I’m writing this post from work; since it’s my first time doing a Saturday rotation and there is nobody else around. 🙂

I’ve known about DD-WRT for a long time.  But, probably not many other people have.  So, let me start with a little background.  DD-WRT is an open-source linux based firmware for consumer grade broadband routers.  The idea is that you install DD-WRT, and in the process, erase the default (linksys, netgear, etc.) firmware.  Normal people might say “Why do you want to do that?” – Well, because.  BECAUSE.

For me, I can’t stop hacking things.  It’s almost an OCD.  I’ve hacked my ipod to put Linux and Rockbox on it.  I’ve hacked my Razr v3m with seem edits, I have a modded Xbox (thanks again JJA), and in general I just like to ‘hack’ at things and see what I can do with them.

But with DD-WRT, there’s more of a benefit than just ‘hacking’ your router.  You can turn a bare-bones wireless router into a much more useful piece of equipment.  Your basic device can be transformed to have VPN capabilities, QoS, Vlans, Bandwidth graphing, SSH access, and enhanced security features.

Now, DD-WRT isn’t a new thing by any means.  But for me, I have hit one of those compulsive phases in my technical life where I simply MUST do this.  I MUST use DD-WRT.  Unfortunately my stupid Netgear WGR614v6 does not agree, and is not supported by any open firmware projects.

So I began shopping on ebay, craigslist, consult.it, and any friends I knew that owned a Linksys router.  The Linksys WRT54G is famous for being a hackable device (Linksys actually open sourced the Firmware).  I was simply hell bent on finding a Linsksy WRT54G v4.  Specifically, version 4 is by far the best router to have when looking at DD-WRT because it has 4 megs of flash memory and is not locked down nearly as hard.  In fact, you can upgrade to DD-WRT right from the default Linksys web interface.

After a few hours of looking around, fighting the ebay crowds, and coming up empty overall; I stumbled across an amazing tidbit of information on Wikipedia.  Apparently, there was such a high demand for these WRT54Gv4 models, that Linksys re-released them and still currently sells them.  They just rebranded it and label it as an open source router.  The new model number is WRT54GL (with the L standing for “Linux”).  

I found one of these WRT54GL routers on CircuitCity.com and it was currently 15 dollars off AND had free shipping.  And, since Vanbergs still owed me a birthday present, I decided to cash it in on a brand new router.

Now I’m just waiting for it to get to my house so I can immediately flash it with DD-WRT.

Anybody need a ‘non hacked’ Netgear wireless router?

3 thoughts on “DD-WRT

  1. vanlandw

    glad you got your hands on one vanberge

    I got tomato firmware on mine and as we were talking about it’s pretty badass. With comcast limiting transfer to 250gb it’s nice to actually know how much bandwidth is being used in the house. Enjoy your new router

    brb + ocho cinco

  2. Adam

    Linksys open sources their firmware because they used linux- they were forced to. There was actually a lawsuit.

    Either way – DD-WRT is really fun. It’s on most of our wifi hotspots for work.

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