DD-WRT firmware on the Netgear WNR2000 V3

This guide has been substatially updated and moved here:

This page is about my experiences with an Netgear WNR2000 V3 router. I spent some hours with the router learning how to make it "better than new" by modifying some recent third-party firmware and installing it on the router.

The Netgear WNR2000 V3 is a capable little consumer 802.11n router that has "potential".

  • The Atheros CPU runs plenty fast at 360MHz
  • There's plenty of RAM: 32 megs

The main limitation of this router is the flash space provided. Available space for firmware is very small because Netgear partitions the 4 megs of ROM space in an unusual manner.

The unusually small amount of ROM space severely limits your third-party firmware choices on the WNR2000V3. You can, however, install a recent DD-WRT version that "fits" within the available space. It's not a simple process, but once it's done the end result is a capable little router.

Installing DD-WRT Firmware

There's a recent firmware that's supposed to be for this router, but it's slightly too big to fit into available flash space. The firmware's size can be reduced using a Firmware Modification Kit. Here are some rough notes:

  1. Untar the fmk.
  2. Copy the firmware into the ./fmk/ directory.
  3. Unpack the firmware.
  4. Unpack the web files.
  5. Delete all of the contents from some language files, thus shrinking their size to zero bytes.
  6. Repack the web files.
  7. Repack the firmware.

Flashing over to DD-WRT is covered on the web. Here are some rough notes:

  1. Downgrade the Netgear firmware if necessary.
  2. Factory reset.
  3. Flash dd-wrt "factory" firmware.
  4. Clear browser.
  5. Factory reset.
  6. Flash modified (shrunk-to-fit) "webflash" firmware.

Hardware Factory Reset

  1. Make sure nothing's plugged into the yellow WAN port.
  2. Press the reset button until the blue wireless indicator on the front panel turns off.
  3. Wait until the blue wireless indicator lights up again.

Configuring DD-DWRT

updated DD-WRT on a WNR200V3
DD-WRT build 24461 on a WNR2000V3

The starting point is a freshly-reset router. The router I used is running brainslayer's DD-WRT v24 SP2, modified to fit onto the WNR2000V3' limited space by shrinking some foreign language .js files down to zero bytes.

Set Administrator username and password

Freshly-reset DD-WRT will prompt you to set the Administrator username password. Use a username like "wnr2kadmin" or something else that's not "root" or "admin".

Temporarily disable wireless.

 Wireless - Basic Settings
  Wireless Network Mode: Disabled

Basic settings

 Setup - Basic Setup
  WAN Setup - Optional Settings
   Router Name: [same as SSID]
  Network Setup
   DHCP Static DNS: (OpenDNS)
  Time Settings
   Time Zone: America/Phoenix [or your time zone]
   Server IP/Name: north-america.pool.ntp.org
 <Apply Settings>

Configure MAC addresses

 MAC Address Clone
  Leave the OUIs (first three hex-pairs) alone and re-configure the address part.

If you don't know what this means, no worries. The factory-provided MAC address will work fine.

Configure wireless security.

 Wireless - Wireless Security
  Security Mode WPA2 Personal
  WPA Algorithms: AES
  WPA Shared Key: Passphrase with more than twenty characters.
 <Apply Settings>

Configure and re-enable wireless

 Wireless - Basic Settings
  Wireless Network Mode: NG-Mixed (*)
  Wireless Network Name (SSID): wireless (**)
 <Apply Settings>

Now your wireless is secured and re-enabled.

(*) NG-Mixed is optimal because it turns off 802.11b, which is recommended. If you have an old 802.11b devices use Mixed or, better yet, de-commission the old device.

Reference: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=876186

(**) If you use a generic SSID ("wireless", "NETGEAR", "default", etc.) it will give you some privacy advantages. If you don't mind identifying yourself by broadcasting your unique ID from your wireless devices (phone, laptop, tablet) then use any unique SSID. Perhaps use netgear-nnnn where "nnnn" is the last four characters of your router's serial number.

Reference: https://wigle.net/gps/gps/main/ssidstats

Scheduled reboot

For rock-solid reliability, set your router to reboot itself once a week.

 Administration - Keep Alive - Schedule Reboot
  Check Enable
  Set the day and time (e.g. 3:45 Sunday)
 <Apply Settings>

That's it. Now you have a capable and dependable little router that will provide secure and reliable Wi-Fi service.

Page last modified on April 13, 2017
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