A new year, a brand new look, and now it is time for a new iteration of everyone’s favorite tech list, the best DD-WRT routers in 2013.
What is DD-WRT?
DD-WRT is an open-source project that provides firmware upgrades to a large selection of wireless routers. This upgrade unleashes a wide array of features and functionality, turning the average $100 router into a $500+ router. Default router firmware often hinders a user’s ability to have many of these features at their disposal. By replacing a router’s lackluster firmware with the DD-WRT open source firmware solution, these previously impossible tasks quickly become as simple as a few clicks.
FlashRouters ship with DD-WRT already installed by one of our networking specialists to ensure it is the right version for the corresponding wireless router. We’re here to help you make this decision as easy as possible by offering the best possible routers, running the best firmware, all including our popular setup guides and free tech support to ease any anxiety regarding the setup process.
Just a few improvements from DD-WRT installation include:
- OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP client integration.
- Wireless Access Point, Wireless Repeater & Client Bridge Mode to extend wireless range into wireless dead-spots in a home or office.
- Antenna transmission boosting settings.
- Advanced QoS (Quality of Service) bandwidth controls for specifying spectrum and speed for specific network devices.
- Improved Router User Interface.
- WiFi Hotspot and NOCATSPLASH integration for free Guest & WiFi Hotspot networks.
- Advanced Security and Remote Access options.
FlashRouters also includes a free setup guide for any VPN service provider that supports DD-WRT router setups (PPTP, OpenVPN or L2TP), including IPVanish, NordVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, and many more.
No need for VPN service? DD-WRT is an upgrade for any network or user. Make WiFi connection issues with Apple iPads, Xbox 360s, PS3s, Apple TVs, Rokus & more a thing of the past. You have great devices, let them work at their best with an upgraded router.
Don’t let your under-performing router get in the way of maximizing your speed and connection stability. Upgrade to a DD-WRT router for your needs today! Keep reading for recommendations on the best-selling and most popular DD-WRT routers.
The Best Selling DD-WRT Router
Linksys Cisco E4200 DD-WRT
The Linksys Cisco E4200 (Discontinued) is a DD-WRT router that both consumers and small business users have long craved. Stylish and lightweight, but also extremely powerful, it is no wonder this is the best selling, open-source upgraded networking device. Many contenders have come and gone but the E4200 is steadily our most sought after model by far from newbies to expert networking users. Combining excellent hardware, power, stability, speeds, and consistency, it will continue to perform far into the future.
Touted as part of the Linksys Maximum Performance router series, here’s a quick list of the most 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.
E4200 DD-WRT Router Performance
The E4200 DD-WRT router continually undergoes extensive flashing tests by our networking experts, who are always checking for the most all-encompassing DD-WRT version for its Broadcom chipset. This testing is performed to focus on stability and durability for long-term and heavy use for power users such as those who would like a dedicated VPN network or better HD video streaming.
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 bandwidth intensive networking setups and operations.
The E4200 DD-WRT handles all the networking tasks you may need in stride from high-end streaming video, to screaming fast download speeds, to handling high volumes of users with guest networks, and P2P torrents while also providing consistently the strongest VPN client connections.
Recommended Users for E4200 DD-WRT
- High Bandwidth users tired of seeing buffering on their HD videos from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video.
- Dual Band Upgrades.
- Offices, Cafes, Schools and Small Businesses looking create free WiFi hotspots for their customers.
- Home users with heavy users or more than 10 total devices including iPads, Rokus, Laptops etc. You get the picture.
- Top Choice for SaferVPN, HideMyAss service users looking to integrate VPN service with their entire network instead of individual devices. (Review our full list of supported providers and VPN protocols.)
NOTE: Many new and in-store models of this router are V2 which is not DD-WRT capable at this time. All E4200 Units from FlashRouters are all V1, the hard to find version of the device.
Editor’s Note (11/25/13): Now available two next-gen Wireless-AC devices, providing speeds of up to twice as fast as the E4200 with Wireless-AC compatible devices. Both the Asus RT-AC66U (Discontinued) and the Netgear R6300 (Discontinued) are ideal for those looking for the ultimate in future-proofing routers). The Asus has a wider range with its 3 external antennas while the Netgear has by far the strongest memory specs we offer with 128 MB Flash Memory.
We know everyone likes a deal so use the coupon code “best2013” through 06/31/2014 and get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter valued over $70. (This cannot be combined with any other offer)
Best DD-WRT Routers Under $150
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.
TP-LINK WDR3600 DD-WRT ($319.95) – A very underrated dual-band router at an amazing price. Plus it features dual external antennas and has inline specs with most of the other N600 devices we feature.
The Most Popular & Recommended DD-WRT Router
For users looking for simplicity and consistency, you may want to consider the Asus RT-N16 ($159.95). The Asus RT-N16 tops the list as the most popular DD-WRT router for users who want a top performer for wired devices and have no need for dual-band wireless.
After surveying DD-WRT users, scouring router reviews and message boards, the ASUS RT-N16 emerges as the most highly rated by discerning DD-WRT users for its excellent price, dual USB ports, and huge installed memory.
The Asus RT-N16‘s huge 128/32 MB of RAM/Flash Memory offers a distinct advantage over more expensive, higher-end routers is its — even the Linksys E4200 and the Netgear WNDR3700 only contain 64/16 MB RAM/Flash Memory. This extra memory gives the RT-N16 space to burn when it comes to installing the most comprehensive DD-WRT builds as well as add-on packages such as Optware while providing 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.
Variations of open-source 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. Let FlashRouters use their expertise and constant testing of new versions to pick the best DD-WRT firmware for you.
Recommended Asus RT-N16 DD-WRT Users:
- Primarily Wired Needs.
- Users Looking for 2 Network USB Ports with their Network.
- Not using dual-band wireless.
More Best-of-Breed DD-WRT Single Band Routers
Netgear Rangemax WNR3500L – Long a DD-WRT top choice, the Netgear WNR3500L has a 480 Mhz Broadcom CPU, 64/8 MB RAM/Flash Memory so it can support to handle DD-WRT big and 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, for around $150 it doesn’t get much better than this.
Best Budget DD-WRT Router/Wireless Repeater
The Linksys Cisco E1200 ($89.95) is a sleek new newcomer to the economy range of DD-WRT. The E1200 can perform many of the tasks that its Linksys big brothers like the E3000 and E4200 do without some of the high-end hardware features like gigabit ports, dual-band or a network USB port.
Still, the E1200 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 an E1200 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.
Recommended Linksys Cisco E1200 DD-WRT Users:
- Basic upgraders looking to move up to Wireless-N.
- Looking for an affordable wireless extender, repeater, or client bridge.
- Simple VPN secondary router for VPN dedicated network.
Best Low-Priced DD-WRT Router Contenders
Discontinued – Asus RT-N12 – This low-priced Asus model is extremely small and popular for users looking for a Linksys alternate with excellent performance.
A Note About Our New Site Upgrades & Features
If you are a return visitor, you may see some significant changes. Our new site is streamlined to help everyone find the best router for them. With more information, a clearer layout, and tons of new router choices along with a large selection of streaming media players and accessories.
VPN Provider Drop Down Menu: If you are here to choose a VPN Provider like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, or IPVanish, among many more 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.
If you don’t need any VPN setup or support, please just 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.
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 2013 list. Save this page as it will be frequently updated throughout the year.
Don’t forget to use the coupon code “best2013” through 06/31/2014 and get an extra $10 off any FlashRouter valued over $70!
That’s the list for now. For more DD-WRT Router & VPN Service Provider info, product updates, and limited-time specials follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.