Before we get to the installation part, let’s first understand briefly what DD-WRT really is and what purpose it serves. Basically, it’s a Linux Based firmware project developed mainly to enhance and improve the performance of wireless routers. It’s open-source which means that users may modify it as they see fit, or developers can redesign it specifically to match the needs of their devices. For routers, DD-WRT acts as a replacement for ambiguous or bugged stock firmware. If you too want better features and good connectivity, then read forward to understand how you can install it on your router.
Installing a software can be fairly easy but if done incorrectly can render the router useless. You install firmware on a router by a process called flashing. Firstly, you will need to find the right type of version that supports your router. You can search by model and router name on the DD-WRT database. Sometimes the firmware is in beta mode so make sure to read developer notes. Sometimes you may be required to flash a temporary firmware before installing the DD-WRT so make sure you have carefully searched the database and found the right version.
After the hectic search process, the remaining steps are fairly easy. Log in to the router’s configuration page which will be mentioned either on the model or you can search it up. You could also type “ipconfig” in CMD to find out the Default Gateway IP. The default login information is usually Admin and Password.
Go to the administration or maintenance section, the name may vary depending on the router model that you own. Choose Firmware upgrade and wait for it to prompt you to select file. Select wherever you downloaded your DD-WRT firmware. After you’ve uploaded it, wait for the router to update. Make sure you don’t unplug or change anything during this time. Also make sure that it’s connected to the internet throughout this process. After it has been successfully installed, reconnect to the WiFi and revisit the admin page. The IP will most probably be the same as it was before. However, it may require a new username and password, in most cases the default is root/admin. If it’s a newer version of the firmware, then it will automatically ask you to choose your own. After you’ve installed it successfully, you’ll have access to a ton of features that will enhance the performance of your router.
A few examples of important features include boosted signals, managing internet traffic, remote access, QoS etc. You can boost signals by selecting a channel that has the least interference. DD-WRT improves signals by actually making the router more powerful. You can also use Quality of Services to make sure there is no bandwidth hogging by certain devices and applications. It provides a lot of control and detailed ways to avid overloads. You can also prioritize certain MAC addresses over others by setting them to either standard, premium or etc. These mainly depend on the type of DD-WRT for your model.