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Why Tomato Firmware Is The Best Router

I deal with a lot of small routers for home and small business. I also deal with bit larger routers like small true Cisco routers and Fortinet’s FortiGate routers.

The more you pay usually the better the product. It all depends on what your needs are for a router. Most home users don’t care about certain things till they have to deal with your kids hogging all the bandwidth. or if you need to restrict access to certain devices or times. I have used the standard firmware in the small routers for home to do some of this but could not find one that has everything I need. I then started with open firmware DD-WRT. It’s OK. Better than the stock firmware on most routers but it did not have everything I wanted. The only firmware that fills my needs is Tomato. There are many different flavors of Tomato. Check out Wiki. The one I believe is the best is Shibby. I also wanted a decent fast router. The best for this is the Asus RT-N66U. Rated the best Tomato Routers out there.

Tomato-ShibbyAsusRTn66U (Small)

Once I set this up at home it was like night and day difference between anything else I have ever used. Why is Tomato Shibby with the Asus RT-N66U the best router for a home or small business? Here are the stuff I can do with it:

– Gives me a detail info (MAC/IP/NAME) of each device connected and what network (LAN/Wireless)

– A detail Web Usage on what locations been and search terms. (customize size of log)

– Bandwidth and IP Traffic details in Real-Time/24Hrs/Daily/Weekly/Monthly (I can see who is hogging the bandwidth in great detail and can click on the IP and give Bandwidth Limits!)

– Detail port forwards that can restrict incoming from certain IP’s (great to block port 25 traffic to only allow email in from mail server)

– QOS. One of the best QOS for small routers.

– Access Restriction to block access by MAC or IP at certain times. Can also disable Wifi in a time window to either prevent hackers or to stop Wifi waves in the night when you are sleeping (some people are susceptible to Wifi signals)

-VPN Server either using PPTP or OpenVPN

– With the ASUS RT-N66U I have dual band AND I also can have a virtual Wireless to have a guest wifi for people coming over to share Internet but have NO access to network.

– Bandwidth Limiter. Like QOS but can individually throttle MAC/IP stations

– FTP Server with attached harddrive to USB port

– USB storage like FTP but can have SMB for local networks. Your own NAS if you like.

– Static DHCP/ARP/IPT allows me to assign a static IP from a client who is setup for DHCP by using MAC address

– Intercept DNS port (UDP 53). What this allows is if you are using OpenDNS (which I am) to restrict access to bad sites like porn. If you check this option then even if the device/PC has a manual DNS address to say Googles it will bypass this and only go through the DNS assigned in the router (the OpenDNS).

These are the highlights of this firmware and router. Some of the stuff in here is better (easier to find and change) than the higher end routers like the FortiGate. Don’t get me wrong. The FortiGate routers are great! They have a lot of features BUT they are also expensive and if you want the Fortiguard options to block sites you have to pay per subscription. This router with Tomato and OpenDNS can also do similar things. It might not be as granular and customizable but will work.

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4 comments to Why Tomato Firmware Is The Best Router

  • Live

    Hi Steve, I just recently found out about your site.

    All I can say is “WOW!”, you’re really helpful and very knowledgeable.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Anyways, I read your article above, I’m just wondering, if the lower versions of Asus RT router can also do the same things you described?

    Like Asus RT-N12HP? Afterall they’re same Tomato firmware right?

    Can you please make a blog, how to configure those things you said above. I would really want to learn it from you, I’ve a quite some experience on networks.

    Thanks a lot and more power to your blog! 😀

  • Hello,

    I know the Asus RTN-16 which is a step down from the 66U with the Shibby Tomato will do everything the 66U will do except it does not have the dual band option. I believe the 12 version would be similar. I will likely make a blog post or video in the future to describe everything I mentioned.



  • I have a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 router and its flashed with tomato firmware. its a good router but this thing take a lot to get used to I need to learn more about the tomato firmware, i have VPN built in, but i have issues with low signals, and connect issues. Is there a resource, you being one of such resource and any other that i can get to help me learn the tomato firmware so i can get the most out of my router.

  • Hello Sean,

    I basically play around with it. If I get ambitious I might create a video on the rundown of Tomato. There are a few videos on YouTube. Just search for Tomato.
    Here is one:

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