Networking optimize

How to install the Tomato firmware on an Asus router

Jack Wallen walks you through the easy steps of flashing an Asus router with Tomato firmware in order to gain powerful new features and functionality on your router.

If you are using the default firmware on your Asus router, more than likely you are getting only a portion of the features that you can have. Imagine if that router was able to serve as a print server? Or imagine the security features were far superior than the out of the box default. You can have these things (and more) by simply flashing a new firmware to your router. One of the best firmwares out there is Tomato, which I recently reviewed.

In this article, I am going to walk you through the steps of flashing your Asus router with the Tomato firmware. This process is not necessarily for the weak at heart and could possibly land you with a paper weight. But if you are willing to take the risks, the benefits of the Tomato firmware will most certainly be worth the trouble.

Step 1: Download the necessary files.

You will need to download both the DD-WRT firmware as well as the Tomato firmware for your specific router. Download these files to a centralized location. NOTE: Be 100% sure you are downloading the correct files for your model of router.

Step 2: Install the Asus Firmware Restoration Utility. You will want to use the tool that was supplied on the CD that came with your router. If you no longer have that CD you can download the tool from the Asus download page. Make sure you download the tool for the correct model of router you have. Step 3: Connect the machine you have installed the Firmware Restoration Utility on directly to the router. Set this computer up to have a static IP address because a dynamic address can cause problems during the flashing. Make sure the IP address is in the same scheme as the router or you will not be able to connect. Do a hard reset of your router to put it back to factory defaults. Once the router has rebooted, fire up the Firmware Restoration Utility (see Figure A) and follow these steps:

  1. Click the browse button.
  2. Navigate to the DD-WRT file you downloaded.
  3. Select the file.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Click Upload.

Figure A

The restore utility is incredibly simple to use and is only necessary to flash DD-WRT to the router.

Once the router has rebooted you have DD-WRT installed. Test it by logging into the router. The credentials should be admin/admin.

Step 4: Untar the file you downloaded for the Tomato firmware. If the file has the extension .trx rename it to .bin. Step 5: Telnet into the DD-WRT router (using the username root and the password admin) and issue the command nvram get http_passwd this command will reveal the password you will need to log into the Tomato firmware. Write this down. Step 6: From the DD-WRT setup page, navigate to the Administration section and then to Firmware Upgrade. Browse to locate the Tomato firmware you downloaded, select it, and upgrade. Once the router finally reboots again, log back into the router (using the username admin and the password you discovered with the nvram command) and the firmware should now be Tomato. Congratulations! You now have a Tomato router. Final thoughts

If you want to gain more power and control of your router, you want this firmware installed. Not only will you gain more power, you will also gain a lot of new features that should come standard on all routers.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

9 comments
joel
joel

What model Asus router?

DannyB88
DannyB88

Can you flash Tomato onto a D-Link Wireless Xtreme N Gigabit Router DIR-655? I took a look around on the site but could not find a list of models tested.

jott0204
jott0204

Does anyone know if you can install Tomato Firmware on a Belkin Wireless F5D7230-4 (Version 8000)? There seems to be conflicting opinions as to whether or not this is possible. Thanks! --James

tor.rogstad
tor.rogstad

Good procedure! Would you recommend to install dd-wrt + tomato on any ASUS router?

ProperName
ProperName

Performed the upgrade to tomato firmware on both the RT-N16 and WL-520gU models.

teng.stteng
teng.stteng

Can you install Tomato on a LinkSys WRT54GL?

smack
smack

For all our tele-workers, we use the WRT54GL + Tomato. We use a modded version called SgtPepper which also has openVPN support built in. For everyone looking for good information on Tomato and the routers it supports, and what the differences are between all the modded versions are look here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Tomato_Firmware