I’ll be moving to a new house next week, my first move in a decade. To make the switchover as smooth as possible I decided to set up and test the broadband connection and router at the new location ahead of the move, so I’d only have to bring along my PCs and everything should work on the new router that will duplicate the existing setup.
I chose the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH because it is supported by DD-WRT, Linux-based open source firmware that I also use on my Buffalo WHR-HP-G54. The new router has 32 MB of flash vs. 4 MB on the old one and 64 MB of RAM vs. 16 on the old one, which will make it much easier to add more features. It also offers 11n with wireless speeds up to 300 Mbps versus up to 54 Mbps on the old router that supports 11b and 11g. One USB-port provides access to mass storage for hosting a website, for audio or video files or for a Samba file server.
Installing DD-WRT was much easier on the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH than on its predecessor, as the DD-WRT team offers a special firmware version that can be flashed directly from the firmware upgrade menu of the standard Buffalo firmware. The older router required the use of TFTP for that and the steps involved were more complicated.
Here is what I did:
- Go to http://dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database and search for WZR-HP-G300NH. Open the page for this router and download file buffalo_to_ddwrt_webflash-MULTI.bin to the local hard disk.
- Connect one of the LAN ports of the router via an Ethernet cable to your PC. You can leave the blue WAN port disconnected. Check with ipconfig on Windows or ifconfig on Linux that you receive an IP address like 192.168.11.2. Start your Browser and open http://192.168.11.1/ (enter user name root and leave the password empty).
- Select the firmware upgrade link on the initial configuration screen or Admin Config / Update in the regular menus. Select local file and browse to the buffalo_to_ddwrt_webflash-MULTI.bin downloaded above. Start the upgrade. This takes about 6 minutes, during which you must not reset or power off the router. When the progress bar reaches 100% and the DIAG LED stops flashing you’re done.
- Start your browser and open http://192.168.1.1/ — you should see the DD-WRT menus. Assign a new user name and password.
- Reset the router using the 30/30/30 procedure: Push the reset button at the underside of the router and keep it pushed for a total of 90 seconds. After the first 30 seconds, pull the power cable without releasing reset. After another 30 seconds reconnect power, still holding down reset. After the final 30 seconds release reset. This clears the non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) for a factory reset.
- Start your browser and again open http://192.168.1.1/ — again assign a new user name and password, which were cleared by the factory reset.
Congratulations! You now have a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH running English language open source DD-WRT firmware.