"The primary goals of this project are to fix bugs, add a few basic features and tweaks to the original firmware. This firmware will try to remain as close as possible to the original firmware."
Sounds good to me. I've spent alot of time with Tomato and DD-WRT on my home network, and a change of pace might be nice. Also, you get the piece of mind that you're using mainly the manufacturers' code on this newer hardware.
Note: Some ideas covered in this article may apply to other consumer or enterprise level hardware.
- You have purchased either a RT-AC66U or RT-N66U (Update 7/6/13: RT-AC56U now supported asw well)
- You have backed up, memorized, or otherwise, your old router settings
- You're comfortable with the basics; I'm not going to re-cover the manual
- Perform the initial "Quick Internet Setup" wizard
- After/if it prompts you to update firmware, go ahead and do so.
- Navigate to "Tools->Other Settings" and set "Traffic history location" to "Custom location".
- (Added 2/4/2013) Recommended: Though I
haven't tested(update 6/7, it's fine as of now, so if you need UPnP go ahead) to see if this firmware is impacted by the recent discovery that a substantial number of firmwares expose UPnP to the external interface of the router(!!) I still recommend turning it of if it's feasible. This means you'll have to forward ports manually, but if you're reading this I suspect you know how to do so anyhow. (If not, comment as such and perhaps I'll write an article about it) To disable the UPnP service navigate to "Advanced Settings->WAN->Internet Connection->Basic Config->Enable UPnP" and set it to "No" Update 5/27/2013: How to forward ports:
- Ensure "Enable Port Forwarding" is set to "Yes".
Note 1: If you enable "Tools->Other Settings->Enable advanced (per IP) monitoring" it will disable hardware acceleration. While you most likely won't notice this unless you've got an internet connection approaching 100Mbit, be aware that you may loose some performance for that functionality.
Note 2: Check out "USB Application-> 3G/4G"... very interesting stuff.
Note 3: I'm investigating an issue that results in WiFi being unable to communicate with the LAN ports. It manifests itself in the log as: Jan 11 17:05:23 kernel: eth1: received packet with own address as source address . I'll post updates on this later.
Update 2/2/2013: Merlin posted a new beta build. Discussion, Changelog .
Update 2/23/2013: More new builds & bugs fixed! Release Thread and changelog.
Update 3/16/2013: Another new build! Release Thread, Changelog
Update 3/29/2013: Eric just uploaded a new beta build based on a beta release from Asus. A couple exciting changes here including new wireless driver and tools. Note that you'll need to re-add you WoL clients (if you had any) because Asus added a new WoL tool. Also, note this warning from Eric:
"New wireless driver. This new driver brings quite a few improvements over the older one. Note that if you experience any issue with this new driver, it is strongly recommended to revert back to factory defaults, and re-configuring your router. There are a few low-level changes, and some new default values that you won't pick up until you revert back to factory defaults." Release Thread, Changelog, Download
Update 4/4/2013: It looks like some folks are having issues on the new build with the 5Ghz radio. There is quite a lively discussion going on and Eric has answered quite a few questions.
Update 7/6/2013: A new build has been released that introduces support for the RT-AC56U! Release Thread, Changelog, Download
Update 7/24/2013: Another new build, (184.108.40.206.372.31) this time fixing the AI Cloud security issue and introducing the Yandex DNS filtering service. Be wary though that Yandex is in Russia, so if you use this feature (off by default) it may noticeably slow internet browsing since it redirects all your DNS queries. Release Thread, Changelog, Download.
Update 10/3/2013: Eric has been hard at work on a new build(220.127.116.11.374.33) based on a new source that includes fixes to general performance, parental controls, and more. Note this warning from Merlin:
Due to the SDK change on the RT-N66U, you *MUST* revert back to factory default and manually reconfigure your router if coming from an older firmware! The only exception is if you were previously running either the Pixie Dust release (18.104.22.168.374.32-sdk6), or a previous beta of 22.214.171.124.374.33 (except for the -sdk5 Beta, of course).
Asus also recommends doing the same for the other models, however feel free to try without doing so. It might work fine for most people, but be prepared to do a factory default reset + reconfiguration if you run into any odd issues.
And by "manually reconfigure", I really mean it. Reloading saved settings would totally nullify the action of resetting to factory defaults, since you will just end back to where you started, with all the same (possibly invalid) settings."
Release Thread, Changelog, Download.
Update 12/14/2013: New build! (126.96.36.199.374.35_4) GPL 374.339 (Time machine support for some models), Asus' OpenVPN implementation. (Note this is a total overhaul), Namecheap DDNS, and more. Release Thread(With Changelog), Download.
Update 1/22/2014: New build! (188.8.131.52.374.38) GPL 374.2078, major driver/SDK changes. RT-N16 is not supported by this build. This is SDK6 only. In short, if you have issues with this build, particularily with wi-fi performance, fall back to an earlier build. That said, the feedback in the forum regarding this build has been great thus far. Note: in most situations, Eric does recommend resetting to factory defaults & manually re-configuring. Release Thread With Changelog, Download
Update 2/16/2014: New build, out for a bit. (184.108.40.206.374.39) Dumps SDK5 and adds a new parental control option to use DNS services to block category based URLs as well as bug fixes. Release Thread, Changelog, Download
Update 3/16/2014: New build: 374.40. Not stable for the RT-AC68U but fixes the RT-N16. DNSFilter enhanced along with IPv6 fixes. This build should also address the highly publicized security issues from last month, but I would still recommend highly against enabling FTP, "Cloud AI", or any other outward facing services on principal. Release Thread, Changelog, Download.
Update 6/6/2014: New build: 374.43. Another new release from Eric today, mostly bugfixes. One feature added; the ability to force a DDNS refresh after a configurable number of days. Release Thread, Changelog, Download. Also, SmallNetBuilder forum member "000111" (7?) had the great idea to start a donation thread for Eric. If you appreciate his efforts it's worth considering heading over to this thread and throwing him a few bucks for the effort.
Update 11/7/2014: New build: 376.48_1. Merge with Asus code 220.127.116.11.376_2769, Samba upgraded to 3.6.24, Miniupnpd to 1.9, Dropbear to 2014.66, OpenSSL 1.0.0o, SNMP enhanced, RT-AC68P support. Release Thread, Changelog ,Download. Also, Eric (Merlin) warns of a but that causes wifi issues. Quoting him: "Note: Previous firmwares (both Asuswrt-Merlin and stock Asus) suffered from a bug where some nvram settings might end up being corrupted, which can lead to the loss of the 2.4 or 5 GHz settings on the webui with newer firmwares. To fix the issue, either do a factory default reset, or run the following commands over SSH:
nvram set wl0_band=2
nvram set wl1_band=1
The actual bug was fixed both on my end and by Asus a few releases ago, however the corrupted setting will cause issues starting with newer firmware versions if not corrected."
Update 8/292015: There have been several new builds, the last of which was great, but this update is to address how to perform source based routing with Merlin/Busybox:
In my case I've got two different internet connections and I want to selectively route different machines through different internet gateways. To accomplish routing traffic based on the source, we'll use the ip rule and ip route commands. First, make the rule:
ip rule add from [IP]/[CIDR] table [NAME]
where [IP] is the from addr or range, [CIDR] is the applicable CIDR bitmask, and [NAME] is a unique integer to call the route, i.e.
ip rule add from 10.0.0.1.22/32 table 10
then the custom route:
ip route add default via [Gateway IP] table [NAME] dev [ADAPTER]
where [Gateway IP] is the IP of the desired gateway, [NAME] is the same integer as referenced above, and [ADAPTER] is the NIC to which the rule applies, i.e.
ip route add default via 10.0.0.254 table 10 dev eth0
You can re-use the route for multiple rules if desired. To make these rules persistent you'll need to use user scripts.I use services-start with a 10 second sleep in the beginning. Have fun!