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...


Leon said...

How's it working? I'm thinking about
doing this myself.


Kevin Heifner said...

Its working much better. I can actually make an outgoing call while transfering files.

Anonymous said...

I've upgraded the firmware to Hyperwrt_G_Thibor15c and after the upgrade has been performed. I cannot see in step 9a. SSHD option. Did I missed something?

Kevin Heifner said...

Under Administration you should see a 'tab' for Management. Make sure your upper right hand corner of the page indicates that you have upgraded to Hyperwrt_G_Thibor15c.

Anonymous said...

In the right upper corner of webui I see Firmware Version : v4.71.1, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor15c (which means that the upgrade has been completed). But in Administration, Management page I cannot see SSHD (only default HTTP and HTTPS). Do I have to upgrade the webui in order to have the access to Hyperwrt features?

Kevin Heifner said...

That is the exact version I'm using. You should see SSHD with ()enable ()disable next to it. You may need to scroll down the page. It is not by the HTTP HTTPS options. It is right under the 'Max Connections' option.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed steps, Kevin! I just went through the exact same setup last night...a little googling turned up your post, which I'm sure has saved me a few hours. Cheers!

Fish said...

Why not have your Motorola router connected directly to your modem, with any public access / DMZ servers then use then use the Linksys router for you wireless access and main LAN? Am I missing something?

Kevin Heifner said...

The WRT54GL with Thibor's HyperWRT is needed for the QoS. If you put the Motorola router first with the WRT54GL under it then there would be no way for the WRT54GL to provide higher QoS for all of the VOIP traffic.

Fish said...

Doesn't the Motorola VoIP router have a QoS interface? I have one although I have not configured it yet....

I am no expert in the matter, but I am wondering why it is not possible to configure the Motorola router to provide the QoS to the voice traffic over the internet traffic that it is also routing..

Apologies if I am being stupid and the reason is obvious, but I don't see it...

Kevin Heifner said...

Yes the Motorola VT2442 does have a QoS interface. I started with a WRTP54G that didn't have a QoS that worked. So I went with the setup outlined in the post.

The VT2442's QoS may work just fine, I have not tried it. If it does then that would be the easiest. Please let me know if it works for you.

Fish said...

Hi again,

So I tried to use the QoS features of the Vonage Motorola router, and it is very limited. So I went and bought myself a WRT54GL and followed your hardware setup and it works like a charm.. Thanks!

I actually went for the Firmware Version : v4.70.8, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor14 .. I read somewhere that the QoS performs better.. I've had no probs sofar. Even with bitorrent uploading at 600 Mb/s my voip call quality is good

BTW, do you know a good linux tool / script to parse the router logs for intrusion detection and the like?

Kevin Heifner said...

I'm glad to hear that it is working for you.

Sorry, I don't currently have any intrusion detection except for just looking at .dnsmasq.leases.

I did turn off all outside access to configuration.

Christoph Filler said...

It will sound really silly in your ears... but can anybody post the link for downloading Firmware Version: v4.71.1, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor15c

... i just dont find it...

Please help!

Kevin Heifner said...


Is this what you are looking for:

Anonymous said...

Good to see your success with HyperWRT; I have the WRT54GL and am trying to choose which alternate firmware to upload.
BTW the WRT54GL is available also from; see the large number of positive reviews there for this box vs the crippled WRT54G.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely the way to go!

The v4 firmware from LinkSys would always cut out on me (e.g. if the modem went off line, or even just randomly) and I would have to reset it back to the factory defaults every time. It was nothing but trouble.

I was hunting for a down grade (because I actually liked the old 'tomato' interface) without any luck. I came across this alternate firmware and my router is running smoothly now.

Anonymous said...

hey i just try to use telnet from windows and when enter password come to the screen does not let you type your password

Kevin Heifner said...

I have never tried to telnet to the box. I would recommend using ssh instead. putty is an excellent choice on Windows.

SpiriT said...

Here is a link for the image

Dan said...

Hi ,

I did upgrade the firmware to dd wrt 2.4 and I could not connect the router to the internet even if I did add the user name and password for PPPoE .
I did upgrade the firmware to Thibor... and now I can't access the setup of the router at as the password is not admin and I did tried all the previous password from ddwrt , etc.
Nothing works. Now I am afraid that if I try to reset I will brick it :(

Can you help ?

Kevin Heifner said...


Are you prompted for a password?

Anonymous said...

The default password for ddwrt is like username = root and password = admin.
This may be accidentally saved over when upgrading from DDWRT to Thibor15c.
It may have your old password in place.
It may need a hardware reset--sometimes DDWRT will cause this.
However, if the upgrade worked successfully, one or more difficult hard resets should eventually succeed in loading Thibor15c firmware defaults.

During an older firmware release, back when I was an admin on the hyperwrt support board, it was common to first load DDWRT, then load Hyperwrt "GS" firmware and then, lastly, do a hard reset--and this converted many WRT54G routers into WRT54GS routers (applies to versions 2 and 3 of WRT54G).
Next, it was necessary to save a new password before making any other changes (else other changes wouldn't be saved with any success).
This enabled Speedbooster for WRT54G, but what we wanted was Xpress (the old version of speedbooster that worked for any brand of wireless). One would next disable afterburner. Now all wireless cards would get connected with Xpress. It helped maybe 10% on wireless network speeds, and the range was somewhat better.
The DDWRT step always caused panic because the routers played dead until after quite a bit of efforts with the reset button.
Ah, a blast from the past. ;)

Jonathan Yopp said...

Hi i love your post and its amazing and this is Exactly what i wanted i didnt want to use the other 3r party software because it would remove the Linksys page by the way here This has all of the links for it so u can edit your post and fix ur dead links

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I have followed this for a wrt54g2 and nothing has worked at all