Sep 28, 2011

Is it worth it to upgrade old routers with DD-WRT, or should I just replace our old routers with new models?

We've got some Wifi G routers that are working just fine, but they don't have some of the more advanced security features we would prefer our sites implement. Is it worth upgrading them by reflashing their ROMs with DD-WRT, or should I just say nuts and replace the old routers with newer models that run Wifi N and already have the new security protocols?

You might want to browse this background article before making a decision. It should give you a good overview of DD-WRT.



I would avoid DD-WRT if I were you. The DDWRT development community doesn't seem to perform any real testing on their releases and I have yet to find a version that does not have significant bugs.


I would recommend you try another open source firmware such as Tomato or OpenWRT, particularly if stability is a concern. You will save yourself hours of headaches.


It doesn't hurt to zap an older 802.11g router and replace the firmware with DD-WRT, just make sure you have a way to reflash it back if you have trouble with DD-WRT. I loaded it on my Linksys WRT-54g and was quite impressed by all the options: new settings for DNS, DHCP, security, SSID aliasing - pretty amazing to see how many more features could be added to the most stable wifi router I have ever used.


There are some limitations to Wifi-N - the frequencies it uses seem to not go very well through building structures (walls, floors, ceilings), so be careful if replacing your Wifi-G to make certain that you can actually get a signal where you want a signal. If you have a  bunch of offices to upgrade, you may want to purchase the new router and test it thoroughly before rolling it out in all the offices. 

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