UPDATE: The 2015 Best Wireless VPN Routers for DD-WRT List is now live.
Looking for the top wireless routers of 2014 to meet every need and budget? Have you heard a lot about popular firmware enhancements like DD-WRT and wondering what benefits from this powerful and simple upgrade anyone can have? Tired of buffering or having to reset your router a few times a day just to get it to work? Maybe you are just in the market for the best dual band router or upgrading to Wireless-AC for your current network setup? Look no further, you have found an expert list of the best wireless routers available in 2014.
Wireless router technology seems to be leaping at a breakneck pace so we have decided it was time for an update to our yearly list of the Best Performing Wireless Routers of 2014, a yearly tradition as you can see from last year’s Fastest & Best Performing DD-WRT Wireless Routers. Our list of the best wireless routers of 2014 mixes our top tested devices based on in the field experience, months of testing, and their interaction with premium alternative firmwares.
As high bandwidth activities continue to fill the home like Netflix, YouTube, cloud services and the like, the importance of having a high-performance network centerpiece is a must. A powerful wireless router allows these popular services to perform at their peak while prepping your network for new and exciting services coming down the pipe.
What is DD-WRT Firmware?
DD-WRT is an open-source router firmware upgrade, a project offering to enhance your wireless router stability, privacy, & (most importantly) security while making previously unavailable networking functions the norm. FlashRouters specializes in testing, upgrading, and supporting DD-WRT firmware upgraded routers worldwide. Our team only selects the top performing routers, with the best flavor of firmware for users’ needs.
Benefits of a DD-WRT Router to VPN Service User
Using a router flashed with DD-WRT will also allow for you to use your VPN service directly with the router. Trying to watch Netflix US on an Apple TV in Mexico? Blocked out games on MLB.tv on your Roku? Using a popular VPN service like IPVanish, PureVPN & PrivateInternetAccess, on a router flashed with DD-WRT firmware will allow you to change your IP address on all your devices within your VPN network.
As these are the best wireless routers of 2014, adding DD-WRT firmware will only boost their performance. Using one of the top routers of 2014 does not mean you will need to replace your current router setup, as you can you can still connect to your local Internet Service Provider with your current router, and use a DD-WRT router as your connection to your VPN service provider. Another benefit of the open-source nature of DD-WRT is the changing nature of the firmware.
DD-WRT is reactive to bugs like the Heartbleed and future online terrors. The DD-WRT site itself is a very helpful resource for anyone with an interest in getting the most out of your router, setting up features like a static IP address or allocating bandwidth management.
Additional DD-WRT Firmware Benefits
DD-WRT has an additional slew of VPN & non-VPN related features to meet wide and niche needs of every user. For a more complete list of DD-WRT features, we recommend you review our full Intro to DD-WRT FAQ.
Feature Upgrades of DD-WRT Firmware
Basic DD-WRT Features
Advanced DD-WRT Features
Why Use a DD-WRT FlashRouter?
Flashing a router with DD-WRT can be a daunting task, involving a complex process that can easily lead to making a router unusable. If one tries to do this on their own, it is very possible that they can break their router in a way that would completely void his or her warranty.
FlashRouters offers routers flashed with DD-WRT by a team of trained firmware specialists, complete with a warranty and access to a support team that can provide you with assistance in setting up your wireless router. Router manufacturers have little incentive to add business level, advanced features to consumer grade routers as they often price this type of functionality at upwards of $1000.
FlashRouters takes this high-powered consumer grade hardware and by adding improved firmware turn a $50-$400 wireless router into something worth double or triple its value by the time it gets to you. FlashRouters offers expert tech support and customization with each person to make sure you get the right router, premium performance and advanced features right out of the box. Not the vanilla, boring, under-performing, easily hackable wireless routers you buy directly at a Best Buy or on Amazon (something every manufacturer from Netgear to Asus to Linksys to D-link has dealt with in the past year).
Best Selling DD-WRT Routers 2014
Best Wireless Router of 2014 – Netgear Nighthawk R7000
The Netgear Nighthawk is the fastest WiFi router of 2014. A premium dual-band 802.11AC router, the Nighthawk boasts a sleek design similar to that of the tank from the Christopher Nolan Batman films. The Nighthawk also boasts a 1 GHz processor and enhanced Quality-of-Service (QoS) which shortens the time to buffer and stream high quality.
The Nighthawk also offers a networked USB 3.0 port for enhanced backup speeds and network sharing via network attached storage devices. With three powerful external antennas, the Nighthawk is the best wireless router for anyone looking to get the most out of their Internet connection, and also the top router of 2014 for gaming.
Premium R7000 DD-WRT Features
- 1 GHz (1000 MHz) Processor vs 300-800 MHz on others
- Wireless-AC Up to 1900 Mbps vs 300-1750 on most other wireless routers
- USB 3.0 port vs. USB 2.0 or none on most other wireless routers
- 3 powerful external antennas
Why Does the Netgear R7000 Make the Best VPN Router of 2014?
For VPN, the most important factor for a router is often processing power as this is the resource most taxed with the constant encryption and decryption of your data inside your network. The R7000 offers the most robust processor of any of these DD-WRT routers so is the top recommended model for those looking for the best overall networking experience, wired or wireless.
Netgear R7000 DD-WRT recommended for: Users looking to future-proof & get the maximum potential out of their setup with the best Wireless AC router.
Best Wireless AC Model Between $200-$300 – Asus RT-AC66U – Discontinued
If you decide you do not want to go for the tank that is the Nighthawk, you can go with the “Dark Knight” itself, the Asus RT-AC66U. Itself a powerful Wireless-AC router, the FlashRouters AC66U Dark Knight removes the lackluster Asus firmware associated the router and presents upgraded stability. The best wireless router available in its price range.
Asus RT-AC66U DD-WRT recommended for: Users looking to upgrade their setup to Wireless-AC.
Best Low Cost DD-WRT Router – Cisco Linksys E1200 – Discontinued
Looking for something on the other end of the price spectrum? The E1200 Linksys Router may not have the processing power of the Nighthawk, but this Linksys router offers some of the best throughput from a single-band 2.4 GHz Wireless-N consumer router. A basic but steady performer for those looking for minimal effort and max value.
E1200 DD-WRT Linksys Router Recommended for: Users looking for an affordable wireless extender, repeater, or bridge.
Best Wireless-N DD-WRT Router – Netgear WNDR4000 – Discontinued
If you are interested in Wireless-N but trying to find a more advanced router, look no further than the Netgear WNDR4000, the best Wireless-N router, voted as an Editor’s Choice by PC Magazine. The WNDR4000 offers true dual-band and brilliant performance in the 5 GHz band, which maintains a strong connection.
Netgear WNDR4000 DD-WRT recommended for: Users looking to upgrade their router setup to a higher level, without making the future-proofing jump to Wireless-AC.
All Time DD-WRT Classic – Asus RT-N16
The Asus RT-N16 is a classic router in the field of DD-WRT with a great reputation for reliability and performance. The Asus RT-N16 is the perfect router for any home or small office, and one of the most popular routers to be flashed with DD-WRT firmware, due mostly in part to the Asus RT-N16’s massive 128/32 MB RAM/Flash Memory.
Asus RT-N16 DD-WRT recommended for: Users with primarily wired needs.
Added DD-WRT Router Benefits from FlashRouter
VPN Service Provider Drop Down Menu: If you are here to choose a VPN Provider like IPVanish, HideMyAss, or PrivateInternetAccess among many more VPN Providers we support just select them from the VPN Provider List when making a purchase so we can configure your upgraded router accordingly and include a customized setup guide with your order.
Don’t need any VPN setup or support, please select none. VPN setup is not required at all, it is just a courtesy service that we offer to our customers. We added this much requested feature by customer request to help avoid confusion on options for different wireless routers. Many IT professionals use DD-WRT routers as a means of a more secure and customizable wireless router for home and small office environments around the world.
Support Plans: You will also see that FlashRouters now offers advanced DD-WRT support plans. Different routers come with slightly different plans. Users looking for support for their own devices or routers can visit the support plan center to see what the different plans cover from assisting you in flashing your own device to remote VPN setup options.
Knowledge Base & Help Desk: Our site has also launched a brand new Knowledge Base and support desk to better handle the many requests and inquiries we receive. If you have any questions, concerns or are just looking for a recommendation on the best device for you and your setup, click the Support button on the left hand side. Our DD-WRT specialists are ready to answer your questions and help you choose the right device.
We hope you enjoyed our best DD-WRT routers of 2014 list. Save this page as it will be frequently updated throughout the year!