FreshTomato: Beautiful Open Source Router Firmware

Want to revive an older router or simply install a firmware that’s better than the factory one? A top alternative is FreshTomato.

Almost ten years ago there was the last stable version of Tomato, in between it always went somehow further. Currently the project is called FreshTomato and will be continued by Kille72 and Pedro.

It’s not just because we had our first flash experiences with Tomato on a router a long time ago that we care so much about the project. It is especially due to the fact that the firmware and the project itself have always been very organized.

The current firmware itself is still small, fast and very nice to look at. The structure is simply excellent. In addition, functions such as the OpenVPN server and client were added over time without it becoming more complicated or the performance suffering. If you would like to equip a router with alternative firmware for the first time, we recommend FreshTomato. Although powerful, it is easy to use and has an aesthetic appeal.

The supported router models are not quite as numerous as in other open source projects, but it makes things a bit easier and you can be almost sure that the software runs. We recommend the following models, which listen to the ARM command set:

Asus

Netgear

Linksys

Tenda

  • AC15

Huawei

  • WS880

D-Link

  • DIR868L

Xiaomi

  • R1D

Many routers are also supported with MIPS command set, allerdigns would not recommend this at the moment: Since the project only has the closed source drivers for these chips, the KRACK problem is not finally solved with them, as Broadcom does not provide updates for them.

If this is a problem or not you have to judge for yourself. However, we recommend one of the above routers if you start from zero. You have enough choices: access the Asus if you want something new or take a used one for small money from other models. With the Netgears you even have the choice between both.

We have, because we just had one there once equipped the Asus RT-N12 with Tomato, here you can read how it works. The manual should also be transferable to other Asus models, because Asus works very uniformly with the Recovery Tool. Please note that you need Windows (even virtualized) for this. But be careful: the RT-N12 is a MIPS router and we run into the KRACK problem.

Here you can find the most important links to the project:

So, just try FreshTomato. It’s just our favorite firmware and hopefully it will stay that way for a while.

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