How to: Set Tomato Firmware for Wireless Client Modes. Tomato настройка роутера


How to Login to the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28

This page shows you how to login to the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 router.

Other Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Guides

Find Your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Router IP Address

We need to know the Internal IP Address of your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 router before we can login to it.

Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 IP Addresses
192.168.1.1

If you did not see your router's ip address in the list above. There are 2 additional ways that you can determine your router's IP address:

  1. You can either follow our How To Find Your Routers IP Address guide.
  2. Or you can use our free software called Router IP Address.

Now that you have your router's Internal IP Address we are ready to login to it.

Login to the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Router

The Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 has a web interface for configuration. You can use any web browser you like to login to the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28. In this example we'll use Internet Explorer.

Enter Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Internal IP Address

Put the Internal IP Address of your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 in the Address Bar of your web browser. It looks like this:

Then press the Enter key on your keyboard. You should see a dialog box pop up asking your for your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 username and password.

Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Default Username and Password

You need to know the username and password to login to your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28. All of the default usernames and passwords for the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 are listed below.

Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 UsernamesAsus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Passwords
adminadmin

Enter your username and password in the dialog box that pops up. It looks like this:

Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Home Screen

You should now see the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Home Screen, which looks like this.

If you see this screen, then congratulations, you are now logged in to your Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28. You are now ready to follow one of our other guides.

Solutions To Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Login Problems

If you can not get logged in to your router, here a few possible solutions you can try.

Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Password Doesn't Work

You should try other Asus passwords. We have a large list of Asus Passwords that you can try located here. Perhaps your router's default password is different than what we have listed here.

Forgot Password to Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Router

If your Internet Service Provider supplied you with your router then you might want to try giving them a call and see if they either know what your router's username and password are, or maybe they can reset it for you.

How to Reset the Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Router To Default Settings

If you still can not get logged in then you are probably going to have to reset your router to its default settings. You may want to follow our guide called How To Reset your Router.

Other Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 Guides

Here are some of our other Asus RT-N16-Tomato-v1.28 info that you might be interested in.

Written by Rachel Bauer
Rachel Bauer is an owner and primary author for SetupRouter.com. She is available on Google+ and you can find more of her articles in the Networking section of our site.

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Top 5 Best Tomato Routers

Tomato router… what is it?

Well to start, a tomato router has nothing to do with tomatoes the food but has everything to do with routers, software and technology! Before we dive into the five best routers to run the tomato firmware, we will go ahead and give you a little background knowledge on what Tomato is and how it’s used.

So what is a Tomato router?

Now if you’re already a tomato expert and want to go ahead and see the top 5 best tomato routers you can find the list below, but if you’re looking to learn a bit about the tomato router life, we suggest you stick around.

Now as well all know, our routers have backend software powering them, allowing them to efficiently run and granting users access to connect to the router administration panel itself. But lets be honest, not many people know how to connect to their routers main interface or ever even try to access the software page, as it may not be the easiest to reach. The issue is big telecoms such as AT&T and Verizon will ship you a stock router, tell you to plug it and and let it run. Now software is running on the backend, but telecoms don’t want you messing around with the settings and decide to lodge all this information deep into their informational packets, which we all know almost no one reads.

So what is Tomato? Tomato is an open-source firmware for routers that can be installed on almost any routing device. The firmware can be installed on the device by flashing the router with the software, which can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Essentially wiping the firmware and installing a completely new version of the router interface. Tomato firmware is an easy-to-use, lightweight firmware that runs on the back-end of the router allowing for seamless networking management.

And our favorite part… it makes VPN integration a breeze! Meaning every time someone connects to your network, their device will automatically be secured by a VPN without any separate software or technology running on their device. Making it the perfect privacy tool for anyone wishing to secure multiple devices across the network.

For the sake of the post, we will keep this short, but if you want to know all the amazing benefits of using a Tomato router, check out our everything you need to know about a Tomato router page (coming soon).

If you’re looking for pre-flashed Tomato routers that work right out of the box, we recommend you take a look over at Flashrouters, they offer the #1 pre-flashed routers. All routers are 100% functional and working when they come out of the box, meaning your device should be plug and play!

Top 5 Tomato Routers

Now that we have a brief introduction on the greatness of the Tomato software, we will go ahead and list the 5 best routers to run the Tomato software on. All links will be directed to Flashrouters, the number one trusted provider in VPN routing and the only company we personally buy our home and business routers from.

1. Asus RT-N66U

The Asus RT-N66U tomato router, our personal favorite and daily router! We personally own the Asus N66U from Flashrouters and have been actively using it as our main access point for well over a year now.

The rock solid device is a powerhouse and can handle hours of intensive bandwidth sessions with zero hiccups, even when paired with a reliable VPN service. Technical specs on the Asus RT-N66U include a blazing fast 600 Mhz processor, 4 times the amount of Flash Memory/RAM than high-end industry standards, dual-band wireless speeds up to 900 mbps (450 Mbps + 450 Mbps) accompanied by two USB ports on the back.

From personal experience we have had well-over 15+ devices active and running on the network while the device handled it flawlessly, effectively managing bandwidth, and it’s dual-band technology allows for any device to connect and run. When we received our router it was out-of-the-box plug and play, we then went ahead and added our VPN to the router and were set.

If you don’t understand all the technical mumbo jumbo, to put it simple, this device is a powerhouse and a one time investment that you won’t regret! This device is a must have for any bandwidth hog looking for a fast and reliable Tomato router.

2. Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk

The Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk… what more can we say? The design speaks for itself!

Netgear’s R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk router is a networking centerpiece and the future of Wifi! The R700 comes packed with a blazing fast dual core 1 GHz (1000 MHz) processor, one of fastest dual core routers offered with Tomato support. All this is accompanied by 256MB of RAM, 128 MB of active flash memory with a USB 3.0 and another USB 2.0 port, with high-powered antennas. The R700 comes packed with some of the fastest home routing speeds available, capping at 1900 Mbps Wireless-AC (450 2.4 Mbps & 1450 5.0 Mbps).

The R700 is an absolute monster!

Not only does this Cadillac of routers contain all the great hardware aspects, it has a high-end version of Tomato installed, making the device even more powerful on the software side. With the high-end Tomato build you can separate VPN connections, force certain sites to go through a VPN, have the VPN deactivate on certain sites among a variety of other great features standard Tomato doesn’t get. And you’ll only get this on the Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk due to its hardware specs.

The nighthawk is a must-have for network enthusiast’s or individuals with amass of new-age devices they wish to connect to the network (Xbox One, Smart TV’s or even old technology). The Nighthawk is the definition of a powerhouse and not for the feint of heart.

3. Asus RT-AC66U AC1750

The Asus RT-AC66U AC1750 is just a step up from it’s predecessor we listed above, the RT-N66U. Accompanied by all the great features as the N66U the AC66U contains extremely powerful technology along with the ability to easily tweak and schedule maintenance on the router. The router is so powerful its processing power caps at 1750 Mbps total (450 2.4 GHz & 1300 5 Ghz) utilizing three powerful antennas to push all the data through.

If you’re looking for a bit more power than the N66U, the AC66U has definitely got you covered!

4. Asus RT-N16

If you’re looking for a router with decent power at a fraction of the cost, the Asus RT-N16 is for you. The N16 is a powerful single band router with a speed cap at 300Mbps accompanied by its 480 MHz processor.

While the RT-N16 may not provide you with nearly as much power as its competitors listed above, the N16 is optimal for a home without a sizable amount of active devices. While yes this router can handle power, it may not have the necessary power to fulfill several active devices while trying to serve bandwidth equally across the line. However, at its fair price point the router can still handle long hours of streaming and HD content.

The RT16 is a powerful little device that can serve a multitude of devices at one time for a fraction of the cost!

5. Cisco Linksys E2500

While it may not be the most appealing router, the Cisco Linksys E2500 is the economy powerhouse when looking for routers at around the $100 range.

While to E2500 doesn’t contain all the bells and whistles as the monsters above, it is a great economy router for streaming in HD and handling a couple devices at one time. As the router is a bit smaller its speeds cap at around (300 2.4 GHz & 300 5 Ghz).

The E2500 may not be the most appealing, but for its price and speed it puts this router as the #1 economy VPN router. Again, this little thing will be far more powerful than any current stock router from big telecoms, remember that!

Due to its small and compact size, the device is great for a couple device home not looking for too much.

Conclusion

No matter what type of router you’re looking for, the Tomato firmware has always got you covered. While it’s completely free and open-source, the firmware is easy-to-use and has tons of little hacks and tricks due to its open-source nature. Even if you’re not a techie, the Tomato firmware is far more secure than a majority of stock firmware on the market today.

We highly recommend grabbing a pre-flashed Tomato router as that will be your safest option, as sometimes complications occur during the flashing process that could leave the entire router dead. But you don’t have to worry about that with Flashrouters as they are pre-flashed and ensured to work before they are shipped out the door.

Whether you’re looking for a powerhouse or just a nice home router, you can’t go wrong with Tomato. The firmware is extremely easy to use and totally flexible, even for the non-technical savvy!

[Photo via Flashrouters]

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Guide to Install Tomato firmware on Asus Routers: RT-AC68P / RT-AC68U / RT-AC66U / RT-AC56U / RT-N66U / RT-N53 / RT-N18U / RT-N16 / RT-N15U / RT-N12 HP B1 C1 D1 / RT-N10P / RT-N10U router (韌體教學)

Disclaimer: If you brick (i.e. ruin) your router by following this page, I will not be held responsible.  Although much effort has been made to ensure the correctness of the information presented here, it is possible there are still incorrect or outdated information.  I have personally tried flashing RT-N16 and RT-N12 B1 only.  (If you happen to make the router unbootable, retry the Asus recovery procedure with Asus stock firmware.)

Last update: 2015-10-10

Why install Tomato firmware?

  • You need a feature that is supported by one of the variants of Tomato but not the stock Asus firmware
  • You’re doing P2P and the router crashes / reboots
  • You’re having an issue that you suspect it to be a bug in the stock Asus firmware
  • You don’t like or don’t trust stock Asus firmware

What are the downsides of Tomato firmware?

  • In some cases, the WiFi behavior of the Asus firmware may be different from the Tomato firmware, because they usually use different versions of the Broadcom drivers.  In general, Asus stock firmware may offer slightly higher WiFi performance than Tomato, because Asus usually uses newer Broadcom drivers, while Tomato usually sticks with an older but proven release that is more compatible with other client devices.  As of June 2013, there are test builds of Tomato with newer and faster WiFi driver.
  • Tomato firmware disables Broadcom Cut-Through Forwarding (CTF) by default because it is incompatible with some Tomato features.  At least for some Asus models, on Asus firmware with QoS and certain features disabled, the router activates CTF (known as NAT Acceleration) and yields a throughput that is greater than on Tomato with QoS and CTF disabled.  Recent Tomato by Shibby firmwares show an option for enabling CTF, but there are reports that enabling it may not actually yield a difference for some models or firmwares.  Tomato by Shibby also does not support FastNAT because it is incompatible with QoS, Bandwidth limiter, IP Traffic, Bandwidth Monitor and Web usage functions.  According to Shibby, the performance impact of absence of CTF in Tomato WAN->LAN throughput is as follows:
  • RT-N16 without bcm_nat ~100-120MbpsRT-N16 with bcm_nat ~ 170MbpsRT-N66U/AC66u without bcm_nat ~240MbpsRT-N66U/AC66u with bcm_nat ~320MbpsRT-N18u/AC56u/AC68u without CTF ~330MbpsRT-N18u/AC56u/AC68u with CTF ~600MbpsR7000 without CTF ~410MbpsR7000 with CTF ~950Mbps

(In general, people with >300Mbps broadband may consider trying out Merlin firmware first.)

Why Asus router?

  • You want to run Tomato firmware, and a few Asus models are supported
  • Usually cheaper than Cisco / Linksys for the same level of hardware
  • You don’t like internal antennas as found in recent Cisco / Linksys models

Which Asus router to purchase?

[Older versions of this article included a section on my recommendations of Asus router.  It is now deleted and I have already changed to Netgear R7000 running XWRT Merlin firmware.  R7000 has the advantage of having 1GHz Broadcom dual-core ARM CPU, better than the 800MHz CPU in RT-AC68U, while the RT-AC68P (aka RT-AC68U V2) is not generally available worldwide yet, and reportedly Netgear runs cooler than Asus.  In addition to R7000’s own stock firmware, it can run Tomato Shibby firmware and even Merlin firmware, but since this is an article written for Asus routers, R7000 is not further discussed here.  Although I’m convinced R7000 is a really good router, It should be noted that this is definitely not a general recommendation for Netgear routers.  Various Netgear models have specific quirks.]

This is really important: only buy a router with 8MB flash or more.  Avoid all 4MB flash routers.

After flashing an Asus router to Tomato firmware, can I go back to Asus stock firmware?

Yes, simply use the Asus Firmware Restoration Utility from CD or web, together with the correct Asus firmware from web.

Differentiating among various models of Asus RT-N router series:

It is critical to find out the correct model of your router, its hardware revision, and the flash size before you proceed to install any third-party firmware such as Tomato to your router.  Unless otherwise stated, all Tomato-supported models in this list should use the RT-N driver instead of RT driver when choosing a correct Tomato firmware.

In addition to the following list I maintain, please also read the official supported router list of Tomato by Shibby

  • RT-AC5300: ARM dual core BC47094 @ 1.4GHz , 128MB Flash, 256MB RAM, 4×4 tri-band AC5300 (AC2166 + AC2166 + 1000).  Not supported by Tomato.
  • RT-AC3200: Essentially a dual 5GHz radio version of AC68P, 3×3 tri-band AC3200 (AC1300 + AC1300 + N600).  Not supported by Tomato (this requires integration of a newer major version of Broadcom SDK than Tomato uses, so this is a large effort that is unlikely to take place soon).  Can use Merlin firmware.  [Note: Netgear R8000 has the same level of hardware]
  • RT-AC3100:
  • RT-AC1200HP: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-AC1200:
  • RT-AC88U: ARM dual core BC47094 @ 1.4GHz , 128MB Flash (?), 512MB RAM, 4×4 AC3100 (AC2166 + 1000).  Not supported by Tomato.
  • RT-AC87U: ARM dual core BCM4709 @ 1GHz, plus Quantenna QSR1000 solution for 4×4 AC2400 (AC1733 + N600).  Since this not a complete Broadcom solution it will not run Tomato.  Can use Merlin firmware.
  • RT-AC68P: Also known as RT-AC68U V2, since it is a bug fix version of AC68U, with the CPU changed to ARM dual core BCM4709 @ 1GHz.  Use Shibby V129 or later.  Can also use Merlin firmware.  [Note: Netgear R7000 has the same level of hardware]
  • RT-AC68U: ARM dual core BCM4708A @ 800MHz, 128MB Flash, 256MB RAM, 3×3 AC1900 (AC1300 + N600).  It has a USB 3.0 performance issue that is fixed in AC68P hardware.  Use Shibby V118 or later.  Can also use Merlin firmware.
  • RT-AC68W: Same hardware as RT-AC68U but in white color
  • RT-AC66U: MIPS single core [email protected] 600MHz, 128MB Flash, 256MB RAM, 3×3 AC1750 (AC1300 + N450).  5GHz is only supported from Shibby Builds starting from 111.  Can also use Merlin firmware.
  • RT-AC66W: Same hardware as RT-AC66U but in white color
  • RT-AC66R: Same hardware as RT-AC66U but sold by BestBuy
  • RT-AC56U: ARM dual core BCM4708A @ 800MHz, 128MB Flash, 256MB RAM, 2×2 AC1200 (AC866 + N300), internal antennas.  Use Shibby V118 or later.  This is discontinued and replaced by AC56S.  Can also use Merlin firmware.  Note that many people have 2.4GHz issues with this router.
  • RT-AC56S: Single-core and 128MB RAM version of AC56U.  Note that many people have 2.4GHz issues with this router.  (Tomato support is to be confirmed.)
  • RT-AC55UHP: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-AC55U:This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-AC54U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-AC52U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-AC51U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-N66U: [email protected] 600MHz, 32MB Flash, 256MB RAM, dual band 5/2.4GHz support.  Only supported by Toastman Builds starting from 2012-2-(end) and Shibby Builds starting from 085V.  Can also use Merlin firmware.
  • RT-N66W: Same hardware as RT-N66U but in white color
  • RT-N66R: Same hardware as RT-N66U but sold by BestBuy
  • EA-N66: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-N65U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  Can use Padavan firmware.
  • RT-N56U B1: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.
  • RT-N56U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  Can use Padavan firmware.
  • RT-N53: BCM5358U @ 300MHz, 8MB Flash, 32MB RAM, dual band 5/2.4GHz support.  Supported by Shibby build starting from 104 with 5GHz support.
  • RT-N53 H/W version A1: Supported by Shibby build starting from V114
  • RT-N18U: Basically a 2.4GHz N only version of AC68U, i.e. dual core ARM CPU @ 800MHz.  Supported by Shibby build starting from V122 (includes a bug fix for V121).
  • RT-N16: BCM4718 @ 480MHz, 32MB Flash, 128MB RAM, 2 USB 2.0.  Officially it is recommended to use RT driver versions of Tomato, although I use RT-N driver and it works for me.  It seems that many Tomato developers have this router, so this is a nice router for Tomato if your broadband is less than 150Mbps and you don’t need 5GHz WiFi.  I use one too.
  • RT-N15U: BCM5357 @ 500MHz, 8MB Flash, 64MB RAM, 1 USB 2.0.  Supported by Shibby build starting from 093.
  • RT-N15: This model is totally different from RT-N15U.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N14UHP: Seems to use Broadcom BCM5358, triple 9dB antenna.  It is far too expensive for a router without 1000Mbps Gigaibit Ethernet.  There is a forum report indicating success of flashing Tomato as if it is a N53 router, i.e. use RT-N
  • RT-N14U: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  Can use Padavan firmware.
  • RT-N13: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-N12+:
  • RT-N12 LX: This model is totally different from RT-N12 (without LX).  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N12E B1:
  • RT-N12E: This model is totally different from RT-N12 (without E).  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N12 H/W version 1: BCM4716 @ 300MHz, 4MB Flash (too small for recent firmware), 32MB RAM.  Recommended to use RT driver versions of Tomato, although RT-N driver should also work.  Beware there are reports of instability with this router.
  • RT-N12 H/W version B1: [email protected] 300MHz, 8MB Flash, 32MB RAM.  Only supported by Toastman Builds starting from 2012-2-6 and Shibby Builds starting from 083V.  Use RT-N.  (Note: There are many web pages listing this model having 4MB flash only, but the unit I tried really has 8MB flash, and many experts in relevant forums agree this model has 8MB flash too.)  (Newer shipments may have changed the chipset to BCM53572.)
  • RT-N12 H/W version C1: Same as RT-N12 B1 but with a “Black Diamond” appearance
  • RT-N12 H/W version D1: (To be confirmed) BCM53572.  This is functionally the same as C1 but equipped with a built-in signal amplifier.  Use RT-N
  • RT-N12HP B1:
  • RT-N12HP: This is functionally the same as D1 but equipped with two 9dbi antenna.  A review reported that its WiFi signal is good enough even after passing through two concrete walls.  There are multiple reports that Tomato works.
  • RT-N12 VP: I suspect this to be a cost-down version of RT-N12 D1, losing the signal amplifier and the antennas may become non-detachable.  There is a report of success using Tomato RT-N5x firmware.
  • RT-N11P: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  Can use Padavan firmware.
  • RT-N11: This model does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware
  • RT-N10P: RT-N53572 @ 300MHz, 8MB Flash.  With a 5dbi antenna, it seems to be a nice 150Mbps WiFi budget variant of the excellent RT-N12 series.  Supported by Shibby build starting from V114.
  • RT-N10P V2: Unknown (To be confirmed)
  • RT-N10+: This model is totally different from RT-N10U.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N10+ B1 , C1: This model is totally different from RT-N10U.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N10+ D1: (To be confirmed)  BCM5356 @ 300MHz, 4MB Flash (too small for recent firmware), 16MB RAM.  There is a forum reporting stating success with flashing tomato, but with the following limitations: 1. Power LED does not behave correctly; 2. WAN/LAN ports are shifted, such that LAN Port 4 needs be used for WAN, and the original WAN port becomes LAN Port 1; 3. GUI nvram clear must not be used otherwise it goes back into firmware restoration mode
  • RT-N10 LX: This model is totally different from RT-N10U.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N10E: This model is totally different from RT-N10U.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N10E B1: (To be confirmed) I suspect this is very similar to RT-N10+ D1.  I have NOT found any report of success of running Tomato on this.
  • RT-N10 H/W version 1: BCM5356 @ 300MHz, 4MB Flash (too small for recent firmware), 16MB RAM.  Some versions of tomato support this model (Build 52 or earlier).  Some do not and WILL BRICK your router.  Exercise extreme caution.
  • RT-N10 H/W version B1 / C1 / D1: This model is totally different from H/W version 1.  It does not use Broadcom chipset and therefore cannot run Tomato firmware.  You’re screwed.
  • RT-N10U: BCM5357 (or BCM5356U?) @ 300MHz, 8MB Flash, 32MB RAM, 1 USB 2.0.  It is functionally a 150Mbps N-Lite (instead of 300Mbps N) version of RT-N12 B1 with a USB port added.  Only supported by Toastman Builds starting from 2012-2-6 and Shibby Builds starting from 079V (with a USB LED fix in 093)
  • RT-N10U B: Same as the original RT-N10U, but with a “Black Diamond” appearance

Choosing the right version of Tomato

There are several forks of Tomato by different developers, and some of which are no longer maintained.  For corporate environment, Toastman Builds are usually more suitable because it has DHCP disabled by default, such that a router that has lost its settings and rebooted will not run DHCP server accidentally.  For home users, many people prefer Shibby Builds – some variants come with Transmission BitTorrent client.

Shibby Builds:

Shibby Builds are available from http://tomato.groov.pl

How to choose:

  • For Shibby Builds, look into the K26ARM folder if your router uses an ARM CPU (i.e. RT-AC68P, RT-AC68U, RT-AC56U, RT-N18U).  Otherwise, if you have an RT-AC router (with MIPS CPU) instead of a RT-N router, look into the K26RT-AC folder.  For RT-N routers, look into the K26RT-N folder.  Special cases: For RT-N66U, you have a choice between using the K26RT-AC version or the K26RT-N version.  For RT-N16 or RT-N12 H/W version 1, you have a choice of RT-N driver or the old RT driver.
  • Find the latest release by version number with the appropriate language suffix (-EN or none for English).  To avoid the OpenSSL heartbleed bug, use only V117 or later.
  • Choose a “K26USB” or “K26” (without USB) firmware depending on whether the router hardware has USB ports or not
  • For specific models such as RT-AC66U, RT-N66U or RT-N53, there may be special builds for them, different from other models.  For RT-N53 the file is named in the format of tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-XXX-RT-N53.trx
  • If both MIPSR2 and MIPSR1 firmware are listed, use only MIPSR2 firmware for the Asus RT-N models described on this page
  • If your router has more than 8MB Flash, you may use the AIO (All-in-one) firmware with all features
  • If your router has a USB port and you need to run a BitTorrent client on the router, choose BT-VPN, otherwise I suggest Big-VPN.  (See the builds.png below)
  • Verify that its file size is less than the flash size of your router.  Be very careful if you have a 4MB Flash router – you may need to use Mini variants in order to fit the 4MB Flash requirement.  However, recent releases may not have any variant that will fit into 4MB.
  • Stay away from NVRAM60K versions or those with other model names (Ex000, F7Dxxxx, etc.)
  • There may special test builds with a newer and faster WiFi driver.

Here’s the builds.png that illustrates the different configurations of Tomato by Shibby.  This is not necessarily the latest version, if necessary please search each folder for the latest version.

Toastman Builds:

Toastman Builds are available from http://www.4shared.com/dir/v1BuINP3/Toastman_Builds.html  (Start from early 2012 It seems to require creating a free account for downloading.)

For latest build types, find “Toastman Releases” from linksysinfo.org

  • Mini – no USB, no CIFS, no Zebra
  • MiniIPV6 – no USB, no CIFS, no Zebra + IPv6
  • Std – normal build
  • Ext – normal + Extra utilities + NTFS
  • VPN – normal + Extras + NTFS + VPN
  • VPN-NOCAT – normal + Extras + NTFS + VPN + NOCAT portal

How to choose:

  • For Toastman Builds, go to the RT or RT-N folder according to your Asus model requirement discussed above.
  • Read the changelog and see which version you want to try out, or just go to the latest version.  To avoid the OpenSSL heartbleed bug, use firmware 2014-4-22 or newer.
  • If your router has USB port(s), find those firmwares with “USB” in the filename, otherwise find those firmwares without “USB” in the filename.
  • Unless you have to use the VLAN feature, do not choose a VLAN firmware.
  • Unless you have to use the Captive Portal feature, do not choose a NOCAT firmware.
  • Get a firmware with VPN in the filename, and verify that its file size is less than the flash size of your router.  Be very careful if you have a 4MB Flash router – you may need to use Std or Mini variants (instead of VPN) in order to fit the 4MB Flash requirement.
  • Stay away from NVRAM60K versions or those with other model names (Ex000, F7Dxxxx, etc.)

Installation Procedure (adapted from patricksheedy.net)

Note: some people say you need to install DD-WRT first.  I do NOT recommend anyone to install DD-WRT first before installing Tomato on Asus routers.

If you use a modem with router function provided by the ISP, make sure you have admin password for it AND the modem provides an option to be configured as “Bridge mode“.  Otherwise I’d recommend NOT installing Tomato in your case.

  1. Download a suitable tomato firmware as described above
  2. Install the Asus router utility from the CD that came with the router.  Run \Utility\setup.exe from the CD to install it.  If you no longer have the CD you can also download it from the Asus website.
  3. Disable Firewall on your computer.
  4. Disable anti-virus on your computer.
  5. Connect your computer to one of the LAN ports of the router with an ethernet cable.
  6. Assign a static IP of 192.168.1.10 and subnet mask 255.255.255.0 to your computer LAN port.
  7. Disconnect the router WAN port if you already have a cable plugged into that port.
  8. From Windows Start menu, run ASUS Utility -> RT-N Wireless Router -> Firmware Restoration.  (If you experience problems uploading, try running it as Administrator.)
  9. Click the Browse button and select the file that you downloaded in step #1. Don’t click the upload button yet.
  10. Put the router in recovery mode: Unplug the power cord of the router. Hold down the black Restore button using a pen (not the red button). Plug the power cord back in. Once the power light starts flashing slowing, release the Restore button. The power light should continue to flash. The flashing light means the router is ready to accept the new firmware in recovery mode.
  11. Click the upload button in the Restoration utility. If it warns about incorrect Asus firmware, ignore it. The firmware should now start uploading into the router. Don’t touch anything while the firmware is being uploaded. (Note: these steps worked when I flashed my RT-N16.  However, the utility could not find my RT-N12 B1 when I tried to flash the router, although it did work for other people.  After failing for more than a dozen times, I tried to perform the upload first before putting the router in recovery mode, then it finally worked.  Later I tried a different unit of RT-N12 B1 strangely it could be flashed the first time using the normal procedure.  If neither of these procedures work, please see the Addendum in The Wiert Corner, and the tftp method described by Simeon W in the comments section.)
  12. No matter whether the utility says the upload is completed, or it hangs at a certain percent, DO NOT PANIC, and WAIT FOR FIVE MINUTES before you do anything else.
  13. After five minutes, open a browser and go to http://192.168.1.1. Login with user “admin” (or “root”) and password “admin”. You should be logged into Tomato.  [Note: if you cannot access the router configuration page here, try pressing the WPS button (could be a different button for some models) for 30 seconds while powering on the router – See Demian’s comment below.]
  14. Administration -> Configuration -> Restore Default Configuration -> Erase all data in NVRAM memory(thorough) -> OK (Note: there is a forum report saying this reset function does not work properly on RT-N53 – in this case, try the hardware reset button.)
  15. After it is completed, login again, enable DHCP (for Toastman Builds), change admin password, enable WiFi security if you use WiFi, plug in your WAN connection and configure it.  Also take a look at the CPU frequency, you may need to manually change it if it is not correct.  (Note: overclocking your router is usually not a good idea from my experience.)
  16. Change your computer LAN port back to use DHCP (dynamic address) and dynamic DNS.
  17. If there is anything abnormal, some models require an additional reset by WPS button: Unplug the power of the router. Hold the WPS button on the back of the router.  Plug the router back in. Hold the button for about 30 seconds and release it.  You will need to reconfigure everything again – you must not backup the settings and restore settings – this defeats the purpose of the reset.

Troubleshooting

  • If you happen to make the router unbootable, retry the Asus recovery procedure with Asus stock firmware.  (This occurred to me once when I tried to upgrade a RT-N12 B1 from a 2012 Toastman Build to a 2014 Tomato by Shibby.  After some struggle with the timing precision required by the Asus Firmware Restoration utility, I recovered it successfully using Shibby V117 tomato-K26-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-117-Max.trx )
  • If you upgraded from DD-WRT to tomato but cannot login, it’s because you did not get the password before the upgrade, so you need to reset it – google for it
  • If something does not work as expected, try “Erase all data in NVRAM memory(thorough)”, and/or use the reset button.  You may also try the WPS button in addition to the reset button.  If you run Toastman build, remember that after this you’ll have to use static IP instead of DHCP to connect to the router before you can re-enable DHCP again.
  • If you experience WiFi issues, try a different WiFi channel, turn off Interference Mitigation and APSD Mode, use 20MHz instead of 40MHz channel bandwidth.  Turn off power saving at the WiFi client side (or set it to CAM if there is no off setting).  Auto channel in some configurations may yield channel 12 or channel 13, and many client devices do not support these channels without changes to an advanced setting (could be a driver property in case of Windows client).  If you’re using a test build with a newer WiFi driver, try falling back to the normal build, and vice versa.  If you’re using RT-N16 or the original RT-N12 H/W Version 1, you have an additional choice between RT driver or RT-N driver – try each of them to see which one works better.  If you’re using RT-N66U, you have an additional choice between the RT-N version and the RT-AC version.
  • If 5GHz does not work, check that you are using the correct build (especially for RT-N53 firmware, which may be different from others).  Set Country to EU.  Also try clearing the NVRAM data, and clearing it using the hardware reset button.
  • If AC mode does not work, set mode to Auto and Channel bandwidth to 80MHz.  Make sure you are on the latest Tomato compiled for RT-AC.
  • With very new router models that are not completely supported, sometimes the Ethernet port order may be reversed.  Look for a newer firmware, or try “Invert Ports Order” option.
  • If your router reboots while doing BitTorrent, etc., reduce the number of connections in the router and/or BitTorrent client.
  • If you use Shibby BT-VPN and found the built-in Transmission BitTorrent client to be unstable even after reducing the number of connections, you may try Big-VPN or BTgui instead, then install Transmission as optware.  This should be more stable.  Google for it.
  • If you have a 150Mbps+ broadband internet but found that Tomato is not delivering a reasonable WAN-to-LAN performance, try to make use of the bcm_nat module for Fast NAT.  Google for it.
  • Royee (see the comments section) found that the Windows driver for the network adapter needs to be updated in order to connect to the Tomato router.

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Installing Tomato USB on Asus Routers (RT-N16 etc) in Windows »

Why Tomato USB? For USB support. What is Tomato USB? It’s a USB enabled version of Tomato. It’s similar to DD-WRT. a third-party firmware for your router to give you advanced features not normally found in a consumer router (VPN, captive portal, etc). Why from Windows? There is already a good write-up on doing it from Linux. The ASUS RT-N16 is a pretty good little router, but for $75 USD you’d hope it would be. According to Wikipedia the RT-N16 sports a Broadcom BCM4718 SoC running at up to 533MHz with 128MB of RAM and 32MB of flash memory.

WARNING: Following these instructions may result in turning a perfectly good router into a useless brick. If you chose to continue, you do so at your own risk.

Start by downloading a copy of Tomato USB. Since the RT-N16 has a (relatively) big 32MB of flash you might as well go for the gusto and get the “VPN” version which is the “Ext” version with VPN support added. the “Ext” means “Extras”, so either Ext or VPN will give you plenty of bells and whistles.

Download Tomato USB here, I chose the “VPN” version under the heading “Kernel 2.6 (experimental) for MIPSR2 Routers”

http://tomatousb.org/download

Specifically I downloaded tomato-K26USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-vpn3.6.rar, but you’ll probably want whatever is most recent. You’ll also need a program to unRAR the archive, 7-zip is a fine choice.

Once unpacked you should have a file with the extension “.trx”, in my case my file is named “tomato-K26USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-vpn3.6.trx”

Once you’ve downloaded the file, plug your computer into the LAN1 port on the RT-N16.

Change your Windows settings to (or add) an IP in the 192.168.1.0/24 subnet.

In Windows XP, click “Start“, then go to “Settings” and chose “Control Panel”

Find the network icon, if you can’t see it you may have to switch into “Classic view” from the options in the left-hand side margin. Windows Vista, and 7 have the ability to set settings similarly, but the menus are buried in other locations.

Find your Local Area Connection, right click and choose Properties. Then scroll down to “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” and click “Properties”

Now put the RT-N16 into recovery mode, to do this press and hold the “Restore” button on the back of the router while you plug the router into a power outlet.

The “Power” light should be flashing if you did it right, if not try again.

Open a command prompt, click the Windows “Start” button again and go to “Run” (or hit the windows key on your keyboard and ‘R’ at the same time). At the “Open” prompt type “cmd.exe” and click “OK“.

Test to see if you can ping the router in recovery mode, you should see “Reply from…” not “Request timed out“.

C:\Users\chris\>ping 192.168.1.1

Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=64Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1:    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:    Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 11ms, Average = 3ms

Move to the location where you extracted the “.trx” file from the RAR archive. If this is your Desktop then “cd Desktop” might do it.

C:\Users\chris\>cd DesktopC:\Users\chris\Desktop\>

Flash the router with the new firmware using the tftp client built into Windows.

C:\Users\chris\Desktop\>tftp -i 192.168.1.1 PUT tomato-K26USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-vpn3.6.trxTransfer successful: 6602752 bytes in 14 seconds, 471625 bytes/s

It’s very important that you include the “-i” after “tftp”, this switches the transfer into binary mode, it will mung your transfer otherwise and potentially brick your router.

Wait a minute after the transfer has completed to let the router apply the firmware. If everything worked right, the router should no longer be responding to ping requests

C:\Users\chris\>ping 192.168.1.1

Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.Request timed out.Request timed out.Request timed out.

After waiting, reboot the router by unplugging it from power and then plugging it back in again. After a moment you should be able to connect to the router using a web browser at http://192.168.1.1. The default username and password are “admin” (for both username and password).

EDIT: Some builds of DD-WRT have USB support (enabled under “Services”). Ultimately I ended up running dd-wrt.v24-18777_NEWD-2_K2.6_mega.bin, which was easy to flash to as an “Upgrade” within TomatoUSB’s web GUI.

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How To Setup a Wireless Repeater, WDS Bridge in Tomato

What is a WDS Bridge?

Wireless Distribution System (WDS) works by pairing two or more wireless routers. Each router retains the MAC address of other router. When you establish a WDS link between two routers, they associate with each other using the same wireless SSID and channel. One benefit of WDS is that your wireless clients can roam around and connect to whichever Access Point has the strongest signal. Another benefit of WDS is that it creates a true transparent bridge network, compatible with all protocols.

A WDS bridge works much differently than a wireless client bridge, wherein the client router connects to the host router using the wireless SSID. WDS works by placing the MAC address of each peer, on the other peer.

Wireless Distribution System (WDS)

Is this a Wireless Repeater?

Technically speaking, there are two types of WDS modes, ‘Wireless Bridge‘ and ‘Wireless Repeater‘. A WDS bridge is designed to communicate only with other Access Points and does not allow for other wireless clients to access them. In this case, there is only one wireless link (the link between the two access points). In this case, client computers connect to the routers with an Ethernet cable. In order to repeat the signal to wireless clients, you’ll want a router with dual radio transmitters.

WDS mode is also used to facilitate ‘point-to-multipoint’ environments. Lets suppose you have a business with multiple outbuildings such as a main office, warehouse, workshop, etc. With WDS, you are not limited to placing the host (primary) router in a central location. In fact, you can also ‘daisy chain’ them to meet your needs in proportion to your landscape. This can be helpful when there is no central location to place the primary router. However, you must keep in mind that some loss is incurred with each wireless “hop.” Therefore, you want to be diligent when mapping out your hardware placement. It is also recommended to use the same type of hardware and firmware on all of the routers. Let’s examine the image below:

Multipoint wireless bridge

When using more than two routers, the key is to make sure there is only one WDS link or “path” back to the primary router. This is very simple, but also very important! Allow me to explain: In the illustration above, Router A will contain the MAC addresses of routers B and D. Likewise, router C will contain the MAC address for router B. If router C contained a link back to router B and D, then there would be two paths back to the primary router. This hierarchy, although very convenient for spanning large areas, does have an impact on performance.

In this case, if the laptop connects wirelessly to router D, it will experience a 50% reduction in Internet speed. If it connects to router C, Internet speed could be decreased to just 25%. This is because there are two wireless links (“hops”), and each “hop” can reduce speed by up to 50%.

What about a Repeater Bridge?

One way to decrease the impact on wireless clients is to use dual-band routers featuring both 2.4 and 5GHz bands. In the image below, one transmitter on each router is dedicated to the ‘WDS mode’, and the other radio transmitter rebroadcasts the signal using ‘Access Point’ mode. You could use the 5GHz band for your WDS link, and use the 2.4 band in Access Point mode to serve your wireless clients.

Repeater bridge

Setup a Basic Bridge Network

For now, let’s establish a basic wireless bridge network between two routers. We’ll setup a wireless repeater bridge later. For now, we just want to get the two routers “to talk”.

I’ll assume that you are using the same make and model hardware with the same firmware installed on both routers. In may case, I’m using two ASUS RT-N66U wireless-N routers. Each router has been flashed with a Tomato mod, built by ‘Shibby’.

Host Router Setup

Login to your host (primary) router and navigate to: Basic > Network

Router IP address (host)

Set the IP address to say 192.168.1.1. Enable DHCP and assign an IP address range of say, 192.168.100~149. Then, scroll down to the Wireless area. For this example, we will configure the 2.4Ghz band in WDS mode.

WDS mode settings (host)

  1. Wireless = checked.
  2. Wireless Mode = WDS
  3. Wireless Network Mode = G Only, N Only, etc.
  4. SSID = Enter a wireless SSID for this WDS link.
  5. Broadcast = checked.
  6. Channel = Select a channel, preferably channel 1, 6, or 11.
  7. Leave the channel width at 20MHz.
  8. Security = WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal (this is the strongest encryption you can use with WDS)
  9. Encryption = AES
  10. Shared Key = Enter a strong wireless key.
  11. WDS = be sure that ‘Link With’ is selected.
  12. Next to ‘Mac Address’ enter the wireless MAC address of your secondary (client) router.
  13. Click ‘Save’ to save the changes. The router will restart.
  14. Client Router Setup

WDS Network Settings

Now, login to your client (secondary) router and navigate to: Basic > Network

WDS mode settings (client)

Under the WAN section, ensure that DHCP is disabled.

Under the LAN section, assign a static IP address in the same subnet as your primary (host) router. So, if your host router has an IP address of 192.168.1.1, you might assign your client router an IP of say 192.168.1.2. Ensure that your LAN DHCP is disabled. DHCP is not necessary because the host router will handle IP addresses for the entire network.

Scroll down to the wireless section and enter the exact same settings that you entered on the host router. The SSID, channel, security type and password must match the settings on the host router. The only difference is that next to ‘WDS,’ this time you’ll enter the MAC address of the host router.

Click ‘Save’.

TIP: If you are unable to establish a WDS link between the two routers, try temporarily disabling encryption on both routers. If you are still unable to establish a link, double check that you have correctly entered the MAC address of each router, on the other router.

Setup a Wireless Repeater Bridge

Some people prefer DD-WRT firmware for its “Repeater Bridge” feature which handles both wired and wireless clients. As of this writing, Tomato firmware does not offer a “repeater” mode. However it does offer a mode called ‘Access Point + WDS’. In this mode, one wireless transmitter will facilitate both a wireless access point, and a WDS bridge link.

TIP: Since you are working with two routers, remember to be careful when logging in and out of each router. It’s best if you connect directly to the router that you are working with (using an Ethernet cable) and completely power off and unplug the other device to avoid changing settings on the wrong device.

Login to the secondary (client) router and navigate to: Basic > Network

WAN / LAN and DHCP settings (client)

  1. Under WAN / Internet, set the type to “Disabled”.
  2. Assign a static IP address in the same subnet as your primary router. For example; if your primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1, set this to 192.168.1.2.
  3. Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  4. Make sure DHCP is ‘disabled’. There is no need to include a DHCP IP range because the primary router will handle the IP addresses.
  5. For “Static DNS,” Enter the IP of your primary router (i.e., 192.168.1.1).

In the ‘Wireless’ section, configure the settings as follows:

Access Point + WDS mode (client)

  1. Wireless = checked.
  2. Wireless Mode = Access Point + WDS
  3. Wireless Network Mode = G Only, N Only, etc.
  4. SSID = The Wireless SSID of your primary router.
  5. Broadcast = checked.
  6. Channel = The channel of your primary router (1, 6, 11, etc).
  7. Leave the channel width at 20MHz.
  8. Security = WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal (this is the strongest encryption you can use with WDS)
  9. Encryption = AES
  10. Shared Key = Enter the wireless key from the security settings on your primary router.
  11. WDS = Link With…
  12. And finally, next to ‘Mac Address’ enter the wireless MAC address of your primary router.
  13. Click ‘Save’ to save the changes. The router will restart.

In order to prevent a mistake, power down the router and disconnect the cables. Now, connect the cables and power on the primary router. Doing this will help ensure that you’re not entering the settings on the wrong router.

Now, login to the host (primary) router and navigate to: Basic > Network

  1. Wireless Mode = Access Point + WDS
  2. Wireless Network Mode = G Only, or N Only (it must match the other device)
  3. Security = WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal
  4. WDS = Link With…
  5. Next to ‘Mac Address’ enter the wireless MAC address of your secondary router.
  6. Click ‘Save’

You’re now ready to test your AP + WDS link. I recommend rebooting your primary router first. Wait a few minutes and then power up your client router. Whether the second router is upstairs, downstairs, or across the street, put your laptop or other wireless device near the secondary router. You should notice a substantial increase in wireless coverage.

Since the wireless SSID is the same on both routers, your client computers can more easily “roam” around. Now, when you connect to your wireless network, the primary router will assign a dynamic IP address to your client computer, even though you may be connected to the network via the secondary router. The secondary router is merely extending coverage.

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How to install Tomato on Asus RT-AC66U router

We recently upgraded our internet to fibre (fibre to the cabinet) and we thought it was about time to upgrade our faithful Linksys WRT54G. As you probably already know, the WRT54G was one of the most popular router that allowed alternative firmware such as OpenWrt, DD-Wrt, Tomato and others to be installed on it.

The technology has seen moved on and we can now get faster routers with better WiFi speed and better security with newer routers. We decided to buy an Asus RT-AC66U. This is far from being a “new” router but it fits our purpose.

We ordered one from one of the major computer part suppliers and it arrived a couple of days later.

The Asus default firmware is OK, not great and does not give us the flexiblity we need such as OpenVPN. So we decided to install Tomato on it. There are different Tomato distribution out there but most of them are outdated. Shibby is a very polish guy who dedicate his spare time writing good Tomato distribution for various router.Here is a tutorial on how we installed Tomato from Shibby on our router.

Download the ASUS RT-AC66U Firmware Restoration
Download Shibby RT-AC66U firmware:

We downloaded the AIO version in our case.

Flashing the Router
  • Open the Asus Firmware restoration software
  • Select the Tomato firmware you recently downloaded.
  • Power Off the router.
  • Connect an Ethernet cable between LAN port 1 and your PC.
  • While holding down the Reset button on the router and power On the router
  • Keep holding the reset button until the power led starts to blink. When the power led starts blinking, release the reset button.
  • Click Upload on the Asus firmware recovery software and wait for the process to finish.
  • The router will reboot after the upgrade. In some cases, you may need to reboot it yourself manually.
And Voila, you should be able to log on the router using the gateway address http://192.168.1.1 and see this:

Head over to the Administration page to erase the NVRAM and reboot the router.

That’s it. You have now successfully installed Tomato on your Asus router. 🙂

About The Author
behindthesciences

We are two engineers who work in the Electronic and Telecommunication industry. We regularly blog in our spare time.

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Set Tomato Firmware for Wireless Client Modes

Use your Tomato-enabled wireless router as a client to bring wireless access to a wired peripheral, such as an Xbox or a networked printer, which only has a wired Ethernet connection.

If you're like most right-thinking people, you probably use your wireless router the way that nature intended—to broadcast wireless signals to clients. But, if you've flashed your router with an alternative firmware, such as the increasingly popular Tomato, you can actually run your router in reverse. In other words, you can use your wireless router to pick up the wireless signal from another source, routing it to devices connected by Ethernet.

Why?

One reason to use your Tomato-enabled wireless router as a client is to bring wireless access to a wired peripheral. For example, suppose you have a gaming console, such as an Xbox or a networked printer, which only have a wired Ethernet connection. Using a wireless router in reverse ("client mode"), you can connect to the Xbox and/or printer, and have the freedom to place them anywhere you want (well, anywhere the router can pick up the source signal, of course).

Another way to use a router in client mode is to extend a wireless network. For example, suppose your primary wireless router is on an upstairs floor, but your laptop can't pick up the signal when downstairs. Connecting your downstairs PC to a router in client mode may let you pull in that distant signal, especially if you outfit the router with more a powerful antenna.

Technically, when in client mode, your router can only pass the incoming wireless signal to clients connected to one of the router's LAN ports. To re-broadcast the signal wirelessly, the router would need to be configured as a repeater—unfortunately, Tomato does not yet support repeater mode. One option is to switch to DD-WRT V24, which does support repeater mode, although it is in general not as user-friendly as Tomato. Another option is to use two wireless routers—one configured in Tomato client mode, connected by Ethernet to the second router, configured as an AP (access point). [For more on DD-WRT, read “Wi-Fi Planet’s Greatest Hits: DD-WRT.”]

Keep in mind that you only need to run Tomato on the client router—the primary router can be anything. In fact, it doesn't even need to be a router that you have administrative access to. (Did I say that out loud?)

Client mode, two ways

In fact, Tomato supports two types of client modes: wireless client mode and wireless Ethernet bridge mode. In bridge mode, the wired clients share the same subnet with the primary or "host" router. DHCP is assigned by the primary router and simply passed through by the client router.

In wireless client mode, clients make up a separate subnet from the host router. The DHCP pool is assigned by the client router. This mode is the easier of the two to setup, so we'll start here.

Wireless client mode

Step 1—Find the network name and parameters of your primary router

When we configure Tomato in client mode, it needs to know information about the wireless network we are connecting to. Specifically, we'll need to know the SSID of the network, its broadcast channel, and what type of security (if any) is in place. Of course, if there is security in place, you'll need to know the password!

You may already know all this information, but if necessary you can find it all using Tomato. Log into the Tomato interface and click to Tools/Wireless Survey. On this page click the "Refresh" button and Tomato will display a summary of available wireless networks.

Click to enlarge.

In this example we see a network whose SSID is hostnetwork, broadcasting on channel (Ch) 6. There is no security enabled. In contrast, you can see that the network actionteceval has WEP security enabled, as listed in the "Capabilities" column.

Step 2—Find the IP of your primary router

You'll need to know the subnet that is assigned to your primary router. For example, many routers ship with a LAN address of 192.168.1.1. (Other common IP's are 192.168.10.1 and 192.168.0.1).

If you have administrative access to your primary router you can log in and view its LAN address (ignore its WAN address).

Alternatively, you can associate with the router from your PC and then examine your PC's IP configuration. You want to find the IP address of the "gateway" which will be the primary router.

There are several ways to find the IP of your gateway (primary router), but one method that works on Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS X is to open a command terminal and type:

 netstat –rn

 

You'll need to know the subnet of your primary router so that you can configure the IP of your client router for a different subnet.

Step 3—Configure wireless client mode settings in Tomato

Information in hand, you can log in to your Tomato router and click to Basic/Network.

Click to enlarge.

If your settings page looks different than above, keep in mind that you still only need to configure the items marked here with an arrow.

Set a LAN IP address that is not on the same subnet as your primary (host) router (see step 2 above). For example, if your host router's IP address is 192.168.1.1, then you might assign the client router 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1.

Be sure that "DHCP Server" is enabled, but you can leave the other DHCP parameters “as is” unless you have a need to change them.

In the "Wireless" section, set "Wireless Mode" to "Wireless Client." Type the SSID of your host network into "SSID" and be sure to choose the correct channel (see step 1 above).

If your host network uses security, you'll need to replicate those parameters here. If you have control of the primary router, it might be helpful to temporarily disable security until you verify that client mode works as expected. Then, re-enable security on the primary router and match that configuration here.

Now click "Save" at the bottom of the page. Tomato will reset the router. Keep in mind that your PC needs to be connected by Ethernet to one of the client router's LAN ports. When Tomato resets, you may need to renew your IP address—you can do this by disabling your Ethernet adapter and then re-enabling it (or see alternative methods for Windows or Mac).

Assuming that your Tomato client router receives the wireless signal, you should be able to browse the Internet from the wired PC. Despite claims to the contrary on some Web sites, you can connect more than one device to your client router.

Note: Although your wired clients are on a separate subnet from the primary (host) router, Tomato is smart enough to properly route requests to hosts on the primary router. In other words, suppose the host router is at 192.168.1.1 and your client router is at 192.168.0.1. A client at 192.168.0.100 can access a client at 192.168.1.100 (say, to share files), assuming no other blocks are in place on the network (such as firewall settings on the primary router).

Wireless Ethernet bridge mode

At the risk of sounding redundant, wireless Ethernet bridge mode is just like wireless client mode, except that the client is bridged to the host. In bridged mode, your clients think they are connected directly to the host router. They receive their IP addresses from the host router. The client router is a transparent intermediary.

Setting up bridge mode is very similar to wireless client mode. In fact, you'll first want to collect the same information from steps 1 and 2 above. Then log into the Tomato interface and click to Network/Basic.

Click to enlarge.

In bridge mode, the LAN IP address of your client router is actually irrelevant. You could set it to 0.0.0.0 and the bridge will work. However, if you do this—or set it to an IP outside the primary router's subnet—you will lose access to the client router's administration interface.

For this reason, I prefer to assign the client router a LAN IP address that is available on the primary router's subnet. If you control the primary router, you should know which IP addresses are inside the DHCP pool, and choose one outside that pool. In the above example, the host router is at 192.168.1.1 and therefore the client router has been assigned `192.168.1.2.

In the "Wireless" section, set "Wireless Mode" to "Wireless Ethernet Bridge." Notice that some sections of the configuration page disappear, including DHCP server settings. As with setting up wireless client mode, you next configure SSID, Channel, and Security to match the primary router (see wireless client mode section above for more detail). If using security, Tomato does not support WEP in bridge mode, so you must use WPA on both host and client routers.

Click "Save" at the bottom of the page to trigger the new settings. Tomato will restart. You'll need to renew the IP address on your client PC (see details in wireless client mode section above). If a standard renewal does not work, you may need to disable and re-enable your Ethernet adapter (I had to do this in XP). Ultimately, your client PC should receive an IP address from the DHCP server on the host router.

Remember that in bridge mode, the client router is "transparent," so any firewall or other network functions will be left up to the host router.

Router in reverse

Running your router as a client is one of the neater things you can do with alternative firmware, such as Tomato, and is rarely if ever supported in official stock firmware.

With Tomato-compatible wireless routers available at sites, such as eBay, for chump change, wireless client mode can actually be cheaper than buying a "branded" wireless adapter for your Xbox or other wireless-challenged devices, and offer far more functionality to boot.

Aaron Weiss is a freelance writer, book author, and Wi-Fi enthusiast based in upstate New York. For more by Aaron Weiss, read "How to: Monitor Bandwidth with Tomato Firmware." For definitions of unfamiliar term, visit our searchable glossary.

www.wi-fiplanet.com


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