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7 Best DD-WRT Routers: Reviews For Enhanced Network Security

We have reviewed the best DD-WRT Routers. Take deeper control of your home or business networking hardware with enhanced router stability, privacy, and network security.

Some people look to see which router would be the easiest user experience for them, while others want something that offers full control of their home network. If you relate more to the latter, then the DD-WRT is for you.

The open-source, Linux-based firmware is perfect if you’re someone who loves adjusting and tinkering around for the benefit of complete customization. There are, however, quite a few options to choose form. If you want the best DD-WRT routers currently available, you’re in the right place.

Why Use a Router with DD-WRT?

IPV6 Functionality

Right now, most of us are using IPv4 for devices and pushing online traffic where it needs to go. However, it's frankly a bit outdated and doesn't even have enough addresses for how many devices we have. IPv6 is growing in popularity; however, there are still quite a few routers out there than can't easily run it. DD-WRT can!

Improved Router Strength

Your average router firmware typically constricts its full capabilities. With DD-WRT, you can maximize the functionality of the router you already have (also commonly referred to as "overclocking").

Improved Customization

You seriously get full control over each function of your router with DD-WRT. You can completely block your network whenever you want, adjust your firewall’s functionality, restrict certain kinds of activity, and much more.

More Reliability

You probably wouldn’t spend money on an unreliable router, right? Well, if you want the best results, you’ll use DD-WRT. Using Linux, you don’t have to rely on iffy corporations just looking to make a buck every time they change their services.

Better Quality of Service (QoS)

Here, we’re referring to overall performance. With DD-WRT, you’ll experience smoother operation with less lagging and errors. As you can configure your devices and bandwidth to your needs, you’ll be able to pick which kinds of activity receive more. Perhaps you work from home and need all the bandwidth you can get for video conferences. You can now make that a reality!

Larger WiFi Range

You will now be able to take your standard router and configure it to operate as a range extender, amplifying your signal to reach farther devices.


These are, of course, just a few benefits you’ll receive by using DD-WRT.


Important Features of a Good DD-WRT Router

  • Compatibility 
    First, make sure that your router is compatible with DD-WRT! If not, then you're not going to be able to benefit from its features.
  • Connectivity Options
    In "Mixed" mode, you'll take advantage of multiple WiFi network types to ensure you don't have to deal with any interference. 5GHz is your best option, which has been proven to offer the most stable connection.
  • Processor & RAM Options
    The more RAM that comes with your router, the larger the firmware build can be installed onto it. You’ll also be able to take advantage of more advanced features that models with more limited RAM wouldn’t be able to use. Faster processor speeds will ensure you get a quicker and more reliable connection, as well.
  • DIY Flashing vs. Pre-Flashed
    "Flashing" is the act of installing new software on your router. Once you've done this, there's no way to go back to its state before you installed said software, and if you do it incorrectly, you can run into some serious issues. However, there is the option to get a pre-flashed router, which does cost an extra fee, but it is well worth avoiding that potential hassle for many.
  • Speeds
    As you can imagine, fast routers are ideal, but what constitutes "fast" or how fast would you like it? Just about every brand of router will tote theirs as "fast," but with DD-WRT, it ensures it provides the best speed possible that your specific router is capable of.
  • Range
    Range is similar in that you want the range to be as thorough as possible relative to your home’s size and layout. Dead spots should be something that no one has to deal with now, and though the DD-WRT won't increase your router's range capabilities, it will offer the max range.
  • Security & Privacy
    The majority of routers we’re used to come with the basic WPA or WPA2 password systems. However, a dd-wrt router uses open source firmware with frequent updates and software enhancements to ensure even the most common tech issues are resolved.

    Monitoring internet traffic is now easy to do as well, along with an array of other security configuration options available to you that you wouldn’t find on a standard router.
  • Price & Warranty
    No matter your budget, we have at least one option for you. However, you should know that the more you spend when it comes to routers, the more you receive. If you want extensive coverage and ultra-fast speeds, you'll have to pay a more premium price. If you want a more user-friendly experience, the same goes here. Warranty goes hand-in-hand with pricing as those with longer warranties may end up saving you money, even if you spend more initially.

7 Best DD-WRT Routers Reviewed

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600

NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router...
  • Fast wifi performance: Get up to 2500 square...
  • Recommended for up to 45 devices: Reliably...
  • Wired Ethernet ports: plug in computers, game...
  • Loaded with advanced technology: Designed...

Best DD WRT Router

Max Speed

Up to 2600 Mbps

Number of Ports

4 x 1G Ethernet, 2 x 3.0 USB, 1 x eSATA

Data Transfer Rate

2.53 Gbps

Processor

1.7GHz

RAM

512MB

Key Feature

Very affordable for the speeds it offers

If you’re on the search for the router that offers the biggest bang for your buck, then you’re in for a real treat with the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600.

Even CNET says, “If you’re looking to cover a large home (of 4,000 square feet or less) and you have a dozen or so Wi-Fi-connected devices, the X4S is a great choice.”

The best DD-WRT WiFi router isn't perfect, as we did find their web interface a bit less user-friendly than others, but overall it’s a wonderful choice, especially if you don’t want to pay a ton of money.

As far as appearance goes, we liked the sleek black, which goes with everything. However, the array of antennas around the top is a little less pleasing to the eyes, so you may want to stick it in a corner where it remains unnoticed by guests.

Recommended for up to a whopping 45 devices, you can rely on it to consistently stream videos and audio, play games, video chat, and much more. Not only that, but you have four wired Ethernet ports for you to plug in computers, game consoles, and whatever else needs super-speedy connection.

Two USB 3.0 connections are great for hooking up printers or storage drives so you can kind of make your own “cloud” storage with full security measures.

To minimize interference, you have MU-MIMO capabilities to ensure your devices operate at frequencies where they’ll perform their best. With a data transfer rate of 2.53 Gbps and a 1.7GHz processor, uploading large files or backing up your computer will be a breeze.

Good
  • Fast for the price
  • Great selection of ethernet and USB ports
  • Nice range, even for larger homes
  • Efficiently manages dozens of devices
Bad
  • Only a 1-year warranty
  • Rather bulky

2. ASUS RT-AC66U AC1750

ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Dual-Band WiFi...
  • 1GHz CPU powers dual-band 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi...
  • Monitor and manage your network with ease...
  • Effortless router setup with ASUSWRT...
  • Integrated USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports enable...

Best ASUS DD WRT Router

Max Speed

Up to 1750 Mbps

Number of Ports

4 x Ethernet, 1 x 3.0 USB, 1 x 2.0 USB

Data Transfer Rate

1.7 Gbps

Processor

1GHz

RAM

256MB

Key Feature

Very affordable

If you’re on a budget and don’t know where to look for the best cheap DD WRT router, look no further! The ASUS RT-AC66U AC1750 is just the model for you.

With robust security systems and coverage of up to 3,000 square feet, it's perfect for keeping your network safe and reliable. It may not be the fastest out there, but speeds are still impressive, especially when you remember that this model is the best dd-wrt router under $100.

With 4 ethernet ports, you'll easily hook up devices that need as much speed as possible, such as laptops or gaming consoles. You'll also receive one 3.0 USB and one 2.0 USB for device hookups like printers.

The appearance is neither here nor there, with a texture black enclosure and a somewhat compact size. However, it doesn't come with removable antennas, so that's important to note for where you plan on placing it. You can mount it on the wall, sit it flat on a table or floor, or kept in a semi-vertical position.

With a max speed of 1750 Mbps and a 1GHz processor, it's notably slower than the previous model on our guide but still high-performance.

Installation was one of the easier processes we’ve been through, as it comes with a convenient setup CD. You can expect your router to be up and running in around just 10 minutes.

Good
  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • Great parental controls
  • Easy to install
Bad
  • Non-removable antennas
  • Not the fastest speeds compared to others on our guide

3. TRENDnet TEW-818DRU AC1900

TRENDnet AC1900 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit...
  • AC1900: 1300 Mbps Wireless AC + 600 Mbps...
  • High speed USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 share ports
  • Pre-encrypted for your convenience
  • Create an isolated guest network

Best Wireless Router for DD WRT

Max Speed

Up to 1900 Mbps

Number of Ports

4 x Ethernet, 1 x 3.0 USB, 1 x 2.0 USB

Data Transfer Rate

1.7 Gbps

Processor

1GHz

RAM

128MB

Key Feature

Very affordable

For wireless performance, the TRENDnet TEW-818DRU AC1900 is one of the top performers out there. Thanks to the dual-band wireless USB adapter, if you're looking for a super speedy close-proximity connection to your computer, it’s hard to beat this DD WRT router.

With 4 external antennas, it does look a bit spider-like, but it’s also compact enough that you can choose to move it to a more conspicuous space should you choose. The antennas are also removable and adjustable if you’d rather put it in a more visible area.

With speeds of up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band, it’s quite fast though we found it was slightly more inconsistent when used across the home. Of course, this will depend on your home’s layout and overall size as well.

Supporting beamforming technology, it further speeds up wireless connections so you never have to worry about lagging.

Installation was nice and straightforward as the package came with a CD which featured all necessary drivers, a user guide, and a physical Quick Start Guide. On top of that, one-touch connection lets you connect simply by touching the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) button!

With up to 1300 Mbps wireless AC and 600 Mbps wireless N, it’s more than speedy enough for most households. High-speed USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports make it easy to hook up external storage devices as well, to create your own storage cloud without having to rely on 3rd-party sources.

As it comes pre-encrypted with its own special password, it’s ultra-convenient and even allows you the option to make an isolated guest network. Moreover, we loved the parental controls on this best DD WRT WiFi router, allowing you to control access to the websites of your choosing, while also selecting which devices have access to your router.

Good
  • Budget-friendly
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • Excellent wireless performance
Bad
  • Bulky design
  • Only 1-year warranty

4. Linksys WRT3200ACM

On Sale Today
Linksys WRT3200ACM Dual-Band Open Source...
  • Fast wireless router provides Wi-Fi coverage...
  • Open source firmware offers advanced...
  • Tri stream 160 technology doubles bandwidth...
  • Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in...

Best Router to Flash DD WRT

Max Speed

Up to 3200 Mbps

Number of Ports

1 x Gigabit WAN port, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port

Data Transfer Rate

3.2 Gbps

Processor

1.8GHz

RAM

512MB

Key Feature

Incredible amount of RAM, fast speeds

If you need speed, then the Linksys WRT3200ACM should be one of your top contenders. 

The router allows you to “bring ultra-fast AC WiFi to your home with the one and only open source router" to deliver "blazing-fast, uninterrupted dual-band WiFi speeds to multiple devices at the same time," says Linksys themselves.

If you're looking to flash DD WRT on your router, you need something powerful, with ample RAM and processing power. It is often considered the best router to flash DD WRT, and it comes as no surprise that the Linksys WRT3200ACM is one of the most popular on the market today.

The price is in line with other top-quality models, so you should expect to pay a bit more, but you are getting what you pay for here.

The robust 1.8GHz dual-core processor combined with wireless data speeds of up to an impressive 3200Mbps is an excellent option for those who need something that will handle anything they throw at it.

Streaming, large file transfers, and more are all no problem for the WRT3200ACM. Lagging is now a thing of the past. 256MB of flash storage will ensure your router works seamlessly with DD WRT so you can have full control over your network like never before.

4 ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 great for file sharing, and a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port are also handy for file transfers. For full customization and management, you can use their user-friendly app all from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.

Send guests passwords to their own WiFi network, set up precise parental controls, prioritize devices, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Good
  • Incredibly fast
  • Excellent coverage and performance
  • Large array of ports
  • User-friendly interface
Bad
  • Not ideal if you’re not tech-savvy
  • Only 1-year warranty

5. D-Link EXO AC1750 DIR-869

D-Link EXO AC1750 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Performance...
  • Premium stylish design High-power amplifiers...
  • Built-in gigabit ports Dual Band Wireless...
  • Intelligent QoS Backwards compatible Wi-Fi...
  • Eliminate dead zones Easy setup New intuitive...

Best Budget DD WRT Router

Max Speed

Up to 1750 Mbps

Number of Ports

4 x Ethernet ports

Data Transfer Rate

1.75 Gbps

Processor

Dual Core

RAM

128MB

Key Feature

Very budget friendly

If you’re looking for one of the best DD WRT routers out there but don’t want to spend a lot of money, check out the D-Link EXO AC1750 DIR-869. As the best budget DD WRT router, it offers features typically found only on premium-priced models while remaining affordable for most consumers.

As far as appearance goes, the AC1750 is high-class. Its orange-and-black color scheme is definitely modern but not distracting. You’ll find 4 antennas in total that also look quite sleek, though are not detachable. Setup is relatively quick and easy, letting you set it up without a computer through their mobile app if you'd like. However, we did find regular web setup to be faster.

The downside is that if you need to connect an external storage device or printer into your router, you’re out of luck as it doesn’t have any USB ports. It’s a bit odd, but if you don’t need them, it’s not a big deal anyway.

However, you do get 4 ethernet ports that support 2.4 and 5 GHz. Intelligent QoS Backwards Compatible WPS is very convenient, and we also found coverage even over a 4,000 square foot home to eliminate all dead spots.

You can help ensure proper coverage throughout your home with the intuitive web user interface. It was one of the better, more user-friendly options in our experience. These are only a few of the reasons why the AC1750 is considered the best cheap DD WRT router!

Also Recommended: Best Routers Under $100

Good
  • Very affordable
  • Easy setup and configuration
  • Simultaneous streaming
  • 3-year warranty
Bad
  • Lacking USB ports
  • Antennas aren’t detachable

6. TP-LINK Archer C7

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router - Dual Band...
  • Wireless internet router works with Alexa,...
  • Dual band router upgrades to 1750 Mbps high...
  • 3 external antennas for long range wifi
  • Gigabit router with 4 gigabit LAN ports, fast...

Best TP Link Router for DD WRT

Max Speed

Up to 1750 Mbps

Number of Ports

5 x Ethernet ports, 1 x USB 2.0

Data Transfer Rate

1.75 Gbps

Processor

720 MHz

RAM

128MB

Key Feature

Solid coverage and power for price

The best TP link Router for DD WRT is undoubtedly the Archer C7, which is one of the fastest we’ve seen for a router at this price. Easy to install and coming with an array of settings, it’s also one of the most convenient to use.

Even the New York Times says, “The Archer C7 is a fast 802.11ac router with incredible range and has an unbeatable price-performance ratio.”

The sleek, all-black design is one of the more attractive DD WRT routers out there and with its compact size, won’t be a hassle to place in a more public space should you like to. There are 3 external antennas, however, which are not detachable.

While there are speedier routers on our guide, you’ll end up spending much more for just a slight boost in quickness.

Coming with 5 ethernet ports, this DD WRT recommended router is designed to work with any internet plan and allow you to connect your wired devices directly to it. It also has a USB 2.0 port, which is nice to use with an external storage device or printer, though we would have liked to have a 3.0 as well.

Streaming in 4K on various devices is now no hassle with speeds of up to 1750 Mbps. We experienced no buffering nor lagging, and coverage ensured dead spots were also a thing of the past. Finally, we loved the TP Link tether setup, which made installation and management intuitive from both at home and remotely.

Good
  • Very affordable
  • 16 MB flash memory capacity
  • Durable external antennas
  • 2-year warranty
  • Guest network bandwidth controls
Bad
  • Only one USB 2.0 port

7. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-Band...
  • Triple level game acceleration accelerate...
  • Cutting edge hardware offers the best...
  • Your own gaming mesh network Compatible with...
  • ASUS wrt enables support for open, advanced...

Best DD-WRT Gaming Router

Max Speed

Up to 10.8 Gbps

Number of Ports

2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 2 x USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 1 ports

Data Transfer Rate

11000 Mbps

Processor

1.8 GHz Quad-Core

RAM

1 GB

Key Feature

Extremely powerful and fast – perfect for gaming

Gaming requires a lot of speed and power, and the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 has more than enough for even the most avid gamers.

The first of the new WiFi 6-capable routers, which offers a more efficient signal and future-proofs your router, provides great performance at close range but actually gets better as distance increases! If you have a large home or just a complicated layout, you can take advantage of high-speed WiFi from every corner.

With a monstrous base and 8 swiveling antennas, it looks like something you'd find in a virtual world. You won’t want to hide this one out of sight, with the ASUS logo illuminated with RBG lighting.

You simply can’t get better connectivity than this best DD-WRT gaming router, with a tri-band design, 4 gigabit LAN ports, one 2.5G Base T Ethernet connection, and two USB 3.0/3.1 ports. Thanks to these, you’ll always be ready for battle, and will be able to experience your graphics better than ever.

Coming with a quad-core 18GHz processor, a whopping 1GB of RAM and 256MB of flash memory, and the ability to reach up to lightning-fast 10.8 Gbps, you’ll never have to deal with buffering or dead spots again. Moreover, it comes with AiProtection to keep internet threats at bay.

Also Recommended: Best Gaming Routers for Xbox One

Good
  • First WiFi 6 router perfect for future proofing
  • Performance only gets better with distance
  • 2.5Gbps wired connection
  • Included security software
  • 2-year warranty
Bad
  • Expensive

Comparing DD-WRT Router vs. Regular Routers

You may be wondering why you even need a DD-WRT router. They’re typically more expensive, after all! However, you get full control over your entire router with DD-WRT capabilities.

Regular routers, in contrast, are limited in many ways. With DD-WRT routers, you can extend your network’s range, expect faster performance with fewer glitches and lagging, and the ability to adjust controls and customization.

If you're a heavy gamer or simply require plentiful bandwidth in your household, you'll love the flexibility and performance DD-WRT routers can provide. 


Recommended DD-WRT Set Up & Configuration

Now, let’s go through how to set up and configure your DD-WRT compatible router.

Where to Download Firmware

This link right here is a reliable place you can download DD-WRT firmware.

How to Install VPN on a Router

First, make sure your router has at least 8 MB of flash memory (yours should if it’s from our guide).

  1. 1
    First, download the OpenVPN configuration files, while your VPN will provide you with (you’ll need to contact them and ask for them).
  2. 2
    On your browser, go to your router’s settings page or http://192.168.1.1.
  3. 3
    Once in the control panel, click "services" and then "VPN sub-tab."
  4. 4
    After this, enable the Start OpenVPN Client. This opens the configuration panel and lets you enter your settings in.
  5. 5
    Check to see if your version of DD-WRT has User Pass Authentication. If not, skip to step 7.
  6. 6
    Enter the following settings: strong>Server IP/Name. You’ll obtain this address from your VPN. For your username and password, you’ll also find these from your VPN.  
  7. 7
    If you don’t have UPA, look for the “Additional Config” box and enter: auth-user-pass/tmp/auth.txt
  8. 8
    For Server IP/Name, look at the address of your VPN server location you want to connect to. You can find this info in the .ovpn config file your VPN will provide you with.
  9. 9
    Go back to the control panel and click "Services," then "VPN."
  10. 10
    Locate “Additional ConfiG” and enter the details.
  11. 11
    Go back to the .ovpn config file, copy/pasting the text between “tls-auth” and “/tls-auth” into the TLS Auth Key field.
  12. 12
    In the same .ovpn file, copy the text between "ca" and "/ca," pasting it into the CA Cert field.
  13. 13
    Copy text between “cert” and “/cert” and paste into Public Client Cert field.
  14. 14
    Copy text between “key” and “/key” and paste into the Public Client Cert field.
  15. 15
    Click "Save" and "Apply Settings."
  16. 16
    Finally, click "Status" then "OpenVPN." If the fields are blank, you'll have to go back to the aforementioned steps and ensure everything is properly set up.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is DD WRT legal?

Yes, it is!

Is it better to buy a pre-flashed router, or should I flash it myself?

That all depends on you. If you're not particularly tech-savvy, you may just want to spend the extra money and purchase a pre-flashed model.

Is it possible to uninstall DD-WRT and revert to stock firmware?

Yes, you can.

Will installing DD-WRT speed up my router?

Almost always, yes. This is one of the many benefits.

What are common operating issues with using DD-WRT routers? How can I fix them?

1. IP Conflict

If your gateway router/device is using the IP 192.168.1.1, you may have issues when accessing your router after flashing it as both devices are trying to use the same IP. To fix it, simply change the IP of one of the devices.

2. Firewall Issues

If your router has integrated firewalls, they may cause connection issues. First, try disabling all firewall-related settings to see if this fixes the connection problems.

3. DD-WRT Firmware Versions

There may be a chance you’re using a malfunctioning DD-WRT firmware version. Simply head back to this link and download a different one.

Which is better, DD-WRT or OpenWRT?

DD-WRT is based on OpenWRT, though it is much easier to install and manage. While it doesn't support quite as many as OpenWRT, you'll find that almost all of the most popular models are supported.

Which is better, DD-WRT or Tomato?

DD-WRT offers many more features than Tomato and supports more models as well. However, this makes it more open to more bugs as it does have more feature options. Tomato is slightly easier to flash, but for most people, that's not worth selecting it over DD-WRT.


Conclusion

Now that you’re practically a pro on the best DD-WRT routers currently available, which one will you be using for your home? No matter which one you select, you can rest easy knowing it’s a top-notch product.

However, we do still recommend the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600. You're simply not going to find the incredible speeds, power, and user options anywhere else for the price. We hope our guide has helped you match with the perfect DD-WRT router for you!