Netgear WNR3500L open source router setup - by Mindach

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Upgrade to "Tomato" on the Netgear WNR3500L an make it an unbelievable Open Source Router.

Rev; Dec 2010    
First Why the Netgear WNR3500L?;

I did it to gain control and enhance features beyond what is offered in low cost home routers. I selected the Netgear WNR3500L because;

1.      Gigabyte Switch

2.      Port “Translation” the factory firmware will not do port shifts to defeat hackers.

3.      Fast internal processor 453Mhz vs. 66Mhz for most others at this price level.

4.      USB accessories, including printers

5.      Cost less than $80 (on the street, Jan 2011) but compares to routers costing hundreds more in features and speed.

6.      More control over wireless. Be careful here as the chip runs hot if overdone in power output, more than 70mw is silly with internal antennas as the "bleed over" kills the router speed. And you will need to add a heat sync to keep the  chip cool enough to live. More info;



I did this and it worked the 1st time on my Netgear WNR3500L!


1.    Setup and update you router with the factory firmware (Automatic) and do a 30-30-30 reboot and download this kit ----------> WNR3500L-Netgear/3500L/ (contains all files mentioned below).


2.    Flash with mini DD-WRT;  I used dd-wrt.v24-14929_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-WNR3500L.chk (MINI Version in kit). Reboot Router 30-30-30

3.    Flash with the full “Big” DD-WRTI used à dd-wrt.v24-14929_NEWD-2_K2.6_big.bin (In Kit) (Reboot router again with 30-30-30) – This ran slow in throughput testing compared with stock firmware, but I liked the interface very much. I was tempted to keep this but it was to slow in testing.

4.    Flash with Tomato version; I used (without renaming) à1.28 beta tomato-K26USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-Ext.trx (In kit) This new version was much faster in everything in actual testing, I am very happy with this upgrade. Note it has USB support.  (Reboot router again with 30-30-30 and see note below) and it should be ready to setup and use.

5. New; version of Tomato USB v1.28.9054


 Notes (Read before you start);

1.    Password changes at each flash so have them ready.

2.    NO file renaming is required with this method (above "kit").

3.    Take your time, each flash takes a good deal of time to install >5min.

4.    Important; I used “Firefox” mostly but at one point I tried Explorer when I could not get my passwords to work for “Tomato”, “Opera” solved the problem of cached passwords and let me in. I could have just flushed the browser cache in “Firefox” if I had only known.


Mindach; I have done several now (Jan, 2011) and all with great results!



Tomato Firmware v1.28.9054 MIPSR2-beta K26 USB Ext

USB support integration and GUI,
Linux kernel and Broadcom Wireless Driver updates,
support for additional router models and Wireless-N mode.
Copyright (C) 2008-2010 Fedor Kozhevnikov and Ray Van Tassle

Based on Tomato Firmware v1.28
Copyright (C) 2006-2010 Jonathan Zarate

Built on Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:25:48 -0500