The 9 Best DD-WRT Routers

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Digital security has never been more important than it is today. While most users can get by with factory-configured Wi-Fi, complex or sensitive systems call for greater control. DD-WRT, and its related builds, are Linux-based replacements for restricted, OEM firmware. We've confirmed that all of these either ship with their own open-source software or support aftermarket installations. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Linksys WRT1900ACS

2. Asus RT-AC68U

3. Netgear R7800

Editor's Notes

January 29, 2021:

At the moment, we're not aware of any Wi-Fi 6 routers that have been cracked as far as custom DD-WRT firmware goes. That, plus the relatively slow adoption of DD-WRT in general, means that our recommendations have stayed largely the same this time around, although we did move some models up or down based on value for the money. The Linksys WRT1900ACS remains one of the top choices, and the Asus RT-AC68U comes in a close second, although in terms of general price to performance, it might just be the best. The Netgear R7800 is an especially high-performing option, and its 4 by 4 MU-MIMO technology allows it to maintain high bandwidth and low latency, even when a large number of users are connected.

October 29, 2019:

If you're looking at DD-WRT routers you probably know your way around complex software, and if you're looking for the most powerful, look straight to the Asus RT-AC5300, though the Netgear R7800 and Netgear R7000P offer competitive performance levels as well. The Netgear R6700 is one of the most reliable affordable options, while the TP-Link Archer C7v4 is by far one of the most popular -- just make sure you have the right firmware for your particular hardware revision (though this is always true of open-source firmware flashing).

The Linksys WRT1900ACS is one of the few developed directly for use with custom firmware, and as such is one of the most reliable and versatile. The GL.iNet GL-AR750 and GL.iNet GL-AR150 are similarly power-user-focused, and in fact they both come with customizable firmware pre-installed, though be aware that if you want to flash to classic DD-WRT, the AR750 is not the right choice for you. For that matter, neither is intended for use with gigabit-class networks. They're actually designed for personal networks or even attaining control over your public connections when you're not at home. The Asus RT-AC66U and Motorola MR2600 are two more mid- to low-end models that hold up well despite not having the absolute fastest hardware components.

Now, if you're not looking for wireless connectivity, please check out our list of layer 3 switches, which will offer you, at a minimum, a partially-managed setup for your hardwired network. And if you change your mind and would rather not undergo the hassle of flashing custom firmware, we can point you towards some of the newest and most reliable end-user routers as well.

Special Honors

DD-WRT Wiki If you plan on programming your new router yourself, you will all but certainly need to stop off at this immensely helpful community first. Here, you'll find in-depth instructions on how to prepare your router for the flashing process, and most models are even provided with step-by-step installation instructions.

FlashRouters If you're uneasy about finding the right hardware revision or not keen on installing DD-WRT yourself, this group offers mainstream wireless routers that are custom configured to support DD-WRT as well as popular and high-speed VPNs. They come at somewhat of a premium compared to stock models, but they offer a relatively easy way to get your network security and control where you want it.

4. Asus RT-AC5300

5. Netgear R7000P

6. Netgear R6700

7. Motorola MR2600

9. GL.iNet GL-AR150

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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