How to Set Up a DD-WRT Guest Network (FlashRouters FAQ)

What Is a WiFi Guest Network?

You might be wondering what a guest network is, let alone why you should take the time to set one up.

A guest network is exactly what it sounds like: you have your home WiFi network, and you want to share it with a visiting friend or relative, but you don’t want to give them access to every last thing on your network. Creating a guest network is a simple and elegant solution to this problem. It is also useful for implementation in a small office

Better yet for parents, it gives you more ability to set restrictions that you don’t need to personally abide by. Give your kids access to the guest network, and you can prevent them from accessing adult to content accessing everything on your network.

Ensuring a little extra privacy for your WiFi is never a bad idea, and a creating a DD-WRT guest network is a step you can take to make that a reality.

WiFi Guest Networks in DD-WRT Advantages

So you may be asking if DD-WRT firmware revamps the capabilities of creating this guest network in comparison to standard default firmware.

    1. Stability: DD-WRT firmware removes the buggy and often unstable default firmware implemented in these routers. This means you are less likely to have to reboot/reset and have to rcreate the guest network freuqnetly. You can also save a backup within DD-WRT so if you do ever have to reset the router, you can save your configuration and just load the backup and you’ll be instantly back in business.
    2. Control Access/Segmentation: This is a biggie. Many default firmwares have something that is called a guest network but what it really does is give a different password for getting Internet access. What it does not do is prevent access to your computers. DD-WRT allows for network segmentation and separation within the same router. Even if you trust everyone you let use your Internet, who knows who can gain access via that friend. And we all have something we don’t want to share with anyone.
    3. Speed Limitation: DD-WRT allows for prioritizing networks, segments and users over others so even if you want to share, you probably still want to make sure you are getting enough bandwidth. What if your visitors are Netflix hogs eating up all your bandwidth and preventing you from using the Internet connection yourself? So by segmenting the network, you can now prioritize what users, actions, or activities are a priority whether it be streaming video, VOIP, or gaming.


How to Set Up a DD-WRT Guest Network

Setting up a segmented DD-WRT guest network is not too complex, as illustrated in a post by DD-WRT developer Kong which this tutorial was based.

Note: The build version used here is an AC Kong build. It may not be applicable to older builds of DD-WRT or some fields may be missing.

1. Start at the Wireless—>Basic Settings page for your router. Go to the Virtual Interfaces section and click Add.

How To Create A DD-WRT Guest Network

Creating A DD-WRT Guest Network

2. Next, fill in the details for the guest WiFi network, with the assistance of the red labels, which explain what each setting is. Then it’s off to the Wireless Security tab. Once you’re there, set up your encryption scheme and the password for the guest network.

3. Go to Setup—>Networking to enable the DHCPD (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Daemon). Under the DHCPD tab, click Add. Add the Virtual Interface, you just created in step 2. In this case, it’s wl0.1. That means on the same band, you now have two separate pieces, wl0 and wl0.1

Setting Up A DD-WRT Guest Network

Enabling DHCPD For DD-WRT Guest Network

That’s it. You’re all set. Start inviting friends and loved ones over to enjoy your WiFi, free from worry about them invading your privacy.

If you want to go further in your modifications and add other rules like Netmask priority or QoS, I’d recommend watching this Advanced Guest Network Settings Video for further insight or review this post.

Best Routers For Setting Up a DD-WRT Guest Network

Linksys 1900ACS

Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter

If you do not presently own a DD-WRT router (or DD-WRT capable router), but are looking to create a DD-WRT Guest Network, you may be a bit unsure as to what router would best fit within your current home setup.

The best overall option for DD-WRT setups is currently the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, the most powerful router currently offered by FlashRouters, with a 1 GHz processor, USB 3.0 integration, and three strong external antennas, perfect for anyone looking to cover a wide range of ground with their guest network.

For mid-sized homes and office spaces, the Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 is a popular and well-reviewed customer favorite.

Want more info and a further breakdown of our wide array of DD-WRT routers? head over to the Best DD-WRT Routers of 2017.

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24 thoughts on “How to Set Up a DD-WRT Guest Network (FlashRouters FAQ)

  1. ang

    i set wifi security to use WPA2 Personal AES and put my PSK. but when i use client devices (laptop, smartphone) to connect to the guest network, it fails to authenticate. it keeps prompting me for password/PSK. i am very sure i keyed in the correct password and SSID

      1. Ang

        my password is > 10 chars.
        if i disable security or use WEP, i can connect to the guest network. WPA not working in the virtual interface?

  2. JD

    I followed the instructions and checked again a couple of times. No problems setting up the guest network and connecting to it. One problem. I can ping and connect to devices on my lan via the guest network. What did I do wrong?

  3. Jeff

    Running into an issue. Wanted to add a gues network to one of my routers that is setup as a client bridge (I think, been so long since I set it up). IP of main router is (dhcp, wan, etc). Second router, which is setup as the bridge so I can basically use it as an AP on the other side of the house, is Created the guest network on After applying the settings for DHCPD I wasn’t able to connect to the web gui or telnet to

    I think I screwed up as I don’t think I should be using dhcp on the .2 box.
    Any thoughts on how to get it back. Can’t ping or telnet to .2. It does however show up in a Fing scan on my iPhone but not seeing it on the network anywhere else.

    Of thing is, I can still access the Internet from that box. It is still working, just can’t acess the admin pages. Tried both wifi and Ethernet.

    1. Jebediah

      It’s been a while but I had the exact same issue following this procedure with a Netgear wndr3700. Lost access to the router as if creating a secondary DHCP disabled the first one.

      Had to do a factory reset.

  4. Robert Blackwell

    This method is SO simple I can’t believe there’s no security issues. I know just enough about routers to be dangerous! Are you sure the guest LAN is isolated from the private LAN? The reason I ask is that on other sites I see firewall scripts being added to the Commands section as well as Bridge creation and assignment. Why don’t the instructions here show similar actions?

  5. Anurag

    Such a nice guild works perfect, u mite get error s when u have not hit save after each save and then also apply changes these two are important and these are not mentioned where in the guild thats the problem ur getting errors and if u have done all correctly with save and apply changes and still have problem connecting to guest network due to wep or wrong password u need to nvram erase. to do that so administration and then commands and give command “erase nvram && reboot” without these ” ” and this will fix all ur problems enjoy!

  6. TJ

    For those of you having issues connecting to the guest network after enabling WPA2 security and assigning a password to the network. Hitting “Apply Settings” is not enough. You need to reboot the router. There is something about the virtual interface that won’t apply the password right away. Rebooting fixes it.

  7. Aspegic

    After struggling with this for 2 days, I finally discovered why it did not work for me.

    My setup: Asus RT-AC68U
    Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r31277 std (02/07/17)

    I *MUST* enable “Local DNS” on the page: Services > Services
    The setting “Local DNS” is disabled by default (at least it is in my firmware) and nobody mentions this. I have gone through at least 5 different instruction pages by various authors, all explaining this procedure in similar ways. But non mention the Local DNS setting.

  8. alejandro

    i tried 5 diferent tutorials, but i still can fix mine, after i try to connect to guest and put the password it say i cant connect i followed the tutorial step by step but still

  9. Gerald

    There is a missing step if you use a password.

    For DNS to resolve correctly you have to setup DNSmasq for the guest network as well.


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