Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DD-WRT vs. Tomato

DD-WRT vs. Tomato

am sure you know know what DD-WRT or Tomato is, otherwise you wouldn't have stumbled upon this page. I have been a long fan of DD-WRT, I think it is the best firmware out there. But that was because I was using the Linksys WRT54GL router. I loved DD-WRT so much such that I had to promote it everywhere, I went to get more routers to get this installed everywhere. However, I want to be cheap and try to save some costs, so I looked up the DD-WRT compatible list and found that the Buffalo WHR-G54S, however I could tell you this is no router for the DD-WRT. Installation was painful, I had to use tftp and I feel like I could brick the router anytime. I had previous brick a wrt54gl with the use of a so-called "Psp version" of the firmware, which according to the description, would allow me to connect to the xlink kai network without the use of a computer and an extra wifi card.

I am a moderate Bittorrent user, and when the traffic shots up the DD-WRT version of the router freezes. The BT traffic will keep going in a slow manner, but the normal traffic will not work anymore. I tried to setup QoS, but it doesn't seem to work even when I have 8M/2M. And during that time you can't even login to the administrator menu, it would just time out. Even if you could, when you try to hit the reboot button, it would time out right there. You have to physically reset it each time the BT kills the router.
I previously read an article about the comparison between tomato and DD-WRT , I thought why not give tomato a try. I know there are a few more 3rd party firmwares out there, but I know the more flash you do, the more risky your router might become an expensive paper weight. I read online everywhere and found that you could flash it within the DD-WRT menu, but you need to type a few commands to reset the administrator password. Installation was relatively easy, however, not as easy as flashing a brand new wrt54gl to DD-WRT.

When I log onto the administrator menu, I fell in love immediately. Everything was quick, and simple. The traffic counter is working flawlessly with a bit of flashy ajax, and I appear to get faster throughput than my old dd-wrt firmware. Plus UPnP actually works right out of the box. I could see computers login and use uPnP. I must say I was surprised by the speed I was getting from the Tomato firmware. DynDNS was setup easily, and it wouldn't jam up every once in a while. I used to have to reboot my router more than once per week, now it is probably once every month?

The verdict is I prefer Tomato over Dd-WRT, however, that is for my Buffalo WHR-G54Srouter in this very moment. DD-WRT runs fairly smoothly at my wrt54gl.

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