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Open source firmware for routers and access points

DD-WRT advantages

DD-WRT is a popular aftermarket firmware for consumer routers. For more than a decade, it’s been the go-to for people who want to turn a sub-$100 router into a so-called “super router.” Here’s a look at the most noteworthy DD-WRT advantages.

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Is DD-WRT safe?

As a security professional, “is DD-WRT safe?” is a question I hear a lot. While there are options that I think are safer, I’m perfectly fine with admitting I use DD-WRT myself. I know a lot of other people like me do as well.

One thing is almost certain: DD-WRT is safer than what shipped on your router from the factory.

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MAC address filtering in DD-WRT

I don’t recommend MAC address filtering–it stands for Media Access Control and has nothing to do with Apple computers–as a security measure. It’s too easy to bypass it. But if you want or need to do MAC address filtering in DD-WRT it’s easy to do.

And admittedly, even though MAC filtering won’t help your security, DD-WRT’s implementation of it lets you do some neat tricks that an off-the-shelf router can’t do–like forcing a device to use 5 GHz even if it wants to use 2.4 GHz.

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Using the DD-WRT firewall

I get a lot of questions about the DD-WRT firewall. There’s a lot of talk out there that goes deep into theory and advanced firewall usage, but what if you just want to know how to set up your firewall to protect your network and open up a few ports?

Here’s how to set that up.

Note: If you have multiple DD-WRT boxes running as access points like I do, only the one directly plugged into the Internet needs to be configured this way. Disable the SPI firewall on your internal access points.

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Adjust DD-WRT TX power

I had a DD-WRT router that was dropping a lot of packets. I got a lot of errors and that caused poor playback in Netflix and especially It wasn’t a bandwidth issue. My wireless network connection was just too noisy. I had to adjust my DD-WRT TX power to fix it.

I probably adjusted it the opposite way you would expect.Read More »Adjust DD-WRT TX power

A DD-WRT USB print server

If your router has a USB port and is running DD-WRT, you can turn it into a DD-WRT USB print server. It can still do wireless duty while it allows your computers to print to your wired USB printer over your wired or wireless network. It’s not very intuitive or user friendly, but it works. Here’s how to set it up with Windows 7. Other Windows versions will be about the same.

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Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation

I picked up a couple of refurbished Linksys EA6200 routers this past weekend. For whatever reason, DD-WRT isn’t officially supported on them, though it does seem to be a popular DD-WRT router. A lot of people make the upgrade far more difficult than they need to. With some simple hacks, Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation is pretty straightforward.

I came up with an 18-step process that I simplified just as much as I could. Unlike some methods I’ve seen, I don’t have you editing any binary files or creating custom startup scripts.

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