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Best DD-WRT Routers in 2023 for Advanced Network Performance

Upgrading your home router with DD-WRT firmware opens up a world of possibilities for customizing and enhancing your network. DD-WRT unlocks advanced features not available on standard router firmware, giving you greater control over your network traffic, security, and performance.

In this guide, we‘ll cover the top DD-WRT compatible routers to transform your network in 2023.

What is DD-WRT?

DD-WRT is an open source firmware for wireless routers and access points. It replaces the factory default firmware on compatible devices, unlocking advanced capabilities.

Key benefits of DD-WRT include:

  • Enhanced performance – DD-WRT can optimize network speeds, range, and connectivity.

  • Increased security – Advanced firewall rules, VPN support, and monitoring tools.

  • Customization – Tailor settings and tools to your needs.

  • Regular updates – DD-WRT is actively developed with frequent releases.

  • Wide device support – Works on many popular router models.

With DD-WRT, you can fine-tune settings that are hidden or restricted on standard firmware. It unlocks the true potential of your router hardware.

How to Choose a DD-WRT Router

When selecting a DD-WRT compatible router, key factors to consider include:

  • Hardware support – Ensure the router model is supported by DD-WRT and all features work well. Refer to the DD-WRT database for compatibility.

  • Wireless standards – Look for 802.11ac or WiFi 5 minimum for fast wireless speeds. WiFi 6 (802.11ax) is ideal for future-proofing.

  • Processor – A faster CPU ensures snappy performance when running DD-WRT and addons. 1 GHz dual or quad core processors are recommended.

  • Memory – Opt for at least 128MB RAM to support DD-WRT smoothly. Models with 256MB+ RAM give more room for features.

  • USB ports – USB 3.0 ports allow connecting storage and peripherals.

  • Wireless power – Routers with high powered radios, external antennas and beamforming technologies provide better range and penetration.

With the criteria above in mind, let‘s look at the top routers to supercharge with DD-WRT.

Top 6 DD-WRT Routers of 2023

1. Linksys WRT3200ACM

Linksys WRT3200ACM

The Linksys WRT3200ACM is one of the best high performance DD-WRT compatible routers available. It packs a 1.8 GHz dual core processor and 256MB RAM for smooth DD-WRT performance.

With MU-MIMO and beamforming, it delivers fast WiFi up to 600+1300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to newer devices. Four adjustable external antennas boost the range and penetration for full home coverage.

The Linksys WRT3200ACM also supports OpenVPN, enabling you to run a VPN server directly on the router. Advanced tools like QoS, dynamic DNS, VLANs and monitoring are supported as well.

Overall, the Linksys WRT3200ACM has excellent specs and DD-WRT support to build an advanced network.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 600+1300 Mbps (802.11ac MU-MIMO)
  • Processor – 1.8 GHz dual core
  • RAM – 256MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 4 LAN, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0

2. Netgear Nighthawk R7000P

Netgear Nighthawk R7000P

The Netgear Nighthawk R7000P is a fast AC2300 router powered by a 1GHz dual core processor and 128MB RAM. It‘s tripled band design provides speeds up to 600 + 1300 + 600 Mbps across the 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1 and 5GHz-2 bands.

This makes it great for reducing congestion and getting high WiFi throughput to newer devices. The powerful internal antennas and beamforming boost the range and penetration throughout larger homes.

Netgear has excellent DD-WRT support, unlocking options for VPN server, QoS, dynamic DNS, NAS storage and more. For the price, the R7000P packs a punch.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 600 + 1300 + 600 Mbps (802.11ac MU-MIMO)
  • Processor – 1GHz dual core
  • RAM – 128MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 4 LAN, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0

3. Asus RT-AC86U

Asus RT-AC86U

Asus makes some of the best DD-WRT compatible routers, including the RT-AC86U. It delivers fast WiFi up to 750 + 2167 Mbps using the latest 802.11ac technology across dual bands.

The 1.8 GHz quad core processor ensures snappy DD-WRT performance, even when maxing out the network and running addons. There‘s also plenty of RAM at 256MB and 128MB of flash storage.

Gaming optimization like Adaptive QoS prioritize latency sensitive traffic, while quad external antennas extend signal range. VPN Fusion allows running multiple VPN client connections natively on the router.

With excellent DD-WRT support from Asus, the RT-AC86U is ideal for customizing an advanced network.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 750 + 2167 Mbps (802.11ac 4×4 MU-MIMO)
  • Processor – 1.8 GHz quad core
  • RAM – 256MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 4 LAN, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0

4. Linksys WRT1200AC

Linksys WRT1200AC

The Linksys WRT1200AC strikes a great balance between price and performance with DD-WRT support. It delivers up to 400 + 867 Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands using 802.11ac technology.

A dual core 1.3 GHz Marvell processor gives snappy response when configuring DD-WRT or running VPN and other addons. There‘s 128MB RAM and 128MB flash memory on board too.

The adjustable dual external antennas help focus signal strength. With gigabit LAN ports, the WRT1200AC makes a solid and affordable DD-WRT router upgrade.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 400 + 867 Mbps (802.11ac dual band)
  • Processor – 1.3 GHz dual core
  • RAM – 128MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 4 LAN, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0

5. Netgear Nighthawk RAX120

Netgear Nighthawk RAX120

For high-end WiFi 6 support with DD-WRT, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 fits the bill. It‘s powered by a 1.8 GHz triple core processor with 512MB RAM for great DD-WRT performance.

You get up to 600 + 4800 Mbps wireless speeds with eight powerful internal antennas for maximum coverage. The quad-stream WiFi 6 support and 160MHz channel width enable hitting peak speeds on compatible devices.

With excellent DD-WRT support from Netgear, the RAX120 is ideal if you need bleeding edge WiFi tech paired with customizable firmware.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 600 + 4800 Mbps (802.11ax 4×4 WiFi 6)
  • Processor – 1.8 GHz triple core
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 5 LAN, 1 USB 3.0

6. Asus RT-AC5300

Asus RT-AC5300

The Asus RT-AC5300 is a top of the line tri-band gaming router with lightening fast wireless speeds. It delivers up to 1000 + 2167 + 2167 Mbps across its 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1 and 5GHz-2 bands using 4×4 802.11ac technology.

Powering the beastly performance is a 1.4 GHz dual core Broadcom processor and 512MB RAM. Asus has fantastic DD-WRT support to unleash advanced customization options.

Eight adjustable antennas and RF beamforming help blanket large homes with strong signal. Built-in WTFast game accelerationprioritizes multiplayer traffic too.

For no compromise WiFi and DD-WRT flexibility, the RT-AC5300 tri-band gaming router shines.

  • WiFi Speed – Up to 1000 + 2167 + 2167 Mbps (802.11ac 4×4 tri-band)
  • Processor – 1.4 GHz dual core
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Ports – 1 WAN, 8 LAN, 2 USB 3.0

Getting Started with DD-WRT

Once you‘ve chosen a compatible router, installing DD-WRT takes just a few steps:

  1. Download the correct DD-WRT firmware file for your router from the DD-WRT database. Pick the latest stable build.

  2. Access your router‘s administration page in your browser and backup your settings. This retains your current configuration.

  3. Perform a router factory reset to wipe the stock firmware.

  4. Use the router‘s firmware upgrade function to flash DD-WRT from the file you downloaded. Follow the vendor‘s flashing steps.

  5. The router will install DD-WRT and reboot once firmware is flashed.

  6. Access the router admin page again and load your previous settings. Customize DD-WRT as needed.

That‘s all there is to it! The DD-WRT website has more tips on installation if needed.

Unlocking the Potential of DD-WRT

With an awesome DD-WRT compatible router up and running, a world of possibilities opens up. Here are some of the great features to utilize:

  • Set up a VPN server for secure remote access to your home network and traffic encryption.

  • Optimize gaming traffic with QoS priority rules to reduce lag.

  • Monitor bandwidth usage with built-in traffic monitoring tools.

  • Install optware packages like DNSCrypt proxy or Pi-hole for ad blocking.

  • Automate network functionality with scripts.

  • Dial-in remote control with SSH terminal access.

  • Set up custom wireless repeater modes, guest networks, VLANs, and more.

The DD-WRT wiki provides tons of documentation to leverage these features and more.

Supercharge Your Network with DD-WRT

Installing DD-WRT firmware on a compatible router opens up exciting possibilities for customization, security and performance. With the ability to fine-tune settings beyond standard options, you can build an advanced network tailored to your needs.

Any of the top DD-WRT routers above will deliver great functionality out of the box. Once DD-WRT is running, the sky is the limit on enhancements for your network.


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