Give a New Life (and New Features) to Your Current Router with DD-WRT

Misc, Q&A

By adding the DD-WRT software to your router, you may get access to a lot of new features, including DD-WRT VPN. Learn about the DD-WRT software features.

When I decided to write this article, I couldn’t help but wonder if an acronym such as DD-WRT would even trigger some interest in our blog readers. After all, there’s already a ton of abbreviations hanging on this blog, so there’s a high risk of “selective processing” from readers that would push them to ignore this article. So, first of all, congratulations. Congratulations if you’ve read this far in this article. I promise this is going to be an eye-opening reading since it may give a new life to your router. So hang on.

But first of all, what is a DD-WRT?

DD-WRT is kind of “universal” Linux-based firmware that can be used as a replacement to your current router’s “operating system.” Best of all, it can be downloaded for free from the internet – and don’t get me wrong, free doesn’t mean “low-grade” system. Indeed, most of the routers that are shipped nowadays are only limited to a certain set of features- then some great marketing guys would categorize them to segments like “entry,” “for home office,” “professional” use.  So, with DD-WRT, that same hardware that came with your router can be added a lot of new features. Indeed, if you decide to replace your router’s firmware with a DD-WRT version, you’ll be able to:

  • transform that old-router into a Wi-Fi hotspot (even though your genuine router’s firmware wouldn’t allow that);
  • add finer control over QoS options. For those who are wondering what QoS is, it stands for “Quality of Service.” IT’s a generic term for every finer control that can be applied at the router’s level for managing bandwidth and access. For example, one router administrator can define at the router level that machine A would be limited to a 100Kb download speed while his computer wouldn’t be limited at all. Almost every network manager out there are using some QoS at the router level to manage that small bandwidth to multiple users;
  • accept IPv6 protocol even though your router only came shipped with IPv4 support.

Is DD-WRT only for popular routers? Should I then replace my router’s firmware?

Well, as with most popular software, there is a database of routers that support the DD-WRT on the official website. Now, back to the second question: it’s not mandatory that you replace your router’s firmware with DD-WRT – after all, you’ve been working with it for a specified period now without any problems. But if you are considering adding new features, or if you have decided to give a new life to an old router, then you probably need to consider installing DD-WRT software features.

So why consider opting for a DD-WRT firmware replacement?

Heck, that’s a good question. But don’t worry, we’ll bring some answers to this:

  • a lot of VPN solution provider support it. You may have seen it popping up all the time whenever you are considering buying a VPN solution (BTW, the following are great options for VPN – Virtual Private Networks: HideMyAssibVPNPureVPN, Private Internet Access, or NordVPN). Indeed, most serious VPN providers come with support for DD-WRT- some even have quite detailed installation process. Thus, you will be able to hide your public IP address, browse the Internet safely, unblock restricted websites (BBC iPlayer, Netflix).
  • it adds more features to your current router: as I said earlier, with DD-WRT, you can turn your router into an excellent Wi-Fi hotspot.

Bonus 1: How to setup ibVPN on DD-WRT router

ibVPN provides a pretty clear tutorial for this installation: DD-WRT routers OpenVPN setup, except for a couple of tips that are useful for the not-tech users.

Installing ibVPN on a router

Step 1: Download the file ibVPN DD-WRT ovpn (OpenVPN configuration files) from the site.  Copy the entire file into your Command Shell (Administration => Commands) and replace “your@email.address VPNpassword” with the login info you received from ibVPN.

ibVPN DD-WRT VPN

Next, click Save Startup.

Step 2. Change DNS settings. ibVPN recommends the Google DNS servers:

google-public-dns-a.google.com 8.8.8.8
google-public-dns-b.google.com 8.8.4.4

Go to Tab Setup => Basic Setup  and make the following changes:

ibVPN DD-WRT DHCP

Then click Save.  It only remains for you only to reboot your router.

Step 3: Configuring IPs. Each package has its own IP addresses.  For the package TorrentVPN here they are:

NL: 62.212.72.172 (Amsterdam2)
TO: 46.165.196.25 (Frankfurt2)
LU: 212.117.165.18 (Luxemburg)

Simply put this script in your Command Shell: /tmp/ibvpn/vpn start + IP resulting /tmp/ibvpn/vpn start 62.212.72.172 for NL address .  Click Run Commands.

ibVPN DD-WRT Commands

The message launching OpenVPN process appears.  Wait a few minutes and the process is completed.  Use the following script to stop the IP VPN: /tmp/ibvpn/vpn stop.

Troubleshooting

In case of VPN connection problems:

  • First: Remove “explicit-exit-notify 3″ of the startup script. Reboot and set the desired IP.
  • Contact support.  To facilitate the help you can give the logs.  Just do three very easy command line (Make Run Commands between each line):
    ps
    ip ro l
    cat / tmp / ibvpn / vpn.log

What gives with this command line: ps – Click on Run Commands to bring up the Log.  Repeat the operation for each line.

ibVPN DD-WRT ps

You have now finished the VPN setup on your DD-WRT router. ibVPN is a premium VPN service that provides access to servers from over 100 locations. It is well-known for the quality of the support and the flexibility of their packages.

Bonus 2: How to setup VpnTunnel with OpenVPN on DD-WRT

You may follow the next steps in order to setup VPNTunnel DD-WRT. From your 192.168.1.1 interface, you access your router and its configuration.

1 – In the Services tab => VPN

You enable OpenVPN Daemon and check Start OpenVPN Daemon and WAN Up.

In the case that you have CA Cert in the box, you copy your file ca.cert witch you will find in the VpnTunnel.Se user account.

VpnTunnel DD-WRT VPN

Next, in the Private Client Key box, you put on two lines your Username and your Password.

In the box OpenVPN config file you copy your OpenVPN configuration.

VpnTunnel DD-WRT Setup

This file OpenVPN gives this script:

float
client
dev tap
proto udp
nobind
; Cert
ca / etc / openvpn / keys / ca.crt
ns-cert-type server
cipher BF-CBC # Blowfish
; VPN Server
remote-random
remote melissa.vpntunnel.se 1194
remote melissa.vpntunnel.se 10010
remote melissa.vpntunnel.se 10020
; Auth
auth-user-pass # passwd
persist-key
persist-tun
; Logging
comp-lzo
verb 1

Two lines must change:
ca / etc / openvpn / keys / ca.crt by AC / tmp / openvpn / ca.crt

auth-user-pass # passwd auth-user-pass / tmp / openvpn / key.pem

Then click on Save settings and Apply.

2 – In the Administration tab => commands

Copy this script and confirm with Save Firewall

iptables-I FORWARD-i br0-o tap0-j ACCEPT
iptables-I FORWARD-i tap0-o br0-j ACCEPT
iptables-I INPUT-i tap0-j REJECT
iptables-t nat-A POSTROUTING-o tap0-j MASQUERADE

3 – Reboot the router

Administration tab => Management and Reboot button to validate this router config.

To check your new IP: xmyip.com.

Changing DNS

In case of connection problems: untimely cuts / slow speed/ no change of IP, the DNS change to stabilize your computer and solve these problems.

1 – In XP – Vista

Open the Windows Control Panel => Open “Local Area Connection” => Right-click on the icon of your network connection => select “Properties” => Select “Internet Protocol (TCP / IP)” => Click Properties => Check “Use the following DNS server addresses” and then in the Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server, type addresses 80.67.0.2 and 91.213.246.2

Click OK and restart your computer.

2 – In Windows 7

Windows Control Panel => “Network and Internet” => “Network and Sharing Center” => “Change adapter settings” => Right-click on “Local Area Connection” => Click Properties.  => “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” => “Properties” => First click on the button “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter your preferred DNS server and auxiliary.  Type the address 80.67.0.2 and 91.213.246.2

Click OK and restart your computer.

To sum up, VpnTunnel.Se works excellent on DD-WRT, and it’s an excellent choice if you want to install in on your router.

Now, your turn – have you switched to using a DD-WRT router? What do you think of the DD-WRT software features? What’s your personal experience? Feel free to share in the comment section.

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