Author:

Fact checked and verified

DD-WRT vs. OpenWRT

Most routers come with a GUI-based firmware that gives little to no control over your router’s settings. Luckily, there’s a solution, which is to use a custom firmware.

However, choosing a custom firmware for your router is no easy task. With so many options out there, things can get confusing.

DD-WRT and OpenWRT are two of the most widely used open-source router firmware out there. In this DD-WRT vs. OpenWRT comparison, we’ve put the two firmware head to head against each other to help you decide which is more suitable for your needs.

DD-WRT vs. OpenWRT - Full Comparison

User Interface

Both OpenWRT and DD-WRT have a user interface that’s at least 10x more complicated than the average pre-installed router firmware. However, despite offering a wide range of features, DD-WRT’s user interface is pretty sleek compared to that of OpenWRT.

However, some users will appreciate OpenWRT’s interface because of the insane amount of features it delivers. Despite that, it’s not uncommon to find some DD-WRT features that aren’t found on OpenWRT. For example, DD-WRT has a Wake-on-LAN feature that allows you to wake up your connected devices from virtually anywhere in the world.

Winner: DD-WRT.

Updates

Since OpenWRT has been here for quite a while now, it has received lots of major updates over the years, and it’s projected to receive even more updates in the near future. This means that OpenWRT has had its time fixing bugs, improving the user experience, and offering support for more routers.

On the other hand, DD-WRT lags behind OpenWRT with regard to updates. There’s still considerable room for improvement if DD-WRT wants to reach the same maturity level as DD-WRT.

Winner: OpenWRT.

Setup

DD-WRT clearly has the upper edge over Open-WRT in terms of ease of use and installation. Newbies should have much less of a hard time configuring their routers to use DD-WRT relative to OpenWRT.

We appreciate how OpenWRT gives you the luxury of customizing your setup process, but the whole cycle is just very time consuming, especially for beginners.

Winner: DD-WRT.

Compatibility

When it comes to the number of supported router models, OpenWRT blows DD-WRT out of the park. It’s compatible with virtually any router in existence. DD-WRT is increasingly becoming available for more router makes and models, but there’s many catching up that it has to do.

Winner: OpenWRT.

QoS Support

QoS (Quality of Service) allows you to set rules to enhance your overall internet experience. Fortunately, both DD-WRT and OpenWRT support QoS with a set of features that make it easy for you to customize your experience.

Winner: Tie.

VPN Configuration

One of the things we really love about DD-WRT is that it makes configuring and using VPNs a breeze. On the flip side, the process of setting up your router for VPN use when it’s on OpenWRT can be a bit challenging, especially in the beginning.

However, OpenWRT gives you a higher level of control over the VPN’s features, but it comes at the cost of making things more complicated.

Winner: DD-WRT.

Pros and Cons

DD-WRT

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly user interface
  • Easy to set up
  • Convenient VPN configuration
  • Strong firewall

Cons:

  • Relatively low number of supported routers
  • Limited number of advanced features

Open-WRT

Pros:

  • Wide router compatibility range
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Easy to customize
  • Better update system


Cons:

  • Not very easy to use

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of the core differences between DD-WRT and OpenWRT, you should be able to decide which of the two firmware is the better fit for you.

To cut it short, DD-WRT is the perfect choice for beginners. It’s super easy to use and install. Not to mention, you’ll be able to configure a VPN in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, OpenWRT is a more mature firmware for your router with advanced features, better support, and a higher customization level.

Related Articles

Other posts and articles you may be interested in.