So I replaced my router / see this blog post / and I decided to see what hacking I could do with my old router and what I could learn. Otherwise I stay away from custom firmware and unofficial mods for devices that I am using for various reasons. By all means if you can justify it and you are willing to take the risks (bugs, overheating fixes and security fixes for example) then help yourself. Just don’t say you were not warned. First thing I had to do was research and decide which custom firmware I should try first. I got the impression that DD-WRT would be the least troublesome and most supported for my router. The documentation and articles make it seem daunting but it turned out to be easy to get started.
First thing I needed was what they call a trailer firmware that is specific to my router brand and model. I decided for the latest beta (at that time) – dd-wrt.v24-33006_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_wrt320n.bin. Notice that this is found in the broadcom_K26 folder as linked below
Documentation says reset router to factory settings and then update the firmware to dd-wrt using the bin file above and through the settings page / 192.168.1.1 / and Administration / Firmware Upgrade. That was it. If you need additional features like OpenVPN then you will need to upgrade to a generic dd-wrt firmware on top of the trailer firmware. In that same folder above you will see options for openvpn, mega and big. The router database below and other links online might help in determining what could work with your brand and model of router. I am content and working with the trailer / mini / firmware for now and it uses less of the limited storage on the router.
Made a couple of notes so far
- Hotspot portal is a useful feature
- SSH and telnet access is useful
- It is a linux based firmware
- You really should test this before using in a live environment
- There is built-in DNS caching which can speed up your connection to websites
- The settings portal has a lot of things that you can change
Some info on the DD-WRT name from wikipedia
The firmware project’s name was taken in part from the Linksys WRT54G model router, a home router popular in 2002–2004. “DD” are the German license-plate letters for vehicles from Dresden, where the BrainSlayer’s (His real name is Sebastian Gottschall and he’s the founder and primary maintainer of the DD-WRT project.) development team lived. “WRT”, also used by the OpenWrt router firmware project, comes from the generic abbreviation for “Wireless RouTer”, which may have been the original Linksys meaning.
One of the first hacks I decided to do was modify the router to serve static html pages. Could be useful for something. Here are the steps I followed.
- Enable JFFS (journalling flash file system) / see Directions for (normal) users: using Web-GUI Interface /
- Enable SSH / see password login method /
- Check that “Enable Info Site” enabled / Administration – Management – WEB Access /
- Download and install WinSCP
- Login to router through WinSCP using the below
Host – 192.168.1.1
Port – 22
Username – root
Password – Same as password for web settings page
File protocol – SCP
- Create htm file in /www/user/ folder as below
You will see a link to the user folder. Go in there and create a test.htm file. Preferably create and edit the file in WinSCP. I tried doing it outside and copying it across and it did not work. Most likely a file format issue. Read that the filename must be lower case and must end in htm. And that is it. You should be able to access it from http://192.168.1.1/user/test.htm. Share your uses and hacks for dd-wrt or other custom router firmware.