Category Archives: Internet Explanations

What Is Usenet? The Best Routers for Usenet

One of the many great things about Usenet is its durability. File-sharing systems have come and gone so quickly and unpredictably in the past decade. So it’s nice to see one you can rely on.

So now we like to tell you exactly how you can make the most of it. Whether by using the right service provider sites, or pointing you towards the best routers, we’re going to guide you through proper Usenet usage.

What Is Usenet?

Usenet was initially designed as a sort of Internet bulletin board, which helps explain why there’s still a great deal of strictly text material. For the most part, though, it has been re-purposed as a one-stop shop for any sort of file you might be looking for.

There is one thing that warrants mentioning. Usenet is not structured in the same way as other file-sharing sites that you might be used to. First of all, if you want to get access, you’re going to want to subscribe to a provider. We’ll discuss this further down. Usenet is just not a peer-to-peer service, which you may be more familiar with.

Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll now have access to Usenet’s servers and you can post and see messages they distribute. Since Usenet can only have so much information on its servers, each message has a limited retention time, and they will expire. So, you know, act fast if it’s something that matters to you.

Now, downloading Usenet’s binary content is not so simple. To do so, you’re going to need a downloading assistant of sorts like SABnzbd, which automates the process of translating Usenet’s NZB file format. NZB files, much like torrents, are merely guides towards the files you are looking for. Applications like SABnzbd help simplify the process of downloading the files for yourself.

Sounds pretty complicated and intimidating, right? Well, we assure you, once you get going, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Choosing Service Provider Sites for Usenet

Newshosting: A Usenet Service Provider

Newshosting: One of the Most Popular Usenet Service Providers

There are a number of things to consider when deciding on your Usenet provider. File retention, data transfer caps, the number of connections, and price are all important factors. We decided to focus on five that seemed to offer the best combination of services, though there are plenty of other providers out there with spectacular service that we chose not to highlight here. Anyway, happy hunting!

Best Service Providers for Usenet

Easynews – The thing that distinguishes Easynews from their competitors is right there in the title: it’s easy. As their site says, “every computer you get on already has a newsreader, a Usenet account, and an active Usenet server waiting for you to log onto. That is what Easynews is.” Previews of files that don’t take up your bandwidth, no need to repair or assemble files, and if you get the BigGig plan, you get 150 GB a month.

Astraweb – For sheer value, you can’t do much better than Astraweb. Astraweb offers an unlimited 10 Mbit/s for $10 a month as well as free SSL security coverage on all accounts. What’s more, Astraweb offers 20 simultaneous connections and 2922 days of retention, which is going up all the time.

Giganews – Widely considered to be the leading Usenet providers, Giganews has been serving a loyal and happy base of customers since 1994. And it’s easy to see why. Giganews offers terrific speeds from premium network connections. Better yet, Giganews secures those connections with the help of our friends at VyprVPN. Hard to beat that.

Newshosting – Among the many features that elevate Newshosting over other Usenet service providers is their peerless newsreader. It’s free for all users and makes searching Usenet simple. Otherwise, Newshosting’s appeal is based on great service; unlimited speed and data transfers, free 256-bit SSL encryption, and up to 2923 days of retention.

Thundernews – This is one of the premium Usenet providers. Thundernews offers 50 SSL encrypted connections with 256-bit secure encryption as well as 2923 days of binary retention. At the moment, they’re also offering “the Unlimited Max Usenet + VPN special and a low introductory cost of $7.99 and then a great low price of only $16.99 for both products.”

Best Routers for Usenet

If you want to get the most out of your Usenet service provider, you’re going to need a powerful networking device. Perhaps a router that can handle any amount of traffic you can throw at it. Maybe you even want to integrate a VPN service to protect your downloads?

Enter FlashRouters.

As the video above attests, what we do here is take already powerful routers and flash them with open sourced firmware. Firmware like Tomato and DD-WRT make routers faster, more powerful, and more versatile. Whether you go for one of our sleeker, economy models, or a full-blown networking beast, you’ll be getting a device that will revolutionize your network.

With a FlashRouter, you can enjoy advanced security options, the ability to monitor your bandwidth or extend your wireless range, and even advanced Virtual Private Network options. If you’ve subscribed to any VPN on our supported provider list, you can order a FlashRouter that arrives ready to work with your VPN account right out of the box.

Here are some of the best Flashrouters for Usenet users:

  1. Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT FlashRouter – What’s left to say about this beast? 5300 Mbps speeds over three bands, a killer processor, and 8 powerful antennae speak for themselves
  2. Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter – The powerhouse Netgear router with a best-in-DDWRT 1 GHz processor, dual-band Wireless-AC1900 (wireless transmission speeds of up to 1900 Mbps combined), a USB 3.0 port, & external antennas.
  3. Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO DD-WRT FlashRouter – Want premium Wireless-AC performance at a mid-level price? The Linksys WRT3200ACM is more than happy to oblige.

Want more information about open source routers and file-sharing sites? Feel free to contact our team for any questions or concerns!

What is an ARM Router? (Router FAQ)

Asus RT-AC68U featuring an ARM processor.

ARM Routers – Asus RT-AC68U FlashRouter

At FlashRouters, we’re always looking for ways to improve the performance power of the routers on our line. Of course, we start with already strong routers and flash them with superior firmwares like DD-WRT and Tomato, but still, there’s always room for improvement.

With that in mind, we’re happy to introduce you to some of the latest additions to our line, routers that push your network to the next level while helping you to conserve power. Meet our ARM routers.

What Is an ARM Router?

Best ARM Wireless Routers

ARM Routers: Available at FlashRouters

First things first though; you’re probably wondering what exactly an ARM router is?

It’s sort of technical and boring, so we’ll just break it out to the important information for you: ARM Holdings is a British company that makes, among other things, computer processors. These processors are designed based on the company’s own RISC (reduced instruction set computing) architecture, an approach that limits heat and power usage.

So basically, if you get an ARM router, you’re going to be increasing your network’s efficiency while saving on power usage and avoiding overheating your device. Sounds like a win/win situation to us.

Best ARM FlashRouters

Our supply of high performance, lower power usage ARM wireless routers continues to expand. In the meantime though, here are a few of our highlights…

Netgear Nighthawk R8000 DD-WRT

DDWRT Installed R8000 Netgear X6 - OpenVPN
The Netgear R8000 is the fastest DD-WRT WiFi router of 2015. A premium dual-band 802.11AC router, the R8000 boasts a sleek design similar to an alien spacecraft. Boasting 6 external antennas (a DD-WRT first with tri-band wireless) meaning 3 segmented wireless bands for created dedicated streaming networks, and a high-end 1 GHz processor, the R8000 is a future-proofing networking workhorse ready to take your network by storm.

The R8000 also offers a networked USB 3.0 port for enhanced backup speeds and network sharing via network attached storage devices. Using those sharp looking and compact six powerful external antennas, the Netgear R8000 is the best wireless router for anyone looking to get the most out of their Internet connection, and also the best router of 2015 for gaming.

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 Netgear R8000 DD-WRT offers the max wireless transmission capabilities at 3200 Mbps, the most external antennas at 6 and matches most robust processor with 6 external for the best overall networking experience around.

Top R8000 ARM Router Specs

  • 1 GHz (1000 MHz) Processor vs 300-800 MHz on others
  • Wireless-AC Up to 3200 Mbps vs 300-1750 on most other wireless routers
  • USB 3.0 port vs. USB 2.0 or none on many other wireless routers
  • 6 powerful external antennas


Netgear Nighthawk R7000 TomatoUSB FlashRouter

ARM Routers: the Netgear R7000

The Netgear R7000 ARM DD-WRT FlashRouter

Typically, the fact that this router is an ARM router gets lost amid its many attributes. The Nighthawk boasts a 3.0 USB port, in case you were looking to transfer data at speeds faster than you could ever imagine, best-in-class RAM (256), and three high-powered external antennae. And you can run your network at Wireless-AC speeds (450 2.4 Mbps & 1450 5.0 Mbps across dual-bands) without worrying about overheating your router or using too much power.

The Netgear Nighthawk was the top router of 2014 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 4 months running. It is also our top choice if you are looking for a wired-only workhorse.

The newly launched FlashRouter Tomato R7000 includes an enhanced dual gateway option but we also offer the R7000 with DD-WRT preinstalled.

More Top DD-WRT ARM Wireless Routers Contenders

Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT OpenVPN Router

Asus RT-AC87u – ARM Router

Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT – Asus has always been a favorite of real router lovers and those Asus fans have a champion. Pictured above, the Asus RT-AC87U offers speeds of up to 2400 Mbps from four powerful antennas with a 1 GHZ Broadcom processor as well all the other high end bells and whistles.


Benefits of FlashRouters Devices & Support - Best ARM WiFi Routers

The FlashRouters Advantage

A FlashRouter is a feature-heavy device, so if you’re not a full-fledged networking pro, getting the most out of your new router can be a bit difficult. That’s why we make ourselves so available to our customers; we want to ensure that every FlashRouter user gets the top-notch network they deserve. We promise:

  • An extensively tested version of open-source firmware upgrade will be pre-installed on your router.
  • Personalized Custom Configuration & Setup Guide: A FlashRouter configuration specialist will personally contact you to tailor your new router to your networking plans if you don’t tell us in your order comments.
  • Dual VPN Router Network Setup – Your router will be configured to work by itself or in tandem with your current service provider modem/router out-of-the-box so that you can establish a VPN dedicated router/access point.
  • Free VPN Service Integration: We offer setup guides for 50+ VPN services including: IPVanish, PrivateInternetAccess, PureVPN, plus man more.
  • Fast, affordable worldwide shipping via USPS. We now also offer overnight and international express shipping.

Contact us any time by opening a support ticket or e-mailing us, no matter how big or small the issue. Our friendly support staff is always there to answer any and all of your questions.

Want more information about how to improve your wireless network? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

What is a VLAN & How to Setup VLANs in DD-WRT (Router FAQ)

At FlashRouters, our primary goal is to inform users of what they can do if they decide to take control back of their network and learn more about what their router does. From VPN (Virtual Private Network) integration to QoS (Quality of Service) to DNSMasq & Bandwidth Monitoring/Access controls, DD-WRT is a feature laden firmware alternative ready to maximize your router capabilities and performance.

In this post, we will explore a very popular feature most commonly found in alternative firmwares like DD-WRT called VLAN or VLAN tagging.

What is VLAN (Virutal LAN)?

According to Wikipedia,”In computer networking, a single layer-2 network may be partitioned to create multiple distinct broadcast domains, which are mutually isolated so that packets can only pass between them via one or more routers; such a domain is referred to as a virtual local area network, virtual LAN or VLAN… More sophisticated devices can mark packets through tagging, so that a single interconnect (trunk) may be used to transport data for multiple VLANs…”

Basically a VLAN is a method of created separate networks on the same router for security and segmentation purposes. VLAN setup is a useful procedure if you have some devices on your network that you want to isolate from other devices like multiple guest networks for family friends or office visitors. Provide Internet access with a VLAN without giving them access to your entire network. The settings can easily be changed and adapted to however you want the network to be setup.

VLAN Benefits

A VLAN has the same attributes as a physical local area network (LAN), but it allows for devices to be grouped together more easily even if they are not on the same network switch. Most enterprise-level networks today use the virtual LANs.

Without VLAN functionality, this setup would require a separate, a collection of network cables and equipment separate from the primary network that would be costly and create the need for wiring an entire home or office again. Unlike physically separate networks, VLANs share bandwidth, so VLAN trunks may require aggregated links and/or quality of service prioritization for maximizing the capability.

For many users, VLAN alone is a enough of a reason to switch to third-party alternative firmware, but you can read the Intro to DD-WRT for more.

How to Setup VLAN in DD-WRT

Netgear R7000 Nighthawk - Wireless-AC Router

Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT

Now on to the fun!

In this DD-WRT tutorial, we will setup VLANs for each Ethernet port. This will create a network on each port that is isolated from all the other ports. An Asus RT-AC66U has been used for this tutorial but this same interface is pretty constant throughout any popular DD-WRT enhanced router like the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900.

VLAN Configuration of Ports 1-4

Go to (or your router management IP address) in your web browser.

Select Setup -> VLANs.

Uncheck ports 1, 2, 3, and 4. Place port 1 into VLAN1, port 2 into VLAN2, and port 3 into VLAN3, port 4 into VLAN4. Set the WAN port to VLAN0.

When this is done, the VLAN configuration page should look like this.

VLAN-howto 1 vlan setup



Click Save, then Apply Settings.

VLAN-howto 2 apply vlan settings

VLAN Configuration on Each Port

  1. Next, plug an Ethernet cable into port 1 on the router from your computer.
  2. Unplug the router power for 30 seconds and then plug it back in. Wait for the lights to return to normal.
  3. Go to Setup -> Networking.

In this tutorial, we will create a subnet for each VLAN.

VLAN1 will have the subnet VLAN2 will have the subnet VLAN3 will have the subnet VLAN4 will have the subnet

That means devices on VLAN1 will be assigned addresses such as and for VLAN2

VLAN-howto 3 port setup assignment

Under Port Setup set VLAN1 to Unbridged.

Set the IP Address to Set the Subnet Mask to

Change VLAN2 to Unbridged.

Set the IP Address to Set the Subnet Mask to

Change VLAN3 to Unbridged.

Set the IP Address to Set the Subnet Mask to

Change set VLAN4 to Unbridged.

Set the IP Address to Set the Subnet Mask to

Save your changes by clicking Save. When the interface responds, the Port Setup section should look like this.

VLAN-howto 4 port setup assignment 2

Below the Port Setup area you will see a section titled DHCPD.

What this area does is allow you to create multiple automatic assignment addresses for IP addresses in a network. So whenever someone authenticates into this section, this VLAN will assign it a user address in your network. This is create 4 sets of automatic assignments within the 4 new segments of your network to be handled by the router automatically in the future.

Under DHCPD click Add. Set DHCP 0 to vlan0 with a Leasetime of 1440 (24 hours). Click Save.

Click Add again. Set DHCP 1 to vlan1 with a Leasetime of 1440 (24 hours). Click Save.

Under DHCPD Click Add. Set DHCP 2 to vlan2 with a Leasetime of 1440 (24 hours). Click Save.

Once again, Once again,Set DHCP 3 to vlan3 with a Leasetime of 1440 (24 hours). Click Save.

And a final time, click Add. Set DHCP 4 to vlan4 with a Leasetime of 1440 (24 hours).

Click Save. Let it save. Then, click Apply Settings.

Once completed, the DHCPD -> Mutliple DHCP Server section should look like this:

VLAN-howto 5 multiple dhcp servers

Plug your Ethernet cable into any port on the router aside from port 4 or the WAN port. Unplug the power for 30 seconds and then plug it back in. Wait for the lights to return to normal.

 Adding Firewall Rules to Isolate the VLANs.

Now we have created 4 network segments but we need to use a firewall to fully isolate them from each other. These commands block all VLANs from communication with each other.

Browse to Administration -> Commands.

Copy and paste the following commands into the Commands text box:

iptables -I  FORWARD -s -j DROP
iptables -I  FORWARD -s -j DROP
iptables -I  FORWARD -s -j DROP
iptables -I  FORWARD -s -j DROP

Click “Save Firewall”.

VLAN-howto 6 firewall commands

Your DD-WRT VLAN basic configuration is now complete.

Testing the VLAN DD-WRT Setup

To test each VLAN, connect to that wireless network and port. Take note of your IP address and seeing if your local IP address changes in your network. If it changes you have correctly setup VLANs, great job!

Looking for some VLAN ready routers? Check our our full selection of DD-WRT pre-installed routers.

Updated: Nov 14, 2016

How To Use A VPN Service With Apple Airport Extreme Or Time Capsule

UPDATE: Apple has not updated their router models in years and has reportedly stopped manufacturing the Apple Airport line and Time Capsules.

The Best DD-WRT Wireless Routers List of 2018 is the latest version of this list now available.

Apple Airport Extreme VPN

Use a VPN Service with Apple Airport Extreme

If you frequently use one of the popular WiFi base stations like Apple Airport Extreme or Apple Airport Time Capsule, you may want to add an extra layer of security by using it alongside a VPN service provider. After all, Apple Airport Extreme and Time Capsule are excellent solutions for Mac-fans looking to maintain a large high-speed network for an entire office, home, or classroom.

The advantage of these Apple products over other routers is the ability to use Apple Airplay to wirelessly stream or mirror content from iOS devices to HDTVs and speakers. It only makes sense to want to boost that service with a top-tier VPN connection.

However, what VPN services provide – a way to protect your sensitive online information from malevolent actors, the ability to access geographically restricted websites, etc. – can occasionally lead to some tricky technical questions that can leave even more experienced users stumped from time to time. There is a way you can have a working OpenVPN client in conjunction with Apple Airport Extreme and other Airport devices, but it may not be exactly the way you think.

Apple Airport Default Options for VPN

Apple products like the Airport Extreme, Airport Express or Time Capsule are created with simplicity and user support in mind. However, that simplicity comes at the expense of advanced features, so the only real way to take advantage of a VPN service with Apple Airport would be through a Dual Router Setup with a FlashRouter.

Apple Airport Extreme & Time Capsules do have a VPN option tab but it is not intended for use with VPN service providers. It is intended for connecting to a specified VPN server for a business. The VPN option is limited to PPTP/L2TP and does not include OpenVPN at all. So if you are trying to connect to OpenVPN for work or via a VPN service provider, you are completely out of luck.

Here are the advantages for Apple Time Capsule users looking to add a FlashRouter to their network for use with an AppleTV or Roku:

  1. Apple Airport Limited VPN Support: Apple features limited VPN support, which is not intended for use with popular VPN service providers, so they can not be configured. No OpenVPN. A FlashRouter would allow for a connection to nearly any VPN provider.
  2. DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware: Adds internal VPN client OpenVPN functionality within enhanced firmware alongside fully featured PPTP/L2TP (IPSEC) setup options. No more VPN service setup frustration!
  3. DD-WRT & Tomato Native Support for All OS’s: Connectivity issues with devices become a thing of the past. Whether it is Apple, Linux, Android, a Roku, open-source firmware supports them all.

Sadly, the Airport firmware can not be upgraded to activate OpenVPN integration throughout your entire network due to Apple’s closed networking software and system.

Dual Router Setup for Apple Airport Extreme/Time Capsules


In order to utilize OpenVPN with your Apple networking device, you will need to use a FlashRouter to have a working VPN service with Apple Airport.

Using the popular FlashRouter Dual Router Setup allows VPN users to easily switch between their local Apple Airport, Time Capsule or Airport Extreme network (for day-to-day, basic usage) and their VPN provider (for heavier protection and accessing geographically restricted material). The Dual Router Setup allows you to have a dedicated home network that’s segregated from your VPN, and enables you to use your VPN across your whole Apple Airport Extreme or Time Capsule network.

This is the perfect solution for those looking to create a large, high-speed Apple Airport network that covers their whole home or business with the protection a VPN service provides.

The Dual Router Setup also allows users the opportunity to get some use out of their old router while making a significant upgrade with a FlashRouter. In this case, it’s just what you need to make your VPN and your Apple Airport Extreme or Time Capsule work together.

Recommended VPN Routers For Apple Airport Extreme

You really can’t go wrong with a FlashRouter. Our devices are powerful, fast, and flashed with highly-popular and feature laden DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, which boosts their functionality and versatility by leaps and bounds. Check out our recent best-sellers list to find out which of our devices are the most popular these days.

Our latest addiction is Wireless-AC routers, which took the speeds of our fastest routers and just about doubled them (from 900 Mbps to 5300!). At the moment, our list of Wireless-AC routers include the the much-lauded networking powerhouses: Asus AC5300 DD-WRT Router & Netgear R7800 DD-WRT Router. Looking for something a little more modest? We can happily recommend the fan favorite Linksys WRT1200AC DD-WRT.

Updated: 09/28/2017

What Is WiFi Beamforming? (FlashRouters FAQ)

WiFi Beamforming with Asus AiRadarOne of our primary concerns at FlashRouters is making sure that our customers have access to a reliable and safe wireless network. That’s why we frequently offer FAQs and videos showing how to get the most out of your router, and post stories about developments in the WiFi community. After all, reliable WiFi is no longer a luxury for many; it’s a necessity.

In that spirit, we thought it was a good time to finally discuss Beamforming, a process that is becoming increasingly available on high-end WiFi routers. Though this term has been around in one form or another for a while in the networking community, beamforming is an excellent router feature that is accruing increasing importance.

What Is WiFi Beamforming?

Beamforming is a process that allows you to focus your WiFi signal. Put simply, when your router is sending out a WiFi signal, the signal gets wider and wider as it leaves the router decreasing losing strength in exchange for coverage.

The end goal for a WiFi-connected device (laptop, iPhone or streaming media player) is that this wide signal will hopefully reach you with a quality enough WiFi signal. WiFi beamforming narrows the focus of that router signal, sending it directly to your devices in a straight line, thus minimizing surrounding signal interference and increasing the strength of the signal that each device.

So what is Beamforming doing? Transmitters and receivers in wireless routers and internet-capable devices use MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology. MIMO allows for the transmission and receiving of several signal streams along a determined path that ends at your laptop. By implementing beamforming, prepare for an increase in high-quality streaming HD video and higher bandwidth transmissions, since the signal will be far more concentrated.

WiFi Beamforming with 802.11n Vs. WiFi Beamforming with 802.11ac

Sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, right? Almost sounds like a “wired wireless connection.” With such a clear premise, it seems like WiFi beamforming is something that would be commonplace to use with routers. In fact, beamforming has been available, but difficult to implement and never before this affordable.

WiFi beamforming has been around as an optional feature on 802.11n devices for a while, but that didn’t much matter if your computer or laptop didn’t have compatible feature settings. You could get a 802.11n kit to try to make your device compatible, but 802.11n kits were rather unaffordable. Nowadays, more and more high end devices are featuring the 802.11ac standard, which is often compatible with WiFi beamforming. If your router and internet-capable device are compatible for beamforming, then we highly recommend that you take advantage of the 802.11ac standard.

What is Asus AiRadar and Netgear Beamforming Plus?

While many high end routers feature a 802.11ac standard, the brands producing the devices may not use the term “beamforming” when describing their products. For instance, Asus uses the term “AiRadar” to explain the process of WiFi beamforming. Netgear describes their 802.11ac products as having “Beamforming Plus”. However, both of these terms are individual brand approaches to showcase the WiFi beamforming process.

DD-WRT & Beamforming

WiFi Beamforming with DD-WRT Firmware

Flashing your 802.11ac router with DD-WRT will allow you to get the most of the WiFi Beamforming process. As shown in the image above, within the DD-WRT firmware there is an option for enable or disable Beamforming to either “Explicit Beamforming” or “Implicit Beamforming.”

Explicit Beamforming requires the transmitter (in this case, the router) and receiver (the device on your network) to exchange information. This is a feature that would be best suited for Wireless-AC compatible products, but an important one nonetheless in the future-proofing process. Implicit Beamforming is simpler, and does not require support on both ends of the wireless network. Either way, having this option explicitly available with DD-WRT is a helpful advantage that can greatly aid WiFi Beamforming.

Best DD-WRT Routers For WiFi Beamforming

Meet The Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 DD-WRT FlashRouter

Netgear Nighthawk X4S R7800 – Beamforming Ready DD-WRT FlashRouter

Netgear Nighthawk R7800 DD-WRT – This powerhouse Netgear router with a best-in-DDWRT 1.7 GHz processor, dual band Wireless-AC2600 (wireless transmission speeds of up to 2600 Mbps combined), a USB 3.0 port & 4 external antennas.

Wnat some more options? Check out our Benefits of Wireless-AC DD-WRT Routers.


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Updated: 11/17/2016