LinkSys WRT54G Firmware DD-WRT Upgrade
Posted on 6 Mar ’06 by Earl Moore
IÄôve had a home network for some time with the main firewall/router being a LinkSys WRT54G that offers 802.11b/g and a four port 10/100 Ethernet switch. The WRT54G has provided excellent service, but I was wanted a few new capabilities such as better Quality of Service (QOS) control, DHCP with static IP Address, and simple VPN functions. Luckily before spending the bucks for a new router I did some research on the Internet and came across the DD-WRT Project.
The DD-WRT Project is a free rewrite of the firmware for Versions 1-4 of the LinkSys WRT54G/GS routers. These older versions of the WRT54G/GS run Linux. The newer Version 5 devices use a non-Linux proprietary firmware that cannot be replaced. As a note, these newer versions are receiving much worse reviews from users then the older Linux devices did.
For the firmware upgrade, I downloaded the proper versions of DD-WRT from the DD-WRT site. ThereÄôs a generic version of the firmware that must be install first. This is required due to firmware upgrade size restrictions imposed by the original Linksys firmware. Once I had download and unzipped these files, I used the web interface from for the WRT54G from a computer that was attached to one of the Ethernet ports. Never try this using a wireless connection to the device. You will ÄúbrickÄù your device. I first reset the device to Linksys factory defaults. Then I used the web update firmware options to load and apply the generic version of DD-WRT following the instructions provided with the DD-WRT firmware. Once this version was in place, I again used the web interface to upgrade from the generic version to the VPN version.
My experience with the DD-WRT replacement firmware for Linksys WRT54G/GS has been excellent. It has provided me the extra functionality that I was looking for plus many more features that I am still exploring. Version 23 of DD-WRT has been stable with no bugs that I have found as of this time.
This is not for the faint of heart. You can turn you router into a nonfunctioning brick. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, then don’t do it.
As stated elsewhere on the Internet, it has turned the features of a $70 device into those of a $200 device. On functions and features it’s five stars, but there is a chance here of making your device nonfunctioning.
Recommended - [rate 4]