My Netgear WNR834B v2 has been showing it’s age and giving me grief lately. After a few hours of network usage, my Netgear would suddenly start rebooting itself and keep doing that every few minutes.

The only thing that would bring it back to life would be to pull the plug, wait a few seconds, and put the plug back in. The last firmware for my device is version 2.1.13 dated May 16th, 2oo8. This doesn’t fill me with confidence that the vendor can solve my problem. I don’t blame Netgear for that; they make money on the sale of hardware and not support.

I use a pair of these WNR834Bs to connect my second floor to my ISP in the basement.  It’s strictly for bridging a gap where I am not easily able to run a wire.

So I went to the dd-wrt website and picked out the firmware using their router database tool and put in my model. This lead me to their wiki page to read some instructions, and in less than an hour of playing with settings I had dd-wrt running.

The speed difference is pronounced. It’s not just my imagination, web pages are loading more quickly than before. I don’t think that means the Netgear firmware was defective, I do think that tuning additional options in dd-wrt helped improve the situation.

This is a low cost solution to extending the life of some hardware and keeps me from running cable. So far so good and I’ll just see how it goes.