DD-WRT and Tomato: Which Is the Best Router Firmware?

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DD-WRT Firmware- Best Router Firmware

FlashRouters takes pride in the quality of service that we bring to our customers, but we wouldn’t be able to do what we do with such consistent results without help from the best router firmware available. In this case, the best comes split in two different forms: DD-WRT and Tomato.

These replacement firmwares boost the functionality of every single FlashRouter immeasurably, and we’re proud to offer devices that benefit from the many advanced features that the best router firmware, DD-WRT and Tomato provide. Of course, while both kinds of open-source firmware offer a lot of the same features, there are considerable differences.

We’re going to explore some of the differences below, in the hope of offering our customers a clearer picture of each open source firmware, and allowing our customers the ability to have a better idea of which is the best router firmware for them.

The Benefits DD-WRT and Tomato Share

As we mentioned above, both DD-WRT and Tomato open source firmware share a lot of virtues; they both allow users to access advanced features like the ability to extend your wireless range, tweak wireless sensitivity, control your bandwidth allocation, and add advanced layers of security that stock firmwares simply can’t provide.

If that was all these firmwares did, they’d be worth the upgrade, but there’s also all of this:

  • Built-in OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP Settings which allows you to utilize your VPN subscription with multiple devices as well as popular streaming players like Rokus while saving you the trouble of installing the VPN connection on each single device!
  • Dual WAN and 3G/4G USb Failover options.
  • Major security holes removed like WPS and manufacturer backdoors.
  • Advanced Networking Modes for WDS, Repeaters & Client Bridges
  • Advanced QoS (Quality of Service) which lets you take over the process of allocating your bandwidth for VOIP, streaming service & popular websites.

That’s a whole lot of features, and that’s just what DD-WRT and Tomato have in common.

Now let’s get to the differences…

Tomato Firmware Benefits Unavailable on DD-WRT

To start with, Tomato simply offers better OpenVPN support, allowing you to connect to your work’s VPN with ease or to use with the popular VPN service provider of your choice. In fact, our testing has shown a higher rate of success with Tomato when setting up and connecting with OpenVPN.

Tomato is also noteworthy for having a more user-friendly graphical user interface, and some helpful visual add-ons of connected ethernet devices.  There’s also a wireless survey page that helps users find the best channel to use for a wireless network, and Tomato has recently added a feature that notifies users when updates are available. Tomato has integrated Tor and Bittorrent clients, and even makes USB integration easier.

If you are interested in using two OpenVPN servers side by side, Tomato is a recommended option. Tomato allows for the integration of two OpenVPN servers you can easily switch back and forth from, even if they are from different providers. If you have an IPVanish server that works well in New York, and a NordVPN server you prefer for Los Angeles, there is no need to fear.

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Bandwidth Monitoring in Tomato

Tomato is also recommended for bandwidth monitoring use. Tomato offers real time, 24 hour, daily, weekly, and monthly bandwidth monitoring, while DD-WRT only offers real-time bandwidth monitoring. If you have multiple devices on your network, bandwidth monitoring will allow you to see which devices are clogging up your speeds.

The Policy Based Routing setup is also recommended for Tomato users over DD-WRT users. Policy based routing, or the Dual Gateway Setup, is recommended for use with higher-end routers, like the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Tomato FlashRouter. Using the Dual Gateway with a router like the R7000 will allow you to use the router as both an ISP and a VPN connection. This is advantageous because it allows you to use both the ISP network to get the most out of the R7000’s processor, while also protecting specific devices with a VPN.

DD-WRT Firmware Benefits Unavailable on Tomato

Tomato may have a host of features that you simply cannot find on other kinds of open source firmware, but DD-WRT certainly gives it a run for its money.

One thing DD-WRT has going for it over Tomato is that DD-WRT is more readily available. DD-WRT supports some Atheros-based and Ralink-based chipsets, which means that you can flash DD-WRT on a bigger selection of devices. In fact, manufacturers such as D-Link, TP-Link and more are available with DD-WRT.

Better yet, if you’re interested in wireless repeater modes, DD-WRT has it all over Tomato. DD-WRT offers use of repeaters on alternate subnets, whereas Tomato only has the repeater bridge/WDS.

And if you’re looking to create a WiFi hotspot, DD-WRT has more advanced, built-in options than Tomato, such as Wifidog, Sputnik, and many others.

So Which Is the Best Router Firmware?

We hate to end inconclusively when we’ve promised to answer the question about the best router firmware, but ultimately, it depends on which features are most important to you. If OpenVPN connectivity is your main goal, we’d say go with Tomato. If you’re more concerned with repeater modes, then DD-WRT is the way to go. No matter what feature matters most to you, make sure to check whether DD-WRT or Tomato offers it before you commit to a purchase.

Whatever your preference, we offer plenty of routers featuring both brands of firmware.

Some of our most popular DD-WRT routers include;

Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600 – 1.7 Ghz Broadcom Processor and 4 Antennas

Linksys WRT3200ACM – 1.8 Ghz Marvell Processor and 4 Antennas

Asus RT-AC5300 – 1.4 Ghz Broadcom Processor and 8 High Powered External Antennas

Some of our most popular Tomato routers include;

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 – 1 Ghz Broadcom Processor and 3 External Antennas

Asus RT-AC3200 – 1 Ghz Broadcom Processor and 6 External Antennas

Want to learn more about DD-WRT, Tomato, and other open source firmware news? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

4 thoughts on “DD-WRT and Tomato: Which Is the Best Router Firmware?

  1. ravirath

    i would definitely go with DD-WRT Firmware because it is really secure and has lots of great features and recommend to everyone who has DD WRT router supported router. I checked out some other articles regarding firmware on but they were not that good as flashrouters because they make clear explanation so go with DD WRT Router and enjoy new features with it.. thanks for such information..

  2. ITLife

    I tried and preferred DD-WRT, but it gave my old N66U nothing but constant troubles, reboots and resets. God forbid you change more than one or two settings without entirely rebooting the thing. Constant resets, constant restores, constant rage deleting the backups, ripping the router out, and entirely restoring the firmware. Once you learn to do what is needed on Tomato, I personally could never go back.

    I wish there was an in-between firmware without ASUS’s locked-down bs, without some of Tomato’s restrictions and workarounds, and without DD-WRT’s insane bugginess and ugly UI, but that’s just what the open-source community gives us.

    Anyone wanting real firmware without micromanagement, go with Linksys’ Smart WiFi. A decade ago, I liked screwing with this crap, but now it’s old and there’s no reason software can’t take care of 98% of everything. Avoid Netgear, avoid Asus, and avoid all unsure routers that don’t have an open-source ability or option.

  3. Zarko

    I’ve been messing with DD-WRT for ages, but I had enough. Whenever I get a new router it’s always dilemmas what to install, the website says one thing and wiki about different routers say another. Always a struggle whether to install a stable version which is usually hard to find or nonexistent, or one of the betas by Brainslayer or Konig. I finally made the jump to tomato with R7000, which is not listed in the DD-WRT database, but there is a wiki if you voogle it, so the information is quite conflicting, and so, to avoid betas, just installed Advanced Tomato on it and it worked like a charm. Easy, user-friendly website, easy to pick firmware versions. This experience just confirms my impression: DD-WRT is way too chaotic and disorganized.


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