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I have two routers from D-link which are DIR615 and 2750U. Both of the firmware are upgraded to latest versions. They don't have bandwidth control. Found there are lots of opensource firmware available which has that feature. Like OpenErt, DD-Wrt, etc. Are they safe to use? in the perspective of getting hacked, stealing data, etc?

Thanks, Debraj

  • It's very hard to say without a full audit of the code of whatever firmware you're planning to use, a verified build being made of the firmware, to ensure that whatever the code said is what is in the actual firmware, and a full inspection of the device hardware (in case the open source firmware activates some unknown function). – Matthew Jan 19 '16 at 8:50
  • Thanks @Matthew , I have not decided on the firmwar yet. But reading some online articles I found openwrt.org is the mother of all other versions. Mostly all of them are created from OpenWrt. Prefer OpenWrt. The bandwidth control per device connected to my router and usage details what I need mostly. My PC holds lots of personal data and I transact online often. My devices are listed above. You can get specs from D-link website. Their firmware dates are freaking. As I have pre-installed 2015 version for firmware. And online version says 2013 last updated. – DebRaj Jan 19 '16 at 11:39
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Open source firmware, namely OpenWRT and dd-wrt are supposed to be more secure and "open" than the stock firmware. After all, they are based in open source. And poised to over time, having more regular updates than the stock firmware. They also have a very strong and active community.

They are supposed to improve you security outlook, and you can disable/customise much more things than in the original firmware.

They often also bring more functionalities than the original firmware; on the other hand they can miss others.

dd-wrt is strongly oriented to more unexperienced users, openwrt to die hard system administrators and developers. With openwrt, you manage it pretty much like another Linux distribution system; on the other hand you can manage dd-wrt even in your iphone with a nice interface. However, openwrt already gets a nice web interface, and if it has a far much more recent version than dd-wrt, I would advise considering it.

I myself have a TP-Link with openWRT, and have customised it a lot in the command line. The installation was painless. OpenWrt allows to use VLANs in the switch chip at will, which was not certainly the case with the default stock firmware, however does not allows to handle NAT in some accelerator chip, which makes absolutely no difference to me as I am doing NAT in another router.

Nevertheless, it would not make much of a difference even doing NAT there. Openwrt also allows me to install software for debugging problems more effectively, and eventually using a more interesting 802.1X setup than the default hardware, which has some limitations handling 802.1X.

On the wifi side, the protocols attacks are pretty much the same. On my model default firmware and in openwrt, you can create an isolated guest network and give a different password to visitors, your mileage may vary.

I myself trust more openWRT than the stock firmware that came with the TP-Link. The security records of appliance vendors is not one of the brightest - and backdoors are aplenty - ; often they only care about sales, and stop supporting updates after a very short while.

As a last side note, my own OpenWRT administration IP is in a VLAN that is not allowed to talk with the Internet.

disclaimer: I am not saying I do believe it is completely secure, however I am inclined to trust it more than the firmware from the vendor.

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    Thanks! For the detailed information. OpenWRt what I prefer most. Only feature I need is bandwidth control and usage details per devices. Security is my concern because I was thinking if it's possible to break into my router through OpenWrt and access my personal data from devices. Is it possible to reinstall bundled firmware after installing OpenWrt? – DebRaj Jan 19 '16 at 11:44
  • I never tried, the documentation says it is possible, the option in the web menu of openWRT to load a firmware file is there too. – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 19 '16 at 11:46
  • Is it comes with OpenWrt to manage the administrator IP in a VLAN or you need some additional devices or software? – DebRaj Jan 19 '16 at 11:53
  • Not really, my TP-LINK has a switch chip inside that supports VLANs. I have it connected to a Linux box, if you happen to be in the same situation you can leave there a cable and connect the notebook when you need to get into it via ssh / the web interface. – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 19 '16 at 11:55
  • I am not sure if there is a switch chip, but it has four RJ45 port and one single rj45 port for configuring firmware marked as Grey. Which can also be used for internet access. cnet3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2010/08/03/… – DebRaj Jan 19 '16 at 12:15

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