List of wireless router firmware projects

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This is a list of firmware modifications for wireless routers or software distributions for PC-based routers that have been created and are maintained by people and groups other than the manufacturer of the product. Most of these originated because vendors were obligated to make their source code public as part of it was based on software licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The Linksys WRT54G series was the starting point for many of these projects.

Third-party firmware projects[edit]

Many of these will run on various brands of Linux-based devices, such as Linksys, Asus, Netgear, etc. The extent of support for (and testing on) particular hardware varies from project to project.

Major projects[edit]

  • OpenWrt – Customizable FOSS firmware written from scratch. Features a combined SquashFS/JFFS2 file system and the package manager opkg[1] with over 3000 available packages (Linux/GPL).
    • Bluebox – OpenWrt-based automatic open Internet scanning and bridging software that runs on WRT54G.[2]
    • CeroWrt – Experimental Bufferbloat fixes to be integrated into OpenWrt and the mainline Linux Kernel.[3]
    • Commotion WirelessFOSS mesh networking.
    • Coova – OpenWrt based with focus on Wireless Hotspot functionality.
    • DD-WRT – Based on OpenWrt code. Paid and free versions available.[4]
      • AutoAP – AutoAP is an add on to DD-WRT that allows routers to continuously scan for and connect to open (and predefined WEP) wireless networks.
    • FreeWRT – Experimental GNU/Linux firmware based on OpenWrt.
    • Freifunk – OpenWrt-based, German software supports wireless mesh networks with OLSR and B.A.T.M.A.N.
      • – A project which uses Freifunk firmware with Chillispot captive portal and authentication.
    • Gargoyle – Gargoyle is a free OpenWrt-based Linux distribution for a range of Broadcom and Atheros chipset based wireless routers.
    • MvWRT – OpenWrt-based, Portuguese software for the project specifically supporting wireless mesh networks with B.A.T.M.A.N.-ADV
    • OpennetFirmware – Firmware based on OpenWrt and parts of Freifunk.
    • PacketProtector – OpenWrt-based security distribution that includes IDS, IPS, VPN, and web antivirus capabilities.
    • WiFiDog Captive Portal – WiFi Dog by Ile Sans Fil, a Captive Portal software that runs on the OpenWrt platform.
    • Broadband-Hamnet (formally called HSMM_Mesh) – OpenWrt-based Mesh Networking specifically for Amateur Radio
    • Roofnet project for Wireless community networks
      • Meraki – OpenWrt-based Mesh Networking Wifi AP developed through Roofnet project
      • WING – OpenWrt based, mesh networking with AP support originally based on the Roofnet project.
    • ROOterROOter Objectives. Free OpenWrt-based firmware that converts many conventional routers with USB port into a 3G/4G/LTE capable routers. Supports modems at near their full throughput potential, provides detailed real time modem information display and much more.
  • DebWRT – Debian on embedded devices[5] (Combines the Linux kernel from OpenWrt and the package management system from Debian (Linux/GPL).
  • Sveasoft – Paid and free versions available. Latest versions available via subscription.[6]
  • RouterTech.Org – The RouterTech[7] firmware supports a vast number of ADSL Modem/Routers based on the Texas Instruments AR7 chipset, with either the Adam2 or PSP boot loaders. The firmware supports wireless routers using the TNETW1130 and TNETW1350A wifi chips, and also non-wireless routers. Features include support for minix partitions, CIFS and ftpfs mountpoints, selectable DSP and tiatm drivers, the latest Busybox releases, udpxy, dnsproxy, siproxd, mjproxy, ad blocking, scp, miniupnp, netshaper, rshaper, among others.[8] (Linux/GPL).
  • HyperWRT – Early power boost firmware project to stay close to official WRT54G and WRT54GS firmware but add features such as transmit power, port triggers, scripts, telnet, etc. The project is no longer being maintained, the successor being Tomato.
    • TomatoHyperWRT-based firmware. Last released June 28, 2010. Features advanced QoS as well as Ajax and SVG graphs. The Tomato Manual is available at Wikibooks.
      • TomatoUSB – Tomato-based firmware last updated November 30, 2010. Forked by community members into multiple branches, each named for its developer; as of December 2013, the major versions were Toastman, Victek, and Shibby.
        • EasyTomato – Firmware for ASUS RT-N16 routers based on Toastman's Tomato. Designed for nonprofits “with slow internet connections and limited IT knowledge.”[9]
        • AdvancedTomato – Firmware for routers based on Shibby. GUI only based modification of Tomato Shibby mods adapted to newer web browser technologies and coding standards.[10]
    • HyperWRT +tofu – Based on stock WRT54GS firmware, HyperWRT and some additions.
    • Rupan HyperWRT – Based on stock WRT54G firmware and HyperWRT.
    • HyperWRT Thibor – Based on stock WRT54GS firmware, HyperWRT (closed) +tofu and other additions.[11]
  • Wive-NG – free firmware replacement for RaLink and newer Realtek chipset based routers.

Minor projects[edit]

  • m0n0wall - m0n0wall is built on FreeBSD and boots off of a Compact Flash or CD ROM media in under 12 MB. Supports captive portal, 802.1Q VLAN support, IPv6 support, stateful packet filtering, NAT/PAT, DHCP, PPPoE/PPTP on WAN interface, IPsec VPN tunnels with support for hardware crypto cards and mobile clients and certificates, PPTP VPN with RADIUS server support, static routes, DHCP server/relay, SNMP agent, traffic shaper, Wake on LAN and firmware upgrade in browser. Wireless support is built in and can also operate as access point or Version 1.2 will work with 802.11b wireless adapters/chipsets, most notably Lucent Hermes and Intersil Prism II/2.5. Version 1.3 which is based on FreeBSD 6 supports almost all Atheros-based 802.11a/b/g cards and some Ralink cards as well.
  • BatBox – RAM based distribution for experimenting; does not change firmware.
  • Zibel – OpenWRT-based torouter implementation that allows users to run a Tor node.
  • Earthlink's IPv6 Firmware – IPv6 feature added to original Linksys firmware (beta-test version).
  • EzPlanet – Enhanced firmware based on DD-WRT v24 and including Layer 2 Load Balancer.
  • Torouter – Tor and OpenWRT-based system for anonymity.
  • EWRT – Enhanced WRT, with integrated captive portal based on NoCatSplash.
  • Neighbornode
  • Anonymesh – OpenWRT-based local filesharing and discussion.
  • Tarifa – Based on stock WRT54GL firmware.[12]
  • WiFi-Box – No documentation available as of January 2006.[13]
  • ASUS RT-N56U/RT-N65U custom firmware - New Firmware with a lot of new and enhanced features.
  • Freetz - An enhanced free firmware for the AVM Fritz!boxes based on the original Fritz!Box firmware.
  • AsusWRT Merlin - Enhanced version of the standard Asus firmware for the Asus routers


  1. ^ "OpenWrt – Wireless Freedom". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ CeroWrt project page on Bloat
  4. ^ "DD-WRT project site". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  5. ^ "DebWRT project site". Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  6. ^ "Sveasoft". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  7. ^ RouterTech: The independent technical support site for all things networking!
  8. ^ "The RouterTech Firmware". 
  9. ^ "EasyTomato - Easy Bandwidth Management For Everyone". 
  10. ^ "AdvancedTomato - Broadcom Open Source Router Firmware". 
  11. ^ "Hacking Your Linux-Based Wireless Router". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  12. ^ "[ The WRT54GL enhanced] firmware.". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  13. ^ "WIFI-BOX – WRT54G(s) GPL Firmware". Retrieved 2008-02-22.