DIY Linksys HACK – HOWTO tweak your router to go 10 times faster!

DIY HACK - Is your Linksys router dying on you?dd-wrt

If you are like most folks who don’t know about DD-WRT and your Linksys router is dying on you, it’s time to switch your OS to DD-WRT.

DD-WRT also works on over 80 other routers, so be sure to check the supported devices list here.

DD-WRT is basically an aftermarket linux firmware for your Linksys router. It’s like putting an aftermarket turbo system on your hot import car, except this one is open-source and free to download.

There are many instructions floating on the internet but the most important thing is to identify what type of Linksys router you have.

You can refer to the instructions on the DD-WRT website wiki here. It might look a little hairy but usually it takes 3 simple steps of uploading a new firmware via the web GUI admin interface, TFTPing another file, then simple rebooting and wala you have a .

Check the back of your Linksys router to see what model it is. I have several different Linksys routers ranging from Linksys WRT-G V8, WRT-GS V5, and WRT-GS V7.

I’ve successfully installed the DD-WRT on my WRT-GS V5 and my WRT-G V8, but have bricked my WRT-GS V7.

If you have WRT-G V8 or WRT-GS V7, you can try this guide here. I’ve successfully installed the WRT-G V8 but bricked my WRT-GS V7, so be careful.

If you have one of the newer models or thinking about buying one, I highly suggest trying to get an old one off eBay or get the WRT-G models. Although WRT-GS V8 is supported, sometimes, it can brick your router just like it happened to me.

Bricked your router while trying to upgrade to DD-WRT?

Well, normally this doesn’t happen, but here’s resources just in case you do brick your router.

The only choice I have is to make a hairydairymaid JTAG cable which allows you to directly program and erase the flash and the Broadcom chip inside the router.

If you ever brick your router, you can always refer to the WRT54G revival guide before trying the hairy dairy method.

Click below for on the rest of the guide to tweak the settings and make the router go 10 times faster!

Modify the setting on the DD-WRT and make your internet go 10 times faster!

Okay, just by installing DD-WRT, you made your internet connection and your network about 5 times faster. With more little tweaking with the admin settings, you can squeeze out some more performance.

Now comes several steps that can REALLY make your internet and network faster.

Here’s how to do it:

Linksys HACK

After installing your new DD-WRT firmware and everything is working smoothly, go to Administration->Management and set the Maximum ports to 4096 from the default 1024. (This is basically the maximum number of ports available at any given moment. ) Now, I have cable internet and doing this made my internet much much faster, especially since I got about 7 computers hooked up to my network. My cable download speed went from 6 Mbps to 20 Mbps!

Another hack is you can also overclock your router, so set that to 250 Mhz and off you go! (I belive this overclock method is only supported with full versions of DD-WRT, not micro…so if you don’t see the menu, you can’t overclock it… :p )

QoS (Quality of Service) HACK

This is probably the most overlooked setting. I used to work with VOIP phones so QoS was always important in setting that VOIP packets to be high priority.

Basically QoS allows you to prioritize the data depending on what you type of data transfer you want to make it super fast. Although you might not see whole lot of improvement if your network is hummin’, you will see a great performance increase under network congestion.

QoS Hack

Simply go to Application & Gaming->QoS like shown above, and add the services you want to prioritize and set them to “Exempt”.

For me, I put http (Port 80), which is my web browser. Since I use the web mostly, I want my web pages to load fast!

I also put in some other ones like ftp, pop3 (my Outlook e-mail), and httpvideo.

Other than those services, I don’t really use other stuff much but if you use bittorrent or something, you can set them here too.

You need to know the port numbers in order to set this up. You can refer to common list of port numbers here.

MAC Address QoS HACK

I used to work as an IT admin long time ago and I usually have admin access to all the routers where I worked. (or wherever I worked that is)

Since I like to browse the web faster and do things faster than everybody, I would always go into the admin and put in the MAC address of my network adaptor.

Basically, by doing this, your computer will always get faster network speeds than other computers in the network. This worked great so I could download videos, music, and etc…etc… while my co-workers complained that their internet was slow.

MAC Address QoS HACK

In the same screen as QoS screen more towards the bottom, you can enter your MAC Address of your network adaptor and add it. Now, your computer will be the fastest at your work! Yes, don’t blame me if you get fired for it, but I don’t think it’s THAT evil, it’s only increasing your work productivity.

How to find your MAC address?

Simply check the Details of your network connection on your computer. (You could probably google this if you get stuck.)

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s not just installing the DD-WRT firmware that makes your network and downloads faster, it’s also the little tweaking here and there that can make your router work like a race-horse.

Did I forget any settings?  If I did, leave a comment! :)

22 Responses to DIY Linksys HACK – HOWTO tweak your router to go 10 times faster!

  1. Thank you for that very informative post. Can you suggest something similar for broadband cable connection router?

  2. max says:

    I have cable modem and linksys router hooked up to it. Do you have a cable modem/router that’s integrated?

    You might wanna check out the list of DD-WRT supported devices, it might be supported.

  3. Thank you. I am getting the POP servers come and change the router. It is their property and they object to my doing anything to it, but have agreed to do something on the lines of your suggetions.

  4. Thx! Now, I understood of this Linksys hack! I’ll try to do it on mine.. Have a nice day!

  5. max says:

    hey good thing it helped you,

    make sure to subscribe by e-mail and if you want to trade blogrolls, send me an email at max [at] zedomax.com!

  6. krogon says:

    so if you don’t see the menu, you can’t overclock it… :p

    well, i have a micro version of dd-wrt (v5) and you can try sth like that:
    log to router via telnet and type

    nvram set overclocking=216
    nvram commit
    reboot

  7. max says:

    Oh cool, I didn’t know that! :)

  8. Artis says:

    I have model:TCM 425 wtf?
    It don’t works on it!

  9. vp says:

    Hey —
    I enjoyed your advice.
    So I like to stream video from hulu.com
    But the video always glitches if I don’t pause it when I am on my wireless cnx.
    Which ports do I need to have exempt for this to work well?
    I did httpvideo but are there more?

    Also the MAC address, should I set the priority to EXEMPT as well?

  10. max says:

    Yeah, MAC address filter actually speeds down your speed, I think WEP is good enough for most security, I actually tried to stick with 64-bit, it’s pretty rare that someone will hack WEP, although it is possible.

    More Security = More inhibition and slower speeds

    Less Security = More vulnerability but faster speeds.

  11. max says:

    For movies such as YouTube, you can speed up your Flash movies simply by using QoS feature, Quality of Service. You can select “Flash” under QoS, this will priotize your router to route Flash files faster than any other services such as http, ftp, etc…etc…

    I have used QoS with a little bit of results so don’t expect too much gain.

  12. Tyler says:

    I have a linksys 54g3g-st and I was wondering which software to download(I got lost in the files and such)
    anything helps…
    Tyler

  13. BC says:

    I am having the same problem as Tyler. I can not find the right download. Mine is a wrt54g v5 . Can you help me please?

  14. Mike says:

    This helped me so much. Thanks!

  15. Daniel says:

    Does Tomato do the same thing as DD-WRT in terms of speed and overclocking?

  16. _EF_ says:

    For me the most effective tweak was “Services – Services – WAN Traffic Counter – Disabled”.
    I believe I’m not the only one who had never went to watch traffic statistics from router :)
    But the performance after disabling this raised dramatically!

  17. Michael says:

    Will this help speed up ping rates for video game play?

  18. Duc says:

    “so if you don’t see the menu, you can’t overclock it… :p”

    “well, i have a micro version of dd-wrt (v5) and you can try sth like that:
    log to router via telnet and type

    nvram set overclocking=216
    nvram commit
    reboot”

    I tried to telnet into my router and I was presented with the login screen; however, I can’t login using my router’s user/password credentials. What is the credentials telnet is asking for?

  19. Anonymous says:

    If you are logging in with telnet, use “root” as your DD-WRT Login name

  20. Anonymous says:

    dude…. overclocking your linksys is one way to quickly brick your router
    infact the network speed required is rarely peaking 20% of the CPU cycles
    i tend to have 2000-3000 open connections and have yet to see above 25% cpu usage
    i set my Mhz down to lowest 183 to convserve watt power
    the little processor of the linksys wont be as powerful as the cpu on your NIC

  21. Anonymous says:

    I agree that changing the overclock speed will brick your router. Listen to this guy at your risk

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