Without any doubt, DD-WRT routers are perhaps the best way to experience everything you Web connection has to offer. By getting a capable router and installing DD-WRT firmware, you get a whole arsenal of tools that let you control, fine-tune, and optimize your Web browsing experience. Features like parental controls and content filtering, advanced optimization for different online activities, online privacy protection, and protection against malware are just the tip of a giant iceberg. However, the big question here is – what are truly the best DD-WRT routers in 2019? Well, let us tell you – you’ve come to the right place!

Before we get started, let’s answer some common doubts. First of all, yes – it’s true that DD-WRT routers can be quite expensive. However, we fully understand that our readers want options for different budgets and routers suitable for different needs. That’s the reason why we’ll go over a sizeable list of the best DD-WRT routers, providing answers to all your questions. And also, make sure to closely inspect the specs of your chosen router before buying it. This will help you make sure that you can use your Web connection up to its full extent, especially its speed.

So, let’s wait no more. Here are the 20 best DD-WRT routers in 2019. Let’s go over their specs and quick descriptions, so you can easily make up your mind.

1. NETGEAR R6700

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

If you decide to go with the R6700, you’ll get a complete package at a very interesting price. In many ways, it’s similar to our next suggestion but also brings a few interesting compromises that average home users wouldn’t mind.

First of all, this router brings a well-known design that’s unique to routers made by NETGEAR. The company has included one front-placed USB 3.0 that can be used for external storage devices. This allows you to easily create entertainment hubs and access those from different devices. There’s also one more interesting thing. You’ll get three high-power antennas that are not only adjustable but removable as well.

In terms of performance, NETGEAR R6700 supports networks of up to 1,750 Mbps divided into two channels. And also, let’s not forget to mention that this device brings top-rated results in terms of storage performance.

  • Pros: Very fast NAS performance; Great for gaming and streaming; Capable feature set.
  • Cons: A bit more complicated setup procedure.

2. Netgear R7000 Nighthawk

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Netgear R7000 Nighthawk
  • Features: Dynamic QoS for gaming and streaming; Prioritized bandwidth; Automatic installation; Free backup software; Beamforming.
  • Processor: 1Ghz dual-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: AC1900 Wi-Fi / 600 + 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 in.
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year (90 days of technical support).

The R7000 Nighthawk may sound more like a military aircraft than a network router, but there’s a reason its name comes up often among VPN and DD-WRT fans. This router from NETGEAR is a consistent favorite and makes the top router lists of many outlets. One of the main reasons for this is the affordable price point. At well under two hundred bucks, this AC1900 dual-band router provides a lot of throughput for the money.

The R7000 is equipped with a 1GHz dual-core CPU. It’s an 802.11ac dual-band router with a total throughput of 1900 Mbps. Thanks to its power transmission system, this router has quite the footprint and NETGEAR says that it’s suitable for very large homes. Along with the standard four Ethernet ports, you’ll also find two USB ports on the back of the machine. One is a USB 2.0 model suitable for a printer or other low-bandwidth device. The second port is USB 3.0 and is perfect for attaching a USB 3.0 hard drive or flash stick so that you can share files across your home network.

The R7000 Nighthawk is a truly affordable high-throughput router for people who have a lot of square footage to cover and need a fast network. And also, it performs shockingly-well for the price. If you’d like to check other routers made by this manufacturer, we have our guide to the best NETGEAR routers available now.

  • Pros: Incredibly stable performance; Long-range coverage; Class-leading USB performance.
  • Cons: None really.

3. Linksys WRT-3200ACM

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Linksys WRT-3200ACM
  • Features: Tri-stream technology; MU-MIMO antennas; Updated Smart Wi-Fi mobile app; 512MB of RAM; 256GB of Flash.
  • Processor: 1.8GHz processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 3.2 Gbps.
  • Dimensions: 9.68 x 2.04 x 7.63 in.
  • Weight: 3.57 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

When it comes to the best Linksys routers, the WRT-3200ACM model is one of the top-rated. This is a real beast in terms of its performance and specs, and we recommend it to those who really want the very best.

Inside of this router, Linksys has packed a 1.8Ghz dual-core CPU, 512 MB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage. There are four Ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port for sharing files and an eSATA port for file transfers. Aside from using the built-in software, you can install a custom DD-WRT management option to fine-tune this router to your needs.

What’s unique about the WRT-3200ACM router is the fact that it brings support for 160Mhz channels which can double its total bandwidth on the 5Ghz band. Therefore, it’s clear that we’re talking about a router made for power users.

  • Pros: Outstanding file transfer speeds; Support MU-MIMO; Flawless wired connectivity.
  • Cons: Not the best 2.4Ghz speeds.
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TP-Link Archer A7
  • Features: Comparable to Netgear R6700 (in terms of performance); Long-range Wi-Fi coverage; Integrated USB port; 4 Gigabit LAN ports; TP-Link Tether app supported.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563 (750Mhz).
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,750Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 9.59 x 6.32 x 1.29 in.
  • Weight: 0.93 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

Here we have a very interesting mid-range DD-WRT router, made by TP-Link. Called ‘Archer A7’, this router is trying to bring plenty of interesting features, but it also comes with some notable limitations. First of all, you should that you’ll get both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz connectivity. There are four Gigabit LAN ports, and this router comes with TP-Link’s software for managing your network. You can also set up this router in an instant, and you’ll get easy access to parental controls, guest network access, TP-Link Cloud, and more.

Now, let’s talk about its limitations. You get USB connectivity, which is a huge benefit. However, you only get USB 2.0. Then, there’s no support for MU-MIMO, so connecting multiple devices at once might bring mixed results. And there also reports on this router providing less than desirable performance in really large homes. Therefore, we recommend it if you live in an apartment since the Archer A7 comes with three antennas.

  • Pros: Good value for its price; Easy installation; Dual-band router; Four LAN ports; Reliable close-range performance.
  • Cons: Problematic long-range performance; Missing MU-MIMO; No USB 3.0 ports.

5. Asus RT-N66U (N900)

Asus RT-N66U (N900)
  • Features: Concurrent dual-band channels; Access to USB storage devices; Expanded wireless coverage; AsusWRT dashboard.
  • Processor: Broadcom BCM4706.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 900Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 11 x 14 x 3.5 in.
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

At the moment, the RT-N66U is one of the most popular DD-WRT routers on the market. It’s been available for a while now and it’s price had dropped in the meantime. On the other hand, this router brings capable features that should meet the needs of above-average home users.

If you take a closer look at the RT-N66U, you’ll see that it brings support for 802.11ac – which isn’t the latest nor the fastest Wi-Fi standard. However, it can still support Web connections of up to 900Mbps, which is definitely more than what many of us will ever need. It’s also worth noting that you’ll get two USB 2.0 ports (which means there no USB 3.0 here) which should still serve you well in terms of creating a digital media center.

All in all, it’s easy to see why the RT-N66U is one of the best DD-WRT routers right now. It comes at an affordable price while bringing quite capable features. You can rely on its power to give you a pleasurable Web browsing experience while any tradeoffs.

  • Pros: Capable wireless performance; Strong feature set; Redesigned GUI.
  • Cons: Some features could be better implemented (VPN, DLNA).

6. Linksys E2500

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.
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

Based on the hugely popular Linksys’ E3200 model, the E2500 brings a very interesting design and plenty of new options. You will get to use both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks, in addition to four LAN ports and one WAN port. The device is designed to be as inconspicuous as possible and it doesn’t bring any status lights whatsoever.

The initial setup process takes less than 5 minutes thanks to the included CD that brings the Cisco Connect software. Of course, since this is a DD-WRT router, you can install custom software and fine-tune it to your liking. If you decide to stick to the built-in software, you’ll get to prioritize activities like gaming or streaming, set port forwarding, as well as FTP and HTTP servers. Finally, you should know that this router brings a very steady performance and you’ll hardly encounter a dropped connection. All in all, a very reliable and one of the best affordable DD-WRT routers, for sure.

  • Pros: Good signal strength at distance; Easy setup and management.
  • Cons: No bridge or AP mode.
TP-Link N450
  • Features: 2.4Ghz wireless connectivity; Extended coverage; 3 external antennas; Easy setup and management;
  • Processor: Single-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 450Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 7.9 in.
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

Next up on our list of the best DD-WRT routers, we have TP-Link’s N450. This product was made with average home users in mind. This means that you won’t find any groundbreaking specs here – but you’ll find a router that offers plenty of value for its price.

First of all, the TP-Link N450 supports 2.4GHz networks. This means that using it in your house or areas without too many Wi-Fi networks is an ideal case scenario. Even though you won’t find 5Ghz support here, you’ll find support for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. This makes the N450 a nice option for Web browsing, media streaming, and even online gaming. As since this is a DD-WRT router, you are free to install custom firmware and fine-tune your Web experience. The bottom line is that if you aren’t a hugely advanced user, this one should meet your every need.

  • Pros: Good value for its price; Broad coverage; The latest Wi-Fi standard supported.
  • Cons: Only 2.4Ghz networks supported.
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D-Link DIR-867
  • Features: Dual-core processor; Dual-band Wi-Fi; Smart beamforming; 3×3 data streams; Optimized simultaneous streaming for multiple devices.
  • Processor: MediaTek MT7621AT (880Mhz – dual core).
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,750Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 10.2 x 1.8 in.
  • Weight: 1.27 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

This is one of the latest mid-range DD-WRT routers created by D-Link. As such, it tries to bring plenty of value for its price by bringing a set of copious management features and hardware innovations. First of all, this unit is MU-MIMO ready. This means that you can connect multiple devices without any performance issues. The DIR-867 automatically optimizes its performance based on your Web activity, making sure that everyone uses their Web connection up to its full extent.

Among other features, you get dual-band support (450Mbps on 2.4Ghz and 1,300Mbps on 5GHz), a powerful dual-core processor, four high-performance antennas that should cover even larger homes, and there’s a series of management tools built-in. Of course, you’re completely free to install DD-WRT and gain a new set of management features.

  • Pros: Simple & effective design; Really easy to set up; Strong coverage; Dual-bank support; Supports Multi-User MIMO; Copious management tools.
  • Cons: Lacks USB ports; Non-removable antennas.
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D-Link DIR-878
  • Features: 3×3 data streams; 4 high-power antennas; Multi-user MIMO technology; SmartBeam support; Advanced QoS; WPA/WPA2.
  • Processor: Dual-core Broadcom BCM4709C0 (1.4Ghz).
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 600 + 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.1 x 1.8 in.
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

Even though it brings a similar name to our previous suggestion, you can think of DIR-878 as a more powerful option. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can get access to the latest technologies and Web standards.

First of all, we think you’re going to love the way this router is designed. It brings a modern design and fits nicely into any room. Then, there’s a whole series of interesting features. The DIR-878 supports the latest 802.11ac standard and can be used for beamforming. You can install it in a matter of minutes and you’ll get to use an intuitively designed Web interface through which you can fine-tune its settings. And when it comes to its performance, you can use both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks, combined up to 1.9Gbps which should make any Web-related task as smooth as possible. All in all, the DIR-878 truly brings a lot of value for its price, which is why we believe this is one of the best DD-WRT routers right now.

  • Pros: Good value; Four LAN ports; Dual-band support; Beamforming.
  • Cons: No USB ports.

10. D-Link DIR-859

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D-Link DIR-859
  • Features: Reliable coverage; Parental controls; Guest Network support; Dual-active firewall features; Supported by official apps.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9563 (750Mhz).
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 450 + 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 12.5 x 1.25 in.
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

When it originally appeared on the market, D-Link’s DIR-859 received plenty of rave reviews. In the meantime, this model managed to stick to its original success and it’s in production, which tells a lot. However, the price is now more affordable than ever before, which is why this model was highlighted in our article on DD-WRT routers under $100.

The DIR-859 is a dual-band router and it supports both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Thanks to its three non-detachable antennas, it sends out a very signal and covers quite a large area. It should also be noted that you can expect top of the line performance no matter which channel you’re using, up to 1,750Mbps in total. The only downside is that you won’t find USB ports here, which means that connecting printers of creating media hubs isn’t a possibility.

  • Pros: Very easy to manage; Strong performance on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
  • Cons: Missing USB connectivity.

11. GL.iNET GL-MT300N (v2)

GL.iNET GL-MT300N (v2)
  • Features: Travel router; Converts wired networks into private Wi-Fi; Tethering supported; 34/4G modems supported; Open-source; Programmable.
  • Processor: MediaTek MT7628N (580Mhz)
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 2.28 x 2.28 x 0.98 in.
  • Weight: 0.08 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

You are most probably surprised by the size of its router. As you can see, it’s quite small and it’s lightweight. That’s because the GL-MT300N is meant to be a travel-friendly router. As such, you can turn any wired connection into a wireless one, and reap number benefits along the way. And of course, since we’re talking about this product in our article on the best DD-WRT routers, it supports this kind of firmware as well.

You need to know that the GL-MT300N supports Web speeds of up to 300Mbps. Also, it comes with a single WAN, LAN, and USB 2.0 ports. This means that you can also use this router with different types of external storage options and there’s even an option for an external antenna. This kind of modular design is really hard to come by, especially when it comes to affordable routers.

  • Pros: Pocket-sized; Powerful processor; Easy to use; Supports external storage; Fully programmable.
  • Cons: Relatively limited bandwidth.

12. Asus RT-N53

Asus RT-N53
  • Features: Concurrent dual-band networks; Guest network access; Clever wall-mount design; Parental controls.
  • Processor: One-core Broadcom BCM5358
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 300 + 300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 9 x 3.3 x 12.4 in.
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year (90 days of technical support).

In case you don’t have a crazy-fast Internet connection and want to utilize the power of DD-WRT, Asus’ RT-N53 router should be an interesting pick. This is a dual-band DD-WRT router that supports two 300Mbps networks.

Since this is a DD-WRT router, it comes with its own management software. For quite some time now, reviewers have praised the company’s software in terms of its capability and intuitiveness. However, you can install a custom firmware as well. No matter which way you go, you can use this device as a standard router that connects you to the Web, or you can use it as a repeater. Lastly, we’d like to praise this router’s speed and performance. Average and even above-average users should be more than happy with what they’ll receive.

  • Pros: Amazing performance; Easy to set up; Data bridge support.
  • Cons: Not the most powerful coverage.

13. TP-Link Archer C59

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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 in.
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

TP-Link’s Archer series brings a large number of routers that range from ultra-simple home units up to high-end models. The C59 sits somewhere in the middle, bringing DD-WRT functionality without having ultra-powerful specs.

On the inside, you’ll find that the Archer C59 comes with 128MB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage. And, it also supports networks of up to 1,3Gbps as well as the latest wireless standards. This means that average users and well as above-average ones should find this model to be an interesting option. You also get to use its own Web UI to access a comprehensive set of options and tweaks but applying a custom firmware is also a possibility. And lastly, you must know that this router supports 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks and also brings four Gigabit Ethernet ports for those devices that truly want to take full advantage of your Web connection.

  • Pros: Dual-band support; Intuitive Web UI; Plenty of RAM and storage.
  • Cons: Single-core CPU unit.

14. D-Link DIR-866L

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D-Link DIR-866L
  • Features: Dual-band router; AC Smart Beam technology; MyDlink Share port; Support for guest devices; Official mobile app for management.
  • Processor: Broadcom BCM4708A0 (ARM Cortex A9).
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 9.8 x 2.8 in.
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

Next, we have D-Link’s DIR-866L and as you can see, this is the most affordable DD-WRT router you can get. You might find some that cost a few dollars less but trust us that they’re not worth your time.

The DIR-866L brings dual-band performance and you can decide whether you want to use 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz (typically used for media streaming and gaming). You can expect a very reliable performance thanks to the company’s high-powered built-in amplifier. On top of that, you get to use D-Link’s mobile app to control the router remotely and check vital stats. And finally, you should know that you can take advantage of the device’s USB port to share files and media. All in all, you get plenty of value for the price.

  • Pros: Quite affordable; Easy setup; Great performance at 2.4Ghz and 5GHz.
  • Cons: Can’t work as a media bridge; Somewhat limited mobile apps.

15. Linksys EA6700

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Linksys EA6700
  • Features: Dual-band technology; Advanced beamforming; Smart Wi-Fi technology; Official mobile app for network management.
  • Processor: QCA9558 3×3 802.11 a/b/g/n SoC.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,750Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 6.16 x 4.45 x 2.11 in.
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

In case you’re a fan of Linksys’ products, you can spend a bit more on the EA6700. This is the company’s top of the line model as well as the very first router that brings the next-generation wireless standards.

This device brings a very streamlined design and you even mount it vertically. If you take a closer look, you’ll see a series of ports on the backside. There’s one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. Then, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a set of standard control buttons. When it comes to its performance, you must know that there are 6 internal antennas with high-power amplifiers. This is more than enough to provide an incredibly smooth performance. To fine-tune the device, you can use the built-in software or install your own.

  • Pros: Amazing performance (2.4Ghz and 5GHz); Smart Wi-Fi; USB 3.0 support; Simple management.
  • Cons: Only four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

16. D-Link EXO DIR-869

D-Link EXO DIR-869
  • Features: Uniquely designed; Dual-band support; High-power amplifiers; QoS backward compatible; Easy setup.
  • Processor: Dual-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 450 + 1,300Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 6.31 x 8.72 x 2.38 in.
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

When it comes to routers, and even DD-WRT models, you’ll see that many of them look alike. Tech companies aren’t usually willing to take big risks in terms of design decisions. And if they do, we’re usually talking about the least affordable routers. However, D-Link’s EXO might be an exception to this rule.

The EXO DIR-869 comes with a triangular design and sharp edges all around. It comes equipped with four Ethernet (Gigabit) ports, one WAN port – and sadly, it’s missing any USB ports which truly is a shame. On the upside, it supports the latest Wi-Fi standard and it’s dual-band based, which means that you can get pretty fast Web connection by using this router. And thanks to its external antennas, this model should cover pretty large homes with ease.

  • Pros: Interesting design; Dual-band connectivity; Excellent range.
  • Cons: No USB ports.

17. 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 in.
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

Despite its somewhat odd design, TP-Link’s Archer C9 might just be the perfect router for average home users. It brings plenty of power under the hood as well as a few features typically found in more expensive models.

Since this is a DD-WRT router, we first need to take a look at its internals. The C9 model comes with a 1Ghz dual-core processor and has 128MB of RAM. This means that running DD-WRT firmware should not produce any issues, whatsoever. Once you decide to connect your devices, you can count on 2.4Ghz and 5GHz networks with a total bandwidth of up to 1,900Mbps – which is what really stands out here. And on top of all of this, the C9 includes USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, which means that connecting other devices is a possibility.

There’s really nothing not to like about this product, and we strongly believe that even more advanced users should be covered well.

  • Pros: Offers amazing value; Great wireless coverage; Plenty of bandwidth; Removable antennas.
  • Cons: No major remarks.

18. Buffalo AirStation HighPower N300

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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 in.
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 years.

Even though Buffalo has an interesting lineup of routers, we have decided to highlight only one of their products. That’s because we’ll be talking about their bestselling router that is designed for home users who want full control over their Web connectivity.

The AirStation N300 covers the basics quite well. It comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, where one can be used for your primary Internet connection and the rest for LAN devices. If you want to go wireless, this model supports the 802.11n standard but it doesn’t bring any groundbreaking speeds. According to its specs, it supports Web connections of up to 300Mbps which should still be enough for average home users. And finally, we should tell you that Buffalo is known for its DD-WRT interface that gives you a nice overview of your router’s capabilities.

  • Pros: Small and lightweight; Very easy to set up; Strong wired connectivity.
  • Cons: Not the most powerful internals; Limited Web connection speed.

19. D-Link AC5300 Ultra

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D-Link AC5300 Ultra
  • Features: Supports 15+ Wi-Fi devices; SmartConnect technology; AC SmartBeam support; Intelligent QoS traffic optimization.
  • Processor: 1.4Ghz dual-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 1,000 (2.4Ghz); Up to 2,166 (5Ghz).
  • Dimensions: 10.34 x 16.43 x 5.89 in.
  • Weight: 3.28 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year.

Ultra by name, ultra by nature. That’s really the only way to describe this router behemoth. This router has a 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU on deck. It also uses the same tri-band technology for a combined throughput somewhere in the range of 5,300Mbps. Likewise, we are once again treated to four pairs of antennas. Four for receiving and four for sending.

With all that physical transmission ability, it’s unlikely your household will run out of WiFi bandwidth anytime soon. Four Gigabit Ethernet ports are present to no one’s surprise. They are flanked by two USB ports. The typical USB 2.0 printer port and the fast USB 3.0 port for USB storage.

There seems to be little difference between this router and the ASUS AC5300 (the following suggestion in our article) when it comes to specifications, so we doubt that anyone except perhaps the benchmark-obsessed could even tell the difference in performance between the two if any. However, brand-loyalty and design language may be the dividing factor for you. In the end, whether you go with the D-Link or the ASUS, you’ll have a blazingly-fast DD-WRT router to play with.

  • Pros: Upgradeable antennas; Futuristic appearance; Excellent performance; Strong wireless signal.
  • Cons: Missing wireless bridging.

20. ASUS RT-AC5300

Asus RT-AC5300
  • Features: The latest 801.11ac 4×4 technology; AiMesh support; AiRadar beamforming; Dynamic switching between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
  • Processor: 1.4Ghz quad-core processor.
  • Max Download Speed: Up to 5,334Mbps.
  • Dimensions: 15 x 11.5 x 4.8 in.
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years.

The AC5300 is much more than just a conversation starter. This is a high-end hardware platform for a next-generation home networking experience. Combined with DD-WRT, this router is a force to be reckoned with. This model has at its heart a high-performance 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU. This is backed up by 512 MB of RAM. While this is not the fastest set of specifications we’ve ever seen on a router, it’s a perfect level for high-end home use.

The AC5300 is a little short on any sort of special hardware features. It has the standard 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports, a single WAN port, and one USB 3.0 port. The eight antennas are removable though, although we personally wouldn’t touch them since they are core to the aesthetic.

The ASUS AC5300 is a router that is focused on network performance above all else. For the price, you’d be hard-pressed to find something with better wireless performance. If you want to use high-speed NAS, 4K streaming or other high-bandwidth local services, this router will serve you well. It’s an excellent choice for those who need a large, fast WiFi footprint without shelling out for enterprise-class hardware. Without any doubt, this is one of the world’s best DD-WRT routers.

  • Pros: Attractive design; Great built quality; Premium support; Top-rated performance.
  • Cons: Wireless bridge not supported.

FAQ

By now, we gave you plenty of different options and we’re sure you’ll find at least one product that suits your needs. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to give you valuable information on how to select the best DD-WRT router based on your needs.

What Are DD-WRT Routers?

DD-WRT routers allow you to install and run custom firmware – called DD-WRT. This Linux-based firmware provides a nicely designed Web interface with plenty of customization options. Unlike stock firmware provided by Linksys, Asus, and Netgear, DD-WRT allows you to review additional information and fine-tune your experience of using the Web.

Plenty could be said about DD-WRT and it’s imperative to learn as much as you can before diving into this technology. This will allow you to learn the numerous benefits of DD-WRT firmware, as well as its limitations. After all, you will be changing the way your router works and you’ll get to unblock its capabilities. This is why installing DD-WRT firmware is not as simple as it might sound.

How to Choose the Best DD-WRT Router?

If you’re looking for a DD-WRT router, you probably want a device that offers granular control over your Internet connection. This means taking a close look at numerous options and inspecting their specs and feature sets. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Specifications: First and foremost, you must take a look at the specs. While some routers bring single-core CPUs, you’ll find more powerful CPUs and plenty of RAM in higher-end models. Some cheap DD-WRT routers could bring barely capable specs that can run only the built-in system and installing a third-party firmware could provide to be problematic.
  • Connectivity Options: While a 2.4GHz connection might be sufficient for basic Web browsing, you will need to rely on a 5Ghz connection for more advanced tasks. In general, it’s highly recommended to stick to 5Ghz for streaming in HD and 4K, and for playing multiplayer games. Of course, you also need to check how much maximum bandwidth can easy of these channels support.
  • DIY Flashing or Pre-Flashed: You can just buy a router directly from the manufacturer and do the firmware flash upgrade yourself. This is the cheaper option, but it means voiding the warranty of a new router and running the risk of turning the machine into a paperweight if you do it wrong. The second choice is to buy it pre-flashed from a third-party company. You’ll still get a warranty and the router is tested to work properly with DD-WRT before it ships to you.
Should You Buy Pre-Flashed DD-WRT Routers?

The easiest and safest way to get a DD-WRT router is by buying one from a company that pre-flashes them. This has several benefits. For one thing, you know that the router you just bought isn’t bricked, because it was tested first. Secondly, the reseller usually provides a warranty – something you forfeit when you flash a router yourself.

In truth, there’s not much risk to this as long as you follow the instructions properly and you triple-check that the specific model you have is in fact on the compatibility list. If you’ve done your homework, the chances of bricking the router are minimal.

Should You Buy Used or Refurbished DD-WRT Routers?

There’s nothing wrong with buying used or refurbished routers, but you need to be extra careful if you’re considering going this way. Actually, installing DD-WRT usually voids any warranty, so getting a used router (especially if it comes with limited or no warranty) can be an affordable way to enter the world of custom firmware. However, make sure that you’re buying a used router from a reputable vendor.

Can You Install DD-WRT on Any Router?

No, you can’t install DD-WRT on just about any router. You need a device that supports custom firmware and that’s capable enough to run DD-WRT without any problems. This is why we strongly recommend you to check whether there’s a fully supported version of DD-WRT for the router you plan on buying.

Can You Remove/Uninstall DD-WRT & Revert to Stock Firmware?

In general, it’s possible to revert DD-WRT firmware to your router’s stock firmware. For many models, this option is accessible from DD-WRT’s Web interface. However, you should know that not every model supports this action.

Trying to ‘downgrade’ from DD-WRT to your router’s stock firmware comes with certain dangers. Some features might not work properly, or you can end up with a bricked device. This is why we recommend letting an expert perform this, or making sure you have clear and 100% valid instructions.

Is DD-WRT Safe to Install & Use?

No matter if you use DD-WRT or any other type of firmware, you should periodically check for security-related updates. However, DD-WRT does have some advantage over any stock firmware since it’s an open-source system. This means that bugs and security vulnerabilities are typically quick to identify and fix.

It’s important to understand that your router’s security depends on you – and not on the firmware you choose to install. DD-WRT does come with numerous benefits over any stock firmware, but make sure to update it regularly to stay on top of the latest security vulnerabilities.

Will DD-WRT Speed Up My Router?

When configured properly, DD-WRT can speed your Web connection. However, please note that isn’t always the case and this ‘upgrade’ in performance depends on the reason why you were experienced slowed Web speeds, to begin with.

In case your ISP (Internet Service Provider) throttles specific services, like Netflix for example, you can use a VPN in combination with your DD-WRT to avoid such throttling. This means that you’ll get to encrypt your Web connection data and avoid any type of throttling. It’s also important to be said that DD-WRT can help you extend or boost your wireless signal.

How Do I Access My DD-WRT Router?

To access your DD-WRT router and its Web interface, you need to use your Web browser for this purpose. Access the log-in page by typing in ‘192.168.1.1’ and then use the default username (root) and password (admin).

Please note that the latest version of DD-WRT asks you to set up your own username and password, so make sure to remember your user credentials. In addition, we need to note that ‘192.168.1.1’ is typically the default IP address that you need to use. However, some routers might use ‘192.168.2.1’, ‘192.168.11.1’, or ‘192.168.10.1’.

How to Install a VPN on a DD-WRT Router?

Finally, let’s not forget to mention that VPNs can be easily installed on DD-WRT routers. Actually, this is the best way to protect all your incoming and outgoing Web traffic, as well as to be anonymous on the Web.

If you’re looking for a router that’s compatible with VPNs, your next stop should be our article on how to choose a VPN router. Once you have the general guidelines in your head, take a closer look at the options found in this article and make your final decision. Then, head over to our article on how to set up a VPN on a router. Don’t forget that you also need to choose a VPN service. Why not have a look at our VPN buyer’s guide or choose from our list of the overall best VPN services.

What’s the Best Entry-Level DD-WRT Router?

If you’re ready to make some compromises, you can find easily plenty of reliable entry-level DD-WRT routers. Our strong recommendation would be Linksys E2500 which brings dual-band connectivity, LAN and WAN ports, and comes with an easy setup. Other interesting picks would be TP-Link’s N450 and GL.iNet’s travel-friendly router.

What’s the Best Mid-Range DD-WRT Router?

When it comes to mid-range DD-WRT routers, you can find plenty of interesting options. For example, TP-Link’s Archer A7 brings dual-band connectivity, USB ports, easy installation, and reliable close-range coverage. If you’d like to expand your options, we recommend D-Link’s DIR-867, NETGEAR’s R6700, and D-Link’s DIR-878 – all of which are excellent choices.

What’s the Best High-End DD-WRT Router?

As you can expect, this is where you can find all-in-one DD-WRT routers. These might be pricey, but they check all the right boxes. For example, NETGEAR’s R700 comes with many advanced features promising to bring out the best of your Web connection. If you need an ultra-powerful router, you should be more than happy with Linksys’ WRT-3200ACM, which has been one of the bestselling routers for a while now.

Dear readers, that would be all we’ve prepared for our guide to the best DD-WRT routers in 2019. In case you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments section below. And also, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!