DD-WRT vs Tomato vs OpenWRT

DD-WRT vs TOMATO vs Open WRT – Which is The Best Router Firmware

Do you feel frustrated at your wireless router and wish that you could get more out of it? Tired of being limited to amount of tweaking you can do to the wireless router you currently own? You can always choose to opt for one of the many wireless routers we have mentioned on BlueGadgetTooth, or you can read about the DD-WRT vs Tomato vs OpenWRT firmware that can change the way your router works.

Why Even Bother Thinking Of Custom Firmware?

Replacement firmware like DD-WRT vs Tomato vs OpenWRT can make a huge difference to how your wireless router currently operates and your results and performance will see a huge boost. The advanced features of a third party firmware may help you access those extra options to play with.

We are going to take a closer look at the similarities and differences of the best open source firmware so that you have a better idea of what would be the best router firmware for you. Here’s the battle of OpenWRT vs DD-WRT vs Tomato.

Benefits of DD-WRT and Tomato and Open WRT

DD-WRT, Tomato and Open WRT allows the user to be able to tweak advanced features like:

  • Wireless sensitivity
  • Extending your wifi range
  • Add extra protection in the form of additional security layers which are not provided in stock firmware
  • Manage allocation of your bandwidth better through Advanced QoS
  • Open VPN, L2TP as well as PPTP Settings that are in built which allows the user to use your VPN subscription with more than one device without having to install your VPN connection on each one
  • 3G/4G USB Fail over options
  • WDS, Client Bridges and Repeaters have advanced networking modes

Comparison Study Between Open WRT vs DD-WRT vs Tomato

Knowing each firmware’s pros and cons may give you a better idea of what each firmware can offer you, but pitting them against each other helps give you a better understanding of what and how those third party firmware can help you.

If you are not too keen on shopping around for the best router firmware, you can opt to choose a router from a preconfigured flash router that comes ready with a pre-installed firmware here. We’ve looked at the best open source firmware routers for you in this guide.

Differences of DD-WRT vs Tomato

You’ve read about the similarities between the firmware, and we have to admit that those features make it worthwhile in trying out custom firmware, but what are the features that set them apart?

While admittedly, DD-WRT is more popular than other open source firmware, there are certain features that Tomato has that is not available on DD-WRT and vice versa.

Tomato Benefits Unavailable on DD-WRT

To begin, Tomato offers better Open VPN support than DD-WRT. Why this make a difference is because it allows you to connect to your VPN easily or even give you the option to use the VPN you want to. Our research has found out that Tomato works much better when connecting with Open VPN.

Not only this, but the super easy graphical user interface and visual prompts and help add-ons makes Tomato a recommended option. If you are a little confused about finding the best channel for your wife network, there is a wireless survey page to help users out. And now you even get notified when there is an update so you don’t have to keep checking for updates on a regular basis.

USB integration just became easier as well, thanks to the integrated BitTorrent and Tor clients.

Why Tomato is a recommended option for many

Tomato Firmware

This is because you can use two VPN servers side by side and switch to and from with ease. The VPN servers don’t even have to be from the same provider, so this means you can optimize your network’s performance. You can also monitor your connected devices easily, allowing you to determine which device is clogging up your bandwidth. The best thing is, Tomato allows real time bandwidth monitoring on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis, while DD-WRT offers only real time bandwidth monitoring.

If you own a high end wireless router, Tomato may be a better open source firmware for you as the Dual Gateway Setup allows you to use your wireless router as a VPN connection as well as an ISP connection. This means you can get the most out of your router, while staying protected.

DD-WRT Benefits Unavailable on Tomato

While Tomato certainly offers a plethora of features that will have other open source firmware beaten hands down, DD-WRT has many reasons in its favour.

If you’ve shopped around for open source firmware, you would’ve noticed that DD-WRT is more popular and way more easily available. Even better, you can use DD-WRT with many more devices than Tomato, because it supports some Ralink based as well as Atheros based chipsets. Even bigger manufacturers like TP-Link and more readily provide DD-WRT.

DD-WRT also has better built in feature such as Sputnik, Wifidog to name a few, which makes it easier to create your own Wifi hotspot. You can use wireless repeater nodes on different subnets while Tomato is stuck with WDS / Repeater Bridge.

DD-WRT Firmware

DD-WRT Pros:

  • Extremely popular
  • Very user friendly
  • Easy installation and configuration process
  • Advanced wifi settings
  • Advanced VPN settings
  • Advanced QoS
  • Extremely compatible with many routers
  • Stable Linux based firmware


  • Only real time monitoring available
  • More bugs than compared to Tomato

Tomato Firmware:

Tomato Pros

  • Intuitive GUI menu system
  • Advanced firewall features
  • Advanced monitoring tool
  • Better overall performance

Tomato Cons

  • Not as compatible with many routers as other firmware options
  • Not as feature rich as DD-WRT


We’ve discussed the benefits and disadvantages of having DD-WRT vs Tomato, but what about the original firmware that started it all? Enter Open WRT; the Linux based open source firmware that spawned the creation of Tomato and DD-WRT. It has also seen many changes over the years, evolving from a command line only firmware, restricted to LuCI or Gargoyle, but now is available as a GUI model.

When it comes down to it, OpenWRT vs DD-WRT, it is definitely the most complicated firmware of the three, but if you know what you’re doing, you can get more out of your router than what any other third party firmware an provide.

While it isn’t for a novice due to the command line deal, once you get it up and running, you’re in for a smoother ride.

Benefits of OpenWRT vs DD-WRT

  • Is available in a larger amount of routers as compared to any other third party firmware
  • New GUI interface allows for easier configuration and set up
  • Has advanced features such as advanced VPN settings and QoS
  • Offers more control over your router than any other open source firmware

Of course, if going through all the options available is going to just give you a massive headache, browse through our guides to determine which one fits your need. Sometimes preconfigured flash routers are the way to go if you don’t want to read through endless pros and cons just to get your head in a muddle.

Open WRT Firmware

Open WRT Pros

  • Compatible with most routers as compared to other firmware
  • Offers more control than other firmware
  • Advanced security features
  • Can completely customize to add packages so that you can build firmware to your specifications and needs

Open WRT Cons

  • Command line scares away novices
  • Not easy to set up as compared to other firmware, and more geared towards software developers and advanced users

What would be the Best Router Firmware for you?

Conclusively, the final decision rests solely upon your shoulders. We can inform you about the benefits of each and the disadvantages, but your internet needs determines which is the best router firmware for you – whether it is OpenWRT vs DD-WRT vs Tomato.

If you’re looking for user friendliness and ease of installation and configuration process, your best bet would be to go with Tomato.

If you’re looking for a popular open source firmware option, and want more repeater modes, DD-WRT is the option for you.

If you are looking to get the most control out of your router, you should opt for Open WRT – but warning, you should be able to handle the command line operation.

Overall, no matter what your final choice is, BlueGadgetTooth has a variety of guides that will help you be clearer on which open source firmware router is best suited for your internet requirements. Check out our guides here.

About the Author tomas

Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.