Installing DD-WRT on my Netgear router

After last week’s Netgear vulnerability scare, I started thinking that maybe it was time to install DD-WRT on my router. I’ve used DD-WRT in the past, on a Linksys router, but I never tried installing it on my Netgear. I think I looked into it when I first got the router, and either it wasn’t yet available for the router, or it was, but there were some issues, and I was afraid of bricking it.

Well, I’ve now overcome any lingering fear and went ahead and installed the DD-WRT firmware. So far, it’s working great. It installed easily, using the old Netgear web interface. It took about five minutes to load. After it came up, I spent about ten minutes configuring everything, and double-checking stuff. (The version I installed was updated about a month ago; the Netgear firmware hadn’t been updated in years.)

For the wireless setup, I just used the same names and passwords that I’d used on the original Netgear interface. All of my devices seem to have connected to it with no issues. This is a far cry from some of the grief I’ve had in the past with wireless setup. (When I look at the available wireless networks from my apartment right now, by the way, I’m seeing about 40. That’s a far cry from when I set up my first Apple Airport Base Station, back in 1999 or so. I was the only person in range with a wireless network back then. I’m amazed this stuff works at all, with so many devices competing with each other.)

I have to admit that I’ve kind of lost track of the various wireless security modes. I used to understand this stuff really well, but I haven’t had to keep up with it recently. I set my networks to “WPA2 Personal Mixed” and that’s working, so I guess that’s good enough.

I haven’t enabled any fancy advanced features in DD-WRT yet. One thing I might play around with is the NAS support. The router has a USB port that you can plug a hard drive into. I had a drive hooked up to it for a while, but gave up on it because it was too slow to really be useful. But maybe it’ll work better with DD-WRT than with the Netgear firmware. I’ll have to try that at some point.

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