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December 2, 2007

DD-WRT Goodness

Filed under: Software,Uncategorized — Bob @ 2:37 pm

DD-WRTYesterday afternoon, for absolutely no apparent reason, my stock WRT54G wireless router stopped communicating with the outside world. I could reach various computers internally and even reach the configuration for the WRT54G but otherwise couldn’t surf.

I downloaded a firmware update and that didn’t help either. I downgraded the firmware to something quite old and like magic it worked again for all the computers in the house except for my Dell laptop (seemed like it could no longer authenticate). Sigh. The diagnostics built into the Linksys firmware to troubleshoot this sort of problem is pretty much non-existent.

I was ready to run out and buy a new router today but figured first I’d give some of the alternative open source firmware a go to see if they might have some better diagnostics. Before long I discovered DD-WRT and proceeded to download and install their “standard” edition.

Happy-happy-joy-joy. After installation all the computers in the house could access the internet. This firmware actually resolved my original problem, which likely was either a faulty firmware issue from Linksys or some compatibility problem with Shaw’s network, I never did figure out which. Another benefit was having access to the transmission power control. I was able to increase the power slightly to get better reception on the far side of my house.

The user interface is very well done (equal or better than the original Linksys I’d say) and the whole thing is open source. How cool is that? I’d highly recommend it even if you don’t have problems with the stock WRT54G firmware. Plus they support a wide range of consumer routers.

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