Flash Virgin Media's Wireless N Router with DD-WRT (D-Link DIR-615 D4)

Discussion in 'Networking Guides' started by Nimrod, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Nimrod

    Nimrod Exotic Vendor

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    When signing up for Virgin Media's Broadband service, you get a free D-Link DIR-615 Wireless N Router. While this router is good, the default software it uses is terrible, I had problems with the device freezing, not handing out IP's when connected via a switch before connecting to the router, as well as port forward problems and UPnP not working as expected.

    Also, Xbox Live was just awful with the device, it was constantly disconnecting, party chats and games were unjoinable, or if they did work they kept disconnecting, the NAT type for online games kept going between Moderate and Open, with UPnP enabled.

    I decided enough was enough, so I unplugged it and used my old trusty Linksys WRT54G, however that's when I had another problem, normal routers just can't handle the 50mbit service, the fastest I could get with its 200mhz processor was 24mbit. So the choice was simple, put up with no working Xbox Live, and terrible router software but get full speeds, or switch to my old router which worked, but couldnt get full speed.

    This is when the solution was found, it turns out DD-WRT (an open source router software) was being developed for the D-Link DIR 615 D4 router which is provided by Virgin Media. However, its currently in development, and no final version is out yet.

    I played around with many "SVN" versions (beta). Some of them had some issues, though I eventually found one that worked.

    My goals were to find a version that offered:
    • A stable router
    • Wireless N working
    • Xbox Live working

    I tried the latest one available at the date of this post, and it had wireless issues, and the one the general forums suggested had issues with Xbox Live; however I have found "DD-WRT v24-sp2 (10/02/10) std - build 15334" to be a good version, I've had it running for 4 days without problems with Wireless-N enabled with connected devices, as well as using Xbox Live with no problems at all.

    If you choose to install DD-WRT, your making a good choice in the authors opionon. Eventually DD-WRT v24-SP2 will hit final, in which case I would think not updating is stupid, but if your having problems with the current D-Link firmware, I would recommend using this SVN(Beta) build for the time being, as it seems pretty stable, and is far down its development line.

    Install Guide for installing DD-WRT onto a D-Link DIR 615 D4

    Download DD-WRT for D-Link DIR 615 D v24-SP1 (Build 15334)

    Extract the ZIP file and you should have two files. Take note of the file names, for the first time flashing your D-Link, you will need to use the version with factory in the file name. This is because it has to be tweaked to install from the D-Link Web Interface, once you have done this once, you can update to different versions of DD-WRT without having to use the factory version.

    Log into your D-Link Interface, usually http://192.168.0.1
    Default username is admin
    Password is usually blank

    Navigate to the Maintenance Tab at the top of the menu:
    1.png

    Then select Firmware Update from the left side menu:
    2.png

    Then scroll down the page that shows, and look for the Firmware Upgrade section like below:
    3.png

    Once there, select Browse and select the .BIN firmware you have downloaded, remember to use the version with factory in the filename then click Upload. Your firmware will now begin to flash, do not unplug your router during this time!

    Once the firmware has installed (countdown reaches zero), you will need to refresh your network connection, you can do this manually by refreshing DHCP if you know how, though the quickest way is to just unplug and plug the network cable back in, or worst case scenario, just reset your PC. This is because the default DD-WRT uses a different IP range than DD-WRT did, and ensures you get the right IP.

    You can then log into the DD-WRT's Control Panel by visiting either http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1 depending on its configuration. Once there, you will be forced to setup your password before continuing to lock down the router.

    Congratulations, you now turned the D-Link router into a powerful router.

    A few important settings to change:
    • The wireless is on by default called DD-WRT, with no password. You will need to change this straight away.
    • On 50mbit users, consider disabling wireless or network graphs if you don't use them, as this will provide more resources to the device to use for routing.
     

    Attached Files:

    InsaneNutter likes this.
  2. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Great guide, this again just goes to prove that routers / modem ISP's give you are total rubbish a lot of the time.

    The o2 / Be box likes to crash when more than one person is connected via wireless as you know.
    Older BT Home Hubs forget any defined port forwards when they reboot, meaning you have to configure it every time it reboots its self... which is quite often.
    Ive had other friends with various D-Link routers which were beyond useless, Upnp didnt work correctly on them meaning if they had more than one 360 playing on Live was difficult, they would randomly crash too.

    A router running Tomato / DD-WRT should never give you any problems and will offer loads of features just not available in off the shelf routers :)

    If i ever upgrade to 50mbit or the upcoming 100mbit services from Virgin ill be sure to get the free router and just flash DD-WRT on it.
     

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