Older DD-WRT user needs advice

I have recently purchased 4 new GL.iNet routers and really like the Luci web interface. It is much easier to me to configure. Am I correct to assume if I reflash an older buffalo router that I flashed with the dd-wrt type a couple years ago will it have a similar looking interface to the GL.iNet routers?

I did a hardware search an it appears to be on the list, but is it worth doing with openddwrt?

I have a Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H (which is the same as a Buffalo WZR-HP-AG600H
This router has 128mb memory with 64k nvram I think

What I mean by “is it worth doing” is I am wondering if the hardware is too old. I am running DD-WRT v3.0-r40189 (07/04/19)

I don’t care much about wifi speed as I am only going to use it to connect directly to the modem and use the wireless only for ease of setup. I would like to have a newer firmware on it for security and I think openwrt is better supported now from what I have read.

Any opinions?
CPU Model
Atheros AR7161 rev 2 (0xaa)

The webinterface (luci) basically looks the same (I do not know if or how much GL.Inet has diverged from the defaults) on all devices supported by OpenWrt, to the extent of their physical abilities it also behaves the same.

This device is fully support by OpenWrt and does work fine.

The device has 16 MB flash and 128 MB RAM, the concept of nvram doesn't apply to OpenWrt. These system specifications are still plenty and shouldn't become limiting any time soon.

The hardware is a bit older, but it's working fine with OpenWrt - ath79 is still among of the best supported target platform for OpenWrt. Obviously one wouldn't recommend to buy a 802.11n device in 2021, but it's still a rather nice and well performing concurrent dual-band wifi router.


Hey slh,
I just wanted to tell you how appreciative I am for your concise reply. You obviously took the time to fully understand my post, making my first experience with this openwrt forum a very positive one!

From what I understand by searching the forums, I need to first flash back from the DD-WRT v3.0-r40189 (07/04/19) version I previously installed to the factory firmware?

I have to agree with you sli that 802.11n is not ideal for a new purchase, but if you understood what my intentions are for this old buffalo, it would be ideal till I need a multigig connection.
This Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H is going to be part of a muli router / AP setup. The Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H will be right between the cable modem and a POE+ switch running 8 cameras. Off the same Buffalo router #2 lan port the router will be feeding a GL.iNet Brume VPN router with a Nord like VPV subscription running open VPN, which will supply a wifi6 Nighthawk router along with an Outdoor Netgear wifi 6 Access Point to supply most of the users at my home protected. Another GL.iNet router is just for the Vizio chrome-cast television running wireguard to get around the Geo location issue. It may be hard to visualize, but looks simple on the block diagram and seems to address all my issues, so the Buffalo router is the only one operating in the clear, keeping the cams visible to the internet and providing a non VPN address when required.
As you all can probably tell, I am not a real technical guy, but with enough research I can usually muddle through. If it wasn't for the openwrt interface I would not have attempted this, but it all works great.
My original dd-wrt install took me a couple weeks of reading to get open vpn running in client mode, and only 20 min with openwrt...what a difference.
There may be an easier way, but with my skill level, this is all I could come up with.

Ok, one more question.
Is there a wiki for my Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H to guide me through the changeover process from DD-WRT v3.0-r40189 firmware to the latest stable openwrt?. I can follow instructions real well, but can’t get too deep in it due to disabilities. I came across many sources, but most left me with a feeling I may get in over my head.
Do any guides come to mind that will guide me through the process ?
Thanks, Bryan

See https://openwrt.org/toh/buffalo/wzr-hp-ag300h for OpenWrt installation instructions.

In general, if you want to go from DD-Wrt -> OpenWrt:

  • go back from DD-Wrt to OEM firmware
  • from OEM firmware flash OpenWrt
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That is the only safe advice we can provide in general - the only well-treaded and tested path is installing OpenWrt from the OEM (Buffalo-) firmware, we don't know how dd-wrt works with the hardware. So that's the state you need to achieve (again) for a safe OpenWrt installation.

This part is fine...

...but this raises some alarm flags. As you already noted yourself, this router is a bit older and not really the fastest racer anymore (it was designed when 50 MBit/s were the best anyone could hope for). For VDSL2 with PPPoE (which is rather CPU intensive), it tops out around somewhere between 150 MBit/s and 200 MBit/s (depending on your pain threshold for lagging/ ping times under load; this is before (without) taking potential SQM or VPN usage into account), plain ethernet (as in typical cable setup) can push those limits a bit, but that's a first rough ballpark approximation. Modern cable contracts however usually exceed those figures considerably, so putting a router that is marginal at best at the front between modem and the rest of your network easily introduces a bottleneck. The mvebu based GL.Inet (or the wifi6 based netgear ones as well) routers you want to use behind the Buffalo should be considerably faster for wired routing. While this will work, it's not the best setup and will probably cost you performance for everything behind the Buffalo (so literally for everything, as you want to place it first in line behind the modem).

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32 even, according to our wiki and to Wikidevi. So still usable for years to come on that front.

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Correct, two 16 MByte flash chips concatenated and forming one virtual continuous flash space. I'm familiar with the device, as I've helped a friend with his' a couple if times over the years, but I don't own one myself.

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I'll double down on @slh advice. The buffalo offers no advantage in your proposed setup. Put a brume device connected to the ISP modem. If you want to firewall your cameras put the buffalo device behind the brume and cameras behind that... Or just use the brume...

What you might need is a managed switch to wire all those devices together and handle vlans.

If you can upload this diagram we can maybe offer some simplification and performance tips

Wow, this is quite the helpful friendly community you have hear. I want to thank everyone for their interest in my little situation I got myself into.

I have to agree with this Buffalo router being a bottleneck, and while it is fine now, I can see issues arising in the near future like you all say.
You see, my internet tops out now at 40Mbps (which the buffalo router seems to provide without issues wired), but with Open VPN running on the DD-wrt firmware, it drops to 14Mbps at best. This was marginal when streaming shows from the UK and was my only VPN router till now. I saw this little Brume GLMV1000w router and thought I would try it out to replace the Buffalo, and to my surprise it provided 40Mbps with the Open VPN,which is why I thought I would use the Buffalo off the modem instead of the routers I was using as I felt needed retiring because Dlink abandoned them and I am worried about security holes.
The reason I need a router to stay in the clear off the modem was in the past it was almost impossible to maintain open ports through a vpn provider for the cams and accessing my security / home automation non locally and some sites just blacklist vpn providers IPs, so the need is there.
I appreciate some eyes on my block diagram. All the switches are consumer grade Netgear. I was trying to keep costs down using GL.iNet routers running wireguard for stuff like the TV since I am not using them for travel and I have them.
The only multigig routers I have are the two netgear wifi6. 10gb switches are out of my reach right now. Since all the rooms I home run cat5e, that will be a bit of a limitation too wouldn't it? I do plan to connect fiber internet soon if the Canadian Gov says Bell has to lower wholesale prices, so I am suddenly dropped into the exact situation you all predicted.

P.S. was about to attach a block diagram to my post, but I think I don’t have the rights to do so and I see there is some kind of media manager I have to upload to, so as soon as I get that figured out, I will upload my block diagram
Thanks, Bryan

O.k., this can be easily handled by the Buffalo - anything up to 100-150 MBit/s can be, so you're the safe side. OpenVPN needs considerable performance, so around 14 MBit/s over OpenVPN sounds likely as well.

Buffalo: Atheros AR7161, 1*680 MHz MIPS 74Kc, 32 MB flash, 128 MB RAM
Brume: Marvell Armada 88F3720, 2*1.0 GHz ARMv8 Cortex-A53, 8 GB flash, 1 GB RAM

Obviously performance should be considerably better on the Brume.

10 GBit/s switches are still prohibitively expensive for home uses, but at shorter cable lengths (it's specified up to 100 metres) you can still expect full throughput in practice.

FTTH like WAN speeds will be beyond the abilities of your Buffalo, just keep that in mind for the future - no need to plan too far ahead though.

That would probably be useful, as my gut feeling suggests that there might be considerable simplification opportunities in your current network, without losing capabilities - but improving performance and robustness.

Here is a diagram how everything is working at the moment except for the new box for recording cams which is coming. Don’t know why it said not having rights to upload this before. I prefer pics not to be elsewhere incase the host is not there in future.

O.k., that clears up the setup a little. Technically speaking you could do all this (Buffalo + 2* Brume) on a single router, but I understand why you want to avoid that (and you'd quickly run out of enough router ports[0], having to extend that with a managed switch to separate the multiple VLANs). I assume neither of the POE switches have (L2) managed capabilities?

Using the slowest[1] router at the pinching point[2] still feels wrong, but that's not an issue with your current WAN speed.

[0] the major reason why I've avoided GL.Inet so far, while they do have nice devices 1+2 ethernet ports just isn't enough for me.
[1] Buffalo
[2] behind the modem

No, unfortunately they are just the gs108 prosafe netgear unmanaged, and TRENDnet TPE-TG80G PoE+ Switch,
If I understand, the layer 2 switches don’t care what router the switch is on because it only sees mac addresses? If so, this would make things much easier.
Something I haven't worked out yet with the new setup is the buffalo router is still on, whereas all the other routers are on 10.0.x.1 addresses, so when I want to view the cams, I have to switch to the buffalo router. I haven't quite worked out how to make everything to play nice.

The two Netgear routers are on on the same subnet, share the same SSID and key so users will change seamlessly to the outside AP, and the wifi6 routers have smart connect enabled so users only see one SSID for both bands on both netgear routers simplifying things for my family.
I was hoping the buffalo will have enough power to manage all the cam traffic as well as supply bandwidth for the rest of the network as if I can hold off, bell fiber supplies a multigig integrated modem/router.

Maybe you can convert the buffalo to an AP and mngd switch behind the brume... segment the networks with vlans and reduce the bottlenecks

I did not know I could do that. I will flash first with openwrt and figure how to do that. Sounds interesting.

Are routers not suppose to forward ip’s without having to do anything fancy? Like, if I connected from an unused port on the buffalo to a port on the netgear wifi6 ax6000, would that not forward the cam traffic from the buffalo router?. They are on separate floors, but another run is no problem.

The capabilities depend a bit on what the involved firmwares offer to the user. With OpenWrt you do have wide ranging access to set up multiple network interface and VLANs isolating the individual LAN ports (or passing it through to a managed switch via trunk ports) - most consumer routers don't really offer that (I assume you've configured the rax120 in "AP mode" (which would be correct), reducing its feature set a bit more than otherwise available in router mode).

Yes once with OpenWrt you can set up several virtual lans on the Brume router which represent the segmentation you have currently but all converging on the Brume so that you have control over the network segmentation at a single spot and not a big bottleneck. The general idea is something like this:

Where the Blue and the Orange networks are represented by different VLAN tags, and they go through the buffalo device which can have different vlans on different ports. and then converge at the edge router.

In this case the buffalo does not do any routing, it's just a switch, and so operates a full hardware switching speed. It also can be an access point which would be attached to either or both vlans (different SSIDs for each vlan for example)

I'm not entirely clear on your network, but it looks to me like you need several VLANs:

  1. A VOIP phone
  2. A Canada based VPN with wifi access points
  3. A US Based VPN with wifi access points
  4. PoE cameras wired in + recording device

so instead of 2 colors you'd have 4. If the buffalo router doesn't have enough ports, you can potentially just buy an 8 or 16 or 24 port managed switch, cost between about $30 and $130 depending on port count and features

Wow, very cool. Looking forward to doing this. I am just busy looking through old backups to find my original buffalo firmware to flash, as it appears they have removed the download from their servers.

Thanks for the detailed concept