Taking full advantage of your Web connection includes having a capable router. This means that getting a reliable DD-WRT router or a similar alternative is the best way to control your Web connection. This includes getting the best possible speeds, filtering your Web traffic, and optimizing your Web data for activities such as streaming or gaming. However, the problem with DD-WRT routers is that they can be quite expensive – unless you have a trustful guide. With this said, we’re dedicating this article to the very best cheap DD-WRT routers, suitable for different budgets and needs.

You can enjoy numerous benefits of DD-WRT even without spending a lot of money. As you’ll see in this article, capable DD-WRT routers can be quite affordable – you just know where to look. That’s precisely why our editorial team has tackled the challenge of finding the cheap DD-WRT routers that will meet different budgets and needs. We have tried to diversify our recommendations for they fit different Web-related needs. So, no matter if you want to stream in HD or 4K, play online games, or just browse the Web, you have come to the right place.

If you keep on reading this guide, you’ll find 8 affordable and cheap DD-WRT routers in 2019 that cater to different groups of users. So, let’s jump right in.

1. Buffalo AirStation N300

Offer
Buffalo AirStation N300
  • Features: Wireless 802.11n connectivity; Outstanding range and coverage; Easy configuration; AP support; Wireless bridge support.
  • Processor: 480MHz MIPS 74K processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 9.4 x 8.6 inches.
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds.
  • Warranty: 3 years.

This AirStation isn’t the best-performing router, but it comes with DD-WRT pre-loaded and at a very reasonable price. If all you want is to do is some basic Web browsing and light streaming with a handful of devices, then you’ll have a hard time getting a better deal.

The N300 is a standard-looking router with five Ethernet ports, which means that you can effortlessly make LAN connections. It also supports the 802.11n standard which means that speeds of up to 300Mbps are achievable. And finally, there are some nice built-in features like the ‘Stateful Packet Inspection’ which prevents possible hackers from getting inside your network and devices.

  • Pros: Very easy to set up; Great for streaming; 3-year warranty period.
  • Cons: Older Wi-Fi standard; Limited download speeds.

2. Linksys N300 (E1200)

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Linksys N300 (E1200)
  • Features: MIMO antenna technology; 4 Ethernet ports; Included Cisco Connect software; Guest network access.
  • Processor: Broadcom BCM5357
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 7.43 x 5.97 x 1.23 in.
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

The N300 (E1200) is one of the most successful routers made by Linksys. It initially launched with a somewhat high price, but as it happens with any type of hardware – it has now reached a price that’s quite affordable. This also means that the N300 brings plenty of value for its price, so let’s check out what to expect from this router.

First of all, you should know that the N300 (E1200) supports 2.4Ghz connectivity with Web connection speeds of up to 300Mbps. It’s really easy to set-up thanks to the manufacturer’s software called Linksys Connection. You get advanced wireless security built-in, along with parental controls and guest access. Of course, you’re also free to install a custom DD-WRT software, which provides you with additional options as well.

  • Pros: Nicely designed hardware; Speedy processor; Easy setup; Capable built-in software; 4 Ethernet ports included.
  • Cons: Missing 5Ghz connectivity.

3. Linksys WRT54GL

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Linksys WRT54GL
  • Features: Linux-based router; Supports WPA2; Four Ethernet ports; Easy parental controls.
  • Processor: 32bit MIPS processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 54Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 9.75 x 10 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year.

You might be surprised to see a DD-WRT router in this price range, but you need to know that the WRT54GL is the most affordable DD-WRT router right now. As such, it is the perfect product to dive into this technology and see its limits. This is also why this is one of the featured products in our article on DD-WRT routers under $50.

What’s interesting to note is that Linksys’ WRT54GL launched more than ten years ago – but the company is still producing and selling it. This also means that you should not expect any groundbreaking specs. Perhaps the biggest limitation is that this router supports speeds of up to 54Mbps. That won’t get you far in terms of online gaming but should be more than sufficient for HD streaming.

What’s also important to be mentioned is that you can freely install custom DD-WRT firmware and check if this technology improves your Web browsing experience. All in all, a perfect choice for those on a strict budget.

  • Pros: Unbeatable price; Very easy to set up; Great for basic needs.
  • Cons: Very limited download speeds.

4. Linksys E2500

Linksys E2500
  • Features: Dual-band Wireless-N technology; MIMO antenna ray; Cisco Connect software included.
  • Processor: QCA9558 3×3 802.11 a/b/g/n SoC.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300 + 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 6.85 x 7.44 x 0.91 inches.
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

The E2500 router proves that you can get a nicely designed DD-WRT router without spending a lot of money. It is designed to be as simple as possible without making any compromises though.

When it comes to the features you can expect, the E2500 is a dual-channel router that supports speeds of up to 300Mbps for each channel. In addition, there are several Ethernet ports included but these are not Gigabit connections (they are 100Mbps each). And finally, this router has 8MB of memory which should be enough to support all of its functions without any disruption.

In case you’d like to take the matter into your hands, the E2500 is supported by the custom DD-WRT firmware. You can find nicely explained tutorials online on how to install custom firmware and even improve this router on your own.

  • Pros: Excellent Wi-Fi coverage; Very easy to set up; Capable management tools.
  • Cons: Missing a ‘Bridge’ or ‘AP’ mode.

5. TP-Link Archer C59

TP-Link Archer C59
  • Features: Supports 802.11ac; 2.4Ghz and 5GHz channels; Dual USB ports; TP-Link Tether app.
  • Processor: Broadcom QCA9558.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,350Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.9 x 1.3 inches.
  • Weight: 1 pound.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

TP-Link’s Archer series is one of the bestselling DD-WRT router series in the world. You can choose from a wide range of products suitable for different needs and different price points. The C59 can be considered an entry-tier product that checks all the right boxes.

This is a dual-channel router, supporting both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks. There’s plenty of flash memory and 128MB of RAM which should provide steady performance. What’s interesting is that you’ll get two USB ports and this means that creating your own home server is a possibility. For those times when you need the fastest possible network speed, you can rely on this unit’s four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

  • Pros: A capable processor; Plenty of RAM; Dual-band model.
  • Cons: No major remarks.

6. NETGEAR WNR3500L N300

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NETGEAR WNR3500L N300
  • Features: Gigabit Ethernet; NetGear Genie App included; USB included; Suitable for small to medium home; Advanced QoS; Parental controls; Guest network access.
  • Processor: 480 Mhz MIPS 74K.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.0 x 2.6 in.
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

If you’re just entering the world of DD-WRT, you’ll hardly find a better option than NETGEAR’s WNR3500L. This is an ‘open-source router’, which means that you’re free to install any type of firmware you want. Even the company behind this router helps you with this task by hosting a dedicated online community that’s all about open-source firmware.

The WNR3500L supports 2.4Ghz connectivity, up to 300Mbps. You can also Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, for those time when you want to take full advantage of your Web connection. Then, this router can also be used as network storage since it brings USB connectivity. And finally, it brings advanced QoS that takes care of this router’s fluid performance no matter what kind of online activity is your favorite (Web browsing, streaming, gaming, etc.).

  • Pros: Open-source nature; Powerful CPU; Useful NETGEAR software; Strong Wi-Fi range; Gigabit Ethernet included.
  • Cons: Doesn’t support 5Ghz connectivity. Somewhat limited bandwidth.

7. NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk

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NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk
  • Features: Advanced QoS; Beamforming support; Free backup software; Parental controls; Airtime Fairness technology; A highly-reputable manufacturer.
  • Processor: Dual-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 450Mbps + 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 in.
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

The R6700 is one of the bestselling routers, being available for some time now. It comes for NETGEAR, one of the most respected manufacturers of network equipment. We recommend this option if you want the best of any DD-WRT router without breaking the bank.

First of all, this is one of the rare dual-band routers under $100. Out of the box, you can count on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz connectivity (1,750Mbps in total) as well as incredibly large coverage. If you don’t want to go with DD-WRT, you’ll get to use NETGEAR’s built-in software which gives you parental controls, beamforming, VPN support, Wi-Fi protected access, and plenty more. All of these actions are powered by a speedy dual-core 1Ghz CPU, which should make even the most demanding users happy.

  • Pros: Powerful dual-core CPU; Dual-band support; Plenty of storage and RAM; Fully compatible with DD-WRT.
  • Cons: It’s recommended to replace the stock firmware.

8. TP-Link Archer C9

TP-Link Archer C9
  • Features: Supports 802.11ac; Simultaneous dual-band networks; Detachable antennas; Beamforming support.
  • Processor: 1Ghz dual-core processor
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1.9Gbps of total bandwidth.
  • Dimensions: 3.39 x 6.63 x 8.7 inches.
  • Weight: 3 pounds.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

In case you’re willing to spend a bit more (but without breaking the bank), we think you’re going to love the Archer C9 router. It brings plenty of advanced features at a relatively low price.

First and foremost, this router supports 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks combined up to 1.9Gbps. Depending on how far you want to extend its coverage, you can adjust the removable antennas. And on the inside, this router brings a powerful 1Ghz processor and 128MB of RAM. This provides extra smooth performance, even if you connect large drives via this unit’s USB (both 2.0 and 3.0) ports. This means that creating a NAS solution for your home is a very easy task for the C9.

It’s clear that this one of the most versatile DD-WRT routers in this price range. Therefore, we can’t recommend it enough.

  • Pros: Plenty of advanced features; Strong coverage; Very fast performance.
  • Cons: No major remarks.

FAQ

Before we let you go, we’d like to provide additional information to help you make the best possible decision. Keep on reading to learn more about what to expect for DD-WRT routers and how to pick the best one.

Can You Get a Decent DD-WRT Router Without Spending a Lot?

Yes, you can absolutely get a decent DD-WRT router without having to spend a lot of money. However, you need to be very careful about which router you pick, based on your needs.

As you can see in this article, the most affordable DD-WRT router is Buffalo’s AirStation N300. This one brings you 2.4Ghz wireless connectivity and it’s limited to 300Mbps in terms of its bandwidth. As such, it can be a perfect solution for home users. And if you have more advanced needs, or if you’re a gamer playing online games, we recommend getting Linksys’ E2500 router.

What to Expect from Cheap DD-WRT Routers?

When it comes to the most affordable DD-WRT routers, you can expect them to come with certain limitations. Most importantly, many of these are limited in terms of their bandwidth (up to 300Mbps) and their Wi-Fi frequency (2.4Ghz).

In case you have an ultra-fast Web connection and if you need a 5Ghz wireless connection, be prepared to spend a bit more. Our recommendation would be NETGEAR’s R6700, as this is the most affordable option that checks all the right boxes.

Do Cheap DD-WRT Routers Have Any Limitations?

It all depends on your needs and the maximum speed of your Web connection. For example, Linksys’ WRT54GL is limited to 54Mbps. If you have a faster Web connection than this limit, you won’t be able to take full advantage of its speed. However, these limitations have become barely noticeable in the last year or so. Today, affordable DD-WRT routers support from 300Mbps up to 1,000+Mbps speeds, which is more than what many of us need (even in the foreseeable future).

Dear readers, that would be all when it comes to our overview of cheap DD-WRT routers in 2019. In case you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below – and we’ll do our best to provide a timely manner.

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