Flash your Linksys WRT54G to end the suffering

I made the mistake of buying a Linksys WRT54G a couple months ago. It replaced a previously solid but unfortunately kaput USR8054 router. The Linksys is a piece of crap, just like the one I had before the USR. Why I bought it, I'll never know. Why I didn't return it at the first sign of trouble, I'll never know.

But for the last week we suffered through having to go downstairs to power-cycle the stupid thing every few hours! I looked into these problems and found out that most people are replacing Linksys' firmware with open source alternatives.

I didn't really want to try it, but after reading how bad this router really is, I realized that the warranty is worthless because they can only replace it with another crap router, so I might as well. I used dd-wrt v23 SP2.

I used this tutorial to do it. Thankfully I have W2K running in VMWare on my Ubuntu box so I could run the utilities mentioned in the tutorial.

So far so good, the router has been very solid. I actually bought a high-end D-Link gaming router as insurance just in case I screwed up the flashing procedure or the router was still unstable. Right now, things are going great, cross my fingers, knock on wood, praise Murphy (as Dave Winer would say), but I'll keep this D-Link sitting in shrink-wrap for a week just in case it craters.

I had to RMA the first Linksys router I owned 3 times. They sent me refurbished ones as replacements twice, and both were DOA. They finally sent me a new one and it worked for a while but eventually it became unstable too so I replaced it with the USR. That was a great router, it's too bad it died.

Oh, and when I went to Future Shop yesterday to pick up that D-Link router, they had a stand with open-box Wi-Fi gear. Surprise surprise, it was full of open box Linksys routers! I wish I had seen that stand two months ago...

Written on December 1, 2006