What Is The Holy Grail Of Powerful, Hackable Wi-Fi Routers?

What Is The Holy Grail Of Powerful, Hackable Wi-Fi Routers?

We’ve featured tons and tons of methods for boosting your Wi-Fi signal. We’ve upgraded our routers with DD-WRT to make them extra powerful. There is no dearth of available tips for getting the most out of a router, but what’s the best combination? What hardware works best with what strategies? Let us know what you think.If you’ve experimented with consumer router hardware that can be hacked to perform better than it was designed to perform, we want to know what hardware you used, how you positioned your router, how you upgraded the firmware for better performance, and what other modifications you made to make your router the holy grail of hackable Wi-Fi routers. Share your experiences and expertise in the comments.


  • I’m on an old skool WRT54G, if anyone has any suggestions for a decently priced wifi N alternative that’ll run one of the larger DD-WRT builds – maybe even with USB for a media share – I’d be very interested.

    • I don’t care so much about N wireless, but a gigabit version would be nice!
      Mine also acts as the central hub for my wired home network, everything is gigabit capable except the WRT-54GL.
      I don’t NEED it, but it’d be handy when I occasionally do big file transfers between server and desktop.

  • You know the answer cause you’ve put it in the image..
    The Linksys WRT-54g series (now 54gl), is an amazing piece of kit for the money with DD-WRT or similar 3rd party firmware installed.
    The fact you can remove the stock antennas and add larger/higher gain antennas further enhance it’s flexibility.
    I have mine acting as a wireless bridge. My phone line is pair-gained (restricted to 3mpbs throttled ADSL1, modem reports the line as capable of up to 10mbps) so I use my neighbors line (my modem on their phone line) to get ADSL2+ and wireless it across to my place.
    It is supremely reliable! I haven’t restarted the router in 2 years!

    • I think the point of the article is that while the Linksys WRT54G series of routers was once the ‘Holy Grail’ of hackable routers, that was a long time ago.

      The WRT54GL is a truly top-notch router and is still a good choice for many applications (including yours), but it lacks a lot of the features of other easily hackable routers such as gigabit ports, wifi n and USB ports.

  • A few months ago I researched this pretty extensively before finally settling on the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH.

    It has:
    • 5x gigabit ports (4 LAN, 1 WAN)
    • Wifi b/g/n
    • 1x USB 2.0 port
    • 400MHz CPU
    • 32MB Flash
    • 64MB RAM

    I’m told the stock firmware is pretty good but it also runs DD-WRT and OpenWrt.

    Unfortunately I don’t think you can buy it in Australia. You can buy them from overseas on eBay for about $100 including delivery (and an Australian adapter for the US transformer).

  • The TP-Link range has a few models that will work with OpenWRT and DD-WRT, has gigabit, Wireless N and a usb port. I have yet to do it myself, but a mate has put OpenWRT, connected a Vivid Wimax USB dongle and even hooked up a USB ODBII dongle to it and mounted the thing in his car. (offering Wifi/4G and car diagnostics all to his dash mounted iPad)


    If that’s not the holy grail.. then what is?

  • “There is no dearth of available tips…” – so you’re saying there’s aren’t many tips available?
    And just how do you upgrade “out” router?

    Seriously guys, hire an editor.

  • I recently considering upgrading my trusty wgt634u running openwrt to something with a gigabit switch. I came across the Netgear WNDR3700, which might just be the holy-grail of easily-available routers supported by openwrt. Though at $288 (officeworks), its just too much to justify an upgrade so I gave up. Thanks for pointing out the TP-Link! Looks like I’m back in the game!

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