When you set out to find the very best DD-WRT router, you’ll see that most of these devices are quite expensive. The main reason for this lies in their specs. DD-WRT routers need capable processors, storage, and RAM, which makes it close to impossible to produce a low-cost device. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. We have taken a very deep look at dozens of the most affordable DD-WRT routers and came up with a list of the best DD-WRT routers under $50, allowing you to enter the world of custom router firmware even on a tight budget.
Before we show you our recommendations, you should know that we’ve done our best to find and present truly the best under $50 DD-WRT router. Even though some of the following options come with certain compromises, they all provide plenty of value for their price. Our recommendation would be to first check the maximum speed of your Web connection and then narrow down the list of DD-WRT routers by their maximum supported bandwidth. Then, check out other specs as well, to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
If you keep on reading this article, you’ll find the 4 best DD-WRT routers under $50 to buy in 2021 suitable for different budgets and various uses. So, let’s take a look.
1. Linksys WRT54GL
|Features||Based on Linux; 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 in|
In case you didn’t know, the Linksys WRT54GL is one of the most affordable DD-WRT routers on the market. However, this doesn’t mean it’s less capable than its competitors. Actually, you might be surprised by what this device offers, despite its age. It’s one of the most affordable, but it’s also one of the oldest routers of its kind – managing to create and still maintain an image of an amazing entry-level DD-WRT router.
We highly recommend this option if you want to get into the world of installing custom firmware. It’s Linux-based, so DD-WRT should work without any problems. The only downside is that this router supports network speeds of up to 54Mbps. So, you will get to browse the Web and even stream Netflix in HD. However, 4K media streaming or online gaming is, sadly, not an option with this model.
- Pros: Incredibly reliable; Good for inexperienced users; Well-tested with DD-WRT.
- Cons: Not the best option for users of ultra-fast Web connections.
2. Linksys N300 (E1200)
|Features||MIMO antenna technology; 4 Ethernet ports; Included Cisco Connect software; Guest network access|
|Max Download Speed||Up to 300Mbps|
|Dimensions||7.43 x 5.97 x 1.23 in|
Who says that DD-WRT routers don’t have an attractive design? Well, the Linksys N300 (E1200) is here to show you that you can get decent specs and a nicely designed body – all at an affordable price. This router is powered by a 300Mhz CPU, comes with 4MB of Flash ROM, and 32MB of RAM. In addition, it supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connections up to 300Mbps. It’s already getting clear why this is one of the best DD-WRT routers under $50, right?
We believe that Linksys N300 can be a perfect DD-WRT router – if you’re looking for something very affordable. It doesn’t come with high-end specs and it’s definitely not the fastest option on this list. However, it comes with an easy to use software that lets you fine-tune your user experience. And of course, you can also install a custom DD-WRT firmware if you need more freedom.
- Pros: Nicely designed body; Relatively fast CPU; Capable built-in software.
- Cons: Supports only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
3. Linksys E2500
|Features||Dual-band Wireless-N technology; MIMO antenna ray; Cisco Connect software|
|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 in|
In case you want a really nice-looking router that brings plenty of interesting features without breaking your budget, take a look at the Linksys E2500. This is a dual-band router that provides amazing coverage and plenty of useful options as well.
It won’t take more than a few minutes of your time to get started with this unit. After installing the Cisco Connect software, you can dive deep into this router’s options. Of course, installing a custom DD-WRT firmware is also a possibility. There are four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port. Sadly, no USB ports are present on this device, which is perhaps its biggest downside. However, let’s not forget to mention that this is an amazing option for both high-bandwidth streaming and gaming. With all of this said, this isn’t one of the best Linksys routers but also one of the best DD-WRT routers in general.
- Pros: Stylish design; Latest connectivity standards; WAN and LAN ports.
- Cons: No USB ports.
4. GL.iNET GL-AR150
|Features||Travel router; Converts wired networks into private Wi-Fi; Tethering supported; 3G/4G modems supported; Open-source; Programmable|
|Max Download Speed||Up to 150Mbps|
|Dimensions||2.2 x 2.2 x 0.9 in|
We’re sure you’re intrigued by this router’s appearance – as well as by its low price. And you must be wondering if there’s a catch here? As it turns out, there is one. Instead of being a standard home router, this product is designed to be a travel router. You can keep it in your pocket and take it anywhere with you. This is how you can, for example, transform a wired connection in your favorite coffee shop (or a hotel room) into a wireless connection (which can be highly secure, by the way).
The GL-AR150 is open-source and programmable. It comes with Open-WRT installed by default, and it comes with an OpenVPN client pre-installed as well. However, you’re completely free to replace all of this with the type of firmware that you want. You’ll find 128MB of RAM here, in addition to 16MB of Flash ROM. All in all, you can expect plenty of amazing features out of this router, at a very affordable price.
- Pros: Travel-friendly; OpenVPN-ready; Fully programmable.
- Cons: Limited bandwidth; Missing 5GHz connectivity.
Frequently Asked Question
After checking our list of the best DD-WRT routers under $50, you must have a favorite or two. So, how to reach the final decision? Well, let’s answer some commonly asked questions, which should hopefully clear any doubts you might be having.
Can You Get a Decent DD-WRT Router Under $50?
Yes – you can absolutely get a DD-WRT router under $50 that will meet your every need. However, you must take your needs and demands into consideration, and you must adjust your expectations. Even though you won’t get the latest technologies or high-end features, there are many affordable routers out there that can truly upgrade your Web browsing experience.
Are DD-WRT Routers Under $50 Even Worth the Money?
You’ve probably heard that DD-WRT routers are quite expensive. This is true – if we compare it to the ‘basic’ routers that come without any advanced options. However, you can still find some pretty capable routers for under $50, as we hope that our guide has shown you.
All of the routers listed in this article come with certain benefits and limitations. So, our strong recommendation would be to come up with a list of the most essential features that you need. Take the speed of your Web connection into consideration, and decide whether you need dual-band connectivity. These are the most basic features that any DD-WRT router offers, so anything beyond this is up to you to inspect and narrow down your list of options.
What to Expect from DD-WRT Routers Under $50?
If your budget is set to $50, you can expect a capable router that supports very fast broadband connections. As you can see, all of the routers present in this article are limited to 300Mbps in terms of their maximum bandwidth. This is perhaps the biggest limitation of affordable DD-WRT routers, as higher-priced options support Web connections of up to 1.7Gbps and more.
So, in case your Web connection speed doesn’t exceed 300Mbps, any of the options presented here are valid. Then, you can think about advanced features. Routers in this price range come with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connectivity, they can bring USB ports that let you easily transfer files between devices in your home, and all of them allow you to explore the endless possibilities of DD-WRT.
Can You Get a Gaming DD-WRT Router Under $50?
Gamers need fast-performing routers that handle issues such as latency in the best way possible. However, you should also think about the future. There are numerous game-streaming services on the horizon, and many of those require 5 GHz connections (for wireless connections, that is). In this aspect, our strong recommendation would be the Linksys E2500 router since it comes with dual-band connectivity.
What’s the Best DD-WRT Router Under $50 for Home Use?
When talking about home users, we usually refer to individuals who have somewhat basic Web-related needs. We’re talking about Web browsing, downloading files, and streaming media. In this aspect, any of the previously listed routers will do the job. However, we recommend paying special attention to Linksys E2500.
In case you want something quite affordable, and if you don’t have an ultra-fast Web connection, you should also consider Linksys WRT54GL – as it provides a really nice way to dive into the world of DD-WRT firmware at a low cost.
Dear readers, this is where we conclude our article on the best DD-WRT routers under $50. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We’ll do our best to provide a timely response.