OpenWRT vs AsusWRT

Posted May 25, 2015 by David Redekop to Feature Security

When we first began adding DNSthingy functionality to existing high-performance routers, OpenWRT was an obvious win. Over time, however, as we built our functionality to be more platform-neutral and started beta-testing pfSense, IPfire, ClearOS, our engineering team noticed that from a total throughput perspective, AsusWRT is clearly optimized (great job, ASUS!), so we have a good number of our early adopters now running on AsusWRT+DNSthingy (vs OpenWRT+DNSthingy) firmware.

To help with the comparison, refer to this table below and it will become obvious why we are leaning towards AsusWRT going forward.

Firmware Mode: OpenWRT AsusWRT
Firmware size ~8MB ~21MB
Captive Portal Setup Wizard No Yes
RT-N16 throughput Tops out at ~70mbps Tops out at ~150Mbps
PPTP Server No Yes on all models including RT-N16
OpenVPN Server No Yes on RT-AC68U and above
Auto-upgrades Yes Yes
Filesystem Read/write Read-only (better for security)

A few notes worth mentioning:

  1. Our production firmware upgrades automatically and checks once per 24-hour period.

  2. The firmware upgrade check happens by default at 3am in your local timezone. The local timezone is automatically assigned using javascript timezone detection on the dashboard. You can change your preferred firmware upgrade time-of-day on your dashboard under the Advanced section.

  3. There is no automatic way of migrating from OpenWRT to AsusWRT (or vice-versa). It requires a manual set of steps including erasing the NVRAM where configuration information is stored. NVRAM configuration is different between the two platforms. If you’re interested, email support and we will be happy to provide you with instructions and support.