TomatoUSB Powerful WiFi Router at a Cheap Cost

Being connected in the internet nowadays is a must. Before, only desktop computers are able to be connected to the world wide web via bulky tangled ethernet cables. Everything had changed today as connectivity become wireless. More portable devices are being manufactured in bulk to supply the needs of millions of people that is now preferring mobile wireless connectivity. With these scenario, WiFi (wireless fidelity) and routers made a great part to made this possible. In this article, we will talk about one of the best open source firmware for WiFi routers.

Tomato Tutorial Series

This is the first installment of the series about Tomato Firmware.

  1. TomatoUSB Powerful WiFi Router at a Cheap Cost
  2. Tomato Router Wireless Repeater (Ethernet Bridge) Mode
  3. Create a Guest Wireless Network in Tomato (Isolated Guest WiFi)

TomatoUSB Firmware

Tomato USB is an alternative Linux-based firmware for powering Broadcom-based ethernet routers. It is a modification of the famous Tomato firmware, with additional built-in support for USB port, wireless-N mode support, support for several newer router models, and various enhancements (Know more: TomatoUSB). It is partially based on HyperWRT.

This firmware is a very powerful one that you got a premium control on every settings your router is capable of. Since the first release of Jonathan Zarate in 2008, the firmware is continually being improve and the most notable developer that maintains the firmware is Shibby. Toastman, Teaman, Victek and many others have their own versions too. Most of the time, the new features can be found on Shibby’s mod since he’s the one that is really active on developing the code.

Features

Some of the features of TomatoUSB are:

  • Bandwidth monitoring
  • Advanced QoS/BW Limiter (QoS Limit)
  • Access control
  • Enabled SSH/Telnet protocols
  • Configurable buttons and LED’s
  • Support for many wireless modes  (B/G/N)
  • Built-in openVPN server/client
  • Printer Server /Network Attached Storage
  • Samba/FTP/miniDLNA server
  • Support for SD/MMC/SDHC (for devices with SD-MOD)
  • Torrent Client/Downloader
  • 3G/4G LTE modem sharing
  • Captive portal
  • and many more.

There are too many full packed features of TomatoUSB to be completely listed – needs a full long page to enumerate them all. You can have a super router without spending thousands of pesos.

Compatibility

It is worth noting that TomatoUSB can only run on Broadcom routers. For supported routers and compatibility, check Tomato by Shibby Router List. Not all supported routers are included in this list. However, you can easily know if your router is compatible by checking the features of a router in the list and compare it to your router. If most of the features are the same with the router you have, a greater chance that TomatoUSB can run on your router.

For example, I have a CDR King CW-5358U router (Catch Tec 5358U). It is equipped with a BCM5357 Broadcom chipset with 32MB RAM, 500mhz CPU and 8MB flash memory. Checking on the list, the specifications is almost the same with the Asus N10U router, except for the CPU frequency. The N12B1 has the same hardware but it lacks a USB port. On the other hand, while the N10U has a lower CPU frequency, it has the exact chipset with the CW5358U. Basically, the firmware of N10U should run well on my router. You can also check devices that run on the same chipset with WikiDevi. WikiDevi has a complete list for known routers that run a specific chipset. Another listing can be found in the DD-WRT website: Supported Devices. DD-WRT is an another router firmware but not all Broadcom routers support it. My 5358U, given that it has almost the same hardware with the N10U, can’t run DD-WRT.  It can be installed and WiFi works but there’s no way to access the WiFi gateway to change settings – it is useless in my router.

Recommended Reading: Tomato Router Wireless Repeater (Ethernet Bridge) Mode

Router Compatibility Guide

Model CPU Type CPU Freq LAN Flash/RAM Version Notes
Asus RT-N10 A1 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/16MB K26 Only build52 and earlier! B1/C1 are not supported
Asus RT-N10P R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N v114 and newer
Asus RT-N10U A1/B1/C1 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N
Asus RT-N12 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26
Asus RT-N12 B1/C1/D1 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N
Asus RT-N15U R2 500 1 Gbps 8/64MB K26RT-N
Asus RT-N16 R2 480 1 Gbps 32/128MB K26 or K26RT-N
Asus RT-N18U ARM 800 1 Gbps 128/256MB K26ARM v121 or newer
Asus RT-N53 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N A1 supported from V114
Asus RT-N66U A1/B1 R2 600 1 Gbps 32/256MB K26RT-N or K26RT-AC
Asus RT-AC56U ARM 2x 800 1 Gbps 128/256MB K26ARM
Asus RT-AC66U R2 600 1 Gbps 128/256MB K26RT-AC
Asus RT-AC68U/R ARM 2x 800 1 Gbps 128/256MB K26ARM
Asus WL-330gE R1 240 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26 v102 or newer
Asus WL500GP v1/v2 R1 240 100 Mbps 8/32MB K24 or K26
Asus WL500W R1 264 100 Mbps 8/32MB K24 or K26
Asus WL520GU R1 240 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26
Buffalo WHR-G54S R1 200 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26
Buffalo WHR-G125 R1 240 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26
Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 R1 200 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26
Cisco M10 v2 R2 ? 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26RT-N
D-Link DIR-320 R1 240 100 Mbps 4/32MB K24 or K26
D-Link DIR-620 C1 R2 530 100 Mbps 8/64MB K26RT-N v114 or newer
Fiboom HG320 R2 533 100 Mbps 16/256MB K26RT-N v110 or newer
Linksys E800 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N Same as E900, Use v114 or newer
Linksys E900 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N
Linksys E1000 v1 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26
Linksys E1000 v2.0/v2.1 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26RT-N
Linksys E1200 v1 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26RT-N
Linksys E1500 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/32MB K26RT-N
Linksys E1550 R2 300 100 Mbps 16/64MB K26RT-N
Linksys E2000 R2 354 1 Gbps 8/32MB K26
Linksys E2500 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/64MB K26RT-N
Linksys E3000 R2 480 1 Gbps 8/64MB K26
Linksys E3200 R2 500 1 Gbps 16/64MB K26RT-N
Linksys E4200 (v1) R2 480 1 Gbps 16/64MB K26RT-N V2 is not supported!
Linksys WRT160N v1 R1 266 100 Mbps 4/32MB K24 or K26
Linksys WRT160N v3 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26
Linksys WRT300N v1 R1 264 100 Mbps 4/32MB K24 or K26
Linksys WRT310N v1 R1 300 1 Gbps 4/32MB K24 or K26
Linksys WRT310N v2 R2 300 1 Gbps 4/32MB K26 same as WRT160N v3
Linksys WRT320N R2 354 1 Gbps 8/32MB K26
Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS v1-v4 R1 200-240 100 Mbps 4-8/32-64MB K24 or K26
Linksys WRT610N v2 R2 480 1 Gbps 8/64MB K26
Linksys WRTSL54GS R1 266 100 Mbps 8/32MB K24 or K26
Netgear WNR2000 v2 R2 300 100 Mbps 4/32MB K26
Netgear WNR3500L (v1) R2 453 1 Gbps 8/64 MB K26
Netgear WNR3500L v2 R2 500 1 Gbps 128/128 MB K26RT-N
Netgear  WNR3500 v2/U R2 453 1 Gbps 4/32 MB K26
Netgear R7000 ARM 2x 1000 1 Gbps 128/256MB K26ARM
Ovislink WL1600GL R1 240 100 Mbps 4/16MB K24 or K26
Tenda N6 R2 300 100 Mbps 8/64MB K26RT-N
Tenda N60 R2 500 1 Gbps 8/64MB K26RT-N
Tenda W1800R R2 600 1 Gbps 16/256MB K26RT-AC
ZTE ZXV10 H618B R1 240 100 Mbps 16/32MB K26
ZTE H218N R2 500 1 Gbps 16/64MB K26RT-N v110 or newer

Source: Tomato by Shibby

Choosing the Right Firmware

Know the Images Naming. Another thing to check before downloading a firmware and possibly installing it in your own WiFi router is the sequencing and naming of images for each supported router. Installing an incompatible firmware will brick your router. That will be a disaster if you do not know how to unbrick it. Luckily, many tutorials can be found online on how to troubleshoot this kind of problem.

For firmwares released by Shibby:

tomato-images-namingImages Naming Codes. In the case of my router, CatchTec CW5358U, I should look for the K26USB-1.28-RT-N-MIPSR2 branch. K26 stands for the Linux kernel where the whole Tomato firmware was made from. Choose a branch with the USB prefix if your router has a USB port. My router has the same specifications with the ASUS N10U router which is on the RT-N branch. MIPSR2 is for the version or generation of the router’s processor. It is just like 32-bit and 64-bit in Windows OS. My router has the newer architecture, MIPSR2. The next digits are simply the version of the firmware. Look for the latest stable version. AIO stands for All-in-One. Do take note that only high price routers support this type of firmware since it requires large flash memory. In my case, my router has 8MB of flash memory so I should choose a firmware file that has 8MB size or below.

Download your TomatoUSB Firmware here: Shibby Download Page.

Installing the TomatoUSB Firmware

I can’t provide general instructions regarding the installation since every manufacturer have it in different way. CW 5358U has TomatoUSB pre-installed. So, it is very simple to install the firmware by the upgrade tool.

tomato-firmware-upgrade

Refer to the user manual supplied by the manufacturer or search online for methods of upgrading or changing the firmware. Most of the time, the procedure is brand and model specific.

Once you had finished the installation, you are now ready to configure your router to make it even powerful. For Shibby builds, notifications for latest firmware releases can be found on the router’s gateway page. The default gateway of TomatoUSB is 192.168.1.1. Username and Password: admin

Shall you have any questions, feel free to ask using the comment section below.

This post is the first part of the TomatoUSB Tutorial series.


— RAZ RECOMMENDS —
zalora-bap-15-offBrand Ambassador Promotion: Discount code is for new customers only.