It’s not as easy to find DD-WRT compatible routers as it should be. Or maybe I should say it’s not as easy to find out if a particular router is compatible with DD-WRT as it could be. Here’s the trick.

New DD-WRT compatible routers

First, forget the router database. At least, forget about it if you’re buying a new router. It’s been years since someone updated it. Go to the DD-WRT FTP site. Click on the current year. Next, scroll to the end and click on the most recent date.

Now you’ll find more than 300 routers that are compatible with the current version of DD-WRT.

Used DD-WRT compatible routers

Some notable routers from the past won’t be on the list above because they don’t have enough memory for current builds. Maybe you really want one of those. It’s easy to find old routers at thrift stores, for example. And you can expect to find something perfectly functional for around 5 bucks. For those, navigate to the supported devices page or the router database. You won’t get the speed and features of a newer router. But it’s five bucks. You can get a lot of functionality out of DD-WRT and a secondhand $5 router.

My recommendations

I really like the TP-Link TL-WR841N.  It’s cheap, easy to find, and really reliable. For a higher-end router, the D-Link DIR-860L provides a lot of value. It costs less than $60 but it’s a full 802.11ac compatible router. If your Internet connection seems slow and you have a cable modem, upgrading to a new router like a DIR-860L can really improve your speeds. The Linksys WRT54G is rather old now, but many people still consider it a classic. It’s slow by modern standards but it’s reliable, and chances are you can find one at the nearest thrift store for five bucks. Just be sure to double check the version.