Why flash DD-WRT on your NetGear R7000?
DD-WRT, due to it’s open source nature, comes with tons of functions you won’t find on commercial router firmware.
A few advantages I really liked:
– Fine tuning of your Wi-Fi (channels, signal strength, etc),
– VPN support (the Router will setup the VPN connection!),
– DNSMasq support (advanced DNS and DHCP functions),
– Realtime graphs, monitoring traffic one ach network connection,
– Enhanced Quality of Service settings,
– Scheduling for ethernet and both Wi-Fi bands,
– Samba build in (sharing files),
With the current, very stable, version created and maintained by Kong, I’ve only found two weak points:
– Wi-Fi throughput is not as strong as Stock firmware (although you might not notice during daily use)
– Wi-Fi connections occasionally “freeze”, but this could be my lack of experience …
For more details see also the DD-WRT Wiki and this article at FlashRouters.
Note : There is at this time no Tomato Firmware available for the R7000, but maybe in the near future a R7000 version can be found at TomatoUSB.org. I’d most certainly try that one right away when it becomes available!
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Before we begin …
Some warnings and tips … and don’t blame me if you screw up your router …
Warning and Fix (2019) – Newer NetGear Firmware actively blocking DD-WRT and the likes …
It seems NetGear has build in a mechanism to block flashing your own firmware (see this discussion below) in the name of “security” (in other words: they don’t like you tinkering with your own stuff). Please read up on the matter and see if there is a workable procedure available in case you decide to buy a new R7000.
There seems to be a working fix for this issue (confirmed to work):
R7000’s are now (as of March 2019) preventing downgrades from the current Netgear firmware (18.104.22.168_10.2.64 as of this writing) which prevents the current (K3_R7000, build from 9/23/18).chk file from being uploaded via the Netgear web interface (this chk file has a lower version number, 1.0.5* that Netgear disallows).
Until a new Kong chk image is available, you can use this mod version that works around the issue by providing a large version number (thanks to @jclehner).
Warning! Proceed at your own risk!
Please be aware that this action can brick your wireless router! A bricked router means that your router will be non-functional, two de-brick guides I’ve found, but didn’t need: opening the router or soft de-brick.
The presented firmware is ONLY SUITABLE FOR A NETGEAR R7000!
Again: You’re doing all this at your OWN risk!
Caution! Before you proceed …
Before flashing a router, I follow these rules:
- Download the Stock Firmware of your NetGear R7000 so you can go back if needed.
- Downloaded the latest DD-WRT version for your NetGear R7000.
- Disable WiFi on the computer (desktop or laptop) that you use for flashing your router.
- The computer you’re using for flashing should be wired to the router (ethernet).
- Make sure the power source of your router and computer are reliable.
- Make a backup of your router’s config.
- Make sure you have your Cable/DSL login info handy (if applicable).
- Clear the browser cache before and after flashing.
- Reset the router always to default settings after flashing.
Going back to Stock Firmware …
Flashing back to Netgear Firmware is supported!
Just use the DD-WRT webinterface (“Administration” “Firmware Upgrade”) and upload the stock NetGear firmware.
Do not forget to do a reset to Factory Defaults after going back (more details at the end of this article)!
File Formats: .bin vs .chk
Recently Kong changed the way he publishes new versions by using .bin files instead of .chk file.
A .chk file is needed for you first flash to DD-WRT, which is the “initial” version you can download here.
After your router runs DD-WRT, .bin files can be used to update it to the latest build.
Flashing DD-WRT on a NetGear R7000
Before we start the flashing process, we first want to download the firmwares we would like to have available even when we have no Internet. In both cases these should be .chk files (you might have downloaded a zipped file, which you might want to unzip first). It may not be a bad idea to print this guide either – just so you have it handy.
– Download: Latest NetGear Stock R7000 Firmware
– Download: Latest DD-WRT firmware for the R7000 – for all release check out Kong’s webpage
You can download the files I have used from Tweaking4All, but with fast development of firmwares these days, I HIGHLY recommend using the two links in the list above.
Flash the Initial version FIRST when you’re still running NetGear firmware!
Download - NetGear R7000 Initial Chk
Download - DD-WRT NetGear R7000
Download - NetGear R7000 Stock Firmware
Step 1 – Clear your Browser Cache
It might not be needed, but it’s recommended by the developer of the DD-WRT firmware.
For Google Chrome, you can find it under the “File” menu (Windows) and for MacOS X under the “Chrome” menu.
Wiki How has a page that covers most browsers.
Step 2 – Go to your Router’s admin page
Go to the admin page of your router and login. The default admin page for your router (a NetGear R7000) is: http://192.168.1.1
Which should work, unless you really changed the default settings of your router’s LAN configuration.
It’s recommended to actually use the IP Address of your router and not the router name!
If this doesn’t work, look for the IP information of your network connection and copy the IP address mentioned there for the “Default Gateway“.
Windows: type in a DOS box the command “ipconfig”.
MacOS X: Go to “System Preferences” “Network” and choose your active network connection.
Linux: type “ifconfig” in a shell.
Step 3 – Uploading the DD-WRT firmware
Go to “Advanced” “Administration” “Router Update” and click “Browse” to select the downloaded DD-WRT firmware file and click “Upload”.
NetGear R7000 – Getting ready to upload DD-WRT
You’ll get a “loss of Internet connection ” warning first, just click “OK“, and after that a comparison of firmware versions appears.
NetGear R7000 – Firmware versions compared
In my case it gave me the message that both version where the same, which of course isn’t true, but it might also tell you that they are different (more correct) or even older. Either way, don’t worry, just make sure you selected the right firmware file and if you’re sure click “Yes” to continue.
NetGear R7000 – Uploading DD-WRT firmware
Once uploading is completed, your router will reboot:
NetGear R7000 – Rebooting …
Step 4 – First DD-WRT login
After the reboot, the first DD-WRT login will appear where you’re asked for a new username and password. Enter a new username and password to login.
NetGear R7000 – First login for DD-WRT
After the login you’ll be presented the initial System Information of your new DD-WRT Router.
NetGear R7000 – Initial DD-WRT Info Screen
Step 5 – Router Settings to Factory Defaults
Now that we have access to our DD-WRT configuration, time to flush potential left-overs from the NetGear stock firmware by doing a Factory Reset.
From the main tabs, choose “Administration” “Factory Defaults” “Yes” “Apply Settings“.
The factory reset will result in a router reboot, and in some cases it might get stuck on a white page (http://192.168.1.1/apply.cgi). If the latter is the case, wait a minute or so and try the default router address (http://192.168.1.1) again. The sequence of new username and new password has to be completed again.
NetGear R7000 – DD-WRT Factory Defaults
Step 6 – Basic Configurations Steps (WAN/LAN)
After the router rebooted and you logged back in again (with new Username and Password), time to do some basic settings so we get out LAN, Wi-Fi and Internet going again.
Go to “Setup” “Basic Setup” and look at the “WAN Setup” settings.
This is where we, if needed, setup our DSL (often PPPoE) or Cable connection.
Do the settings needed for your Internet connections.
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – Setup WAN
Next we need to do our “Network Setup” (LAN) settings, which most likely are already done right. Verifying these settings however is never a bad idea.
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – LAN Settings
For your “Time Settings“, those not used to using the “UTC” time: UTC can be seen as a synonym for GMT. If you’re not sure about your timezone: check this website.
Some for examples:
– USA, Central Time (GMT-6) is UTC-06:00.
– Amsterdam, Central European Standard Time (GMT+1) is UTC+01:00
A commonly used NTP time server (Server IP/Name) would be pool.ntp.org.
After having done all your settings click “Apply Settings“.
Step 7 – Basic Configuration Steps (Wi-Fi)
Under “Wireless” “Basic Settings” you can verify your Wi-Fi settings. The default settings will work just fine, but you can do some tweaking here, and you might want to set the “Regulatory Domain” to you area/country to make sure your equipment is not breaking any laws … or maybe to do exactly that and boost your signals or channels used a little. I was unable to find a clear list of limitations or advantages for one domain over another (seems that Australia and Europe provide a better signal than United States, but that could also just be coincidence).
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – Wi-Fi Settings
Note : Under the 5Ghz section, I noticed a stronger signal when using “Extension Channel” to one of the two “upper” channels.
Under the “Wireless Security” tab, security can be set for each of the Wi-Fi interfaces (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz).
In my case, I have no equipment that has issues with WPA2/AES, so I’ve set that for both.
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – Wi-Fi Security Settings
Step 8 – Port forwarding (optional)
Since DD-WRT can be a little overwhelming when it comes to available settings, it took me a little to find where the heck to set the port forwarding. Once I knew, it was easy (of course).
Port Forwarding can be found under “NAT QoS“, you’ll find options like individual or range port forwarding, port triggers, uPNP, DMZ and Quality of Service settings.
More information can be found on the DD-WRT Port Forwarding page.
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Flushing Previously detected Wi-Fi networks
Since I have my lazy moments, I use the same Wi-Fi SSID and password for either firmwares, which can cause issue on your computer. For example, my Mac does not seem to appreciate the change so the “remembered” Wi-Fi connections should be deleted and re-detected. On the other hand; cheap “Made in China” IP camera’s had not noticed the difference.
This could be necessary for all your Wi-Fi connected devices, like phones, tablets, etc.
On your Mac for example, go to “System Preferences” “Network“, choose your “Wi-Fi” adapter and click “Advanced” (lower right corner). In the list of “Preferred Networks“, select your old connections and delete them.
DD-WRT: DNSMasq to Map Virtual Hosts (Apache) to the same IP Address
One of the main reasons to try DD-WRT was, for me anyway, the use of DNSMasq and it performed better than I expected.
The situation I was looking at, is that I have a test web server, for in-house use only, running (actually on my QNAP) with multiple virtual hosts (see also: Apache documentation). Using virtual hosts allows you to run multiple web “servers” on just one single machine.
Note : QNAP virtual hosts are defined in the “Control Panel” “Applications” “Web Server” “Virtual Host“.
The problem however is that now multiple “servers” share the same IP-Address and most routers I have worked with do not allow you to assign multiple names to the same IP-Address. DNSMasq however does allow you to do just this, and the format is simple.
As an example, my test web-server (QNAP actually) has the IP Address 192.168.1.100 and is named “cookiejar”. So typing http://cookiejar brings me to the default webserver page of my server, and the QNAP admin page can be approached via http://cookiejar:8080.
On this server I have defined several virtual hosts, for example “multisite” and “testserver”.
To define these in DSNMasq, go to “Services” “Services” and look under “DNSMasq” where you find a field called “Additional DNSMasq Options“. Here we enter a line for each virtual host, in the format
In our hypothetical scenario:
After clicking “Apply Settings” all 3 “sites” translate to the same IP Address. Apache however will handle these requests just fine and therefor http://testserver/, http://multisite/ and http://cookiejar/ will all result in different websites, as if they were different servers …
DD-WRT and DSNMASQ with Virtual Hosts for Apache
Going Back to Stock NetGear R7000 Firmware
Going back to Stock Firmware is really easy … during my testing I did go back and forth a few times, and for that reason I made a backup of all my settings in the Stock firmware and in the DD-WRT firmware.
In DD-WRT go to “Administration” “Backup” and click the “Backup” button at the bottom. A file dialog will ask you where to save it. This file, at a later time can be retrieved with the “Choose file” and “Restore” function on this same page.
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – Backup your settings
To restore Stock firmware, go to “Administration” “Firmware Upgrade” “Choose file” and select the latest NetGear R7000 firmware. Klik the “Upgrade” button to flash the official NetGear firmware.
NetGear R7000 DD-WRT – Flash Stock Firmware
After the reboot, you’ll see a NetGear Genie welcome screen, which is not very helpful at this point (although strangely enough the NetGear did connect to my DSL). Do a full factory reset and to do this we need to press and hold the reset button on the back of the fouter for at least 7 seconds (see: NetGear R7000 Knowledge base).
NetGear R7000 – Reset button
After the hard reset, username (= admin) and password (= password) have changed to factory default, which you’ll need to login. Once logged in, go to “Advanced” “Administration” “Backup Settings” “Browse” and select the settings backup file you made before you flashed DD-WRT and click the “Restore” button.
Caution: These are the settings we backed up way in the beginning under de original NetGear firmware – NOT the DD-WRT settings backup we just made!
After reboot all your previous settings will be back.
NetGear R7000 – restore previously saved settings
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A new version of the DD-WRT firmware by Kong can be found at MyOpenRouter.com – the current version is 23900 (April 17, 2014).
I have the newest version, however my L2tp connection dissconects after 1_2 days and I don’t know why?
Need to change vpn ip than it works again.
Interesting that L2TP disconnects. I’ve been using services like Astrill successfully for several weeks now.
Could it be related to your provider?
What I meant with that: Some providers detect certain VPN variants and throttle those.
(at least that’s the rumor I’ve heard)
I highly doubt it’s the provider, this occurs with different vpn locations.
You mean: you tried the wifi through a different ISP?
the encryption tpit+aes gets hacked right a way
using just aes solved my issue
someone is not going to be happy
this was causing vpn to crash
Awesome and impressive find at the same time!
How did you find you that it was hacked?
This could be useful info for other users, including myself!
I went into stat wirlessand noticed additinal wirless connections
changed the key and after 2 min it showed, changed again same, changed to aes n key no problems so far
Er is een nieuwe versie van de Kong DD-WRT firmware, je kunt het vinden op MyOpenRouter.com – actuele versie is 23900 (17 April 2014).
I did all that you said but no internet at all with the dd-wrt so i go back to the Stock firmware, but now i cannot go to my router settings is no communication to the reuter
Sorry to hear you’re running into problems.
After flashing the stock firmware (assuming you’re using the Netgear R7000), you might need to clear the cache of your browser. I usually just use a different browser (I always use Chrome, but as an “extra” browser I use Safari or Firefox).
You’ll also have to give the router time to complete the flashing and restarting … this isn’t an instant thing.
I think that I’m experiencing a similar issue as Aljeandro. I’m a bit confused between steps 3 & 4–for instance, after flashing in step 3, I’m having difficulty accessing the DD-WRT login. My internet connection is down, so I’m unable to connect to the dd-wrt interface. Is the same Netgear address (routerlogin.net) supposed to direct me to the new login page? Or must I go to a different address?
Thanks in advance for your help & instruction.
I’m sorry about the confusion …
The routerlogin.net is not a valid way to get to your router. In Step 2 you might have read the part where is says that “http://192.168.1.1” is the default IP address of your router, unless you changed it. This would be the same IP address to get to the router after DD-WRT has been flashed.
These posts on the MyOpenRouter.com forum discuss how to unbrick your R7000.
Kong released build 24200 yesterday, it’s in the downloads now as well … enjoy
The Change log can be found here.
Tomato for R7000: http://tomato.groov.pl
Thanks for the info PG!
Do you have Tomato running on your R7000? And how does it compare to DD-WRT by Kong?
I have not yet changed the firmware on the router… I’m doing research, probably will choose dd-wrt due to habit (I’ve run dd-wrt on several routers during the last decade). Also waiting for a few weekend hours during which other family members & friends will not complain during the switchover.
Some things about stock Netgear R7000 firmware that are frustrating are the QoS, time-of-day limits, parental controls, etc.
e.g. I cannot figure how to set a window of 10PM to 5AM, Sunday – Thursday to block traffic to a MAC address, for example to prevent a teen from using their smart phone on the wireless when they should be resting & sleeping. Netgear only seems to allow setting a single window between 12AM and 12PM, with no ability to chain multiple time windows.
Netgear’s way of setting the block for all, then requiring installation of “Genie” software on exempt devices, is quite frustrating as well. For example, to run Genie on Linux, it is require to run it via Wine Windows Emulation. I hope to install dd-wrt today.
I’ve been running DD-WRT on my Netgear R7000 for quite a while now and have to say that it performs very well.
I am however a little curious about the latest Tomato release, but at the same time: why fix it when it isn’t broken?
The key difference for me was the use of dnsmasq – I have a few (test) webservers running on my NAS and would like to be able to access them with their own network name, which works great with dnsmasq. A little strange that companies like NetGear do not utilize the option that one IP address can have multiple network names – typically used for virtual hosts on Apache.
Your scenario is probably even more common … how many parents have teens that do exactly that: no sleep and instead surf the web all night long (if they can stay awake). Having to install “Genie” software is definitely not something I’d like to deal with.
I have no problems blocking my kids computers from internet access by using the schedule in netgear’s firmware. I set their computer with static ip address and then block those addresses by schedule from 10:30pm to 5:30am Sunday thru Thursday. they can use the computers but no internet. My kids are young enough that I fooled them into thinking it was Comcast shutting down internet access because kids weren’t getting in bed on time and getting enough sleep for school. I printed out an “official” letter from Comcast HQ. They bought it hook, line and sinker.
Good idea! Nothing beats an “official” letter ….
More info on Tomato can also be found at MyOpenRouter.com.
Please follow the videos completely and make sure you start out with the original NetGear firmware (stock) before switching to Tomato. It also seems that upgrading from the initial 118 version to 119 is the best way to go (so original -> v118 -> v119) instead of going straight to 119.
In the MyOpenRouter forum, Kong chimed in and as far as I understand, the differences between DD-WRT and Tomato are mostly focussed on USB support. Other features like QoS and such are comparable. I have not (yet) tested Tomato though … any feedback here, which one to prefer and why would be very welcome.
I’ve had Netgear R7000 with Kong’s DD-WRT 24680M for a week now paired with Intel AC 7260 and i must say it’s been a headache to make this pair to work flawlessly.
With that said even now, i’m still experiencing a sub par LAN transfer rate, with 866.7 Mbps and 144 Mbps link rates on the Intel Centrino 6250, i can only muster 12 MBps between laptops(one with Intel AC 7260 and the other one is Intel Centrino 6250 – which amazingly perform WAY better than AC7260 – long story but i had to revert to driver ver 16.8 to make Intel AC 7260 working as it should be, otherwise my ping to the router would net me around 97ms on average)
Does anyone experience the same thing?
all these experiments was tested on 5Ghz, i dont really care about 2.4Ghz since the reason i bought this router was to enjoy the huge selection of channels that 5Ghz provides.
Here’s my setup
enabled implicit beamforming(since explicit beamforming was actually made the transfer slower)
Network configuration bridged
Txpower set to -1 (AUTO) – in my case this is better than playing around with Txpower
Qos and IpV6 disabled
INTEL AC 7260 END
Nothing special here, i just made sure that :
roaming aggressiveness – medium
tx power – highest
power save mode off
I have to admit that I had to look for the version you’re working with … the MyOpenRouter link still claims it to be 24200, but after downloading it again, I suspect this not be the case anymore …?
Anyhow, assuming you’re referring to WiFi transfer rates, if I recall correctly, Centrino WiFi chipsets have a problem with beam forming (explicit and implicit – DDWRT: see the Wireless tab). I have both disabled.
Maybe other can chime in with their experiences, since I do not have the mentioned chipsets available.
And I I noticed in the Changelog that the latest build is 24710 ….
(Build 24710 23. July 2014)
I also noticed that I’m linking to the wrong website to get the latest R7000 Kong firmware, one should look at Kong’s Fimware webpage – my bad .
I set the explicit beamforming disabled. Since per article that i have read from DD-WRT forum, explicit beamforming only works with wireless NIC that supported beamforming and you can usually tell if the NIC supports beamforming or not if you have the option in the advanced setting and mine don’t have it.
As i’m writing this right now i am reflashing back to stock most current netgear FW for comparison. I will post the updated result
I just flashed 24710 and noticed a speed increase, maybe it’s just in my head …
Anyhow, I did see that Tomato is also available for the R7000, but I have not tested this one yet – too much talk saying you should use the first release first and then upgrade, bricking, etc. So far my R7000 w/DD-WRT runs really well. Actually outperforms my old router by app 10%.
LAN speeds are great (my entire network is 1Gb), and WiFi seems to be faster with build 24710.
I’m using a MacBook Pro 15″ (2013) and an Acer Aspire (2041), and both are happy as a clamp with WiFi signal, even though both are sitting pretty far away from the router. I do have to mentioned that I replaced the antenna’s on my router with taller ones.
do you get stable link rate for 5Ghz or is it keep changing? if you don’t mind sharing your setup, what channel and txpower are you using?
Just want to give an update, in my case, Netgear newest firmware R7000-V22.214.171.124_1.1.27 was just junk compared to DD-WRT kongac 24710.
slower transfer rate(11MBps/15MBps) using the same laptop combo mentioned in the original post, worst range, not to mention DD-WRT features which just straight out way better than the stock firmware. I still need to fine tune the DD-WRT but at least i know i can stay with it and don’t have to always wonder if the stock firmware is better.
My experience with 5Ghz has not been stellar – but I blamed it on sitting too far away rom the R7000.
I still have not determined the ideal spot for the R7000.
I started using DD-WRT because of dnsmasq … love it for my virtual webservers …. but starting to like the additional features more and more.
I doubt my WiFi settings are ideal, haven’t had much time to tune it. So everything is still at default.
I played a little with TX Power, but noticed that the noise will increase with that and making things worse.
Physical Interface wl0 (2.4Ghz)
Wireless Mode: AP
Wireless Network Mode: Mixed
Wireless Channel: Auto
Channel Width: Auto
Wireless SSID Broadcast: Enable
Optimize Multicast Traffic: Disable
TurboQAM (QAM256) support: Enable
Explicit Beamforming: Disable
Implicit Beamforming: Disable
Network Configuration: Bridged
Physical Interface wl1 (5Ghz)
Wireless Mode: AP
Wireless Network Mode: Mixed
Wireless Channel: Auto
Channel Width: Auto
Wireless SSID Broadcast: Enable
Optimize Multicast Traffic: Disable
Explicit Beamforming: Disable
Implicit Beamforming: Disable
Network Configuration: Bridged
I’ll play a little with the settings this evening … see what happens …
Thanks for the update on the NetGear firmware, I can at least save myself time from trying …
p.s. I have been running DD-WRT on my R7000 pretty much since I had it for a week and never looked back
Qucik note, when I enable ALL beamforming options my transfer rate on 5Ghz goes up … almost doubles.
Using wider channels (versus setting it to auto) did not make a difference.
Now that’s really odd, since Kong himself mentioned for 5Ghz to get the full link rate that your NIC card is capable of you need to set the channel to some fix number, but again i guess the environment is different so it’s not really an apple to apple comparison.
In addition, I’ve read that 5Ghz is worse as distance increases, in my case it’s true that the signal is worse but the transfer rate is still way better. My 5Ghz signal ranges from -47 to -83, with -83 is on the furthest point from the router ~20 meter and three drywalls.
I will try to post a reply or send a PM to Kong in DD-WRT forum and see if anyone or he can help me with the optimization and i’ll keep you updated. I just can’t accept the fact that my four years old linksys E1000 performs better than this router. haha
I understand that beamforming optimizes how to radio signal get’s to “broadcasted”, using tricks like avoiding collision with similar frequencies, and where the receiver is. But I admit that I never bothered to dig in all that deep into the details, but I suspect hat is the reason why there are multiple antenna on the R7000.
5Ghz is indeed not the best when you’re looking for distance – Higher frequencies travel shorter distances.
Having 5Ghz was a “nice to have” for some of my Apple equipment, so I could keep it separated from the 2.4Ghz traffic.
But as you can imagine, I’m using pretty much only 2.4Ghz.
I’m app 20 meters from my router as well, but with 4 drywalls and a fridge in it’s path. Not to mention that the router is located half a level lower. Not the best location, but I have been too lazy to actually get it higher up … need to pull a wire for that.
I’m looking at -88 (transmit rate of only 19) where my laptop is usually located. On 2.4Ghz I’m getting -64 with a transmit rate of 145 at that same location with the same laptop.
My ActionTec Modem/Router performed less than what I have now, but I wouldn’t mind getting it more optimized, so please share what your findings will be!
I’ll try a fixed channel too, see if that gives a boost.
Fixing the Channel for 5Ghz to 161 with VHT (80+80, upper+upper), gives a transmit rate of 54, nice boost but still nothing magical. Any channel >= 112 performs the same, but below 112 performance drops drastically.
For 2.4Ghz, typically channels 1, 6 and 11 are recommended, with 1 giving the best distance and throughput. And in my setup this is confirmed. Channel 1 performs best. But other channels are just a tiny bit below that.
Updated the firmware download to build 24710.
I did some experiments this evening trying every channels in every extension, recorded the signal and transfer rate(i am using iperf to test the throughput you can get it for free) i will post the result tomorrow morning.
By the way just to make sure that we are on the same page, did you mean link rate when you said on channel 161 you get 54Mbps or an actual transfer rate between devices? And is it Mbps or MBps?
Sorry about that – it’s in Mbyte/s. It’s the link rate indicated by the OS, which definitely fluctuates when you’re moving around, actuelle even when you’re sitting still …
* For other Mac users see this “Mac Os X: Find Out Wireless WI-Fi Connection Speed Rate” article.
I stand corrected and confused …. observations this morning:
5 Ghz: Channel 112, RSSI -83 dB, 450 Mbit/sec (transmit rate 54).
2.4 Ghz: Channel 1, RSSI -63 dB, 217 Mbit/sec (transmit rate 117).
So I’m confused what transmit rate is supposed to be …
The link rate is the one that window shows, it shows how how fast you can go when you transfer data
the actual wireless throughput can be measured when you actually moving data internally within your LAN ie: between devices that connected to the same Access Point. You can use software like iperf, jperf, tamosoft(they all are free)
IIRC -83 is really bad the acceptable signal range to have a good connection is <= -70. Based on kong’s guide, on 5Ghz higher channel allowed higher transmit power thus allowing more range and throughput.
Your results make sense, since 2.4 can cover more range and penetrate through object better than 5Ghz, thus explains better signal(RSSI)
Kind-a what I figured.
I remember from my HAM radio days that higher frequencies (at the same output power) will travel a shorter distance than lower frequencies.
I’ll try some of the apps you suggested!
i’m 99.1111111122233333% sure it’s the Intel driver’s problem thus it’s the Intel AC 7260 problem not the Netgear R7000.
I just bought a Netgear A6200 wireless USB dongle and guess what, at the same spot where i got a really bad transfer rate and bandwidth, and the result is…hold your breath, i got 15 times better iperf test result compared to Intel AC 7260.
I guess problem’s solved for now until Intel release a new driver.
I also would like to add the signal quality on the DD-WRT page went up from 12% to 28% at the furthest spot in my house.
Signal stays the same which leads me to believe that it HAS to be the Intel driver’s fault since we can omit the physical layer problem as we have good connectivity and link rates.
15x better? Wow! That’s worth the investment in a USB dongle for sure!
Definitely sounds like your Intel AC 7260 was causing the problems!
Haha, the “not making sense” on your statement is one of the reasons why at some point I didn’t even both much anymore in trying to tweak the settings. Technically I understand how things work, but at some point there are so many variables and values, that it simply becomes hard to follow.
I’m glad to hear though that you’ve got MUCH better signal now!
I know that my last statement does not make any sense, and I can’t really make sense out of it too, the signal quality went up while the signal(dbm) stays about the same
Thanks for the tip about using “upper” under expansion channels! I saw a boost in my 5G signal too.
Cool! Nice to hear confirmation!
There’s two upper on the expansion channel, which one did you pick?
per this documentation Wireless starters guide for first time dd-wrt users higher channel allowed more transmit power output which usually increase signal quality, however based on what I have read the downside is on close range higher transmit power caused more noise.
Short version …
Higher frequencies (higher channel numbers) offer more bandwidth but a decreased range (potential) – to travel the same distance 5.6Ghz needs more “energy” than 2.4Ghz. This manifest itself for example in a higher noise ratio, which then could tank the transfer rate.
Another thing to keep in mind is that certain equipment in your house might use similar frequencies.
Bluetooth (2.4Ghz), Cordless phones (DECT and others can be 2.4Ghz, but there are also 5.6Gz phones), RF for toys (can be 2.4Ghz), or Wireless Camera’s (not WiFi), Microwave (2.4Ghz), etc. etc.
Even though these frequencies might not be the exact same frequency as the frequency of your channel, noise might scatter over and disrupt/influence your WiFi signal.
And don’t forget: Neighbors!
If your neighbor uses channel 1 with 2.4Ghz, then you would be better off taking for example channel 6 or even 11.
For the 2.4Ghz;
– Wireless mode = mixed
– Channel = Auto
– Channel Width = Wide HT40 (20+20 Mhz)
– Extension channel = Lower
– Optimize mulicast traffic = disabled
– Explicit and Implicit beamforming = enabled
For the 2.4Ghz;
– Wireless mode = mixed
– Channel = 112
– Channel Width = VHT (80+80 Mhz)
– Extension channel = upper upper
– Optimize mulicast traffic = disabled
– Explicit and Implicit beamforming = enabled
Hope this helps
– I’m not an expert, this is just something I tried and it works great
– beamforming might cause issues with certain Intel WiFi chipsets (in your computer)
– Channel 112, in my situation, performs the same as 161, but not all my equipment can handle 161.
good write up!
if you’re interested in overclocking the R7000 check this thread out. I am planning to do it sometimes today.
Thanks Ray …
It always great to hear nice feedback.
I haven’t looked into over-clocking just yet, curious what I’d get out of it though, so I’ll most certainly read the thread – Thanks!
(just peeked at it, 271 pages is a lot of info , I better make some time for that …)
Kong released version 24760 … http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/
There is a BT version (Bit Torrent client) and a STD version (Standard w/Zabbix).
Kong released 24800 today … get it here: http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/
I tried to flash the new Kong 24865M, with the file: dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_BT.bin, but I received the message: Please assign the correct file. The file format is *.chk, I don’t know if I can just rename the file from .bin to .chk. My NetGear R700 is in version V126.96.36.199_1.1.31 of the stock firmware.
Anyone can help me?
I had not seen yet that build 24865M is available (I’m still running 24710M) …
I haven’t tried that version yet and had not seen the change to .bin yet …
After reading this post it basically says:
You need a .chk file for the first time when you bring your router to DD-WRT.
This initial version can be found here. After flashing that version, you can flash the .bin file.
Not sure why Kong decided to go this router,… I suspect .bin files are easier to create/maintain.
Since Kong switched to .bin files for firmware releases, I added the “Initial” version to the downloads.
This initial version will be the first version you need to flash when still running the standard NetGear firmware, as the standard firmware cannot handle .bin file.
Thanks a lot!
I’ll try this today.
Let us know how it goes …
I received the message: This firmware file is incorrect! Please get the firmware file again and make sure it is the correct firmware for this product.
I’ll try to rename the .bin file.
Just received the same message…
You first tried the initial firmware for the R7000, right? The .chk file?
I mean this one: http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/Initial/dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk
(which should be identical to the one I offer above for download – just added it today)
Renaming the .bin will not work since the chk file has a little bit of additional info, like for what router etc.
I’ll try later this week to go back to NetGear standard firmware and go through each step, see what happens.
Just downloaded the .chk file again and it works great…
I’m having issues with my wi-fi now… It gets down every 5 minutes or less… :\
Did you upgrade after that to the latest version (24860) with the bin file?
If’ve running 24710 for quite a while and it works great.
I know when you enable beamforming that certain computers with intel based WiFi experience issues.
I’m using the latest verdion (24860).
I tried enabling and disabling beamforming, none worked well… Neither in my Mac, in my Windows or even in my iPhone and Apple TV!
If it was possible to install Transmission BT in the stock firmware, I would love to do this…
I’m running nothing but Mac here as well … iPhone 5S works great, iPad Air works great too.
Are you using 2.4? of 5Ghz?
I’ve found 5Ghz to be rather limited (range) and seemingly unreliable (but I blamed the limited range for that) …
Since today my WiFi is simply horribly unreliable … so I’m going to try 24865M …
Hi guys. – just flashed my r7000 wit kings latest build yesterday (.chk then .bin). I can access the dd wrt settings page fine and everything seems to have gone ok, except I can’t access the internet using a LAN cable or via wireless.
Any clues – I have already tried the settings above and have tried lots of other configuration setting changes, but nothing seems to work.
I only need dd wrt so that I can connect to overplay vpn, else the stock firmware was fine for me.
I initially plugged my new router in with the netgear firmware and everything was working with default settings – not sure what I have to do with dd wrt though.
Any help appreciated – I’m pretty new to this stuff.
I personally have not run into this situation, so a few things of the top of my head to verify:
– Did you do a Factory Defaults reset after flashing DD-WRT? (link)
Old settings might interfere and still be sitting in the nvram.
– Is your PPPoE connecting? (http://192.168.1.1/Status_Internet.asp to see the WAN status – use the IP of your router)
My ISP use those super weird passwords for my DSL and I have made typo’s in the past.
– Test via LAN (wired) first.
Thanks for your prompt response.
I played around with a bit more and managed to get it working by changing the IP address of the DD WRT router to 172.16.0.1 so I guess the previous 192.168 ranged IP address must have been clashing with the ISP modem router’s IP address.
Thanks again for your help.
If 192.168 clashes with the IP’s of your modem, then I would think your modem is not connected right?
Or maybe it’s because I have set my modem to “bridge” mode. Which basically means that I use my modem as a dumb DSL/Cable “hardware connector” and all LAN and PPPoE related stuff is disabled. PPPoE and LAN are handled by my router.
To set a modem to bridge mode, you will have to find the specifications of your modem, and it’s very different per brand and model (unfortunately).
UPDATE: Version 25000 is now available at http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/25000M/
UPDATE: Version 25015 is now available at http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/25015M/
Hey bro i just did everything great tutorial !! got everything working perfectly ! the only thing im missing now is how can i do my time machine backups with my hard drive connected to the wireless i read something about samba but im new to this, do you have any idea ?
btw tks for the tut great work !
I honestly have not even tried this. I think time machine might have “issues” with samba (SMB), but in this article on stackexchange they describe a method that might work. I haven’t been able to test it (traveling at the moment, and I use my NAS for time machine).
Very nice tutorial. I will be trying this this weekend. I’m glad there are people like you on the internet.
Thanks for the very nice feedback – makes it all worthwhile to put time in my website!
Great tuto ! Great Job ! Many many thanks.
It’s very much appreciated that you took the effort to leave a positive feedback!
There is a new version of the Kong firmware available, 25090, which can be found here.
Another new version, 25100, is available here …
Kong’s website is down today for unknown reasons.
Seems that new version can be expected at ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2014/ … unfortunately I can only see older builds there.
Does any have the latest version (25100) still available? I did not have a chance to update the downloads at Tweaking4All yet …
@Hans you are trying in the wrong ftp – you are looking in beta – this is the link you need http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt-ren/K3-AC-Arm/
It is the folder where Kong puts all file now. May I say that 25090 would be better for you than than 25100 which was just released to test some log files nine minutes after the one I suggest.
That links looks almost the same as the “old” one – hence the confusion.
Thank you for the correct link.
What about the tx power for both freguency is ok the default or increasing it to 100mw
Increasing the TX Power is possible as described indeed, however, I did find that it may cause interference, which affects the range and/or available speed.
Your milage may vary. The best way to find out is by experimenting. One thing I’d try is disabling one radio (for example 5 Ghz) and bringing the other radio to max TX. After testing enable the other radio again and see how it affects the transfer rate and interference.
Please let us know what your findings are …
thank you soo much , i will try that , disabling the 2.4 and putting the tx power to the max not he 5GHz.
However there are other options that I’m concern with my other wireless setting
Extension Channel (( shows upper uppee ))
Wireless SSID BroadcastEnable Disable
Optimize Multicast TrafficEnable Disable
TurboQAM (QAM256) supportEnable
Explicit BeamformingEnable Disable
Implicit BeamformingEnable Disable
Channel Width will potentially increase data throughput, but might also contribute to interference with the other radio. The same goes for Multicast Traffic, TurboQAM and Beamforming. Broadcasting the SSID will probably not affect speed/interference.
I’d start with disabling all these options, use one radio (as you mentioned you did want to do) and do some testing. Then test each individual option enabled, to see potential impact. For example: Disable 2.4, Max 5 Ghz, and only channel extension to one of the settings. Try again, changing the channel extension, and so on. Lot’s of work!
I’d also recommend reading up to see what other users find – it’s a though job …
Some links to get started:
Some basic feedback.
I hope this helps someone a bit.
Good additional info considering recent changes and Verizon specifics … !
Are you staying that you can’t change the IP address subnet on the R7000 once you upgrade to DD-WRT? I use 192.168.4.xxx for my network.
I have not encountered this problem. I use 192.168.1.1 … could it be Verizon related?
FYI: I’m using CenturyLink, and my modem is set to pass through (ie. no DNS, PPPoE, DHCP etc).
whats the highest rate you guys got for the AC signal?
If you mean TX Power, then I’ve found 71 to be the best value. But you can go to 100.
Not sure what you mean with AC power …?
Hey guys, something really strange hapenned to me today when I was flashing the DD firmware. As soon as the procedure was completed everything looked ok, but I could not connect to the internet. It said I has limited connectivity and would let me surf the the web. Thinking it might have been the firmware, I rolled back to the original firmware, but still can connect to the internet. I called my ISP to see if it was something outsise of my house or anything, but they are sending someone over. Has anyone had this problem before? Has anyone solved it? My R7000 connects to my ISP ONT (router) so I dont understand what might have gone wrong…
I have not seen anything like this yet, but what might be worth trying is resetting to factory settings of the values/settings (not the firmware):
From the main tabs, choose “Administration” -> “Factory Defaults” -> “Yes” -> “Apply Settings“.
This I would ALWAYS recommend when changing firmware.
On the myopenrouter website, there are 2 downloads available. DD-WRT K3 and DD-WRT Firmware (which appears newer). If I am flashing from stock for the first time, which file should I use?
The firmware I have seen on MyOpenRouter seems a bit old.
I’d recommend getting a newer version here: http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/ (or one of the links mentioned in the comments).
Do not forget that you need to flash a base DD-WRT version first (see above – near the 3 big green download boxes) before flashing a new version.
I’m new to Netgear routers as well, and am a bit confused about the different versions, builds and what to use.
As of 2015-01-16 on the myopenrouter link in step2 (all the way in the beginning of the article) there are two different firmwares to download;
DD-WRT K3 “Kong build” v24200 from 2014-06-06
DD-WRT Firmware v25344 from 2014-12-19
On Kongs homepage there is a v25100 firmware as well.
So should I go for the older Kong firmware (v25100) or the DD-WRT Firmware (v25344)? What’s the different and which one is the “best” one?
Usually the highest version number “should” be the best – no guarantee of course that a newer version doesn’t come with new problems, but in this case I’d go for the highest version number (25344). Please keep in mind that you have to start with the “base” version, before you can move to the latest version (see above).
I’m not crazy about this method, but that’s the choice Kong has made and since he created great DD-WRT firmware for several routers, I’d assume he knows what he is doing …
So are they both Kong versions? #confused…..
If not, what’s the difference between Kong and plain DD-WRT?
As far as I know:
These are all Kong builds …
DD-WRT is generic router firmware, where as the Kong version is specifically for the NetGear R7000
Note: Kong also creates DD-WRT firmwares for other routers, so the name “Kong” is by no way a guarantee that it’s for the NetGear R7000.
When coming from NetGear firmware, flash first the so called .chk file (most recent I have found was at http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt-ren/K3-AC-Arm/25015M/) and after that the .bin file.
Per his own instructions:
Warning, always clear browser cache before flashing.
Netgear Firmware -> choose the correct .chk for your router model in ftp directory Initial. (A chk contains a header that identifies the build as suitable for the specific router model, oem firmware check this header)
DD-WRT already installed -> flash universal build dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_Arm.bin from subdirectory that contains the latest revision.
I have a Asus RT -16N router which as been flashed with DD-WRT.
Do you have any idea how to set the following as I am having issues finding them…
Appreciate any help you may be able to provide
When looking at the variables you’re looking for (VPI, VCI, Multiplexing Method, etc) then I’d say these are DSL modem settings, and as far as I can see, your Asus is just a router and not a modem. So I carefully assume you will not need these values?
If your Asus has a build in modem, then you’d need to copy the settings of the modem that was originally provided by your ISP. Which can be a challenge, so sometimes Mr. Google can help by searching for your ISP’s settings, for example “comcast vpi vci” and see what pops up.
Thank you for your reply! Yes, you are spot on, the Asus is a router only. I am not very technical so sorry if my explanation is simple but I want to use my current combination modem and router (provided by my ISP) as a modem only and bypass the builtin router and connect my Asus. This was done with a LAN out of the combo into the WAN of the Asus.
The information I gave was from the IPS themselves, to add a none IPS supplied router.
They never mention anything about using another modem, so I just assumed that it was just adding another router and using the existing modem.
That is why when I went onto DD-WRT, I thought I needed to change those entries as per the IPS instructions and thats why I went looking for them.
Hope this made sense, and what are your thoughts?
Well, when using another router with your modem, you can do two things:
1) Have the modem handle everything and connect it to your router, who then handles your network traffic.
In that case you do not need to do much, simply plug the router “WAN” into the modem “LAN”, and do all the settings (not DSL and ISP related) in the router.
Personally I don’t like this method, but it will work. What I don’t like is that some specific things, like port mapping, can be challenging since they need to be done in the modem, or even worse: in both modem and router.
This is the so called “two NAT devices in series” and can cause conflicts.
2) Set the modem to bridge mode. (recommended)
In that case your modem is just dumb and only handles the DSL handshake, but nothing else. So your router needs to handle login with your ISP (typically PPPoE), and handles all the traffic. The connections remain the same as scenario 1, The router “WAN” port is connected to the “LAN” port of the modem, and all your devices are connected to the router (LAN or WiFi).
This is the preferred method, but this can be challenging though. One “problem” is that setting the modem back to it’s original non-bridge mode can be cumbersome, and finding the modem specific settings to get it to go to bridge mode can be hard as well. You might want o see if you can find anything for your modem by using Google.
But once you’ve done it this way, you’ve got the cleanest setup. Just don’t forget to write down all the settings before setting your modem to bridge mode – mostly the handshake protocol (PPPoE etc). And keep in mind that the modem handles the DSL hardware handshake (VPI etc), and the router handles PPPoE (or other protocol) to handshake with your ISP.
I recommend doing some good Google searching first so you get an idea what to do.
A short read that I found might be worth looking at: When to put modem into bridge mode. It’s on the NetGear website, but it’s not NetGear specific. And I ran into this mini tutorial as well.
If you decide to go for Bridge mode:
1. Find how to set your modem to bridge mode.
2. Write down the current “login” protocol for your ISP, by going through the modem settings before going to bridge mode.
3. Write down the IP address of your modem, so that you can access it at a later time once it’s in bridge mode (need to connect your computer, with a manual IP address, straight to the modem).
4. Connect your router (DD-WRT is not a requirement) and set the proper handshake protocol (PPPoe etc) for your ISP, and enter your username and password there.
5. Set DHCP, IP Range, etc in your router.
I hope this get’s you started … again: before doing anything, you’ll need to do some reading up so you understand what you’re doing before killing your internet connection and being unable to look up how to fix it. Been there, Done it …
Hans, again thank you for your in-depth response!
I clearly don’t know enough about routers and their settings to be messing with them so I can see myself reading and rereading your post time and time again to make sure I follow your instructions to the tee.
I will report back in a few weeks to discuss my progress and advise on any of the issues/successes I had along the way.
Until then, all the best and thanks for the great help
It can be a little complex to read, I agree. Just take your time and rethink every step before executing them.
The points where I’ve gotten stuck in the past, because I had not prepared properly:
– Settings for PPPoE, PPPoA, or other protocol, including username and password!
– How to get the modem back in “normal” mode (in case we screw up)
– How to connect to the modem when in Bridge mode
For the latter: The modem wil have an IP address that you cannot connect to from your network. Write it down, maybe on a post-it and stick it under the modem. At a later time you might need to connect your computer directly to the modem, for this the computer needs a manual IP address, with gateway set to the IP address of the modem, and sub-netmask set to 255.255.255.0. DNS is not required.
I hope my notes help you prevent making the same mistakes I once made …
Thank you for the very detailed tutorial on how to install DD-WRT on this wonderful router.
My only concern (and I couldn’t find any reliable information about it) is: with this DD-WRT firmware the capacity to setup a “guest” wireless network is kept?
I’m asking because, beyond the 2.4 and 5 Ghz networks, I need a 3rd “guest” network on the 2.4 band, which the stock firmware has.
C. R. Zamana
Hi C. R. Zamana!
Unfortunately I have never used a guest network, so I’ll have to refer you to some information I found:
I hope this is helpful
Thank you very much for the quick response!
Maybe I were searching with the wrong words… Now it’s clear: the DD-WRT implements the concept of “guest networks” with a much powerful approach: by using “virtual interfaces”. This gives the hability to setup more than one guest network per band.
The 3rd link you posted is the best one.
Thank you very much!!!
C. R. Zamana
This was good info for myself as well …
I love it ..just purshased the R7000 for $200.00 US and was septical about the firmware ..Installed it and love it. I’m diffinately donating to the cause.
Same here … I would say that the real hard work was done by Kong – so he is the one who deserves the donation.
I’m not 100% sure, but I think his email address might be info at desipro.de, but I might be very wrong about that.
You could also try to locate him through his MyOpenRouter.com Profile.
There is a PayPal donate link at the bottom of the Status/Sys-info tab.
Nice catch Ian!
Unfortunately I gave up on this.
After installing the DD-WRT, my speed dropped from 30mbps to 10mbps…
I have DD-WRT installed on another router (E1200) that works very well, but in this R7000, the drawback is too much.
Thanks anyway for the tutorial and for the assistance.
C. R. Zamana
No problem, although I’m surprised to hear about such a serious speed drop …
Did you do a “factory reset” in DD-WRT?
So I just got my brand new R7000, it was destined to be flashed with DD-WRT, I installed version “http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk” from March 23rd.
It took a while so I could get a stable connection, but it worked fine after all the effort, up to 20% better speed than my old router. Now, I bought this router hoping I could increase my VPN speed, my old router drops any speed to 5mbps, I had a 100mbps and now 20mbps, no difference between those 2 scenarios.
So, currently I have 20mbps and after configuring the VPN on the netgear router, I cannot get more than 6.5 mbps, with no encryption. I ran speedtest to the target server from my location and the speed doesn’t drop that much so the problem might be directly on
a) my vpn provider
b) dd-wrt build
c) router hardware
I would discard directly c) because it is supposed to be a high-end router but I would like to know any clues, hints, tips or facts that could solve my speed problem or get a solid explanation to my scenario. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
I’m will not claim to be the best experienced person when it comes to VPN connections. The experience I have so far has been dat about 10-20% of your speed will get lost when using VPN under good conditions (i.e. having an R7000 helps!). I’m guessing that’s the price of VPN overhead, encrypted or not.
The next point of speed bumps is indeed your VPN Provider. I have seen fast ones (Astril for example) and horribly slow ones (the free ones).
In all te DD-WRT versions I’ve ran on my R7000, I can say that the VPN speed has not been changed … so I doubt that will be the cause.
I suggest trying another VPN provider. Astril proved to be good, but there are others, and most offer a free trial.
Thanks Hans, I think I will.
I’ve done a little research and ExpressVPN has a very good reputation and 30 day money-back guarantee. If the results are similar than with my current provider, then probably I’m doomed, let’s hope not. I’ll share my results
I’m curious which one works best … UnoTelly also offers VPN, I do like their DNS service.
So, after some days, yesterday I got an ExpressVPN account, it is awesome!
I struggled a while trying to properly configure my router, they don’t offer a script that configures it for you, you have to manually enter the configuration on the Services –> VPN Tab and in my case, reset the router to default settings first. Switching from server to server is the same process and you don’t know which one is better until you try it but with my old VPN company, I had 5~6 mbps while VPN service was turned on.
With ExpressVPN, while connected, I got this. I tried several times and the results were around 20~25 mbps, my ISP speed is 20 mbps. I didn’t need to sacrifice encryption.
So, to summarize, ExpressVPN offers outstanding VPN performance but you will have to manually configure your router. They have apps for your computing devices which don’t require advanced knowledge
Thanks for posting your findings – that looks very good!
Did you try any other providers?
No, not yet. My current budget is limited for now, so right now I can talk about 2 providers that support DD-WRT routers:
Tons of servers
Pretty easy configuration
24/7 High qualified Tech support (which is amazing btw)
Wallet-friendly :) There’s always a good option for your needs
You can test servers before switching to it
Might not be best option outside US, speed drops significantly
Money-back guarantee is 7 days
You can only switch servers 15 times per month
Only 1 device per account is allowed at a time
Fast servers within and outside US
Unlimited server switching
Simplified VPN configuration
Money back guarantee is 30 days, so you can play enough time
You can connect 1 computer/router AND 1 handheld device at same time
Simplified configuration doesn’t mean easy, you need some networking/computing skills
You cannot previously test the server you want to switch to
Reduced server options
Not so pro support, just good enough
No activity logging
you might wish to use this information to post a separate VPN provider provider article if you get some information from other providers
Thanks for the info!
I’ve considered looking into VPN providers, two of them even approached me about that.
The only downside is that I’d need to maintain a list of providers and some kind of scoring, and keep it up to date. The latter might become too cumbersome (although it would serve a lot of people, looking for independent reviews).
I’ll put it on my “to consider” list …
Flashing a $200 router like a Boss.
i have the latest version v24-sp2 (06/05/15) std, and i notice i don’t see the 5Ghz signal , just the 2.4 ,did they removed it?
I doubt Kong would remove 5Ghz, as it is one of the strengths of the Netgear router to have both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
Are you sure you took the right version? (I mean: for the Netgear R7000)
Do we still need to flash the Initial chk, when the current Kong build is already being delivered as a chk? There doesn’t appear to be have been a new bin file since last year, unless I’m looking in the wrong places. But in several places I’ve seen (including the post and comments in this thread) instructions haven’t been updated since then, and still refer to the Initial chk, followed by a later bin.
I’m not sure if there has been a change … however: doing the initial chk doesn’t hurt.
I have to admit that I have been out of the loop for a few months now as well – I’m in the middle of moving my stuff from the US to Europe so I’m happy to finally see my router again (in a box) …
I’m having an issue with locking my network. Every time I highlight one of the options in the drop down menu I instantly get kicked off the page. Any ideas on what I should do?
I’d love to help, but I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to when you say “locking my network”?
Is this something you try to do in the DD-WRT admin pages?
I will be honest with you. I am new to all this. I followed your instructions but once the firmware is updated to dd wrt and all the settings are done I don’t seem to connect to the internet. I don’t know what is that I am doing wrong. I got the latest dd wrt chk and bin files from desipro.de/ddwrt. Need assistance :(
It’s a little hard to guess what might be going wrong, so here my first guess:
Did you set the proper WAN connection type (under: “Setup” -> “Basic Setup” -> “WAN Connection Type”)?
What always seems to go wrong when I do this: entering the password for PPPoE (PPPoE appears one of the most common types for WAN connections)? I ALWAYS make a typo in the silly password provided by my ISP.
Of course these are the obvious potential issue …
Under “Optional Settings” you can see values like “MTU” … with some providers you have to set those as well.
This is all under the assumption that you’ve set your modem to “dumb” mode (aka “bridged”).
If you didn’t set your modem to “bridged” then your connection method (using the WAN port of your router) is most likely “Automatic Configuration – DHCP” …
Just a few suggestions …
Here is what I have been doing:
I have 4G router from my ISP (LAN connection is DHCP server). I have deactivated its wifi and connected it with my new R7000 router via Ethernet cable.
Before starting the flashing process I deactivated my laptops wifi and connected it to R7000 using an Ethernet cable. I uploaded the latest dd-wrt .chk (latest update 23 Aug 2015) file via routers admin page. After the first dd-wrt login and changing the login and password I changed the settings to factory default.
Couple of question:
When do we use dd-wrt .bin files?
Do I need to go into basic configuration setup and change the connection type to “Automatic Connection – DHCP”?
Once all this is done, do I need to reboot the router after removing the Ethernet cable? Internet wifi connection should automatically be on or do I need to do more tweaking?
I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with all these question.
Awaiting your advise.
Considering that you’re using a 4G modem with DHCP enabled, you’d need to connect it to the WAN port of the R7000. Unless it’s a USB dongle … but I have no experience with that, but it looks like you’ll have to set it to “Mobile Broadband”.
A .chk file is needed for you first flash to DD-WRT, which is the “initial” version you can download here. After your router runs DD-WRT, .bin files can be used to update it to the latest build.
To change you connection you will have to go to the menu of DD-WRT “Setup” -> “Basic Setup” -> “WAN Connection Type”. Depending if you connected your 4G modem to WAN (Automatic Connection – DHCP) or USB dongle (I’m guessing “Mobile Broadband” is the one to use in that case).
I’d start with the default settings for the rest – see if you get your Internet going.
Once that is running, you can start experimenting with the other settings …
Hoep this helps …
Thanks for the detailed reply.
I seem to have another problem now. After flashing the router to dd-wrt, when I try to upload the .bin file to upgrade the firmware, the router administration page disappears with the message that the page cannot be displayed. I tried to reload it but in vain. Is the router bricked? If yes then is there a way to restore it. Need help.
Your router does not necessarily need to be bricked.
With flashing and such always give it plenty of time – it might take a while.
These tips are not necessarily the best tips, so far I have been lucky not bricking my router – but it’s
If after several hours you still cannot access the router, then try switching it off (at your own risk! So let it really sit for hours to make sure), wait 10 seconds and switch it on again. After a few minutes (give it a chance to boot), try if you can access it.
Maybe this topic at NetGear might help.
You could consider doing a hard-reset also known as a 30-30-30 reset (link). I have never tried it though:
The following procedure will clear out the NVRAM and set dd-wrt back to default values:
With the unit powered on, press and hold the reset button on back of unit for 30 seconds
Without releasing the reset button, unplug the unit and hold reset for another 30 seconds
Plug the unit back in STILL holding the reset button a final 30 seconds
Some great places to look for more info:
– MyOpenRouter (right away the R7000 forum),
– DD-WRT Homepage (a little confusing at times).
Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated. Admin page loading problem was due to browser. I was using IE and when I switched to Firefox everything went okay. The wifi connection type “Mobile Broadband” worked for me and I am connected to the internet. Thank you for the settings. Now there is something else I want your advice on. My 4G router IP address is 192.168.1.1 as well and so after connecting to the internet when I try to open my router admin page at 192.168.1.1, my 4G router admin page opens and the web address for Netgear admin page “www.routerlogin.net” is not opening so in other words I cannot access the router admin page. Any ideas?
Great to hear that you’ve made progress …
As for your IP conflict, the easiest way to solve this is to temporary disconnect your 4G modem, then go to http://192.168.1.1, go to “Setup” – “Basic Setup” – “Router IP” and set “Local IP address” for example to 192.168.1.2.
After changing that (reboot might be needed), simply reconnect your 4G modem, and now you should be able to access both individualy. One as 192.168.1.1 and the other as 192.168.1.2.
Hope this helps
One more thing, how do you bridge the modem?
Bridging a modem strongly depends on the brand and model of the modem.
Since you’re using a 4G router (I assume the kind that uses wireless cellphone signal), I doubt bridging it is an option.
Everything is going okay except that openVPN will only work on WAN interface and I don’t know how to enable and do the settings for WAN. I have checked and currently the Ethernet cable is connected to router WAN port and on the other side is connected to the LAN port. Would be able to tell me how to enable WAN and do the settings?
I have very limited experience with VPN, however … I assume that VPN on the WAN of your DD-WRT router should work just fine. You might however have to make sure your 4G modem let’s the traffic go through.
There are a lot of tutorials online available on how to setup a VPN with DD-WRT.
– DD-WRT Wiki – How to setup a VPN
– How to setup a VPN (server) with DD-WRT
It is probably a good idea to read up on how VPN’s work and can be setup … something I probably do as well.
For example this article at PCWorld.
Thanks for putting up such an interesting and educative site, I am a strong fan of DD-WRT, i flash my R7000, with the following build (DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/15/14) kongac – build 24865M) and it seem to drop internet connection one i have upto 7 or more users. it stats kicking them of the network and also drops internet connection. Do you have an idea of what the problem might be.
Thank you, and you’re most welcome.
I’m running the exact same version, and only have issues with my 5Ghz WiFi. Then again, I don’t really use the 5Ghz that much so it has not been bothering me too much either, and the past year I have not had much quality time with my router (traveling/moving/etc).
Are you noticing this with the 5Ghz WiFi? Or also the 2.4 Ghz?
Now that I have time again, I’d be curious if we could resolve this with a newer version of Kong’ DD-WRT firmware?
I’m running build 24865M at the moment (click the version info in the upper right corner) and will try version 27261 hopefully today.
Many thanks for your response Hans,
The flickering signal issue happens to both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz signals. Any joy with the update to the version 27261?
please let me know cos my router is still unstable.
I have yet to try it – I’ll admit that I’m nervous about loosing all my settings
Do you happen to see those drops when using a Mac?
With the introduction of El Capitan, it appears my 2.4Ghz network drops on occasion as well.
For those interested, on the DD-WRT forum you can find the post “Kong R7000 Configuration Best Practices or Working Solutions” which contains tons of good info …
I see your post about DD-WRT Kong AC firmware , can you tell me my TP-Link Archer c9 can flash with DD-WRT Kong AC..??
please you free send me link to download firmware for flashing.
unfortunately, I do not have the full knowledge of all DD-WRT supported devices.
But … looking at the DD-WRT list, you’ll see your device listed, and when looking at the DD-WRT black list you’ll see it’s not listed there, which is a good start.
Using Google, I’ve found that DD-WRT firmware seems to exist, based on these links:
– DD-WRT forum post
– FTP beta’s
Reading all this, it sounds like the needed firmware is in beta, but functional.
You’ll need to do some reading on the details before flashing your router though.
Thanks for your kindly reply.., I have flashed beta version of DD-WRT with my Archer c9 , but i wanna try with DD-WRT Kong v24 sp2 version , but i can not , and DD-WRT Kong v24 sp2 is more stable than Beta….I think..
if any advice please comment.
I wanna flash OpenWRT but it is not supported..! :)……
Nice day , Thanks!!!
I’m afraid you’ll have to look for assistance at MyOpenRouter … I think that’s where you’ll find Kong in the forums.
Sorry I cannot be of much help with this, but it’s all up to the developers to see which router they want/can support.
Hi there, thanks heaps for the guide – but I am having the same problem as a couple of other users. I’ve downloaded the ‘initial’ firmware and attempted to upload it. The error that I get is “Please assign the correct file. The file is *.img”
All I keep seeing is ‘it should work…’ I don’t get how others have just re-downloaded the firmware and it’s worked as I have done the same. My current Netgear firmware is V188.8.131.52_1.0.1.
Any help would be appreciated!
as far as I recall, the initial firmware to go from NetGear to DDWRT is a CHK file … (see the first download at the beginning of this page)
Are you saying that recent NetGear firmwares are expecting an IMG file?
As for the CHK file; You can also find that file at Kong’s website, this file called dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk …
After that you will need to update with a BIN file. See also the Kong ReadMe.
I double checked the downloads at MyOpenRouter for the R7000 and those are all either CHK or BIN files, so I’m not sure what is going wrong on your router.
If it is indeed weird behavior of new Netgear firmware, then I wouldn’t know what to do either.
The NetGear firmware I had (stock) is a CHK file as well.
You could try a different browser, although I doubt it will make a difference.
Patrick def try a different browser. when you download the file. I just did mine with chrome and all worked perfect
I did clear all cache and history as instructed before I did anything.
I have found that certain browsers will download a file and it looks ok but if is a compressed or some sort of zip file, the browser may mess it up during download.
Thanks Lancer for jumping in!
Hi all may have a slight fix for some of you with speed issues.
I don’t know what problems or holes this opens up but hope someone can tell me more
fios 50/50 generally get 45/45 hard wired no vpn
used old Linksys and private internet access vpn my speeds were crap
1-4 mb down and 3-6 up.
Read a bit, and found my processor was overloaded so new router search came up
with netgear nighthawk r7000 freaking huge router.
followed the guide but my internet speeds still sucked,. better but still sucks
4-5 down 6-7 up
I have Kongs latest FW on my brand spanking new R7000
ddwrt v3.0-r28000 kongac 10/24/15 build
after using this guide and got it all working checked processor and it was at 4%
started over with configs and
went to privateinternetaccess.com and then followed there HOW TO install
I got the same result
4-5 down 6-7 up
In PIA instructions they have under the SERVICES SERVICES TAB DHCP Server and under USED DOMAINS
they instructed me to set it to LAN & WAN
when I did this my external ip address was 198.8.80.xx
When I switched it back to just WAN my external ip address changed to 216.144.236.xx
My speeds jumped to
16-21 down and 11-15 up proc at 7-15% never seen it any higher than 15%
Don’t have any clue why but if anyone knows of a reason I need to change it back to lan & Wan please let me know
16/11 is a far cry from 45/45 but not sure what to do next to improve speeds.
first of all, thank for the tip – when I get back home, I will give that a try as well, even though my Internet a pathetic slow (4 Mb down, 0.5 up).
In the meanwhile, for more info, you could check out the MyOpenRouter R7000 forum topic, unless someone here has a good tip how to address this issue.
Did u ever get a chance to see if your speeds improved?
Been messing around trying diff switches to see if speeds improve
Best I have had over vpn is 1/2 of my fios speed
Fios 50/50. Vpn 25/25
But only at wee hours in the morning
When fios is slow at night 6pm-midnight
Fios 17/19. Vpn is 2-6/7-9
I can’t live on 2 down
I’m still having probs with the speeds
Again I am on ddwrt v3.0-r28000M kongac 10/24/15 build
Is that the latest. Seems like everyone else is on v24 sp2
Am I running a beta?
It appears flashrouter.com is using dd-wrt and selling preconfigured r7000 and other modems but they won’t help unless I pony up $100
I’m looking at the forums you suggested I’ll poke around and see what I can find
since I’m in-and-out of my house just for short times, I have not been able to upgrade to a newer release.
Looks like your ISP is not the stablest around, OMG, speeds dropping down from 50/50 to 17/19 at peak hours is not good at all.
Using VPN shouldn’t half (or less) the speed either – could it be that your ISP is squeezing your speed down because it notices that you’re using VPN? (there have been rumors that some ISP’s might be doing that) Or could it be that your VPN service provider is doing this?
I’m not a VPN user, but I did a few tests in the past, and with my setup it dropped about 10-20% in speed, not 50% or more.
While trying to find more info, I found this link at the DD-WRT forum.
It tries to summarize tips, tricks and best practices.
Hope that will be helpful.
Hi Hans. Just spent some time on the links.
Seems every one is asking the same 2 questions
Which kong build is best ie stable for a vpn
How to setup and tune the vpn
Unfortunately only questions No answers
I think there is a newer build of kong out
I’ll give it a try and see if it helps
I recall the service provider I used had it’s own DD-Wrt plugin, at the time I tested Astril VPN – here is the DD-WRT plugin specific for their service that I used at the time.
I’m wondering if Tomato (not sure what AdvancedTomato means) or AsusWRT (both available for the R7000) would do a better job at it. I’ve been meaning to test these 2, but simply haven’t gotten around to actually doing it. It seems, from what I’ve read, that Tomato might be better than Kong. At least that’s what reviews of the R8000 (yes the newer model) suggest where Kong’s release suddenly appears on-par with Tomato. I would be surprised to see a difference with the R7000, meaning: I’d think Kong would use the same code base for the R7000 as for the R8000 (not the same images of course).
As far as I know, the R7000 hardware should be able to handle VPN in hardware, but I might be wrong about that.
The version numbering is indeed very confusing and seems inconsistent, or at least the info concerning the releases is.
Just reading some more, and in 2014 folks seem to be jumping back to build 24800 because of VPN issues.
In this forum thread, some suggestions are made to improve VPN, and the last post is even suggesting “DD-WRT build 27783 – 2015/09/08” for better VPN support. Worth a try I suppose, even though your version should be newer.
I did find some newer versions here as well (FTP root folder). Unfortunately, I could not find there but I did find this change log, which doesn’t mention much about VPN changes, with the exception of switching to a newer OpenVPN version.
Wanted to give you an update
So I updated to kong 28815 jan 13 2016 version
After update last night the vpn was broken
Reset to default and re setup PIA VPN via their online guide
It started working again but sloooowly
VPN off 56/58
Vpn on 3/13
Had a hunch from talking to PIA SUPPORT
My problem is my isp Verizon fios and my setup
Since r7000 is behind fios router on same subnet, I get some packet loss
Still trying to figure out where the prob is BUT
IF I MODIFY THE MTU SETTING UNDER THE VPN SETTING
NOT THE MTU SETTING UNDER ROUTER SETUP
played with it a bit and found 1350 helped like crazy
PIA SUGGESTS TESTING 1300-1450
Vpn off 48/49
Vpn on 18/5
Yea upload suffers but I can live with slow upload
Some testes even popped up to 28/15
Tested using. Testmy.net
Something to try
I will try to find where my packet loss is but for now I can at least use my vpn
This version of kong seems to be stable but I’ll find out over the next few weeks
Thx for all your help
thanks for reporting your findings, I would have not thought about MTU under the VPN settings.
I’ve recently (see below) switched to AsusWRT-Merlin, definitly worth a try!
I do not have the ability to test VPN, but their VPN settings looks very promissing. The overal performance of the AsusWRT firmware is very goed as well. Do not get fooled though by the name, it’s available for a few other non-Asus router, like the R7000.
So far I’ve been running AsusWrt for a few days (4) and can only say that I’m very impressed by it’s performance.
Can’t upload any newer (or older) firmware on top of my existing one (12-05-2015-r28444), the operation has fails immediately (blank web page), router admin site becomes unavailable while all it’s functions and services are still operational. Hard reset to the router returns access to router admin site, but the version remains (12-05-2015-r28444).
Tried to return back to original Netgear firmware version, but same behavior observed. :(
How can I resolve this??
Happy New Year!
First thing I’d do is clearing the browser cache of your webbrowser – just to make sure. Or use another webbrowser – For example: I have Chrome and Safari on my Mac, where I usually use Chrome, sometimes I jump back to Safari when things do not seem to go the way I expect them to go. I can imagine a lot of Windows users having Internet Explorer and Chrome or FireFox.
Another trick might be, using the TFTP tool from NetGear (link), but I have not ever used it ,…
Thanks for the quick reply!
I was lucky to have an already identified problem:
TFTP firmware upload/restore method failed for me, but WGET succeeded:
Select New Site;
2 File protocol: SCP;
3 Hostname: 192.168.1.1 (or your router IP);
4 Username: root
5 Password: your admin pass
6 Drag downloaded firmware from Download folder and drop in /tmp
1 Login on 192.168.1.1 (user root and pass);
cd /tmp (Enter)
mtd -r write xxxxx.bin linux (Enter) (Sure, replace xxxx with your firmware filename…)
Good to hear you’ve got it fixed! Awesome!
And thanks for posting the solution you’ve found!
I am repeatedly getting stuck at the white page (http://192.168.1.1/apply.cgi) after applying the factory default settings. Any idea on what to do?
my advise would be clearing the browser cache, and try again. Or, and this is what I typically do, use a different browser. (on my Mac there is default Safari, like Internet Explorer under Windows, but in daily life I use Google Chrome)
I have the flash on my nighthawk 7000, but I am hearing about the Big or Mega Ver of flash now … does anyone know where I can find them?
I have never heard of a Big or Mega version … could you provide a link where you found that?
There are however alternatives: Tomato and AsusWRT (and this link) – I haven’t test either [yet] but I hear good things about those 2.
Note: You will need the Mega or Big builds DD-WRT firmware for this to work.
This is with ExpressVPN…
I have the router already that has been flashed, just trying to find the right provider.
I’m still not sure what the Mega or Big builds of DD-WRT would be … do you have a link?
As far as I know, ExpressVPN is a VPN service provider?
For those interested … I just tried the AsusWRT version by Merlin … and these are my findings so far:
1) Couldn’t find DNSMasQ right (yet) – an option to map domains to particular IP addresses, but not many will be using this feature I suppose.
2) The GUI is awesome, I mean it looks and handles great!
3) Moving from Kong’s DD-WRT to AsusWrt-Merlin was a breeze, simply uploaded the .chk file (included in the ZIP file) on the “upgrade” page of DD-WRT (set “reset to default settings”!!!!). After the upgrade a popup appeared automatically once I connected to the “new” Wifi (called NETGEAR) and walked me through the initial setup.
4) WiFi seems rock solid! Both 2.4 and 5 GHz work super stable (so far).
The file I used: AsusWRT-Merlin, source: LinksysInfo.org (v380.57_0).
For those who need a custom DNSMasQ config:
1) Administration -> System -> set “Enable SSH” and “Enable JFFS custom scripts and configs” to “Yes” -> click Apply
2) Open an SSH connection to your router, login with your admin username and password.
3) In the shell use vi to edit dnsmasq.conf.add (this way it adds it at boot of your router to the config)
4) Exit vi (Esc, “:”, “w”, “q”) so the changes will be saved
5) Reboot router.
I recommend disabling SSH after you’re done editing.
See also Xwrt-Vortex for details about this particular firmware.
So far I’m impressed.
Interesting, before testing, is it possible to configure the OpenVPN service in this firmware or is that about to be tested?
I have little to no experience with VPN, however, I did find plenty interesting VPN settings.
Servers: PPTP and OpenVPN server,
Clients: OpenVPN and PPTP/L2TP client settings,
and I found the option to enable VPN-TOR settings (?).
So to answer your question: OpenVPN is included in the firmware …
As for testing, well, my lack of experience could use some guidance on how to test this best.
Oh and a note on testing … due to limitations of the modem of my ISP, I’m having my router behind the modem. The modem (supplied by KPN) also routs IPTV and my landline phone, so I cannot set it into bridge mode without loosing TV and phone.
So that might require some extra trickery to do it right (testing).
p.s. A good source with some of the features described: AsusWRT-Merlin Wiki.
Next week I’ll give it a try and will share the results I get. In the worst case, I’ll be rolling back my current configuration. In the best case, I will provide some statistics/benchmark results.
Cool! Sorry I’m not able to test the VPN functionality.
Would be interesting to see the performance difference between Kong and AsusWRT …
So far I’ve been very impressed with AsusWRT.
There are a lot of nifty features, the ability to work with Cron jobs and scripts (for example: LEDs ON/OFF).
Other side note; I’m using a Mac and TimeMachine on my NAS, which recently started to fail. After the AsusWRT upgrade suddenly TimeMachine works again … probably a more stable connection? For Mac users: AsusWRT has optionally TimeMachine support build in for a USB drive.
FYI: I had installed Kong while writing the original article and updated to a newer version of Kong (Aug14 2014).
With this firmware I could simply upgrade with the ,chk file.
Newer versions of King might need a .trx file (also included in the zip file).
If unsure, you could go back to the original NetGear firmware and then use the chk file to upgrade to AsusWRT.
I’ve been running AsusWRT-Merlin now for about a week and have to say: it works really smooth!
Especially 5Ghz WiFi appears much more stable than with DD-WRT.
Big thumbs up
Everything was great up till basic configurations. When i changed the wireless settings, the screen gives me “Connection was reset” message and the settings never save.
What can I do?
I’m not sure what you changed in the Wireless settings. Can you connect to the WiFi? If not: can you connect wired?
Did you clear the browser cache (just in case)? Or try another browser?
Do I need to change the LAN and wifi settings as instructions above? Or just the way i connect to the internet? Over wifi?
I initially did the settings with the router wired to my computer, but when i hit save in the LAN settings, the Connection has been reset message appeared.
Couple of questions :
I connect to my router via wifi, do I select PPPoE?
Or leave it in auto configuration?
What time zone do I select? The one I’m currently in? Central America
Under LAN, I have option to choose Forced DNS Redirection. It is under DHCP-Authoritive. Should I check it or leave it blank?
In the wifi, I have the option to choose Optimize Multicast Traffic. Should I check it or leave it blank? Also have Airtime Fairness as an option. Check it or leave blank?
Should stop the process after step 7? I don’t need any port forwarding.
Do I need to go back to stock netgear R7000 firmware?
Also, do I leave the Regulatory domain as Europe? Even though I want to connect to US East zone
You can follow the instructions above, choose you own IP range if you’d like to.
You can do this connected over Ethernet (recommended) or WiFi. Either should work (lately I only use WiFi, because I’m lazy haha).
The PPPoE settings are only for your router to connect to the Internet. Not to connect your computer to the router.
As for timezone and regulatory zone: you can use your own area/timezone.
As for the other settings: do not divert from the default settings unless mentioned in this article.
If you do not need port forwarding (step 8) then you can indeed stop after step 7.
Thank you, I still need help.
– So what do I leave the Connection type as? Im not sure what to choose
– I have additional options not listed in the instructions to choose: Under LAN, I have option to choose Forced DNS Redirection. It is under DHCP-Authoritive. Should I check it or leave it blank?
In the wifi, I have the option to choose Optimize Multicast Traffic. Should I check it or leave it blank? Also have Airtime Fairness as an option. Check it or leave blank?
– After step 7 there are a couple of more steps to do:
Should I do them?
Do I need to go back to stock netgear R7000 firmware?
Do I need to restore the router back to factory settings after completing the process?
I have no idea what kind of setup you have …
If you have your modem set to bridged, then you’d need (probably) PPPoE. If you didn’t change anything on your modem, then you’d probably need to use “Automatic Configuration – DHCP”.
I would leave all settings ot mentioned in this article to their default values. If unsure about what you did or did not change, reset the modem to factory default and start over again (got to “Administration” -> “Factory Defaults” -> check “Yes” -> click “Apply Settings“).
The options after step 7 can be ignored unless you’d like to do more advanced settings, which I wouldn’t even do until the whole setup is working.
– I have additional options not listed in the instructions to choose: Under LAN, I have option to choose Forced DNS Redirection. It is under DHCP-Authoritive. Should I check it or leave it blank?
In the wifi, I have the option to choose Optimize Multicast Traffic. Should I check it or leave it blank? Also have Airtime Fairness as an option. Check it or leave blank?
I would not have a clue, I’ve noticed that setting (which most likely means: I never needed them).
That’s why I’d recommend leaving the at their default setting (probably: OFF).
As far as I know: Force DNS redirection will force any DNS requests to go through the DNS servers you’ve setup in your router.
As an illustration (and hopefully I’m understanding this function right): If you have setup your PC to use for example Google DNS, but you want to force all DNS queries to go through what you’ve set in your router (say for example the DNS servers of your ISP or for example OpenDNS), then this option would do that (using the DNS servers you’ve entered in your router).
This could add “security” when you for example used the OpenDNS servers, say for when your kids go online.
Since I have no use for it, I’ve never used this feature.
Thank you Hans,
I finally got it working. Perfect thanks. Only issue is that the internet connection drops once in a while. Especially after starting to use the computer after being off. It connects to the VPN, but it says no internet connection. I have reboot the router to start working. In the past, without the VPN internet worked perfectly.
Hmmm, interesting. So it literally drops Internet? Can you confirm this in the DD-WRT status page?
Yes it drops and cannot reconnect. I had to reset everything back to stock settings. Removed the DD-WRT configuration.
Any idea why?
I’ve seen some 5Ghz wifi configs dropping the connection, but never the WAN side of things (Internet).
Are you sure it’s not the WiFi that’s dropping?
Yes I connect via wifi to the internet in my house. It drops and shuts off the wifi connection
So it’s the WiFi that’s failing? … are you using 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz wifi?
(if not sure, connect your computer through Ethernet [wire] and see if it still happens)
yes, Wifi, 2.4Ghz
I dont have the option to connect via wire
I have not seen this behavior before with 2.4Ghz WiFi.
Something must be wrong (obviously) with either your WiFi settings, your router, the connected device (can you test another WiFi device?), or the environment you’re working in.
Firstly, thanks very much for providing this information… You are all very helpful. I stumbled across this page when I was looking for a way to connect to VPN and, based on what I have read, the Netgear R7000 seems to be one of the best routers to use for this. However, we are using a router at the entrance to our building to feed the LAN connections throughout the flat and it is really not in the best location for wifi. We would also like the option of keeping the local wifi, so if I flash the Netgear as described above, will I then be able to plug it into one of the LAN sockets (therefore keeping the local wifi via the first router, and the LAN cables) or will I need to change additional settings? Is there any reason this will not work? I hope this makes sense!
Thank you very much for any help!
First off, I’d recommend trying AsusWRT-Merlin, see the AsusWRT comments above.
And yes, you could pull an Ethernet wire from the first router to another router or computer.
If you decide to use another router, connect both ends of the Ethernet cable to the LAN port of both routers.
This way the second router just becomes kind off a repeater.
Thanks for your very quick reply. I’ll go ahead and buy the Netgear and hopefully report back that everything went swimmingly! I understand that I need to download a copy of the original firmware – just in case – so if you could provide link for the most recent copy, that would be fantastic!
Yep, it’s a good idea to have the original firmware handy, just in case. I’ve posted an old version in this article (look for one of those green boxes).
If you decide to try AsusWRT-Merlin (recommended), then please take a good look at this forum thread. It has the latest AsusWRT (which can also be found here) and a “go back to the original” firmware.
It seems that I am unable to do any of these things as it is impossible to view/access/change the settings of my router onto my computer. By plugging in offline I only receive error messages, even if I manually type 192.168.1.1. Online, via the LAN – LAN connection, the R7000 is bypassed totally when I input this address, so I can only access the settings for the main router. At least that tells me I should be able to do what I want to do, eventually, but right now there seems to be no way to access the R7000 settings.
How can I actually access the settings to set up the router and install the firmware? I know there’s probably an easy solution and I’m probably being stupid, but is there a way of doing this?
I’m using Windows 10, just in case that might be causing the issue…
I would first connect to the NetGear directly without having the router connected to anything else.
Once you’ve done configuration, you have 2 options.
1) If your setup is just so the NetGear relays data, then connect a LAN port of the main router to a LAN of the NetGear.
The advantage is that everything is still handled by the main router, you just get a signal boost by having a second WiFi running. The downside being that accessing the admin pages of the NetGear might be problematic.
2) If you want to use a more advanced setup, connect a LAN port of the main router to the WAN port of the NetGear.
The advantage there is that you can access the admin pages, but the downside would be that specific settings (for example port forwarding) might not work as expected since the main router still remains in control of that.
This can be fixed by setting in the NetGear the WAN connection to “Automatic (DHCP)” and in the main router setting the IP or MAC address of the NetGear to DMZ (depending on what the capabilities are of that main router).
Hope this helps.
Hello again,Sorry for the delay but it feels like I have been trying to get this thing set up for the last week… With very limited results. Thanks for the advice so far, and please excuse me for any naive/stupid questions.
So firstly, the good news. I managed to install the firmware without any real problem. The menu appears as expected. However, I have a couple of problems that I am hoping you may be able to help with. As per your advice, I am trying to set everything up offline so the main router and/or internet are not interfering with what I am trying to do.1) The router only connects to my laptop immediately after resetting the router using the button at the back. Any subsequent attempt to access the router is met with error messages (no internet connection/page etc.). This means I am only able to access the menu once. This was also the problem I mentioned above, which existed before changing the firmware. Is there something I am doing wrong or is there a problem with the router? I can’t even access the router menu by typing in the router address. Checked ipconfig and there’s nothing at all listed next to Default Gateway. I really am stuck!2) Having installed the firmware, I tried to set up the connection offline. At the end of this there is a FINISH tab. I tried several times, but this does nothing and I am stuck on the same screen (showing setup details but they are not confirmed and I can’t navigate to the main page). Could this be a bug or is there something else I should know?
Ok, please scrap the last requests!
I worked out that I was requesting an AP and it wouldn’t grant do what was required because of conflicts. I have now got almost everything set up. The dashboard is showing as connected to the internet (my VPN settings are showing as accepted in the settings area). I have set up port forwarding (NAT) on the primary router. However, web pages are not loading on my computer. Is there another setting that I may need to change? I have played about with everything I can think of, but to no avail…
sorry for the late reply …
Which option did you use? LAN to LAN, or LAN to WAN (main vs Netgear)?
I’ve setup mine using option 2 – the LAN of the main router/modem to the WAN of the NetGear.
Then after that set the WAN for the NetGear to Automatic DHCP.
In the main router/modem, I have set the MAC address of the NetGear to a fixed IP address – just so I can reach it easier. But not every modem will support that. If the latter is the case: Give the NetGear a fixed IP address under WAN settings of the NetGear, and make sure it’s not in the DHPC range of the main router. In that scenario: makes sure you set DNS calls to either the main router, or for example Google (184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11).
Hope this get’s you further.
If webpages are not loading, I usually first try if DNS works properly. For example by using “nslookup” (Command Line/ DOS window / Terminal).
If you see something like this, then all is OK and the problem has to be found somewhere else.
An error with your DNS might look something like this:
Does the DD-WRT firmware for the R7000 Netgear Nighthawk accommodate for IPSEC VPN tunnels? I need to establish a gateway to gateway VPN tunnel rather than client-gateway. I would like to use this router for the wireless capability but also have the VPN tunnel to a secondary location for my business traffic.
I have no experience with setting up an IPSEC VPN Tunnel. However,… I deed see quite a bit of chatter on the DD-WRT website about this. Unfortunately, at this moment I cannot reach their website (connection time out).
Some of the links Google mentions: link1 link2 link3 link4
I was hoping I could help find an answer for you by Googling it … but since the pages do not load, I have no idea how useful it would be for your question.
I did notice that the AsusWRT-Merlin (for the R7000) offers a ton of VPN options, but I cannot confirm it would accommodate your question.
Thanks. I decided to try option 2 as it was the one that looked the most suitable to keep the local and VPN connections. So, I think I am going around in circles. I have done as you asked and ‘google can’t find nslookup’ – I am assuming that means there is a DNS problem, but I have no idea where or how to find it. I thought by setting up NAT from the main router for PPTP connections this would allow access to the internet. Do I also need to set up access rules?
A couple of things are a little unclear. My option says Automatic IP. Is this what you mean or is there a tab for Automatic DHPC that I am missing? Exactly where do I check that? You also mention a fixed IP address. Is that by selecting STATIC IP? Or can you tell me where to select that too? Sorry for being difficult! I am on the verge of giving up… My VPN (strongvpn), which has been quite good for speeds on individual devices, refuses to give any help for ASUSWRT. They only provide support for the others, which require the riskier router flashing… Typical, as they sell those on routers pre-loaded for extortionate prices…
Don’t feel bad about asking questions – my answers might not always be as clear as I’d hope them to be ….
OK, let’s start from scratch. I’ll assume your NetGear has AsusWRT.
Make sure you main router is fully function, and that any connected computer will work just fine and have Internet access.
Next we run an ethernet wire from one of the LAN ports of the main router, to the WAN port of the NetGear.
In the NetGear we set “WAN” (button on the left hand side), where we set “WAN ConnectionType” to “Automatic IP“.
Make sure “enable WAN“, “enable NAT“, “Enable UPNP” and “Connect to DNS server automatically” are set to “Yes“.
Now connect your computer to a NetGear LAN port, and try to access a website. This should work right away.
The main router gives the NetGear the needed info for IP address, Gateway and DNS.
As for your VPN, since we use two routers behind each other, you will have to keep in mind that the “rules” set in the main router will supersede the settings of the NetGear when it comes to access to the outside world.
This means that if the main router does not allow VPN traffic, that the NetGear will not be able to get any VPN access. You will need to enable VPN traffic (allowing it) or use port forwarding on the main router so the NetGear can actually send and receive traffic for VPN.
I hope that made more sense
Yes, all of that makes sense. I have done it, just to check that there are no issues, and I have local internet access exactly as required. I think my problem is getting the first router to tell the Netgear to allow the VPN connection, or maybe messing up a setting on the Netgear to not accept the connection properly.
So, my first router is a Zyxel Keenetic Ultra. Under the security tab there are 2 sections – ADDRESS TRANSLATION RULES (NAT) and ACCESS RULES. Within these sections I can add TCP 1723 as I am trying to set up PPTP tunnelling. I have tried several different ways of doing this with no success. Am I in the right area? Is there another setting that I need to add/change on the first router? You mentioned that I may need to assign a static IP address to the second router. How do I do this?
I’m not familiar with this modem, but it seems you’ve found the right spot to use port forwarding.
A maybe easier way to handle this is by putting the IP address of the NetGear in the DMZ of the main router. Now you might have to look for a manual for the main router, to see how it’s done. I tried Google but it only showed Russian explanations, and I do not speak Russian.
Basically what the DMZ does is take the IP address of the NetGear out of the “pool” of IP addresses that the main router is “managing” (firewall and such – but the NetGear has all that build in and active anyway). This way none of the special ports are being blocked, and VPN should go through just fine.
After doing a reset to return to the Negear original firmware I cannot longer log-in to my router. I can connect to my Wi-fi with same username and password so I am guessing that the resetdidn’t go through, but I cannot access to the router with the username and password I set before nor the default “admin” and “password”. What should I do? How can I access my router?
First thing I’d do is clear the cache of your browser, or use another browser.
An alternative is doing a factory reset by using the reset button on the back of the router. As far as I can see, it will not revert back to the original firmware, but should go back the initial settings. I believe keeping it pressed for about 9 or 10 seconds (until the power LED starts blinking), should do the trick. Again, something I might have done in the past, but I’m not sure how effective it will be.
It is said that this will get you these default settings:
Default username: admin
Default password: password
Enable DHCP: Yes
Default IP address: 192.168.1.1
Default subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default DNS server: 192.168.1.1
There is also the so called 30-30-30 hard reset, which will probably result in the same settings and seems to be done as such (I have not had use for this):
When the unit is powered on, hold down its reset button for 30 seconds.
While still holding down the reset button, unplug the router from power and hold it for an additional 30 seconds.
Still holding down the reset button, turn on power to the router again and hold for 30 more seconds.
Hope this helps … start with clearing the browser cache though
If you’re running the most current firmware from netgear, i had that same issue, i had to uninstall my Antivirus (Kaspersky) and i could access my router, you can test this by possibly hooking up a laptop to admin the router (or another computer) not running the same AV as on your current pc. once configured i was able to reinstall kasperksy and all was well.
hope this helps
Thanks Boomerbsg for the tip!
It’s much appreciated! I’m working mostly with a Mac, so I typically do not run into the Anti Virus issues …
[…] willing to flash DD-WRT (or Tomato) firmware yourself. But if you’re comfortable with the flashing process, it’s hard to find more performance for your […]
I bought a new R7000, and I just uploaded the newest http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/r29300/dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk
Once I have uploaded this to the router, all connections has been lost. I can’t even open http://www.routerlogin.net. I also tried reset by using 30-30-30, and just holding it between 5-10second.
Nothing is currently working, and the router is brand new from the box. Could you offer some advice?
I’m sorry to hear you’re running into issues with DDWRT on your R7000.
First off; I’d always access my router throught it’s IP address. I think 192.168.1.1 is the default IP address, but yours might be different.
Second point; are you connecting over WiFi or an Ethernet cable?
If WiFi, then check if your computer can find the wireless network at all once the router is running.
Do the lights on the router indicate anything “strange”?
Hi Hans, Thanks for your prompt reply. I went to 192.168.1.1 and I found the DD-WRT control panel. Thanks for your help. Appreciate your prompt reply. XOXO
Awesome and … you’re welcome!
p.s. AsusWRT-Merlin is a great alternative as well … I actually used DD-WRT for a very long time and a few months ago I switched to AsusWRT (download page) – see also my comment below. Looks much nicer and seems to have a more stable WiFi (DD-WRT did a great job too though).
From that comment (since you already moved to DD-WRT):
Moving from Kong’s DD-WRT to AsusWrt-Merlin was a breeze, simply upload the .chk file (included in the ZIP file) from the “upgrade” page of DD-WRT (check “reset to default settings”!!!!).
After the upgrade a popup appeared automatically once I connected to the “new” Wifi (called NETGEAR) and walked me through the initial setup.
Just following up as I didn’t hear back from you, sorry to email you again. I noticed your page (site url) links to timeanddate.com. Unfortunately, that site isn’t very accessible for the sight impaired. Would you consider adding a link to a more accessible version like http://www.thetimenow.com which is WCAG 2.0 compatible?
Also, if you ever want to see how accessible a page is, I recommend http://wave.webaim.org. It is really helpful.
Hi Liz Wizard!
Thank you for the suggestion, I will make the change …
Thanks for the WebAim.org suggestion as well … I’ll take a look and see how good/bad Tweaking4All is …
I am about to install dd wrt on my R7000,
My configuration is a dual router set up the two routers connected by Ethernet cable, only using R7000 for VPN supplied by Private Internet Access , so presumably wireless settings will be handled by first existing router, will all other set up instructions be as detailed on web page be the same.
Just to be double sure are there only two files to be uploaded the first file been the one named initial chk, and the latter second updated dd wrt chk file downloaded from Kongs webpage.
Thanks in advance
You’re correct, you’ll first need to do the initial chk file, and later the laterst version from Kongs page.
A few months ago I did switch to AsusWRT-Merlin as a replacement for DD-WRT and like it better than regular DD-WRT, and can definitely recommend it (see also this comment).
Great Tutorial! Worked like a charm. Thanks a lot :-)
I have two questions, that I wasn’t able to find the answer to yet. Forgive me if I missed it (a link to that will be fine in that case).
I recently flashed my NetGear R7000 to the Kong DD-WRT in order to use the VPN service of Private Internet Access (PIA). It went very well, but I am not able to connect to the internet through an ethernet cable. Logging in the router goes just fine through both WifI en Ethernet and surfing the internet through Wifi also. I want to use LAN, as the connection is a lot faster than Wifi (still have to figure out the best channels for optimizing that). Any advice on why this is happening? I always see the lights that reflect the status of the LAN ports on the router being orange instead of white. Here are the instructions that I used to configure the VPN: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/client-support/dd-wrt-openvpn
Before the VPN there was no issue with surfing through Ethernet by the way.
And the other question: is there any way to make an exception in the router for netflix to bypass the VPN? Netflix detects VPN’s and refuses access. So now I leave my ISP’s router WiFi on (without VPN) to connect to for netflix moments.
Thanks for your help!
thank you very much for the compliment! It’s always appreciated.
As for your VPN question; interesting problem. So everything works except for those clients that connect wired to your R7000 and want to use the Internet. This sound like either a bug or a misconfiguration of VPN.
I did however found another guide for the same VPN provider here.
They do mention different versions of the firmware and you might want to double check the settings there as well.
I myself have been running AsusWRT-Merlin for quite a while now, but have not tested VPN with that one yet – but I am VERY satisfied with it.
I’ll admit that I’m not a VPN expert by far (I actually dislike VPN). But I do recall from some of my testing that you can define exceptions or rules when to apply VPN. For example only use VPN for certain targets, or by certain machines in your network.
The VPN I tried actually came with a special DD-WRT plugin which made it super easy to configure.
VPN configuration issues is my main reason why I dislike VPN …
Thanks for the response Hans! Somehow the problem is solved now. I am not sure, but I think it is because an earlier mistake in de DNS adresses. Or maybe the router needed time to adjust to all the devices and VPN config? I noticed that it can realy mess things up if you change just one wrong thing, without being able to undo it. So long live backups, which I now make of every working state after I change just one thing (one at a time).
I still see orange lights instead of white for two of three machines connected through ethernet, but as long as they work I am fine with it for now.
glad to hear things are operational …
Don’t you love the [lack of] ease of using VPN?
I probably should get my feet wet with VPN as well though … argh.
On top of that: finding a good and reliable VPN provider (I’m not looking for torrenting!) will be my first step …
as i am new to flashing routers need to clarify my router R700 Netgear firmware version V18.104.22.168_1.1.93 which does not match up with V1.0.3,56.ZIP in you instruction page is this ok
I have to admit that I haven’t done much flashing for my R7000 in a while. But if you’d like to revert, consider getting the latest version from NetGear directory (link). If that doesn’t work; using an older version should not be a problem, just update to the latest version of NetGear after that.
Tip : AsusWRT-Merlin is a great alternative to DD-WRT. I have been using this for almost a year now and I’m super satisfied with it. You can go from DD-WRT to this firmware directly. (see some of the comments on this page)
i have will flash my R7000 with DDwrt… 2 things are not yet clear to me…
i flash the .chk file first … correct ?
I must afterwards flash the .bin file ? or ist the .chk and the .bin file the same ?
you’ve understood that correctly.
To make sure you’re 100% save, get the “Initial” file here: http://desipro.de/ddwrt-ren/K3-AC-Arm/Initial/
Then after flashing the chk file and rebooting, pick one of the new ones here: http://desipro.de/ddwrt-ren/K3-AC-Arm/
Worth mentioning: I’ve been using XWRT-Vortex (aka Asus WRT Merlin), and I’ve been very pleased with it.
You can find here: http://xvtx.ru/xwrt/index.htm
I’m back! I bought a R7000 a few month back. It was working really great, so I bought another one, but this time I accidently bought the R6900. Is 6900 the same to R7000? Will I be able to change DD-WRT on the R6900? Can anyone advice. Thanks guys! You guys are super!
the R6900 is definitely not the same as the R7000 – as far as I could find, the R6900 is a Costco version of the R7000 and lacks some USB ports/components. It seems that with trickery that you can flash R7000 firmware (see this link), but I would not recommend that for beginners. Consider returning it and getting an R7000 from Amazon or something like that …
When selecting the router, make sure it picks “AC1900” and “R7000” since multiple options are available.
Hey Hans, You are super! I went back to get the R7000 and returned the R6900. Save myself some headache! Thanks so much for your reply! XOXO
Glad to hear that you could return it!
Has anyone managed to install new firmware on the netgear R7000 recently. The netgear genie doesn’t seem to accept manual firmware changes now.
anyone got an install file for an older version of the genie ?
did you try a CHK file first and then the BIN file? (see also this source for DDWRT files)
I do not have a new NetGear firmware setup, so I cannot test if it works or not.
If you’d like to revert to an older version of the Netgear Genie; the 3rd green box in this article provides version 22.214.171.124.
You can find tons of previous versions on this NetGear page, under “Firmware and Software Downloads” -> “Previous Versions”.
Thanks for reply Hans. Sorry for my ignorance here. How can you install the chk file?
from the instruction i thought i had to install the chk from the netgear genie but there is no option from that in the new version of genie
the link you mentioned in the 3rd green box is just another chk file not a new version of genie unless im going mad (quite likely)
Oh don’t worry – things can be confusing to all of us at times, and it’s better to ask than to ruin your router, right?
The 4th green box (the 3rd download box – link) should provide an older NetGear firmware. It contains a CHK file (R7000-V126.96.36.199_1.1.25.chk). If you want to be 100% sure, look at the downloads on the NetGear website.
The DD-WRT CHK file is installed as described in this article, see step 3:
Go to “Advanced” – “Administration” – “Router Update” and click “Browse” to select the downloaded DD-WRT firmware file (CHK file) and click “Upload”. The same method would apply for the NetGear CHK file.
You have to follow the entire process, including rebooting etc. So do not flash another firmware right after that, let the router complete it’s process, reboot, etc etc.
If you did this with the DD-WRT CHK file, then when everything is done, you’ll need to do the entire process one more time, just this time for the DD-WRT BIN file, which contains a newer DD-WRT version.
The problem with the steps is that they have changed netgear genie. it doesnt look like the screen shot in step 3 as there is no advance tab any more. i can find the router update section but it only does an automatic search and there is no manual file search now. :( i’m hoping someone has an old install file they could send me or a link they could share for a previous genie install. im searching the web but cant find one at the moment.
I’ve been doing some searching with Mr. Google, and cannot find anyone running into the same issue – so your firmware must either be very new and/or uncommon, or we’re overlooking something.
I suggest your first clear the browser cache, then reset the NetGear to factory settings, and then try again.
If that doesn’t work, try another browser (ie. Google Chrome or FireFox) and see if you still encounter the same problem.
Another thing you could try: disconnect the router from the Internet, maybe it reverts back to the old way?
I have never seen this so I’m just guessing as well.
p.s. I assume that you mean with “automatic” search that it looks online for the latest version?
Hi Hans. Thanks for the help. The old support adage of turn it off and turn it on again worked. I reset the router as you suggested and disconnected it from everything except the laptop which i took off the net too. i managed to install via http://routerlogin.net which brings up the default netgear genie not the downloaded version that i got when i tried when it was all connected to the net before. everything worked like clockwork then. much appreciated
Awesome! Glad to hear you’ve got things to work!
I”m back. Bought the second R7000 and forgot how I tweet it in the first place. I’m having trouble finding the download link for the firmware ddwrt v24. Could any share with me a link to download? Thank you so much~
you can find the initial DDWRT firmware here, and 2.4 here. For the R7000 you will need the ARM_STD version (see also this description).
p.s. my favorite at this time is AsusWRT (suitable for the R7000), which you can find here.
Questions from a noob.
After installing the initial DDWRT .chk, which bin will give me the latest? There is no R7000 bin on the index.
Is “dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_STD.bin 2017-04-17 16:40 22M” the correct file to upgrade?
If so, why is it called ARM STD?
Nothing wrong with double checking, since it has become a little confusing …
Initially you install the dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk, which you already did (and for other readers: can be found here or here).
This will get your R7000 to run an older DD-WRT version.
Next you will need to upgrade that older version using dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_STD.bin (find it here, it supports NETGEAR R7000 and several other routers). It’s called ARM because your NetGear is having a Broadcom BCM4709A0 dual core CPU – which is ARM based. Since quite a few routers out there are based on the same or a very similar CPU, I guess Kong started calling the STD (standard).
You can find info about the supported models in this “Supported Models” file.
One side note; I really like DD-WRT, but I like the appearance and convenience of AsusxWRT (which, unlike the name suggests, runs perfect on the NetGear R7000). They provide a CHK file, so you can upgrade to xWRT anytime.
Also: after moving to another platform (ie Netgear to DDWRT or xWRT) or to a major new version, resetting the settings is recommended.
I searched all morning for instructions on this. Thanks for the great article!
Thank you very much for taking the time to post a thank you!
It’s much appreciated and nice to hear the article was useful!
Hopefully this is still being supported…
I flashed dd-wrt to my R7000 using your very helpful instructions a few years back, but have decided I want to return to stock Netgear firmware. I downloaded the latest firmware from Netgear and flashed it from the dd-wrt web interface, but when I did the hard reset on the router, it came back with a reset version of dd-wrt. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to connect to the router via a wired connection? If I can’t go back, it’s not the end of the world, but I’m finding dd-wrt’s capabilities a little more than what I need. Any help or guidance you can provide is greatly appreciated!
I probably would have done it this way:
– Factory reset (DDWRT)
– Flash NetGear firmware (although I personally prefer AsusWRT/XWRT for Netgear R7000)
– Reboot – possibly do a factory reset again
– Clear cached of your browser
The latter maybe the reason why you still see DD-WRT stuff.
I am trying to set up the Netgear R7000 with PIA VPN. Just flashed it with ASUSWRT. I can get on the internet now but cannot get back to the router to finish setting it up. Tried 192.168.1.1 and it will not load. Reset router, factory reset, cleared cashe – nothing. Says – “Problem Loading Page”.
first thing I’d try:
step 1: Shutdown the router
step 2: Open your browser and clear cache (or use another browser)
step 3: Start router
step 4: Go to 192.168.1.1 – if that doesn’t work, but you do have network connection, check what the default gateway is as indicated by your computer and use that IP address instead.
I’ve found using a browser set to “private” or “incognito” fixes that too. I have no idea why.
That’s actually a smart trick!
Incognito doesn’t store anything (permanent) on your computer. Once you stop the session, all data will be removed – so there is no caching or storing data which a new session may pick up.
Thanks for the great tip!
Worked for me also. Useful tip Tom
This article is awesome. Thanks for writing it. I am about ready to try this process with the r7000 but i just want to make absolutely clear of the procedure. First, you flash the router with the .chk file and verify that works. Then, you find the newest bin files which is dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_STD.bin . After this is loaded, the process should be complete and you can start to configure dd-wrt. Is all the sound correct? The only thing im kinda worried about it the bin file and if im going to use the right one. Any help would be appreciated.
Yep, .chk first, make sure it works, then update with .bin. You can download both here. Be careful to pick the right one (r7000).
Kong’s version is my favorite DD-WRT version, Tomato seems very good as well, but I’ll admit that I tried that one only for a few minutes.
In the meanwhile I’m using XWRT-Vortex, a ported version of AsusWRT-merlin. It’s much more user friendly and as capable as DD-WRT. You can download it here. Instructions and chk file are included in the zip file (factory reset after flashing recommended).
Thanks Hans. You have me curious about this xwrt-vortex. I looked at that zip file. It seems with this one I just have to flash the chk file and thats it? I also see a trx file in there. Do i use that as well in the install process?
it’s been a while that I flashed that one, as far as I can find; you can use the chk file.
The trx file is used to update xwrt-vorex to a newer version, so that would not be relevant for your first move to xwrt.
More details can be found here;
Please help I cant understand whats going wrong. No mater what file I flash even the initial and a fresh download from the netgear page says This firmware is not compatible with your router error -1
without further info, I can only guess …
Obviously you already made sure it’s the correct firmware for your model router (there are some other models sold that give the impression that it is the “same” R7000 model, where it’s not).
Another reason, which I found here, is that NetGear has created a check to prevent users from flashing older (and in their words: insecure) firmware versions.
This specific post seems to present a possible fix – but I have not tested this, so be careful. The topic is R8000 (not R7000) specific but they clearly state that this can happen to ALL nighthawk models.
I did see some Chinese posts referring to nmrpflash which may be helpful to force the original firmware on your Netgear. (not tested by me)
As a side note;
My NetGear R7000 has been running AsusWRT-Merlin (yes, it’s compatible with the R7000 and is SO much nicer than the NetGear or DDWRT firmware) for the past few years now.
Not sure if you can flash this one on yours – not sure what the reason is why you’re trying to flash old NetGear firmware.
I’ve also tried to upload the Asus merlin that gave me the same issue.
p.s. if you’re looking into AsusWRT, then check out this forum topic where they discuss a similar problem, which may be helpful as well.
I am trying to take it back to v 188.8.131.52 so I can flash the firmware to allow me to use pia Vpn on my router. How would i know if it is a different R7000 model.
I’m not sure if there are any special things to pay attention to; mine says: NetGear Nighthawk, AC1900 Smart Router, model R7000 (label on the router).
But I suspect you’re running into “secure firmware” issues, mentioned by others in the links of my previous post.
Have you managed to resolve this issue? I’m having the exactly same issue as yours and so far haven’t found a straight forward solution.
Hi Peter and Asad,
a few things worth trying;
1) Full reset
Keep the reset button pressed for 30+ seconds, until the LEDs flash a few times (5-7 times). All the setting should revert to factory (not the firmware though). Keep in mind, username and password will be reset as well to username=root and password=admin.
I have seen a variation to this, not sure if it works or helps: keep the reset button pressed while removing power, and keep the reset button for 30+ seconds pressed while powering up the router. I have not tested this though.
2) Use TFTP to “force” the firmware on your router (source)
Download the firmware from netgear.com and copy it to your computer Desktop (use firmware intended for R7000) .
Under Windows; navigate to Control Panel -> Programs and Features, click on Turn Windows features on or off. The I select TFTP Client from the check list. Click OK.
Next, navigate to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center, click on the left pane the Change adapter settings. Then set an static IP Address as follow:
IP address: 192.168.1.2
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1.1
Click OK button.
Connect a computer to ethernet port and turn on the router.
Open a command prompt (DOS box) window. For this just click Start menu -> Run and type “cmd” (without quotes) and hit enter.
In the command prompt write “cd Desktop” (without quotes).
Finally, type “tftp -192.168.1.1 put firmware-file-name” (without quotes) and hit enter.
Wait several minutes (maybe 1 or 2) and router should reboot itself.
Hope these suggestion contribute to fixing this. It’s difficult to troubleshoot, since I do not have this problem on my R7000.
I tried to force the firmware via TFTP but no luck. TFTP is unable to transfer the firmware. I’ve waited for over 10 minutes to see if anything happens … nothing.
Appreciate your support although my experience with R7000 is turning out to be a frustrating one due to this firmware issue.
I’m really sorry to hear about your R7000 experience. I’ve had mine for quite a few years now (when they just came out) and am still very happy with mine.
If TFTP is not working, then there may be something else going on. I did find a really detailed write-up here – even though it says it’s for MacOS, the same steps will work for Windows as well (just the steps to set the network connection on your PC, to a fixed IP address will be slightly different). As I understand, TFTP should always work.
There is a more advanced method to de-brick your R7000 (although technically your R7000 isn’t bricked), which you can read here.
Another thing I’ve seen it that folks mix up the R7000 and other R7000 variants, like the R7000P. The R7000 firmware will not work on the R7000P.
This article may be easier, but I understand the first step may be confusing. I think the author means something like this http://<IP of your router>/debug.htm in step 1, but I cannot test this, since AsusWRT doesn’t seem to have that option.
Either way, I think it’s a shame to not use your R7000 … but I can understand the lack of motivation to try to get it to work.
Hi Peter and others running into this issue.
I just found this post in the DD-WRT forum, basically stating that Netgear intentionally blocks “old” firmware, but also mentioning a method to still flash the “old” firmware (obviously a way to prevent users to tinker with their routers).
I gave up in the end and got a linksys ea6500. Pia Vpn works directly on it
Sorry to hear that Peter – the R7000 is excellent hardware – but good to hear you’re up and running again, even though you had to get a different router.
If I’d be closer by, I wouldn’t mind taking a look at your “old” R7000, but I can see that to be impractical (I’m in Europe right now and shipping would not be cheap).
Just for info :
a special firmware has been crafted to beat that protection.
From the link provided:
If anyone tested this, please confirm.
Thank you Hans!
Your recommendation was a Godsend! This modded version allowed me to successfully install DD-WRT on my R7000. It’s only been a day so far, but everything is working great!
Thanks again and keep up the exceptional work!
Awesome Paul and thank you for posting confirmation here and for the compliment!
Happy New Year!
Based on your confirmation: I’ve added the recommendation to the main article! Thanks again 😊
I’ve just purchased the R7000. Is this guide still going to work?? My end goal is to set up a VPN on the router
yes it would still work with a new R7000, however (see previous comment) flashing the firmware on newer models requires a little bit of attention.
On that note, consider looking at XWRT, a port of AsusWRT that runs on a R7000 and personally I like that interface a lot better. I’ve been running it a few years now.
As for VPN, you’ll need to keep in mind that a router is not the most powerful device, so the throughput will not be super fast (if I recall correctly about 4 MB/s).
It also depends if you use the router as VPN Server (so you can remotely access your home network) or as a VPN client (secure connect to services on the Internet).
I wanted a higher throughput, so I bought a fanless PC from AliExpress with an i7 and installed pfSense on it – works GREAT and MUCH faster. There is a free version for home use, but if you’d like to use it professionally, then there is a commercial version as well. The fanless PC config I picked was: 8G RAM 128G SSD, model Q370G4 5500U NO WiFi at $380.
Any chance we could chat on discord or something. I seem to have hit a wall and not sure what to do next
Discord, or anything like that, is not an option for me.
What problems are you running into?
I was thinking about getting the R7000 or the Orbi AC2200, I really cant decide, any help with my suggestions?
I guess that depends on your application.
Modifying the firmware is usually done to open up very specific features that most common users have no use for.
The R7000 is by now a date, but very capable, router, if one single access point for WiFi is what you’re looking for and you really need a very particular DD-Wrt feature. If you don’t need DD-WRT, then a more modern router may be a better choice, like the Orbi AC2200.
Do you know if after using the modified DD-WRT .chk file for the post 2018 routers, can you then move up and down to any installable versions? Also can you revert back to earlier Netgear firmware than was originally installed? Thanks for helping if you know the answers!
as far as I know: yes you can move up in DD-WRT version – not 100% sure about moving down in version.
With post 2018 models I have not tested going back to Netgear firmware, but I do suspect it will work.
I just did download and unzipped the most recent firmware (at this time v184.108.40.206) and noticed it’s still a “chk” file (as it always has been) – suspecting it would work to go back to netGear firmware.
Maybe the DD-WRT forum can provide better answers – most however seem dated before 2018 (link) or do not specify if it relates to a post 2018 R7000 build (2019 link).
Thanks for your help!
Hi Matt and Hans. Did you try moving up did wrt versions after initially flashing with the modified kong version. There are no recent kong versions so could you confirm you can update to brainslayers? I don’t want to risk bricking mine!
quite a while ago I moved to the Asus-xWRT firmware for my Netgear R7000.
Yes, you’re reading that right, someone took the effort to adapt the Asus WRT firmware for the Netgear R7000.
In my opinion it looks a lot cleaner and I found it to work much easier than DD-WRT.
More details can be found on their Wiki page.
So I haven’t used Kong’s version in a while and have never tested the Brainslayer version – sorry
[…] welke het flashen van oude firmware en niet-NetGear firmware blokkeerd. Zie ook de discussie in de Engelse versie van dit […]