Do you wish that your router had more functionality that it currently does? Want to connected on a dedicated VPN connection? Maybe access your Security Camera from your office at work?
DD-WRT is a firmware from the OpenSource community that can enable you to have functionality that the manufacturer of your router would normally charge much more for. Assuming you have a compatible router, it is fairly simple to install. The DD-WRT wiki has a list of Router Hardware that is compatible and will show you which Firmware version to load to your Router.
Assuming that you can read instructions and follow them to the letter, in a little over 15 minutes, you will be welcomed by the screen above and be able to start configuring your router.
I have my router at home set up to forward the IP address for my surveillance camera system to the DMZ. These cameras already view only Public areas, so I see no security threat by putting them out there for anyone to see. they would have to get through the authentication that I have set up and in the end, they would be rewarded with some great footage of my driveway… DD-WRT also supports Dynamic DNS, so you can easily find your home address even if you do not have a Static IP address at home.
If you have a paid unlimited VPN service, you can then configure your VPN settings on the router and keep all of your activity on your network private. So if you are shopping routers for the house with the intent to connect to a VPN, you should consider DD-WRT as a cost effective solution compared to buying hardware that is ready to go from the store. The savings can really add up.
I do not use the paid VPN for my home because I don’t have anything to hide from my ISP, but if I am using Wifi at an internet cafe, you bet I am dialed in to my VPN.
Aside from being stable as a rock, DD-WRT supports HTTPS so that if you are using Remote Management, you can secure your access to your Router.
I have Quality of Service (QoS) set up to give my AppleTV priority over other network traffic so that when I am watching videos, no one else’s network use will interrupt my movie.
If you have a business, you can configure your router to give out a separate public network that will provide your customers with wifi access without allowing them into your private network for your business machines. Did I mention that you can setup an account to earn revenue through allowing ads to be served to your public clients when they open a webpage.
So what does this firmware lack? Well, it will not make you an Ice Cream Cone or get you another glass of Iced Tea, but as firmware goes, I would have to say that DD-WRT is my favorite router firmware.
Go to http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index to check the Router Database for compatibility with your router and follow the instructions specific to your router for installation.