Cisco Linksys E3000 Router

E3000 support page

This page describes my experiences with the Linksys E3000 dual-band wireless router. I'm experimenting to discover how to make an embedded device like this work for various useful purposes.

Why an E3000?

The affordable E3000 provides a solid platform than can accomplish a wide variety of tasks. There are recent, stable versions of both Tomato and DD-WRT firmware for it.

Cisco Linksys E3000

Here are some feature highlights:

  • 480MHz Broadcom CPU
  • 8MB ROM
  • 64MB RAM
  • 60K NVRAM
  • two radios
  • 300mbps WLAN
  • gigabit Ethernet
  • a USB (2.0) port

One attractive feature of the E3K is that they're all the same version, so the one you find will automatically be the right version.

The E3000 was a fully-developed design when it was released. It's the same hardware as its predecessor, the WRT610N v2, except the E3000 has more usable NVRAM, 60K instead of 32K. So essentially it's a "WRT610N v2.1".

The E3000 is discontinued, but Cisco made a lot of them so you can typically find a reasonably-priced used one.

Third-Party Firmware: DD-WRT

dd-wrt firmware

For security and other reasons, I want to use a relatively recent firmware build. Based on the wiki page a certain recent "Kong build" is was recommended for the E3000. The source of that information appears to be this discussion thread. The Kong-customized build has been updated in April of 2014, and again in June. The April update is covered in (this discussion thread).

Safely moving from the stock firmware to our desired build means we will flash firmware into the router three times.

  1. E3000 Trailed Initial Flash Build
  2. A more-recent E3000-specific "Mini" build (stepping-stone flash)
  3. The desired Kong VPN build

Flashing the Trailed Initial Flash Build

E300 DD-WRT flashing instructions

The Trailed Initial Flash Build is a basic copy of DD-WRT that's considered safe and stable for the E3000 router.

I did a 30/30/30 reset, then followed the procedure on the E3000's DD-WRT Wiki page.

Flashing the Interim Router-Specific Build

The safe and proper way to switch to a specific SVN build of DD-WRT is to flash the device-specific "Mini" build first. Paraphrasing from the wiki page,

FIRST flash the trailed mini build (with E3000 in the name), then AFTERWORDS you can upgrade to a nv60k.bin for that SVN build.

A mini build that works appears to be dd-wrt.v24-21676_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-e3000.bin.

Yes, it takes a while to RESET/FLASH/RESET/CONFIGURE. This stuff requires a bit of patience.

Flashing the Kong VPN build

recent Kong VPN version of dd-wrt

The final flash is the r22000++ Kong build, usb-ftp-samba3-vpn-nv60k-broadcom.bin. This (Kong-modified) build of dd-wrt has a stellar reputation for speed and reliability. It's updated to fix the Heartbleed SSL vulnerability and a some other fixes.

Now it's time to experiment with DD-WRT firmware on a real router rather than the online dd-wrt demo version. :-)

DD-WRT Setup From Factory Defaults

<Full "30/30/30 reset">
<Wired connection on LAN port, WAN port empty>
<DHCP assigns your computer an IP address>
<Browse to '''''' default dd-wrt login page>
Set router admin name: e3kadmin (importantly not: admin or root)
Set Router admin password: somegoodpassword
Enable wireless encryption.
 Wireless - Wireless Security - wl0
  Security Mode: WPA2 Personal
  WPA Algorithms: AES
  WPA Shared Key: This is more than twenty characters.
 Wireless - Wireless Security - wl1
  Security Mode: WPA2 Personal
  WPA Algorithms: AES
  WPA Shared Key: This is more than twenty characters.
 <Apply Settings>
Set the router name and time zone.
 Setup - Basic Setup
  Router Name:e3k-nnnn (unique, where nnnn is last four #'s in SN)
  Time Zone
   UTC - 7:00, No DST (Arizona settings) 
   Would use "2nd Sun March - First Sun Nov" if AZ had DST
   Time Server Name:
 <Apply Settings>
Set the wireless settings for both radios.
 Wireless - Basic Settings - wl0 [2.4 GHz]
  Wireless Network Mode: NG Mixed
  Change SSID to: unknown
  Change Wireless Channel: auto (the best channel choice will vary)
 Wireless - Basic Settings - wl1 [5 GHz]
  Wireless Network Mode: N-Only
  Change SSID to: unknown5
  Change Wireless Channel: auto (the best channel choice will vary)
 <Apply Settings>
Set transmit power for the wireless radios.
 Wireless - WL0-Advanced
  Set TX Power to 56 (specific for e3000)
 <Apply Settings>
 Wireless - WL1-Advanced
  Set TX Power to 56 (specific for e3000)
 <Apply Settings>
Set the router to reboot itself weekly (helps extra-long-term reliability)
 Administration - Keep Alive - Schedule Reboot
  Check Enable
  Set the day and time (e.g. 3:45 Sunday)
 <Apply Settings>

These settings are adequate for for a typical home network. There are a few simple security enhancements you may wish to apply.

Security Enhancements

If you want more security you can reduce information disclosure and switch to encrypted router administration with these settings.

Switch from telnet to SSH for command-line access.
 Services - Services
  Enable SSHd
  Disable Telnet
 <Apply Settings>
Switch from HTTP to HTTPS for web administration.
Turn off the default viewable router information.
 Administration - Management - Web Access
  Disable HTTP and enable HTTPS
  Check: Info Site Password Protection
 <Apply Settings>

After you make these changes you'll need to remember to use HTTPS protocol when you request the web interface. The address you need to type into your browser's location bar (address bar) will change.


You'll also need to use an SSH (Secure SHell) client program - such as PuTTY for Windows - rather than a telnet client for command-line access.

Third-Party Firmware: Tomato

Tomato firmware has always been a favorite of mine. I've deployed lots of Tomato-driven routers that are all just silently doing their job day in and day out.

Tomato's emphasis seems to bee different from that of DD-WRT. DD-WRT sports a huge number of available features and runs on a wide variety of supported devices. Tomato, on the other hand, runs on far fewer devices and does fewer things, but the things Tomato does are done very well.

Tomato is also well-documented.

An online Tomato demo: Virtual Tomato RAF

 Tomato by Shibby is outstanding. Must try on e3k.

 My Tomato Setup Guide

[to be continued...]


OptWare is packaged software for embedded Linux devices. Hundreds of OptWare packages are available.

[to be continued...]

Page last modified on September 02, 2016
Powered by PmWiki