Networking: Supercharge your old router
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

Networking: Supercharge your old router

2:38 /

Free third-party firmware can give your old router all new features.

I just bought a new router and have this old Linksys WRT54GS just lying around now. But rather than ditch it, I'm going to give it some new life with new third-party firmware. It's pretty easy actually. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com, and I'll show you how to do it on today's Insider Secret Every router like this one has software that runs on it. And what we're talking about is changing that software from the factory default to an open source version. Whether you're replacing your old router or just frustrated with your new one, there are a few reasons you might want to do this. My Linksys here can only act as an access point for turning my Internet into wireless. The Tomato firmware I'm going to put on here will allow it to act as a bridge allowing machines in my hosue that don't have WiFi, access to the network, wirelessly. It can also act as a site-survey tool, giving me the strengths of nearby networks, and let me know which frequencies they occupy. In a crowded neighborhood, this can help your educe interference on your network tremendously. Tomato also has a bandwidth usage monitor. If your ISP has a cap on bandwidth this is indispensible in telling if you're close to the cap. There are also other features like Wake on LAN, Static DHCP and more. So how do you do it? Well there are many third party firmwares out there, some work better with specific routers. Look around at DD-WRT, FreeWRT, Tarifa and others to find one that works with your router. I'm using Tomato which says it works with Linksys WRT54GS v1 through V4. Look underneath your router for a serial number or more specific model number to match it up. Then download the firmware. Extract it to a folder. Read the 'readme file' to determine which file goes with your router. Then connect your router to your computer Open the router's Admin screen as described in your manual. Or just look it up on a search engine. Click Administration. Click Firmware Upgrade. Select and upload the correct firmware for your router. Wait for about 2 minutes while the firmware is uploaded & flashed. Then it should reload to the Tomato screen. Tomato advises you may want to reset settings to default to avoid any minor incompatibilities between the Linksys firmware and the Tomato firmware. Browse around the FAQ at polarcloud.com for more info on how to use the new firmware. That's it for this Insider Secret. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com.

New releases

2014 Lamborghini Aventador: What...
23:56 August 1, 2014
Lamborghini Aventador: How do you explain a supercar? Is there any tech to save kids left in cars? And we...
Play video
Man-made photosynthesizing leaf...
5:08 August 1, 2014
Deep space seems a little closer to human exploration thanks to inventor Julian Melchiorri's oxygen-exhaling...
Play video
The skinny Philips SlimStyle is...
2:00 August 1, 2014
We see value with this low cost, high efficiency LED.
Play video
Google scraps its mysterious floating...
2:57 August 1, 2014
One of Google's secretive barges appears to be heading to the scrap yard, a US court orders Microsoft to turn...
Play video
Save links on Facebook
1:03 August 1, 2014
Learn how to quickly save links to your favorite stories on Facebook so that you can revisit them later.
Play video
A unique hybrid with less hass...
2:14 August 1, 2014
The magnetic connection on the Acer Switch 10 makes it easier to use than other hybrids.
Play video
The BMW i8 is the start of something...
13:58 August 1, 2014
The i8 is the first plugin hybrid that really gets XCAR excited. Not only will it manage amazing MPG, but...
Play video
Tech to keep you cool
0:59 August 1, 2014
Beat the heat this summer with innovative tech, from a fan that plugs in to your phone to apps that help you...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre