Most Popular & Best Wireless Routers For DD-WRT Firmware


Looking for the best wireless routers of 2018 to meet every need and budget? Are you familiar with popular firmware enhancements like DD-WRT and wondering what benefits you can experience from this powerful and simple upgrade?

Tired of buffering or having to reset your router a few times a day just to get it to work? Or maybe you are in the market for the best dual band router, upgrading to Wireless-AC or even a tri-band router for your current network setup? Look no further, you have found an expert list of the best wireless routers for your home or office WiFi available in 2018.

Our list of the best wireless routers of 2018 mixes our top devices based on in the field experience, months of testing, and their interaction with premium alternative router DD-WRT firmware and various streaming players like Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and AppleTV, as well as the top gaming consoles like the Xbox One X, PS3/PS4 from Sony & Nintendo Switch.

Special Offer: Use the coupon code BEST2018 through 08/31/2018 and get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter on this list!

Table Of Contents

What Is DD-WRT Router Firmware?

DD-WRT is an open-source router firmware upgrade project created for maximizing router features and usage potential. It is used by many networking-savvy users to enhance wireless router stability, privacy, and (most importantly) network security.

Essentially, DD-WRT unlocks expensive features usually limited to high-end business routers and runs them right on popular consumer models. To get these advanced features, you need to to have a DD-WRT installed router.

Additionally, DD-WRT has a slew of VPN & non-VPN related features to meet the common 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!

Advanced DD-WRT Firmware Features

  • DNS forwarder – DNSmasq with local hostnames, domain names, and internet address caching
  • Bandwidth Graphing/Statistics: Real-time, daily & monthly
  • DHCP Server – Using DNSmasq with dynamic and static DHCP leases
  • Wi-Fi hotspot Integrations: Create hotspots for businesses with a verification page using the integrated Chillispot or NOCATSPLASH system
  • Adjustable Antenna Transmission Settings – Increase wireless strength and coverage
  • Wake-on-LAN – Remote network access
  • Samba file-share/CIFS client
  • WDS: Wireless distribution system (WDS aka wireless bridging)
  • Telnet/SSH Support
  • Radius Authentication: Enterprise level wireless security
  • JFFS2 Support

Top 5 Reasons You Need A DD-WRT FlashRouter

1. Pre-installed DD-WRT Firmware For Easy Setup

FlashRouters takes high-powered consumer grade hardware with stock firmware and, by adding improved DD-WRT firmware, turns a $50-$400 wireless router into something worth double or triple its value. This removes out-of-date and vulnerability-riddled stock firmware from your router.

Additonally, flashing a router with DD-WRT can be a frustrating task for some, involving a lot of research, trial and error, and a complex process that can easily lead to making a router unusable. This is often referred to as a dead router or a “brick” that would completely void the device’s warranty.

Benefits of FlashRouters

2. Experienced Open-Source Firmware Support

FlashRouters specializes in testing, upgrading, and supporting DD-WRT firmware routers worldwide. Our team only selects the top-performing routers, with the best variation of DD-WRT firmware for users’ needs, and delivers them right to your door.

Each FlashRouter comes with 1 full year of email and live chat support as well as a 1 full year of warranty. We also offer the ability to add another full year of email and live chat support, an extra year of warranty, and even remote Team Viewer sessions to set up and configure your device.

3. Plug and Play VPN Setup & Network Integration

Trying to unblock content from your favorite music and film streaming services while traveling or relocating for work? Using a router flashed with DD-WRT will also allow for you to use a VPN service to change your IP address on all your devices with a single setup!

Our team supports 50+ VPN Providers and is the preferred router seller for some of the top VPN providers around like European favorites NordVPNExpressVPN with premium speeds and support for users in Asia, and the tier 1 only provider IPVanish that owns all their own servers.

4. No Need To Change Your Current Setup

Using one of the top routers of 2018 does not mean you will need to replace your current router setup. Using our popular Dual Router Setup for a dedicated VPN connection, a FlashRouter can work side-by-side with any current router, ISP router/modem, or ADSL router/modem right out of the box.

5. Comes Included With Our FlashRouters VPN Privacy App

The new FlashRouters VPN Privacy App is an easy, free, and user-friendly way to access and configure your wireless network. Our app runs directly from any Internet browser on desktop or mobile devices.

This allows for easy tweaking and VPN configuration, including but not limited to:

  • Easy device management.
  • Kill switch and VPN bypass by device
  • Seamless VPN server switching.
  • Optimized UI on any browser or mobile phone. 

Top 3 DD-WRT Wireless Routers Of 2018

Well that’s enough explanation, now on to the good stuff. Here’s our top 3 DD-WRT wireless routers of 2018. Remember, use the coupon code BEST2018 to get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter on this list!

1. Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT

Asus AC5300 - 8 External Antennas

How Did The Asus AC5300 Take “The Crown”?

Briefly forgetting that this is straight-up the coolest router you, we, or anyone else has ever seen, the Asus AC5300 DD-WRT is just an absolute networking monster. Offering three bands of disorienting speeds adding up to 5300 Mbps (1000+2165+2165 Mbps), this is, to start with, the fastest router we’ve ever seen.

So returning to how it looks…want to know what makes it look so cool? That’d be the 8 (!), count ’em, 8 supremely strong external antennas – 4 devoted to transmitting, 4 devoted to receiving.

So if you’re a gamer, a potential 4K streamer, or if you just want the most flat-out powerful wireless network, capable of handling a host of devices all at the same time while showing off to everyone about how awesome your router looks, this is a no-brainer.

Premium Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT Features

  • Wireless-AC5300 Gigabit WiFi
  • 1.4 GHz Broadcom Processor
  • 8 Powerful External Antennas
  • DD-WRT Firmware Installed

AC5300 DD-WRT Recommended For: Max VPN and wireless performance with 10+ connected devices.

2. Linksys WRT3200ACM FlashRouter


MU-MIMO DD-WRT Installed Linksys WRT3200ACM

Get the top VPN performance without busting the budget. The Linksys WRT3200ACM takes the perkiness of the WRT1900ACS and upgrades the processor from 1.6 MHz to 1.8 MHz while adding MU-MIMO compatibility for improved user experience. and its absurdly efficient 1.6 GHz Marvell Processor, the old blue router gets a true revamp with style and power to burn. Expect premium streaming video performance and so much more.

Premium WRT3200ACM DD-WRT Features

  • 1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
  • Dual Band AC3200 Mbps
  • 4 External Antennas
  • USB 3.0/eSATA
  • MU-MIMO Compatible

Linksys WRT3200ACM Recommended For: Approximately 10 users looking for high quality video streaming and gaming on up to 15 connected devices. Ideal for wireless connections in larger homes and medium sized business offices.

3. Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600 DD-WRT

Netgear R7800 DD-WRT VPN Router

The Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 features one of the most powerful processors seen on a FlashRouter to date: a 1.7 GHz Dual Core Broadcom processor. Utilizing this processor alongside 4 external antennas with MU-MIMO technology, the R7800 cannot be ignored.

Premium R7800 DD-WRT Features

  • 1.7 GHz Marvell Processor
  • Dual Band AC2600 Mbps
  • MU-MIMO Support
  • QuadStream X4 Wireless Architecture 
  • OpenVPN & PPTP Client Ready

Linksys R7800 Recommended For: Approximately 10 to 12 users looking for a high-powered device able to stream high-definition video or play video games through a VPN.

Netgear R9000 X10 AD7200 DD-WRT OpenVPN Router

Best Netgear DD-WRT

Consider the mold broken. The Netgear Nighthawk R9000 integrates the latest and greatest in bleeding edge innovation in wireless connectivity. The R9000 takes advantage of the latest future-proofing standard Wireless-AD.

While Dual Band Wireless-AC routers offer users 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, Wireless-AD takes advantage of the 60 GHz Spectrum. In addition to wireless innovation, the R9000 boasts a massive 1.7 GHz processor, the largest currently available on a FlashRouter.

Premium R9000 DD-WRT Features

  • 1.7 GHz (1700 MHz) Processor: 70% more powerful than the Standard Nighthawk
  • Future-proofing Wireless-AD: Up to 4 Gbps higher than the max speeds of Wireless-AC
  • 6 Ethernet ports vs. four on most other wireless routers
  • 4 powerful external antennas

DD-WRT Netgear R9000 X10 AD7200 FlashRouter Recommended For: Users looking to future-proof for top of the line, cutting edge wireless technology and open-source firmware integration.

Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT

Top-notch VPN performance is right at the tip of your fingers. With the Linksys WRT1900ACS and its absurdly efficient 1.6 GHz Marvell Processor, the old blue router gets a true revamp with style and power to burn.  High quality streaming video and audio (perfect for working remotely), and so much more become a standard, hassle-free wireless activity.

Premium WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Features

  • 1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
  • Dual Band AC1900 Mbps
  • 4 External Antennas
  • USB 3.0/eSATA
  • OpenVPN & PPTP Client Ready

Linksys WRT1900ACS Recommended For: Approximately 8 users looking for high quality video streaming and gaming on up to 12 connected devices. Ideal for wireless connections in medium-sized homes and small businesses.

Best Economy Wireless-AC Models

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 DD-WRT

Nighthawk Netgear Secure VPN Router

The Netgear Nighthawk is a long time favorite and matches its compatriot the R8000 on many specs. The Nighthawk also boasts a 1 GHz processor and USB 3.0 with 3 external antennas (versus the R8000’s 6) and speeds of up to AC1900 (vs. AC3200). The R7000 has been our site DD-WRT bestseller many times. It is also our top choice if you are looking for a wired-only workhorse.

Premium R7000 DD-WRT Features

  • 1 GHz (1000 MHz) Processor vs 400-800 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

Netgear R7000 DD-WRT Recommended For: Users looking for a high-end processor at a $100+ savings and quality VPN performance.

Added DD-WRT VPN Router Benefits from FlashRouter

Difference of a FlashRouter

As bandwidth-hungry activities like streaming video and music services such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer continue to fill the home, the importance of having a high-performance network centerpiece is a must.

A powerful wireless router allows Hulu, Crackle, Youtube, Spotify, Pandora and other new streaming options arriving seemingly every day to perform at their peak, while prepping your network for new and exciting Internet services coming down the pike.

I mean what about the horror film focused Shudder, the Criterion collection centric Filmstruck or the anime specialists Crunchyroll?

VPN Service Provider Plug n Play

Already using one of the 60+ VPN Providers we support?

Just select it from the VPN Provider List when making a purchase so we can configure your upgraded router accordingly and include a customized setup guide. Don’t see your provider listed? Select “Other” and type in your provider. We will gladly test it if we haven’t already, or notify you if we have any issues.

DD-WRT & VPN Support Plans

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

FlashRouters also offers a DD-WRT & VPN Knowledge Base and support desk to better handle the many requests and inquiries we receive.

We hope you enjoyed our best DD-WRT routers of 2018 list. Save this page as it will be frequently updated throughout the year!

66 thoughts on “Most Popular & Best Wireless Routers For DD-WRT Firmware

    1. joeso Post author

      Hey Peter,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      Yes that would be the Netgear R7000, Netgear R8000 and the Asus RT-AC87U.

      Let us know if we can answer anything further for you.

    1. joeso Post author


      Excellent question!

      Processing power is the key to handling the inbound/outbound activity passing through the router. It is especially important for VPN users as that processing power is increasingly utilized by the VPN client connected within the device.

    1. joeso Post author

      It works well with any setup. We do perform some optimization depending on use.

      Like everything, it matters how you plan to use it.

  1. JesseHeichert

    I loved this feature on the old WRT Routers from Linksys, the blue and black ones with the two antennas. They were the fastest and almost still the fastest routers available! WRT-52G the name. beautiful worksmanship. Awesome article keep it up!

  2. NGinCreator

    This site will be great for me as an IT student and when I eventually get my own router for my internet hijinks 😉

  3. Lisa Coomer Queen

    There is a lot of great information here. Thank you. Something that really stood out is Firmware bug fixes in Linksys, Netgear & Asus.

  4. Mithun

    I’m interested to buy flashrouter.right now,using tp-link router,works great 🙂 but I’m looking for flash router.I hope your best router list will be useful for me.thanks for the list 🙂

    1. joeso Post author

      Hello Jed,

      Not sure why that is the case but it is supported.

      Let us know if we can assist you any further.

  5. Kyle

    Amazing post, lots of awesome information and resources! Would you have any routers that you would recommend below or around $50? Thanks!

  6. Tyler

    Curious why didn’t you put the Asus 68u router in I do know it has dd wrt support ed firnware and it’s about 17$ more than the 56u and pack a punch for its size

  7. John

    I live in a rural setting and the only internet access I have is through a satellite provider. Will a flashed router benefit me?

    1. admin

      Hello John,

      Yes it can improve your stability and allow you to tweak and prioritize your activities maximizing your bandwidth.

    1. admin

      Pablo – Which Linksys product are you asking about so we can doublecheck for you?

      To my knowledge there is no specific limitation.

  8. Michael Steven

    You have described everything really well. While everyone of us is using internet at home or office and it is really important to find the best wireless routers that will serve you better.

  9. Pingback: Routers with DD-WRT and VPN – Where to Begin?

  10. Sam

    Hi, this is the first time I am writing on this site. I’m living in Japan. I’m trying to see my country’s netflix and to be able to see it I’m forced to use a vpn. I bought and tried various vpn but there is a problem: the maximum speed I get is 3mega … I’ve been looking for a thousand information on the web but the topic is a bit difficult for me. I live in a building with mani apartments that offers to everyone the web connection: just plug in my router to the socket. the connection speed ranges from 50 mega to 300 mega … my router is an Asus RT-AC68U. What should I do to get a vpn connection that at least comes to 20 or 30 mega? With my router is impossible?

    1. admin

      Hey Sam,

      There is a lot that can go into the speed desires but it would depend on hardware, VPN service, server load and distance to connect to the server and back.

      I would recommend contacting as they can provide you some details on our support plan and integration options.

  11. Pingback: Routers with DD-WRT and VPN - Where to Begin? - Deep in the Code

  12. Steve

    Thanks for sharing wonderful information, But I do have a some info that WiFi Protected Access version 2 was ratified for public use. It took the WiFi Alliance more than 14-years to revise the wireless LAN standard encryption system, with version 3.0 of the WiFi Protected Access has been green lighted for public consumption.


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