Saturday, September 02, 2006

10 Steps to setup WRT54GL with Thibor's HyperWRT

In my previous post I discussed the problems I am having with Vonage VOIP. In short I have been having problems with choppy, one-way, dropped audio. I'm attempting to fix this by installing a LinkSys WRT54GL with third party firmware. The third party firmware should allow me to setup QoS (Quality of Service) prioritization for the VOIP router. Currently I have the following setup:
    -> WRT54GL 
          -> Vonage-Motorola-VT2442 -> telephone
          -> Wireless Network
          -> Wired Network

I have not yet setup the QoS. I'll outline those steps in a future post.

Here are the steps I followed for setting up my WRT54GL with Thibor's HyperWRT firmware.


1. Order WRT54GL LinkSys router from Amazon.
(If your RSS reader does not display a link to Amazon, please visit my blog).

2. Choose third party firmware to use. Here is a good spot to start looking. I decided to go with Thibor's HyperWRT because it is based on the original firmware and provided all the extra features I wanted. Check out the feature list. Also there are really good directions here.

3. Download the firmware. Nate at recommends version 14 of Thibor. However it is not clear from his site or the Thibor site which of the version 14 to use for the WRT54GL. I figured I would go with the latest version. I can always downgrade to version 14 in the future if I want. Since I'm upgrading from the stock firmware I downloaded this one. I verified that the S/N of my WRT54GL started with CL7A or CL7B (mine was CL7B).

4. Open Amazon box and remove router. Remove the "Run CD First before connecting cables" sticker. Kind of scary to completely ignore the directions but I didn't order this router to use the firmware that came with it.

5. Give the router power and connect it to your computer via a wired connection (I used port #1). Do not hook it up to your cable modem yet. That will come later.

6. Navigate Internet Explorer (I use Firefox normally, but it is best to be safe) to: I had to first do a ipconfig /renew since I was connected to my existing wireless when I started. Login using blank userid and password: admin.

7. I started with a factory reset. Since it is from the factory it seems like that wouldn't been necessary, but once again I figure better safe than sorry. Go to Administration - Factory Defaults.

8. Install firmware downloaded above. Unzip the firmware. Go to Administration - Firmware Upgrade. Select the unziped bin file: Hyperwrt_G_Thibor15c.bin. Be patient and do not interrupt the upload. Once the upload is complete you should see: "Firmware Version: v4.71.1, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor15c" in the upper right hand corner. Restart Internet explorer to clear out its cache. Go to Administration - Factory Defaults and select "Clear NVRAM, restore factory defaults".

9. Setup your router. Here is what I did:
9a. Administration - Management: Changed password, SSHD enabled, changed SSHD ports, remote management disabled.
9b. Setup - Basic Setup: Changed router name, max DHCP clients: 10, changed to central standard time. Since I have a cable modem I left it on the default of DHCP. If you have PPPoE or something else then you will of course have to change this.
9c. Wireless - Basic Wireless Setup: Changed SSID
9d. Wireless - Advanced Wireless Setup: Transmit Power: 67% (I'll try this for now)
9e. Security - Firewall: checked Block Portscans
9f. That's enough to get us started. I'll be posting more about configuration later.

10. Add the WRT54GL to your network. I hooked the WRT54GL router to my cable/dsl modem; hooked the Motorola VT2442 Vonage device to port #1 of the WRT54GL; hooked my wired computers to the WRT54GL and turned everything back on.

My network is back up and working. The Vonage phone is working (I have not tested yet with a large file upload in progress). Its late and I'm going to bed...