DD-WRT alternative firmware for WRT54G

I do a small amount of Bittorrenting and find that it quickly overwhelms my WRT54G router. If I want to get proper performance from the router after any amount of time running Azureus (my bittorrent client) I need to reboot the router by pulling the plug for about 15 seconds and then plugging it back in again.

Apparently this is a known issue with the WRT54G using Linksys’ native firmware and they have simply never bothered to correct it.

I was also having ongoing issues with my home computers being unable to resolve each other’s DNS names and, not being an expert on network items, I wasn’t having much luck resolving this no matter how I configured my router. I’m an application guy really. I understand enough about networking to help me interface with it programatically but I certainly don’t know this stuff frontwards and backwards.

Anyway, bring in DD-WRT. I found this through Wikipedia’s WRT54G entry pointing to Third-party firmware projects. After installing the firmware (you want to be REALLY careful if you do this. Follow the directions closely) I am now able to assign “Static” DHCP addresses to my computers based on their MAC addresses. Basically this just means that they always have the same IP address but everything else is still treated as if they used dynamic addressing. So I don’t have to monkey around with manually setting DNS servers or any of that kind of thing.
This allows me to resolve my communication issue on my internal network via host files. Not my favorite choice but it sure beats my nightly backups failing because my desktop machines can’t find the server.

Also, the slowdown issue with my bittorrent client has been resolved. Here is what is needed. Essentially, the original Linksys firmware keeps track of your old connection for 5 days, you can now adjust that down to something much more reasonable as the nature of P2P traffic, especially a swarm technology like bittorrent, is to engage in a LOT of connections and this will quickly overwhelm your unaltered WRT54G Linksys router.

As a side benefit, the DD-WRT firmware also allows me to schedule regular reboots of the router which I’m now playing with as well. This means, even if there are any creeping buffer overflow or other cumulative issues they can at least be masked by these refreshes. And that is sufficient for my purposes in my home environment.

I’ll post again if there are any issues but so far things have been going very well. I installed the new firmware on this past Friday and have had no issues and excellent performance.

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