of-Breed DD-WRT Routers
TP-Link TL-WR1043ND ($99.95) – A very popular Atheros chip-based DD-WRT router which has a similar form factor to the RT-N16 (clean white exterior, 3 external antennas). The lower price is due to a smaller memory size and only one USB port but has comparable speed and wireless connectivity. A perfect choice for under $100 single band Wireless-N router.
Netgear Rangemax WNR3500L ($99.95) – A 480 Mhz Broadcom CPU, 64/8 MB RAM/Flash Memory so it can support DD-WRT mega builds, 4 Gigabit LANs, and a Network USB port. Lightweight, small form factor and very well supported by DD-WRT and excellent wireless connectivity. If you don’t need dual band, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Best Budget DD-WRT Router/Wireless Repeater: Linksys Cisco E1000
(Note: This model has been discontinued and is replaced by the newer and lighter DD-WRT Linksys E1200.)
The Linksys Cisco E1000 ($89.95) is an old favorite. Doing most of the tasks that its Linksys big brothers like the E3000 and E4200 do without some of the hardware features like gigabit ports, dual band or a network USB port.
Still, the E1000 DD-WRT FlashRouter makes an excellent addition or replacement router with its strong Wireless-N performance of up to 300 mbps. A customer favorite as the BEST affordable DD-WRT option as wireless repeater/range extender or dedicated VPN connection router in a dual network setup.
Augmenting a network with a E1000 DD-WRT Router enables you to create a separate gateway just for connecting to a VPN while leaving the main router as the center of your network’s standard non-VPN traffic. Read our post on dual router setups for configurations and options.
Best Low-Priced DD-WRT Router Contender
Asus RT-N12 ($79.95) – I like to call this one the little air conditioner for it’s all white appearance and vents. Small, light, powerful with up to 300 Mbps wireless speeds and features very good external antennas that can be upgraded even further with modifications.
Remember to use the coupon code “best2013″ and get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter valued over $70. In your order comments, tell us if you want a specific VPN Service Provider (IPVanish, HideMyAss, Overplay, PrivateInternetAccess, ) when making a purchase so we can include a customized setup guide with your order.