Turn your home or small-office router into an enterprise-level powerhouse

Four steps to increase your router's capabilities

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As you can see, you're not in the world of your old router firmware. For starters, there's a great deal more detail here about your router and network. Look toward the bottom of the screen. You'll see a list of all the wired and wireless PCs on your network, including their IP addresses.

For wireless PCs, you'll also see the signal strength of their wireless connections. There's far more information here as well, such as the number of wireless packets sent and received, and the number of errors.

There are countless things you'll now be able to do with DD-WRT firmware, and this article only has the space to touch the surface. So I'll cover some of the high points, but there's plenty else you can do as well, so take the time to poke around the DD-WRT Wiki, as well as the DD-WRT documentation to see other things you can do.

You're not in Linksys land anymore: DD-WRT's Control Panel offers you far more tools and information than your former firmware.
 
You're not in Linksys land anymore: DD-WRT's Control Panel offers you far more tools and information than your former firmware. (Click image to see larger view)

Juice up your wireless signal

The biggest problem that most people have with their wireless routers is that the signal is too weak in certain places at work or home. This is a particular problem if you live in a house. Your router might be downstairs, and the upstairs rooms may have weak signals. Not uncommonly, you'll find near dead spots in your house as well.

The DD-WRT solves the problem easily; it lets you bump up the power of your wireless signal.

To do it, log into the DD-WRT Control Panel and select Wireless --> Advanced Settings. Scroll down to Xmit Power, as shown on the screen.

In Linksys, the default is 28 milliwatts. You can crank it up well beyond that; the range you can use with DD-WRT is between 0 and 251 mW. But don't crank it up all the way, or even close to all the way. If you do, you could quickly burn out your router, because the higher the milliwatt rating you use, the more heat your radio chip set will generate, and you could quickly brick your router.

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