Saturday, July 21, 2018

DD-WRT Firmware for TRENDnet TEW-812DRU Wireless Router

I'm lucky enough to get gigabit internet access at home, from Wave Broadband, with which I'm quite happy. And I don't even need a modem — with my apartment building, I can just jack directly into the Ethernet port in my living room wall. I originally got a Kasada router, but its firmware hasn't been updated in a couple years, so I decided to get a new router that I knew would be updateable with the Free Software DD-WRT firmware.

I got a TRENDnet TEW-812DRU v2, which although it's like 5 years old, is as fast as I need (supporting gigabit ethernet, plus 1.3 Gbps 802.11ac and 450 Mbps 802.11n wireless on separate 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz channels) — and a quarter of the price of comparable new routers. And, importantly, it looked like it was well supported by DD-WRT.

And it did turn out to be well supported by DD-WRT. Having first read through all the forum posts about the TEW-812DRU, I found that, unlike some other routers, you don't need anything special to use DD-WRT on the TEW-812DRU — just upload the new firmware to the router through its web UI and let it do its thing, no tricks needed.

So the first thing I did when I plugged in the router was login to its web UI and flash it with the "Open Source" firmware I downloaded from the TRENDnet TEW-812DRU downloads page. That turned out to be DD-WRT v24-sp2 r23194, compiled on 12/21/2013. I was happy it worked, but that firmware was just way too old.

So next I looked up the TEW-812DRU in the DD-WRT router database, and that prompted me to download something labeled DD-WRT v24-sp2 r23804 (but turned out actually to be r23808), compiled on 3/27/2014. I flashed that firmware through the web UI — but when the router rebooted, it presented me with an "Emergency Web Server" page. I went to look up what that meant via a working internet connection, and when I checked on the router again, the Emergency Web Server page had been replaced with the working DD-WRT web UI. I figure it must have just taken a little extra while for the router to boot everything up, no big deal.

But that firmware was also way older than I was hoping for, so I went searching through the downloads directory of the DD-WRT site — and finally found the latest version of the TEW-812DRU firmware here:

https://download1.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/betas/2018/07-16-2018-r36330/trendnet-812DRUv2/

I flashed that firmware through the router's web UI, and was very pleased to see the router reboot with no issues at all, happily running DD-WRT v3.0-r36330 mini — compiled just a few days ago on 7/16/2018. Finally, peace of mind that no bears, pandas, or kittens will be making themselves at home inside my router!

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