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DD-WRT (DresDren-Wireless RouTer) is a type of firmware for routers based on the Linux kernel. It was designed especially for 802.11a/b/g/h/n routers having the Broadcom or Atheros chipsets. This firmware is registered under GPL and free software licenses and supports a large variety of wireless routers. DD-WRT can add a lot of extra features to the router, and is one of the very few instances of firmware made by third parties which can take the place of original router firmware. It was developed by Sebastian Gottschall for a Linksys WRT54G series router in 2005. It soon evolved to become one of the most popular third-party firmware installations for routers.
DD-WRT was launched on January 22, 2005. Its early builds were based mainly upon the Alchemy firmware for routers, which was developed by Sveasoft. It is published under a GPL license and is completely free and open source. It can be considered an upgrade to the existing firmware of routers, which unfortunately have many restrictions and security loopholes. DD-WRT is designed to extend the feature list of routers and close the loopholes. It also helps in better controlling home networks.
Benefits include complete password protection of networks by VPN, creation of multiple Wi-Fi networks and encryption facilities. In short, DD-WRT allows users to use the full potential of their routers by giving them a versatile interface to tweak internal settings and by removing restrictions imposed by the router’s existing firmware in order to prevent the user from accessing certain advanced settings.