How to install DD-WRT on the Asus RT-N16

Asus RT-N16

If you want to use DD-WRT on your Asus RT-N16 the first thing you have to do is install the firmware.  This process is often referred to as “Flashing the firmware”.  There are several How-To’s out there for flashing DD-WRT on the Asus RT-N16 and I’m going to show you the easiest BY FAR!  (This doesn’t mean it’s the shortest but it is the easiest that I know of.) Some of the tutorials online for flashing DD-WRT can be pretty lengthy and confusing.  As of 12/18/2014 when I posted this article I have used the process below to flash DD-WRT on over 10 routers in the past year.  I haven’t had an issue with a single one.

Flashing DD-WRT on the Asus RT-N16 (The Easy Way)

Keep in mind that I was a technical writer in a previous life.  Yes, there are over 20 steps BUT if you want to do this quickly without reading all the steps just follow the text within each step in BOLD.

  1. Download these two files below by clicking on them and saving them to the computer which will be used to Flash the router.
  2. Plug the power cord into the router.  Make sure you see the power light and Wireless light on.  They should both be Blue.  That’s how you know it’s up and running and ready to begin.
  3. Plug a network cable from your computer into one of the four yellow LAN ports on the back of the router.  Wait about 20 seconds so your computer will pull an IP address from the router.
  4. Open up an Internet Browser.  (In years past you could only use Internet Explorer for this process BUT since about 2013 I have also successfully used Firefox.  Not sure about Chrome or others).
  5. Disregard any other pages that may have pulled up in your Internet Browser about configuring the router (if they appear).  We only want to input the url below in the address bar.  It will take you directly to the Asus firmware upgrade page.  Type this url exactly how it appears below into your browser address bar:

  6. When prompted for a username and password enter in admin for both username and password then click on OK.
  7. You should be at the exact page you need to be for uploading DD-WRT.  Next to New Firmware File click on the Browse button
  8. Navigate to where you stored the TRX file from step 1.  That was the first DD-WRT file called dd-wrt.v24-14896_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_RT-N16.trx.  Select that file and then click on Open.
  9. After the file has been selected and opened click on Upload.
  10. You will see something that says Proceeding and then you’ll see a Progress Bar that tells you it will take 3 minutes.  Typically I find it takes longer than 3 minutes, usually about 4:30 to load the firmware.
  11. When it’s done you will see Firmware upgrade is done.  Close your Internet Browser and pull the power cord on the router and wait about 30 seconds.  Then plug the power back in.
  12. Once the router is back online (you see Blue lights on the unit) Open your Internet Browser and enter into your address bar:
  13. You should see the DD-WRT interface asking you to reset your password.  For simplicity sake (because we aren’t done yet) for the Router Username type in root and for the Router Password and Re-enter to confirm type in admin. Then click on Change Password. (You can change those later after we are done loading the next piece of firmware.)
  14. Click on the Administration tab. When prompted to enter your username and password type in root for the username and admin for the password, then click on OK.
  15. Click on the Firmware Upgrade tab. (It’s probably right under the Administration tab)
  16. Click on the Browse button next to Please select a file to upgrade.
  17. This time we need to Navigate to where you stored the BIN file from step 1.  That was the second DD-WRT file called dd-wrt.v24-14929_NEWD-2_K2.6_big.  Select that file and then click on Open.
  18. After the file has been selected and opened click on Upgrade. After about 2 minutes the file will load up and you will most likely be brought back to the DD-WRT Setup page.
  19. Click on the Administration tab
  20. Click on the Factory Defaults tab
  21. For Restore Factory Defaults click on Yes then click on Apply Settings.  At the Warning! window click on OK. Wait 1 minute.
  22. Open your Internet Browser and enter into your address bar:
  23.  Enter in the Router Username and Password you want.  You are done.  You now have DD-WRT Build 14929 mega on the router.

Note about DD-WRT build 14929. There are several other versions of firmware out there besides the 14929 build.  However, I have had issues with getting other settings and features to work on DD-WRT with the newer builds.  I have read positive things about Build 15943 (referred to as Build 15493 “snow”) but haven’t had time to test everything on it.)