DD-WRT is a brilliant, open-source firmware that adds an array of features and functionalities to your router. This Linux-based firmware is created to unleash the full potential of your wireless router.
Most routers available in the market come with stock firmware, developed by the manufacturer. This type of firmware is designed to provide a user-friendly experience for users. It involves less technical stuff and is easy to use for everyone.
On the other hand, custom firmware like DD-WRT removes all limitations and allows complete control over your device. There are various advantages to using DD-WRT router firmware. For instance, it can improve your router’s privacy, stability, wireless connectivity, and network security. By pairing it with a modern router, you can make it even more powerful.
If you are looking for the Best DD-WRT Router, you are in the right place. After testing tens of routers, we have finally picked 7 of the best routers that can be used with DD-WRT. So without wasting any time, let’s dive into the details.
7 Best DD-WRT Routers Review
We have reviewed each unit to give you an idea of what it has to offer. Go through the details and choose the one that is most appropriate for you.
1. Linksys WRT3200ACM: AC3200 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router: Our Top Pick
- Fast wireless router provides Wi-Fi coverage for your home (works with existing modem)
- Open source firmware offers advanced customization; Certified operating systems: MacOS (10.X or...
- Tri stream 160 technology doubles bandwidth from 80 MHz to 160 MHz
Let’s start our list with the Linksys WRT3200ACM dual-band router, which is popular for its speed and performance. It is a reliable unit that is compatible with DD-WRT and provides connections to multiple devices simultaneously.
Why is it Unique?
It is a dual-band unit that supports up to 2600 Mbps and 600Mbps speed on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands respectively.
The TRI-stream 160 technology helps increase the bandwidth to 160 MHz from 80 MHz. Thus, it allows you to enjoy online, 4K HD streaming, etc. without any lag.
With MU-MIMO, it can provide reliable connections to multiple devices simultaneously. On the other hand, beamforming tech reduces interferences and improves performance by directing wireless signals to connected devices.
It also has high encryption standards and supports WPA/WPA2. You can install and manage this device easily through a browser or the Smart WiFi app from Linksys.
This DD-WRT-compatible router combines powerful hardware with strong features. Besides DD-WRT, it is also compatible with OpenWRT.
It has multiple operating modes such as a wired bridge, access point, router, repeater, and wireless bridge.
- Equipped with tri stream 160 technology.
- Provides dual-band Wi-Fi speeds.
- Includes MU MIMO to provide Wi-Fi to multiple devices at once.
- Includes Ethernet ports.
- Not as easy as it claims
- Some users claim it to be unstable
Best Fit For:
This unit is ideal for people looking for speed. It provides great speed that is perfect for 4K HD streaming and gaming.
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router: Best Overall
- Netgear Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished to work and look as new with 90...
- 3.2Gbps - The fastest combined Wi-Fi speed for uninterrupted streaming. Tri-Band Wi-Fi delivers more...
- 1GHz dual core processor with three offload processors to boost performance, Smart Connect...
Next in the line, we have NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200. It is a versatile, tri-band router designed for super-fast speed.
If you are looking for a high-performance router, this could be the ideal option for you. But before that let’s take a look at its features.
Why is it Unique?
With 3.2Gbps speed, this is one of the fastest combined speeds you will get. Whether you want to stream 4K HD movies or play online, it will give you an interrupted experience.
The Tri-Band feature ensures more WiFi to more devices. In addition, it is equipped with Dynamic QoS bandwidth prioritization by device and application.
It is packed with powerful amplifiers along with six antennas for maximum range. With smart connect; it easily picks the WiFi for all your devices.
This Netgear router has received solid ratings from buyers because of obvious reasons. It not only delivers high speed but also has a 1GHz dual-core processor for lag-free performance.
The beamforming+ tech focuses on WiFi signals and ensures stronger connections for mobile devices. Other notable features include a USB 3.0 port, 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, and storage-ready access.
- Provides extremely fast speed.
- Comes with a user-friendly interface.
- Includes an easy setup process.
- Excellent LEDs feature.
- Disappointing upgraded Wi-Fi range.
- Poor proprietary firmware.
Best Fit For:
Given the amazing speed of the router, it makes a perfect choice for lag-free gaming and 4K HD streaming. With this powerful router, you can carry on with your online activities without any hassles.
3. ASUS Wi-Fi Gaming Router (RT-AC5300): Best For Gamers
- Tri band (Dual 5 GHz, single 2; 4 GHz) with the latest 802; 11AC 4x4 technology for maximum...
- Mu memo technology enables multiple compatible clients to connect at each client’s respective...
- Built in ACCESS to Waist gamers private network (GPN) of route optimized servers ensures low, stable...
If you are in search of a gaming-specific router, the Asus RT-AC5300 is for you. This amazing router is not only packed with features, but it also provides high performance.
It delivers a high-speed connection along with USB storage sharing and more.
Why is it Unique?
It is a feature-rich unit with multiple configuration settings. Its Tri-Band technology ensures maximum throughput.
It is also backed by Mu Mimo technology that enables it to connect multiple devices with each device receiving maximum speed.
The best thing about this unit is that it is compatible with all major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, and Linux.
It provides built-in access to GPN (gamer’s private network) while ensuring stable ping times for gaming. With this unit, you can game without any worries. It provides multi-layer protection against vulnerability with Trend Micro technology. It keeps your private sensitive data protected.
As far as buyers are concerned, they prefer this router over other units because of various reasons. To start with, it comes with eight external antennas for high-quality performance and reduced collisions.
The 3 Wi-Fi bands provide excellent speeds of up to 5300, 2167, and 1000 Mbps. Not only that, but it also includes an in-built 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz WiFi range. This is one of the many reasons why it makes the favorite choice for gamers.
- Provides multi-layer protection.
- Best for uninterrupted gaming.
- Comes with an easy-to-use interface.
- Provides excellent speed.
- Slow GUI menu.
- Bit expensive.
Best Fit For:
With high-end features and AiProtection, this unit makes a perfect choice for hardcore gamers. However, it can also be used for other heavy online activities like 4K HD streaming, downloading heavy files, etc
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router (R7800): Best For Speed
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We have another Netgear unit on the list, which is built for ultimate speed. With Netgear Nighthawk X4S smart router, you can upgrade your WiFi experience.
From dual-band streaming to beamforming+ antennas, it includes everything you need. It is a fast, reliable router ideal for home use.
Why is it Unique?
With this unit, you can enjoy incredible speeds of up to 2600Mbps for demanding online activities like multiplayer online gaming and 4K Ultra-HD streaming.
It can smartly select between dual bands to increase speed and reduce interference for all your wireless devices.
When using a Netgear Nighthawk X4S smart router, you need not worry about safety. It provides high-level protection with a double firewall and WPA/WPA2 wireless security. To add to it, it can also create a separate guest network for your guests.
This is one of the most user-friendly routers you will find. With the Nighthawk App, it becomes much easier to manage this unit.
It also comes with an easy setup process, so you don’t need to struggle much over it.
Users also like the fact that it includes parental controls. Using this feature, you can easily restrict inappropriate content for your kids.
- Includes Gigabit ports for fast wired connections.
- Provides up to 2500 sq. ft Wi-Fi coverage.
- Can connect up to 45 devices.
- Comes with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor.
- Very poor customer support.
- Some users claim that it disconnects often.
Best Fit For:
This unit is ideal for heavy-duty streaming, downloading big files, multiplayer gaming, and all other demanding activities you can think of.
5. TP-Link N600 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Router: Best Affordable
- 600Mbps of total available bandwidth, which includes 300Mbps at 2.4GHz and 300Mbps at 5GHz
- 2 external detachable dual band antennas allow for better alignment and stronger antenna upgrades
- 1 USB Port - Easily share a printer locally and files & media with networked devices or remotely via...
TP-Link is a brand that needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular names in the market.
The TP-Link N600 is a cost-effective unit, which is ideal for users on a budget. It provides a dual-band connection and many other features to enhance your router experience.
Why is it Unique?
It provides a total bandwidth of up to 600Mbps, including 300Mbps at 5 GHz and 300Mbps at 2.4 GHz.
It also includes dual external antennas, so you can adjust it to improve the connection speed. The good thing is that the antennas are detachable.
With a single USB port, you can easily share media and files with networked devices. It also provides Guest Network Access for secure WiFi access for guests.
Another feature that is worth mentioning is IP-based Bandwidth Control. It lets you manage and control the bandwidth of all the devices connected to the router.
Most buyers prefer this unit because it is easy to set up.
If you are a parent, you have additional reasons to like this unit. This is because it includes Live Parental Controls using which you can restrict access for children.
It also comes with an intuitive interface for convenient usage. It has LED light panels to display the operation status.
- Provides easy installation.
- Includes LED indicators.
- Comes with live parental controls.
- Very cost-effective.
- Provides poor customer service.
- Not suitable for big spaces.
Best Fit For:
If you want super-fast speed for your handheld devices, you should consider getting this unit.
6. Linksys Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Wireless Router: Best User-Friendly
- Wireless AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology: Simultaneous dual band speed up to 600 Mbps (2.4...
- 4 high performance antennas: Engineered to enhance dual band communication, four external,...
- Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU: Powerful CPU promotes simultaneous high speed data processing allowing...
The next best option we have is Linksys. It is an open-source, dual-band gigabit router with the best features.
If you want a user-friendly router for your home that is also compatible with DD-WRT, then you should try this unit.
Why is it Unique?
The best thing about this unit is the speed. It is 4.3x faster than N technology. Its dual-band technology offers speeds up to 1300Mbps at 5 GHz and 600Mbps at 2.4 GHz.
It also has 4 powerful antennas, which can be adjusted to receive strong WiFi signals. This makes it an ideal choice for small offices and homes.
It is equipped with a powerful CPU for high-speed data processing. This enables more than one user to simultaneously stream movies and transfer files, and games online without lagging.
Many buyers have particularly bought this unit because it includes parental controls. This feature is useful in restricting inappropriate content for staff and children.
This Linksys router also allows you to share content through an external storage device with super-fast speed.
The web interface allows home and local network configuration. Not only that, but users can also create a smart WiFi account for free.
- Provides incredible speed.
- Comes with four adjustable antennas.
- Can boost dual-band connection for multiple users.
- Features a very durable design and build.
- Not as efficient as it claims.
- Customer support is not good enough.
Best Fit For:
You can use this unit both at home and office. It is ideal for high-speed data transfer and streaming. You can adjust the antennas to receive a better signal.
7. Netgear WNDR4500-100PAS N900 Dual Band Gigabit Wifi Router: Best For Large Homes
- Faster WiFi—Up to 450+450 Mbps. Gigabit wired—Ideal for HD gaming & video
- Simultaneous dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
- Advanced QoS—Optimized for smooth HD streaming & gaming.
If you are looking for a reliable router for large homes, Netgear WNDR4500 is the one for you. It is packed with a host of features that make it a desirable choice for users.
The best thing about this unit is that it makes the basic features of a router stand out.
Why is it Unique?
Out of all the available features, ReadyShare technology and Broadcom processor makes all the difference.
With the ReadySHARE option, you can both USB access and print via the internet.
With this router, you get faster Wi-Fi speeds of up to 450 Mbps. This makes it ideal for streaming videos and HD gaming.
It also includes 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology. Along with that, it has two USB 2.0 ports.
Buyers gave positive ratings because it has impressive security features. It has WPA/WPA2—PSK and WEP, Denial of service, and double firewall protection.
They also like this unit because it is easy to install. You can easily set it up for your computer or mobile device.
Other than that it has parental controls for web filtering and guest network to allow secure access for guests.
- Includes Netgear genie app.
- Provides parental controls.
- Comes with excellent security features.
- Has a convenient power-saving option.
- Hardware quality is average.
- The built structure could have been better.
Best Fit For:
This unit is ideal for covering large homes. You can use it for HD gaming and streaming and enjoy a lag-free experience.
Buying Guide For The Best DD-WRT Router
Finding the best DD-WRT-compatible router is not easy, especially when you have less or zero knowledge about it. But don’t worry, we have got you covered. In the buyer’s guide below, we have explained all the important factors that you must consider when buying a router for DD-WRT firmware.
Here you go with the details:
The specifications of a router are probably the most important thing to consider. The router you are planning to buy needs to be compatible with DD-WRT. Otherwise, there’s no point in purchasing it.
Speaking of specifications, some routers are equipped with single-core CPUs, while others have multiple cores. To get the most out of your router, you must look for powerful CPUs and high RAM. You will find these features in high-end units. However, some cheap models bring you capable features and specs. However, opting for a cheap router can create problems while installing the firmware.
2. Pre-flashed or DIY Flashing
The cheaper option will be to get a router directly from the manufacturer and upgrade the firmware flash yourself. However, doing so will void the warranty period of your router. Also, there are chances that you will mess up the unit in the process.
This is why you should opt for a pre-flashed unit from a third-party company. A pre-flashed router comes with a valid warranty. Not only that, but the router is also tested to work with DD-WRT.
3. Connectivity Options
The next important thing to check is the connectivity options. A 2.4 GHz connection is perfect for basic online browsing. But for more heavy-duty tasks, you will need a powerful option like 5 GHz.
We recommend you opt for a 5 GHz router as it makes a better choice. With a 5 GHz unit, you can stream 4K HD content with ease. Not only that, but it will also give you an interrupted online gaming experience.
Benefits Of Own DD-WRT Router
DD-WRT provides a wide range of benefits to router users. Before you think of installing it on your router, you should check out the benefits it offers.
- IPv6 Functionality
Currently, most routers use the IPv4 protocol. But with the increasing number of devices, it doesn’t have enough addresses available. On the other hand, IPv6 is becoming more popular. The problem is that many routers still can’t handle it. But this issue can be taken care of with DD-WRT.
- More Customisation available
One of the biggest advantages of installing DD-WRT is that it offers plenty of customization options. For example, it allows you to modify your antenna, prevent certain activities, configure your firewall, and block your internet at certain times. Through this, you can gain more control over your route.
- Makes Your Router More Powerful
The standard router firmware usually restricts the potential of your router. But DD-WRT helps make your router more powerful. It overclocks your router, so it can perform better.
- Improved Quality of Service
You can improve the QoS by configuring your device. This feature is mainly important for online gaming, streaming media, video conferencing, and more. With the help of DD-WRT, you can access full control over your router and thus, improve its QoS.
- Improved Reliability
DD-WRT is highly efficient in reducing the number of glitches, interruptions, and other issues that your router might have. This is because DD-WRT is a Linux-based firmware that is designed to boost the performance of your router.
DD-WRT Firmware vs Stock Firmware
Most routers that come directly from manufacturers are equipped with stock firmware. On the other hand, DD-WRT is a third-party firmware that is based on a Linux program.
The major difference between the two firmware can be pointed out based on the way it affects the functionality of your router.
A standard or stock router firmware intentionally limits the full power of a router. In other words, it restricts the potential of your device. But DD-WRT is just the opposite of stock firmware. Installing it in your router helps to unlock its full power. Not only that, but it also gives you full control over your device. In other words, it helps overclock your router.
If you want to improve the functionality of your router, you should install DD-WRT. But this is only possible if your router is compatible with it.
How to Configure the DD-WRT Router?
If you are using a DD-WRT compatible router, you can take advantage of the built-in DDNS to maintain records for your domain automatically updated.
Here are the steps you need to follow to configure a DD-WRT router.
- The first thing you need to do is enable dynamic DNS for your domain.
- Now create an A+ dynamic DNS record using any IP address for the hostname that you want to update.
Note: Your router will automatically update the IP address.
- Next, you need to set up DDNS on the router. For this, you will need to sign in to your router’s web interface. From there you need to go to Setup and then to DDNS.
- After that, you must fill out the required details such as DDNS service, DYNDNS server, password, username, hostname, and URL.
Note: You must replace your DynamicDNSPassword and yourdomain.com with the relevant details.
You must enter your domain name in the “Username” field for “Password” You need to enter your Dynamic DNS password.
If you want to update more than one hostname, separate them using an ‘-a’ argument.
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Q1. What is DD-WRT for routers?
Ans: DD-WRT is short for DresDren-Wireless Router. It is a Linux-based router firmware that is specially designed for 802.11a/b/g/h/n routers with Atheros or Broadcom chipsets. It helps unlock the true potential of a router.
Q2. Should you install DD-WRT on your router?
Ans: DD-WRT is known to boost the functionality of routers and give you full control over your device. In other words, you can control how the hardware operates, when it comes to repeater settings and VPN features.
Q3. What should you look for in DD-WRT routers?
Ans: To find the best DD-WRT router, you must consider its price, ease of use, processor speed, and Wi-Fi coverage. Besides that, you should also look into the level of privacy it provides.
Q4. Is it worth installing DD-WRT in routers?
Ans: DD-WRT is a highly efficient firmware that can improve the performance of your router significantly. However, it should be reminded that installing DD-WRT may void the router’s warranty.
Q5. How to know if a router is DD-WRT?
Ans: Go to the Router tab. Under the title System, you will find the Firmware Version. If you face issues with configuration, you should contact the customer care support of your router.
Installing DD-WRT in your router can improve its functionality significantly. But before that, you will need to find the best DD-WRT router that is compatible with the said firmware. Instead of wasting your time looking in several places, you can simply pick any of the mentioned models in this post. These are all top-rated units that are preferred by most buyers. You will surely find something to suit your requirements on this list.