Routers today are somewhat divided, at least from the viewpoint of efficiency. Most manufactured devices come with software that either does not utilize the router to its fullest extent, or lacks features. Alternate software, open source firmware more specifically, is adept at both. Improving general performance and safety while enabling the router to have other uses as well is quite appealing. This article is about the two top open source router firmware: DD-WRT and Tomato. In this comparison we are going to highlight their strengths and their surprisingly few disadvantages, but in the context of how they can work with a VPN provider.
DD-WRT is the most popular of all router firmware programs. Its main strength is the wealth of additional features it introduces. These include VPN support, IPv6 support, an SPI firewall, WPA/WPA2 security protocols, dynamic DNS and many, many more. Device support is also excellent with DD-WRT. Both this firmware and Tomato are free to download and use, and their popularity resulted in cooperation with router companies. Linksys for example has models that automatically come with DD-WRT firmware. The only downside to it in our opinion is consistency. DD-WRT is always available in a beta state, as there is no need to put out a final product. Some versions are less reliable than others – make sure to inform yourself about the current situation before deciding next to it.
Tomato is a strong second among firmware programs. They can thank this spot to the fact that their software is also free and is renowned for the general improvements they can cause in a router. Originally specialized for Linksys devices, Tomato’s repertoire has expanded since then. The selection is a bit more sparse than DD-WRT though; nevertheless, Tomato is probably still the best choice for its original intention. Features are also great and numerous, though a bit less than DD-WRT. This is nothing to be ashamed of – in our opinion, Tomato is a great choice for beginners, who just want to get a taste of the depths of router setup and optimization.
To sum up, both DD-WRT and Tomato are more than suitable for work with a VPN. The environment that they provide to a user treats them well, and does not cause complications. Always remember to inform yourself about the router-VPN combination you plan to use; the two might not always be compatible. However, as far as firmware goes, these two are the best today, rightfully. Keep in mind that firmware is essentially an operating system for routers, an improved interface for you to take better control over your device. In our opinion, Tomato and DD-WRT are best suitable for newcomers and more adept router users, respectively.