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Old 04-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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WRT54 alternate firmwares

Hi all,
I have an Linksys WRT54G broadband router that I want to use as a wireless bridge. Just as luck would have it that is not an option in the original firmware so it looks like I have to use 3rd party firmware.
Has anyone experience with any of the 3rd party firmwares, such as Tomato, DD-WRT and Open-WRT ?

Yours
ZB
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I user DD-WRT. I tried Tomato and while it was simple, I just didn't care for it.

FWIW, I have two of the WRT54GL's, so I have a bit more memory available for advanced features. IIRC I have the VPN firmware installed.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have DD-WRT the same unit at home in order to re-use it to connect the machines (XBOX, XBOX360) upstaris to the wireless network.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I went with Tomato because it had the nicer name. And it seemed to do everything I wanted; access restriction and QOS, mostly.

I'm looking into N routers, still figuring out what works with them. Hopefully I'll find a dual-band soon.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Redlemon View Post
I went with Tomato because it had the nicer name. And it seemed to do everything I wanted; access restriction and QOS, mostly.

I'm looking into N routers, still figuring out what works with them. Hopefully I'll find a dual-band soon.
I have been looking at N devices too (just for fun) and only lately have there been any that I find sensible as most of them only have 100 Mb lan ports. What is the use of having 300Mb wireless (even if it is only 150Mb throughput) if the lan can not sustain that load.

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ZB
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to use the DD-WRT firmware. Tomato is okay, but I like the features of DD-WRT more, and feel they do better updates. Either are certainly leaps and jumps above the stock firmware in any of the routers I've seen.

I say used to, as I recently built myself a PFSense firewall on a sweet Alix board, so the router behind it is now just an access point.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to use DD-WRT from the early days. I had to use it to be able to connect to a random wireless access point that had a signal leaking onto my property...Not to mention the extra big antenna, the increased power, and placement closer to the signal were nice too.

I don't understand why this isn't standard. Actually, more sharing of files in the local neighborhood would be better...
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The WRT54G is ancient. You might want something less than a decade old.

Your hardware revision will determine what firmware is available to you. That's the first thing you need to figure out.

For those looking for something a little more recent, I am using and highly recommend the E3000. It's a bit on the spendy side, but is very featureful. Gigbit ethernet switch, dual-band 802.11N wireless, onboard NAS support. With DD-WRT it becomes a seriously powerful device.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For those looking for something a little more recent, I am using and highly recommend the E3000. It's a bit on the spendy side, but is very featureful. Gigbit ethernet switch, dual-band 802.11N wireless, onboard NAS support. With DD-WRT it becomes a seriously powerful device.
I just saw that Amazon has the E3000 at $130, down from $180. Grabbing it now, along with a TiVo N adaptor...
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Martian - So, I'm looking at more information on the E3000 as I wait for it to arrive, and the built-in firmware seems really complete. So I wonder... what did you see as missing in the default firmware that necessitated installing DD-WRT?
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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For the average user, stock firmware is probably fine. I prefer DD-WRT because I like some of the extra capabilities and features it offers. I'm actually using some of the more advanced VPN and routing capabilities, but I also like having full logging capabilities and the ability to log in and manage the device via SSH.

So really, it's not that there's anything wrong with the stock firmware. It's just that the stock firmware is designed for the average user, which I am not.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I went with DD-WRT, it does the job a lot better than a Planet thingy I was using.
Since this wireless bridge will be replaced by gigabitnet work in the future I didn't want to spend any money on wireless, and for free the price on the WRT54G was hard to beat .

The only issue I have with the current setup is that DHCP wasn't flowing over the wireless initially so I just assigned static ip's to start with, may or may not look into that later.

Thanks to you all.
ZB
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I just used DD-WRT to setup a repeater bridge on a WAP54G in my house last week. It was a little bit more complicated than I anticipated, but once it is setup, it works like a champ. Let me know if you go that way and have any issues. It's still pretty fresh in my mind.

For people asking, I assume my need to move to an alternative firmware is the same as yours. The Linksys boxes won't repeat anything but another Linksys box. I wanted to repeat the signal from my 2WIRE DSL wireless router.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon View Post
Martian - So, I'm looking at more information on the E3000 as I wait for it to arrive, and the built-in firmware seems really complete. So I wonder... what did you see as missing in the default firmware that necessitated installing DD-WRT?
Famous last words. The specs for the E3000 are complete, but the interface for changing the settings is complete shit. Some of the settings require the Easy Interface. Others require the direct settings. But, if you access it directly, you can't use the Easy Interface again. People have been complaining for months, and they don't seem to care. I really don't understand. So, I'm trying DD-WRT, or returning it soon.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Redlemon View Post
People have been complaining for months, and they don't seem to care. I really don't understand.
Cisco has undergone some management changes over the last year, and have really been focusing on stopping end-user focused business and returning to solely working with enterprise level business.

I never really understood why they bought Linksys in the first place.

DD-WRT is really quite easy to use, and not that hard to set up, in my mind...but I'm not a good person to determine relative technical difficulties.

Give it a go, though. Ask questions here if needed, and use the wiki!
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Update:
I set the device that is on the far side of the bridge to use DHCP and now it works. My guess is that "the network" just needed some time to detect the changes.
Yours
ZB
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have used DD-WRT and Tomato for years and actually prefer Tomato just a little bit more than DD-WRT. I have installed wireless bridges and repeaters for several local businesses and it seems like the Tomato inteface is easier for everyday end users to configure or administer. I have set up tomato on the backside of lessnetwork routers for public wifi terminals as well.
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