I got a Linksys WRT160N wireless router with a wireless problem. It’s not good when a piece of hardware no longer function the way it was intended to. I can’t get my laptop connected to it even if I’m literally 3 inches away from it. Instead of throwing away the router, I’ve decided to install a third-party firmware called DD-WRT.
It was a little unsettling at first because installing a third-party firmware can potentially brick a router if I don’t do it correctly. But, since the router is already useless, I’ve decided to install DD-WRT. Just as a word of caution. If you decide to install DD-WRT, make sure your router is supported. Read up. Do your homework. And follow instructions.
Suffice to say, the wireless router firmware upgrade was successful. The router is functioning nicely. DD-WRT will give you router functions you normally see in enterprise equipment, but the biggest improvement is, I now have a router with a much stronger wireless signal. Linksys sets their routers to transmit power at about 40mW. The DD-WRT firmware allows you to change the transmit power from 1-251mW. Mine is set to the DD-WRT default, which is about 70mW.
In addition to increase signal, you can also set the router as a wireless client, a wireless client bridge, a wireless repeater, and a wireless repeater bridge. Awesome. If you have an old router that’s misbehaving, you might want to look into the DD-WRT firmware. You can breath new life in an old wireless equipment.