Technology moves at a crazy pace but luckily for you and us, routers have given us a bit of breathing space because they have been a little slower on the uptake when compared to other sectors.
This is mainly down to the fact that they have certain limitations when it comes to their capability.
DD-WRT Routers – sounds like something from a Sci-Fi movie
We have all been there. Excited like a kid at Christmas when our shiny new router gets delivered. Haven’t we?……Good…it’s not just us then.
For those of you who like to tinker around with things and make changes DD-WRT is perfect for you. It can be installed on your router as it is open source firmware and it will instantly offer you increased functionality which means that you can really put your router to better use.
By now you must be itching to find out about the best DD-WRT routers? Read on and we will reveal all in a mystical and magical way….well not really but we will do our best.
Are there advantages….of course there are!
The firmware that comes with routers as default has been improving over the years but installing DD-WRT firmware will provide you with the same functionality that comes with business grade routers at a fraction of the cost.
This firmware would enable you to alter the bandwidth allocation settings for different networks but it also allows external hard disks and flash drives to be connected directly to the router where USB ports are present.
This is also the same for network printers as they can also be connected to the network so they can be accessed from anywhere.
Connection speeds are enhanced because of DNS caching and WiFi signal is improved because of Wireless bridging which improves the range of the WiFi signal.
For those who like a more hands-on approach, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t? It allows them to see how their network is performing with advanced performance graphs available that show the bandwidth use and the way in which the network is performing.
To improve the wireless range the antenna power can be adjusted and the signal from all devices can be routed through a VPN service.
Flashing your router
DD-WRT routers are brilliant once they are up and running and it is possible to install the firmware yourself but it is worth remembering that there are potential issues that could arise.
Occasionally, the database page can be out of date and this means that you could decide to download a build that is not stable. Flashing your router can be simple but if you get it wrong then your router could become unusable.
Hooking up a VPN on DD-WRT
As you may have guessed by now – we are kind of big on VPNs because we love the security and privacy they offer.
You’ll be pleased to know that all DD-WRT routers support VPN through the PPTP protocol but what won’t please you is the fact that this isn’t very secure…a big thumbs down from us. However, don’t fret – we have a solution.
Drum roll please……OpenVPN…there we said it! Ok, OpenVPN is not compatible with all DD-WRT routers but the ones in this list should not have a problem
Go ahead and provide security to your home or work network
Depending on the size of your office, you may have the need to use the same kind of router as you would find at home. Therefore, this will offer you enhanced security and will certainly stop your neighbours from hooking up to your network.
DD-WRT is clever in the way that it completely ignores unrequested packets that pass through your WAN port. What the hell does this mean? I hear you ask. Well, this essentially means that your network is invisible, even a hacker could have trouble finding it.
You will have improved protection from viruses and you will also obtain a wide range of security protocols.
The built in VPN connectivity function of DD-WRT will allow you to send all network traffic automatically through the VPN which of course means improved security!
What you need to know
Before you take the plunge into the world of installing DD-WRT, there are somethings we think that you need to know, so gather round.
As soon as you install the DD-WRT firmware your manufacturer’s warranty will be void- if this is something you care very little about then you have made a great start! Just bear in mind that if you have any problems then you will not have the support of the manufacturer.
Just to make sure that you are ready to install the firmware, have little read around the web at the pros and cons before you do decide to go ahead because once you have done it….there is no going back!
The next point is crucial, well it is very crucial. If you get it wrong then your router could be bricked. What we mean by this is that it is unusable and actually becomes of less use than an actual brick but it could make a quirky paperweight.
As with anything, if you decide to make changes then there is the potential for problems so have a think about the risks and make sure that the advantages outweigh them.
Finally, the manufacturers know exactly what they are doing and this is why they make it easy for even the least tech-minded individuals to make changes – so those of you who are not geeks and over 55 you have a good opportunity to make changes easily.
So, everything seems nice and rosy in the world of DD-WRT and it more than likely is. Just be sure that you are making the right decisions along the way.
The routers in the list above are the best DD-WRT routers available and they should meet your requirements. These five routers offer something for everyone and they have great specifications but there are many other routers out there to choose from that support DD-WRT.
This list has been created to offer you an option when it comes to finding a DD-WRT router and we are confident (in our ability to understand what we are talking about!) that they really do offer the functionality that many of you desire.