Demystifying DD-WRT: Do DD-WRT Routers perform better than other routers?

by KEN
DD-WRT Routers

In the networking world, DD-WRT firmware is a common word. This is especially so when you are exploring the use of a VPN in your networking. If you ever want an improved internet connection, reading this article will give you some added benefits. So what is DD-WRT? And why should I care about it?

Routers are some of the unheralded devices in internet provision. It connects your home devices together and to the internet.  Getting the best router is at the top of every person’s mind. However, who wouldn’t want to improve the performance of their router. It is claimed that the DD-WRT can enable you to exploit the full potential of your router.

We will try to explain how DD-WRT can be of benefit to you in this article. We will also give you an easy guide on how to install the firmware in your router.

What is DD-WRT?

DD-WRT (Dresden-Wireless Router) is a firmware for routers. The firmware is Linux based similar to the Linux based operating system for personal computers. DD-WRT was a creating meant exclusively for the Linksys WRT54G routers.

However, as times progressed, the router started being used in several router brands. You will find devices that support DD-WRT among Netgear routers, D-Link routers, Buffalo Technologies routers, Asus routers, and Linksys routers among others.

For other routers, it is not the official manufacturer’s router firmware. It is an alternative router operating system.  Therefore, when you decide to use DD-WRT, you are remaking the base software of your router.

Why should you use DD-WRT in your router?

DD-WRT is an excellent router management software. It gives you so much control over the internet connection than you can have with the manufacturer’s firmware. This means it enables you to gain advanced features in your router that you have to buy if you are still using the manufacturer’s firmware.

There are several features that make DD-WRT a great firmware for your router. These features enable you to improve performance and also tweak the router the way you want. The router firmware is also known for its stability. This prevents the normal hanging of software’s that are normally found in our routers.

Besides, this firmware enables you to gain more privacy when you are using your internet connection. Since DD-WRT is an open-source software, it enables an increase in your privacy. Having it as an open-source firmware reduces the need for someone to pay a hacker to obtain backdoor access to your network. Also it reduces the use of tracking technology into your router by hackers.

The following are the benefits of using DD-WRT on your router:

  • You can easily use the OpenVPN when your router is running on DD-WRT. This enables you to have better security features on your router as compared to other VPN providers. OpenVPN is also an open-source, free server, and client that gives you better safety and privacy on the internet than when using PPTP VPN technologies. However, for you to enjoy the advantages that come with OpenVPN you have to have a space of more than 8MB on your router.
  • DD-WRT enables bandwidth prioritization through the granular QoS (Quality of Service). Sometimes, we require some more bandwidth in some devices as compared to others. For example gaming or 4K streaming will require a lot of bandwidth to ensure a smooth operation. This, therefore, requires the prioritization of your internet to those devices. This feature is not a common-stay in other router firmware.
  • The firmware enables you to run a local DNS cache. Using the Dynamic DNS (DDNS) DD-WRT gives you the ability to ensure that you resolve sites and other resources on the web quickly on whichever device you are using. These actions give you a better user experience.
  • DD-WRT enables you to track the network performance of your router in finer details. It can help you to know which section of your router and network is stifling performance and thus focus on it to improve the network performance.
  • In some routers, DD-WRT can help you to overclock the router’s hardware speeds. In layman’s terms, overclocking is increasing the speed of a router by making the CPU to carry out more operations per second. When using DD-WRT, you can enhance the performance by making changes in your network.
  • Finally, DD-WRT offers signal strength controls. The control enables you to alter the range even though by small margins. Boosting the range can help to reduce the Wi-Fi dead spots in your home. This may eliminate the need for buying an expensive range extender.

How to get and install DD-WRT

For most people, getting and installing DD-WRT is as easy as ABC. The firmware can be downloaded from the DD-WRT website. However, before you can install the firmware you will require the following:

  • A DD-WRT supported router: Since the firmware was produced, several companies have been producing routers that are compatible with DD-WRT. These manufacturers appreciate the importance of having a router where the client can control and enhance its features.
  • The downloaded DD-WRT firmware: You can download the firmware from the DD-WRT website once you find if your router is DD-WRT supported. The downloaded firmware can be stored in a computer ready for installation.

When you have the two in place, it’s time to install the firmware. The process is not very complicated but you will need to access your router’s admin panel. You can access the admin panel of your router by using the manual provided by the manufacturer or by using the IP address.

Once you are logged in into the admin panel, navigate to the update the firmware section of your router. When this section is activated, you will upload the downloaded DD-WRT firmware from the computer. The router will thus upload and activate the DD-WRT when you follow the installation procedure.

As we informed you, DD-WRT is a free software. You can use it as you like and modify it as much as you can to suit your needs.

One of the possible risks of installing the DD-WRT is that it may damage your router if you mess up the installation process. The chances of this happening when the installation is done according to the laid down procedure is very low, however.

Moreover, using some of the DD-WRT features like overclocking may shorten the life of your router. In other instances it might even cause hardware failure. It is therefore wise to consult widely before straining your router’s hardware so much.


For persons who look for control and maximizing the performance of your router, getting DD-WRT will give you exactly that. The free firmware, enables you to ensure that your connections are private and the router performs to its full potential.

There are several routers that support DD-WRT. Getting one of these best DD-WRT routers will enable you to achieve the much you want from your router, at no additional cost. These routers vary in features, performance, and cost. It is good for you to check which one will work for you.



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