Turn your home or small-office router into an enterprise-level powerhouse

Four steps to increase your router's capabilities

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Click Upgrade, and then don't do anything. If you do anything at all while the firmware is being upgraded, you could damage your router. It will take several minutes. Next, you should see a screen like the one shown, telling you that the firmware upgrade was successful. Click Continue.

You'll be asked to log in again. Your username and password will be reset. The username will be "root," and the password "admin." However, you may not be able to log in yet. Reset your router by holding down its reset button for 30 seconds. You should now be able to log in to your router, and when you do, the new firmware will be there.

Step 3: Troubleshoot the firmware upgrade

In the ideal world, your firmware should now be upgraded. Most of us, though, don't live in the ideal world. And so you may run into problems when you upgrade your firmware. For example, when I upgraded my WRT54GL, a screen appeared telling me that the upgrade was successful. But I couldn't log into the router, even after resetting it.

Installing the DD-WRT firmware
Installing the DD-WRT firmware. (Click image to see larger view)
Congratulations, you're upgraded the firmware to DD-WRT
Congratulations, you're upgraded the firmware to DD-WRT. (Click image to see larger view)

Following advice on the Recover From a Bad Flash page on the DD-WRT Wiki, I unplugged the router's power cord, held down the reset button, then while holding it down plugged the power cord back in and held the reset button for five seconds. I then released the button and waited a minute. Then I logged into the router, and the DD-WRT screen appeared. I was in!

Step 4: Give your router enterprise-level features

When you log into the router now using "root" as the username and "admin" as the password, you'll see a completely different screen, and you'll be using your new firmware, as shown in the nearby figure.

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