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! :)

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