5 Best DD-WRT Routers - DD-WRT Routers For Home or Business

If you want to protect every internet-connected device in your home, then the best option is to use a VPN flashed router. Whether you buy a router pre-flashed with DD-WRT or install it yourself, the open-source firmware lets you access your router’s inner settings. Through DD-WRT, you can protect all web traffic passing through your router, and every device that is connected to it. In this article, we discuss the best pre-flashed DD-WRT routers, and how to install and configure a VPN on your router.

What are the best DD-WRT routers?

Here's a quick look at some of the best DD-WRT routers around. All the routers on this page can be bought pre-flashed from FlashRouters . If you want more information, scroll down for our in-depth analysis.

  1. Netgear R6700 - Best FlashRouter for home use
  2. ASUS AC5300 - The best FlashRouter for online gaming
  3. Linksys WRT3200ACM - Best mid-range FlashRouter
  4. Netgear R9000 - The best FlashRouter for small businesses and multiple simultaneous connections
  5. Netgear R7000 - A faster alternative to the R6700

FlashRouters sell routers with its own customer version of DD-WRT so you can enjoy your new networking capabilities right out of the box. The alternative is to buy from a retailer such as Amazon or directly from the manufacturer, but this will mean you need to flash the router yourself.

A VPN can be pretty taxing on a router, so it’s important that you buy a router that will be capable of protecting all of your devices without becoming sluggish and unusable. When considering the best DD-WRT routers, we focused on:

The best DD-WRT routers - In-depth analysis

Below, we take a closer look at our recommended DD-WRT routers. These DD-WRT routers tick all these boxes and more. See for yourself:

The Netgear R6700 offers the best combination of speed, coverage, and (most importantly) value for money

  • Pricing

    From  $149.99
  • RAM

    • 256MB
  • CPU

    • 1GHz Quad-core
  • Wireless Speed

    • 1750Mbps

Netgear R6700


The Netgear R6700 is a high-output, low-cost DD-WRT router that continues to impress us. Offering wireless data speeds of up to 1750Mbps, it’s perfect for streaming, browsing the internet, and general home use. With a 1GHz dual-core processor, it encrypts and decrypts VPN traffic with ease – making for fast and secure internet use.


While the R6700 is only available in recertified condition, don’t let that put you off. With the extended two-year warranty (only an extra $15), you can rest assured that FlashRouters will have you covered. We’ve chosen this router for our top spot because it offers excellent value for money, and will provide more than enough power and speed for most home use.

The ASUS AC5300 is perfect for 4K streaming and has specialized gaming technology

  • Pricing

    From  $449.99
  • RAM

    • 512MB
  • CPU

    • 1.4GHz Dual-core
  • Wireless Speed

    • 5300Mbps

ASUS AC5300


The ASUS AC5300 is an extremely powerful router that’s perfect for avid gamers, 4K streaming and data intensive home use. With a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and in-built technology designed to optimize online gaming, this is the perfect router for Twitch and YouTube streamers. The AC5300 has fantastic WiFi coverage thanks to its 4T4R (four-transmit, four-receive) antenna design, and MU-MIMO (multi-user – multiple input, multiple output) technology.


It offers lightning-fast speeds of up to 5300Mbps that will happily tackle data-intensive tasks. Users can be quite torn on the “dead spider” design of the router but, love it or hate it, it works wonders for gaming. With a pretty high price tag, it’s a serious investment, but one that’s worth every penny for competitive gaming and 4K streaming.

The Linksys WRT3200ACM cuts straight down the middle, giving impressive power, without the high price tag

  • Pricing

    From  $209.99
  • RAM

    • 256MB
  • CPU

    • 1.8GHz Dual-core
  • Wireless Speed

    • 3200Mbps

Linksys WRT3200ACM


The Linksys WRT3200ACM is an impressive mid-range router with a powerful 1.8GHz dual-core processor and wireless data speeds of up to 3200Mbps. It’s the perfect middle-ground for users who need a fast and powerful router without having to empty their bank account. With four powerful antennae, it provides great WiFi coverage for data-hungry households.


This router performs well on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels and has an impressive 512MB of RAM available for users. On top of its great functionality, enthusiasts will love how it throws back to the classic blue WRT54G design. We recommend buying this model recertified with an extended warranty to get the best deal on this router. Overall, the WRT3200ACM is a phenomenal upgrade from the Netgear R6700 and R7000 – without spending double your budget.

The Netgear R9000 DD-WRT FlashRouter is the most powerful router on this list and gives amazing WiFi coverage

  • Pricing

    From  $349.99
  • RAM

    • 512MB
  • CPU

    • 1.7GHz Quad-core
  • Wireless Speed

    • 7200Mbps

Netgear R9000


The Netgear R9000 offers the greatest WiFi coverage on this list and is perfect for small businesses and buildings with lots of connections. With its 1.7GHz quad-core processor, it quickly encrypts and decrypts VPN traffic for over 12 simultaneous connections. Couple this with data speeds of up to 7200Mbps and you’ve got a VPN router that just continues to set the bar.


With the premium power comes a price tag that matches, and for this reason, we strongly recommend investing in the recertified outer with the extended two-year warranty ($364.99). This is a great way to get the most value for money with this exceptionally fast router. Overall, this router is an expensive but worthwhile option that would be overkill for most home use, but is great for strenuous internet usage and big homes with lots of data-heavy simultaneous connections.

The Netgear R7000 is slightly faster the R6700, but with the same processing power, and a higher price tag

  • Pricing

    From  $179.99
  • RAM

    • 128MB (FLASH)
  • CPU

    • 1GHz Dual-core
  • Wireless Speed

    • 1900Mbps

Netgear R7000


The Netgear R7000 was once at the top of this list, and continues to fight for a place as competition struggles to beat its power for the price point. With that in mind, it is still a great router for home VPN use. If you want something with a bit more wireless data speed than the R6700, the R7000 is a great step up.


Much like the R6700, it has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 3 powerful antennae and 256MB of RAM. Its only major upgrade (compared to the R6700) is that it offers slightly faster speeds of 1900Mbps for an extra $30 (recertified). In comparison, we think the R6700 is much better value for money, but the R7000 is a good technical upgrade for users wanting something a little faster.

What is a DD-WRT router?

A DD-WRT router is a type of VPN router (similar to a Tomato router). Unlike the router you might get from your internet service provider (ISP), which has extremely basic functionality, a DD-WRT router lets you access a whole host of advanced features – including the ability to set up a VPN. Using a VPN with a DD-WRT router provides WiFi that encrypts your internet traffic and protects your devices from snooping ISPs, websites, hackers, and even governments.

However, not every router can be a VPN router. While the DD-WRT firmware itself is not very demanding on a router’s CPU, encrypting and decrypting all the traffic passing through it can be. If you don’t want to sacrifice internet speed for privacy, then it’s worth investing a little extra money in a router that will be able to handle multiple connections without slowing you down.

Why do I need a DD-WRT router?

VPN clients are often installed on individual devices, and this is great for people who like to use public WiFi when they’re out and about. However, if you want to protect every internet-connected device in your home, and don’t want to have to pay for multiple VPN subscriptions, then installing a VPN on a DD-WRT router can save you both time and money. On top of this, any device connected to it will be automatically protected, meaning even people who visit your home will benefit from the VPN without having to install it on their device(s).

Using a VPN router can have lots of practical uses (aside from providing online privacy and security). With a VPN you can:

The best DD-WRT VPNs

Why should I buy from FlashRouters?

We’ve chosen routers that come pre-flashed for ease of use and faster setup times. Buying a pre-flashed router may cost a little bit more, but can save you from accidentally destroying your router in the flashing process. What’s more, FlashRouters even supply dedicated ExpressVPN configured routers, combining a top-shelf VPN with powerful DD-WRT routers. It's great for users who are still quite new to VPNs and want to make sure they’re getting the best possible product and service to fit their needs.

On top of this, it offers an outstanding service with massive savings to be made on recertified routers with extended warranties. All of its routers (be it new or recertified) come with a free 1-year warranty, and an optional extended warranty for only a fraction more. We recommend buying a recertified router with the extended warranty to get the best deal. Alternatively, if you already have a compatible router, FlashRouters can do it for you, and its app is compatible with most premium VPNs.

Control everything from one app

When you use a FlashRouter, you can manage your VPN connections and devices from its dedicated Privacy App. It's a simple-to-use interface that gives you full control over your FlashRouter – saving you time and hassle since you no longer have to install your VPN on every device you want to protect. If you want to know more, you can also check out our review of the app.

What about a DD-WRT Router For small businesses and workplaces?

Smaller businesses and offices that only have a few internet-connected devices can protect all of them without causing sluggish internet access. It will not only help to secure your employee’s web traffic, but will also protect your business from prying eyes. By putting the VPN on the router, you take the onus of privacy out of the employees’ hands and can rest assured that your internet traffic is always private and secure.

To get the most out of a small business DD-WRT router, we recommend using the Netgear R9000. It will easily run up to 12 devices at a single time and can provide consistent protection from potential hackers looking to steal company information. If you want to save costs, try buying a recertified router with the extended 2-year warranty. That way you can get the most for your money.

PPTP vs OpenVPN encryption on DD-WRT VPNs

Many DD-WRT routers will use PPTP for their VPN protocol. Unfortunately, this is not as secure as OpenVPN protocol, and (where appropriate) we recommend switching for a more secure VPN. The basic framework for DD-WRT will support OpenVPN, but that does not mean that all routers with DD-WRT are compatible. It’s best to check before buying a router, whether it will provide the right support and security for you. If in doubt, head over to FlashRouters, as they’re the experts in flashing routers with DD-WRT.

How to install a VPN on a router

Installing a VPN on your router will be different depending on its make and model. However, it should follow this general process:

  1. Download the configuration files (.config) from your VPN provider’s website.
  2. Access the control panel for your router through your web browser (for most DD-WRT, the default address is 192.168.1.1).
  3. Go to the VPN client for your router (this will usually be under Services).
  4. Select Enable on the OpenVPN client (this will open the configuration panel).
  5. Add your server and connection details for your chosen VPN. Most providers have guides on how to do this available on their website.
  6. Connect to a VPN server.

After connecting your router to a VPN, any device that uses its local network will be protected by the VPN, and will use that server location. For a more detailed explanation of how to install a VPN on your router, check out our in-depth DD-WRT VPN installation guide.

If manually setting up a VPN on your router sounds too complex, don’t worry – FlashRouters has a dedicated app to help you set up your VPN quickly and hassle-free.

DD-WRT VPN: Conclusion

Buying a pre-flashed router is a much easier way of getting a safe and secure WiFi without the hassle. We think that the best router is the one that suits your needs the most for the best deal. That’s why we recommend the Netgear R6700 as our top pick for home users. It’s fast, powerful, and offers outstanding value for money. If you’re looking for something for more than just safe streaming and internet browsing, here’s a reminder of our top picks:

  1. Netgear R6700 - Best FlashRouter for home use
  2. ASUS AC5300 - The best FlashRouter for online gaming
  3. Linksys WRT3200ACM - Best mid-range FlashRouter
  4. Netgear R9000 - The best FlashRouter for small businesses and multiple simultaneous connections
  5. Netgear R7000 - A faster alternative to the R6700

FAQs

We’ve tried to cover as much as we can in this article, but just in case you have any more questions, we’ve included this section of frequently asked questions:

Written by: Andreas Theodorou

Andreas is a Technology Writer at ProPrivacy.com. Having graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in English, he completed a Master of Research degree at Liverpool John Moores University and has continued to pursue research at every opportunity. An experienced writer, editor, and artist, he is currently studying video-games and popular culture in his spare time.

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66 Comments

Stephen Thomas
on November 6, 2018
Reply
Hi there - I've been setting up the GL-Mifi router and Nord VPN but I've been struggling to get it performing. Have you looked at their range. Therefore, I'm thinking of using the RT-AC5300 but wondered if I can use it with a SIM?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/ray-walshjpeg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-ima-7df05c2bafe5e85cb7cb582cd8351a9bpng-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Ray replied to Stephen Thomas
on November 7, 2018
Reply
A quick look at its Amazon page tells us the RT-AC5300 is a regular WiFi router, not a MiFi one. So no SIM card... The best thing to do is to talk to flashrouters.com because they are more up to date with router hardware compatibility than I am, and will be able to help you find the right router for your needs.
bob callahan
on June 19, 2018
Reply
I used KONG's for flashing a WRT3200ACM, No problems at all. With IPVanish my typical download speed is between 80 and 120 MBPS, with Openvpn. I used Netgear R7000 before and returned it to its original firmware. Same VPN service and I would be lucky to get 20 MBPS
Robert
on June 14, 2018
Reply
There are many unresolved issues with DDWRT and the wrt3200acm. You just reading specs off the product websites or what?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Robert
on June 14, 2018
Reply
Hi Robert, Ray does point out that using DD-WRT on Linksys WRT3200acm does mean losing some of its features That said, it was developed for use with OpenWRT. I have actually been given a review unit by Flashrouters to test their new DD-WRT app, so I'll let you know how I get on.
AT
on May 21, 2018
Reply
The Linksys WRT3200ACM has terrible open source support. It shouldn't even be on this list.
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