What is a DD-WRT Router?

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Updated August 10, 2022

If you are interested in building a modern wireless network, you may wonder what is a DD-WRT router. The best routers, after all, tend to include this functionality. What is DD-WRT, why would you use it, and how do you enable it? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • DD-WRT is a set of open-source firmware running on the Linus kernel that can speed up wireless routers and the overall wireless connection.
  • Some routers come pre-installed with DD-WRT, though in most cases you’ll have to do it yourself and replace the default firmware with the firmware upgrade.
  • Download and install your preferred DD-WRT software, connect your router to your computer, and follow the prompts.

What is a DD-WRT Router?

DD-WRT routers, otherwise known as open-source routers, are equipped with Linux-based firmware that offers significant advantages over traditional firmware sources. DD-WRT routers tend to be faster, more reliable, and with a larger wireless range. They also allow for advanced functionalities, if you are learning how to set up two networks with one router or understanding what 5G is on a wireless router. You can purchase a router with DD-WRT software pre-installed or if you are bold, you can download the software yourself and install it on a compatible device.

Insider Tip

Installing DD-WRT firmware to your router will void the manufacturer’s warranty, so keep that in mind.

How to Enable DD-WRT on a Router

There are various methods to enable DD-WRT on a router, such as when you are learning how to reset a router password. For our purposes, let’s focus on the two big ones.

Purchase a DD-WRT Router

Some routers come pre-installed with varying suites of DD-WRT firmware. These fiber routers can be found on Amazon and at other locations throughout the Internet. As a note, routers manufactured by major companies, such as Linksys or D-Link, tend to use their own firmware and are not sold with DD-WRT pre-installed. Make sure to read the fine print before making a purchase, looking for specific mention of DD-WRT firmware. For a look at two routers with open-source firmware, check out the Linksys WRT1900ACS vs WRT3200ACM.

Install DD-WRT Software

Here are the steps to successfully install DD-WRT firmware on your pre-existing router.

STEP 1

First of all, you need to find out if your router can even support the DD-WRT firmware. There are many lists online of compatible devices and your manufacturer may have the information listed on its official website.

STEP 2

Choose, download, and install your preferred DD-WRT firmware, as there are many to choose from. Popular options include OpenWRT, Tomato, and others.

STEP 3

Connect your router to your computer via Ethernet cable. Follow the prompts to install the firmware onto the router. You may have to hold down the factory reset button on the router for 30 seconds afterward.

STEP 4

Once successfully installed, your DD-WRT software will now control all aspects of your router.

F.A.Q.S

What about a DD-WRT router for small businesses and workplaces?

Sure, DD-WRT routers are not just for residential use. These popular routers with their open-source firmware upgrade are a great option for businesses.


How does a DD-WRT compare to my router’s stock firmware?

DD-WRT typically includes advanced features that go above and beyond stock firmware. This alternative firmware allows for a dual router setup and turns your device into a more powerful router.


Does DD-WRT work on all routers?

Depending on your router model, DD-WRT may or may not be accessible. Check an available router database for more information and a list of routers. You can also check with the router manufacturer.



STAT: DD-WRT is Linux-based firmware for wireless routers and access points. Originally designed for the Linksys WRT54G series, it now runs on a wide variety of models. (source)

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