Upgrading a Linksys WRT54g router & monitoring bandwidth

By | September 4, 2009

The adsl router that I’ve been using for years has run into trouble and needed replacing. So what did I replace it with? Well I have a spare adsl router, but unfortunately that only has one network port and doesn’t support wifi. However I also had an old bricked (unable to use) WRT54G spare…..

linksys

After a while I managed to unbrick the WRT54g router and gain access. I installed a free piece of firmware called ‘tomato’. Some newer models of WRT54g’s can use this firmware, but my older model was suitable. So make sure you check before attempting an upgrade. Even though there were ‘official’ firmware upgrades available the third party ‘tomato’ firmware also adds other new features. By upgrading firmware you can often gain new features, without needing to buy new hardware. Increased security being one among many benefits in this instance.

Then I configured the adsl router  and once configured I plugged a network cable from the adsl router to the wrt54g wan port (network port on it’s own, far left).

linksys2

I rebooted the adsl router and then once rebooted, I then rebooted the wrt54g also. Things to note… I had configured the adsl router to give out an ip address to the wrt54g automatically for internet access (via wan port) and the wrt54g in turn gives out via dhcp, ip addresses to wired and wireless devices on a different range. This isn’t to be confused with the wrt54g also having a static ip address (on same range for wired & wireless devices) for it’s dhcp role.

So what was this ‘tomato’ firmware I mentioned?

tomato1

The tomato firmware is one of many free firmwares available for certain models of buffalo and wrt54g routers. The reason why I used this firmware was not only is it quite configurable and feature rich, but included is the ability to monitor bandwidth usage…. realtime, daily, weekly etc. Useful if you have a capped limited or just want to know your usage for the internet or local network connections.

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You can find the Tomato firmware here: http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

So the end result being I’ve replaced the old faulty adsl router and gained new features. Plus used hardware I already had available. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.