My initial thoughts on AdvancedTomato

I did it again. I installed a custom firmware on my router.

 

This time around, I installed a firmware called AdvancedTomato. Alright, not that bad. I thought I’d give my thoughts on the entire process of installing the firmware and the firmware itself.

 

Installation, well Asus decided to lock down their routers from uploading custom firmwares from the web GUI…but nonetheless, I used their recovery tool to circumvent the restriction. Otherwise, after a little panic, the install took 20 minutes, and was pretty seamless.

 

Getting my router set up took some time, as there is a learning curve to the firmware. Perfect time to mention, this is pretty much Tomato by Shibby. Just with a different GUI. And boy, is the GUI pretty! This has to be the nicest GUI on a router, and I think most will agree. Everything just flows, but has the same layout as Tomato has (at least, from screenshots).

 

While the GUI is absolutely awesome, and is pretty much unified all across the board, 1 issue. Where’s the Roboto font advertised?

 

Tomato, on the other hand, does what it does. Apparently, it’s very stable (I’ll report on that later in time), and from my first look, has a great set of features. Logging to USB sticks, bandwidth monitoring (down to per IP), DHCP reserves, all that fun stuff. Plus, you get some extra cool goodies, like a built-in mySQL server and Nginx web server. Telnet/SSH are present, along with HTTPS, and the standard variety of features.

There were a few issues upon initial configuration, like the 80 MHz width option showing up in 1 place, but not the other. DHCP got really messed up at first, and it took some time to figure out where to input the DHCP ranges. Also, QoS is a bit confusing in my opinion, but that’s probably a me thing.

 

Certainly, right off the bat, I can see improvements over DD-WRT when I last installed it. There’s some extra features, and the UI is laid out much more nicely (with the sidebar approach), along with true IP bandwidth monitoring. There’s also nicer Namecheap DDNS integration, versus DD-WRT. Otherwise, I haven’t discovered the true extent of Tomato, just yet.

 

Expect a full review in a month or two, once AdvancedTomato settles in, about features and stability, and other things.

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