ASUS RT-N66U – TomatoUSB firmware Flashing Guide (119)


    March 11th, 2012 | Tags: , , | Posted in Guides, Tech

    ASUS RT-N66U running TomatoUSB firmware!

    TomatoUSB is an alternative open source firmware for Broadcom-based routers like the ASUS RT-N66U Black Knight. It is a modification of the famous Tomato Firmware but with built-in support for USB port, wireless-N support. Check out this entry for an overview of the ASUS RT-N66U Black Knight.

    Some of the TomatoUSB features are:

    • Very advanced QoS (Quality of Service) configuration
    • Advanced wireless configurations (WDS, wireless client modes, etc)
    • Graphical bandwidth usage monitor
    • Printer server: access USB printer from LAN
    • Media server DLNA
    • Built-in support for USB – 3G, Storage

    You can view more information about TomatoUSB here. You can always flash it back to the original firmware by following this guide and specifying the original firmware instead.

     

    Not sure why are you flashing third party firmware?

    I am flashing TomatoUSB into my ASUS RT-N66U due to the following:

    • DHCP reservation in the original firmware do not work really well. For some reason, some clients just do not get their reserved IP correctly despite having the correct MAC address
    • DHCP reservation in the original firmware does not give clues what you are reserving for. I felt that besides allowing you to enter the “MAC address” and “IP address”, it should allow you to enter “Hostname/Comments” so that I will know what that line is for
    • Basic implementation of QoS in original firmware. This is subjective, to some, the QoS is just fine but the one in firmware 3.1.0.3.90 keeps assigning lowest priority to the first 3 custom rules. To be fair, this is fixed if you flash up to 3.0.0.3.108
    • No option of defining range of DHCP client list in original firmware. For some reason, it just distributes ALL available IP addresses. For me, I prefer to cut my available IP addresses into 2 blocks – one for static machines/servers and the other for any clients

    So are you ready to flash TomatoUSB onto the RT-N66U? If yes, just proceed on.

    Warning: Flashing third party firmware will void your warranty! I will not be held responsible if anything goes wrong.

     

    What are the required files?

    You will need to have the following:

    • ASUS Firmware Restoration Utility
    • TomatoUSB (Shibby) firmware

    Getting the ASUS Firmware Restoration Utility

    1. Open another browser window/tab and navigate to http://support.asus.com/ServiceHome.aspx?SLanguage=en
    2. Search for support for RT-N66U
    3. Select the “download” link
    4. Specify the OS you are using
    5. Download the latest Utility for RT-N66U
    6. Install the package

    Getting the TomatoUSB (Shibby) firmware for RT-N66U

    1. Open another browser window/tab and navigate to http://tomato.groov.pl/download/K26RT-N/
    2. Look for the latest build for “RT-N66U”.
    3. Download the firmware (.trx) file. If you do not know which to download, just download the one with “mega” or “BT” in the filename

    Great! By now, you should have the ASUS Utility installed and the latest TomatoUSB (Shibby) firmware downloaded. Lets proceed to the next section.

     

    How do I flash the TomatoUSB firmware onto the RT-N66U?

    The steps are simple, you will need to:

    • Start the firmware restoration process (using firmware restoration utility in the ASUS Utility package) so that it is searching for router
    • Put the ASUS RT-N66U into firmware restoration mode and quickly start the firmware restoration process

    Before you proceed, pull out the power cable to your RT-N66U and have a pen ready to press the reset button (between the USB ports and WAN port)

    Preparing for firmware restoration to TomatoUSB (Shibby)

    1. Launch the firmware restoration utility (this is one of the tools in the Utility you installed earlier)
    2. In the firmware restoration utility, browse for the TomatoUSB firmware you have downloaded earlier
    3. Start the firmware flashing and a prompt should appear stating that it is an incompatible firmware. Proceed to the next step.

    Putting the RT-N66U into emergency firmware restore mode

    1. Press and hold on to the reset button
    2. While holding down the reset button, plug in the power cable so that the RT-N66U turns on.
      Note: Keep holding the reset button until the power led starts to flash (on and off). When power led starts flashing, release the reset button and proceed.
    3. On the firmware restoration utility, agree to the prompt saying that it is a incompatible firmware.
      The utility should be scanning for device. Quickly proceed to the next step
    4. Wait until the flashing is complete
    5. Power cycle the router when it is complete

     

    Finally, clearing the NVRAM before you use TomatoUSB

    It is always a good practice to clear out the previous settings (in NVRAM) whenever you flash to different firmwares. In this case, it is required to flush out the NVRAM.

    You can either flush the NVRAM either through key presses or through web admin.

    Clearing NVRAM via key presses

    1. Power off the RT-N66U
    2. Press and hold down the WPS button
    3. While holding the WPS button, plug in the power cable to turn RT-N66U on
    4. Keep holding the WPS button for 30 seconds before releasing
      The router should reboot 
    5. Congratulations. The NVRAM has been cleared.

    Clearing NVRAM via web admin

    The TomatoUSB administration web should be at http://192.168.1.1 . If it is not, do a “ipconfig” or “ifconfig” and navigate to the gateway address with your web browser. If you are not able to get an IP address from DHCP, you might want to set your computer’s IP address to 192.168.1.2 (255.255.255.0).

    When prompted for a login, the default is:

    • User: root
    • Pass: admin

    Once you are in, follow the next step to clear out the previous settings

    1. Navigate to Administration -> Configuration
    2. Under Restore Default Configuration, select “Erase all data in NVRAM memory (thorough)
    3. Click “OK”
    4. Wait for the router to be ready

    Your RT-N66U is now running TomatoUSB (Shibby). Have fun exploring and configuring the RT-N66U. Do update me if there are anything wrong with this guide so that I can fix it. Thanks!

     

    Treat shadowandy!


    If these step-by-step guides have been very helpful to you and saved you a lot of time, please consider treating shadowandy to a cup of Starbucks.  
     






    119 responses

    1. Vlan configuration available?

       
    2. VLan id is limited to 1-15 from GUI. CLI should be able to expand to more.

       
    3. I didn’t have the best of luck with Tomato. Instead I’ve gone with
      http://code.google.com/p/rt-n56u/

      I’m not sure if they’re working on a N66U yet, but it’s far more stable on the N56U

       
    4. [...] 3rd Party Firmware support: Yes. TomatoUSB works well. Check out the TomatoUSB Flashing Guide for ASUS RT-N66U. [...]

       
    5. You wrote:
      “2. Look for the latest build for “RT-N10U”. Yes, we are using RT-N10U firmware on the RT-N66U”

      Does this still hold true since Shibby has an RT-N66U specific folder also with builds?

      see here: http://tomato.groov.pl/index.php?dir=K26RT-N%2Fbuild5x-087V-EN

      Thanks! :)

       
    6. Ive,

      Did not realize shibby has got a new folder! Yes, please download the one in the folder “RT-N66U”. Will be updating the guide. :)

       
    7. ok, cool – just checking since I want to try this eventually. And thanks VERY much shadowandy for the great write-up!! :)

       
    8. Some of my observations when I flashed mine.

      You said to pull out the power before starting the upload?
      I got an invalid IP address problem.
      What I did was to power it up with the reset button held and then pressing the upload button in the firmware utility.

      Maybe ASUS updated their firmware utility?

       
    9. wyred,

      I think it is the same app but different responses. Maybe I should change it to “plug in and hold on to reset” and at the same time start the firmware flashing. Only release the reset when it states that it is uploading the firmware?

       
    10. Yea, that’s how it went for me at least.

      And I forgot to clear the NVRAM so some things like traffic/bandwidth monitoring and wifi weren’t working. Might want to strongly emphasize on this.

      Thanks for the article!

       
    11. wyred,

      Thanks for the feedback! Hope the article will be more useful for the next reader!

       
    12. Have you tried connecting an external hard drive to the router? I’m really considering buying this router but I’m not sure how fast Shibby’s Tomato Mod handles file transfers.

       
    13. Thanks for the wonderful TomatoUSB guide. I’ve been reading about this tomatoUSB recently and have been looking around for a clear guide on how to install and use it. Yours is the best one I’ve come across to date. It even includes almost direct link to the latest Shibby build. Bonus points for that.

      I pulled the trigger on ordering an RT-N66U lastnight so I should receive mine in the mail later on next week hopefully! Look forward to my new wireless router (first wireless one too!).

      By any chance would you be willing to post a nice guide on setting up a good secure wireless home network with all the recommended settings. etc using the RT-N66U and shibby tomato firmware? That would be awesome if you can find the time to do that to help out newbies with setting up their home wi-fi network with this router! If not, no worries the world won’t end!

      Once again keep up the wonderful posts and tips in regards to the RT-N66U router and TomatoUSB posts.

      Cheers,
      Morden

       
    14. No need for the Asus recovery software as you can just do the following.

      Place the router into recovery mode.

      Open web browser to 192.168.1.1 and the miniweb server will come up with options to upload a firmware, reboot router or clear nvram.

       
    15. zombie,

      Sounds good to me. Then readers have to set their computer to static ip 192.168.1.2 and subnet mask 255.255.255.0 in order to access the miniweb server on RT-N66U (192.168.1.1).

       
    16. Well, this fw is great. Thanks for it! I had just 1 problem, after installing I lost the 5GHz wireless config after installing a guest network on 2.4 Ghz.

       
    17. Hi, I’ve been using the DNS-323 with transmission 2.42 based on your instructions in this blog. Recently I bought an Asus RT-N56 but the transmission in my DNS-323 stopped working. The torrents simply stopped working after 1 min and cannot be forced start. I tried forwarding the ports in the router but still faced the same issue. Do you have any solutions for this?

       
    18. I had a little issue getting mine into recovery mode.
      Found that I needed to hold the reset button down and after plugging it in wait till the power button blinked slowly.
      Once I did this the software was able to connect.
      http://www.manualowl.com/m/Asus/RT-N66U/Manual/241893?page=47

      Have it installed and running now.
      Thanks for the guide!!

       
    19. I lost 2.4Ghz connection and my 5Ghz wireless not working after doing this. Anything I missed?

       
    20. vijay,

      Do make sure that the firmware you are using are not having known issues with wireless. Secondly, have you performed a wipe after flashing? Try doing it.

       
    21. Oh these instructions were lovely. While I’m pretty good at trouble-shooting things, networking is not really something I play around with too much other than setting it up.

      I followed your instructions and everything worked great. I noted the wireless security settings prior to reflashing, and when I updated the wireless config info in Shibby, I could see all of my devices connecting.

      Woohoo!

      Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get my old multifunction printer to work and the external usb drive. It didn’t work very well with the ASUS firmware, so I wanted to try with Shibby.

       
    22. I have question about QOS – I am using heavy FTP traffic, and I am gamer. So I want following setup :

      I am playing – I want to prioritize my game traffic – but FTP should go as faster as it could, but do not interrupt / lag my gaming packets. (I suppose 20% of whole bandwith should be reserved for gaming when I am playing)
      (my internet is 100Mib/100Mib)

      when I am not playing – 20% reserved for gaming are unused so qos drops it to minimum – 5%, other 15% are used for ftp, so theoreticaly FTP is using 80+15 = 95% of whole traffic.

      I think its called adaptive qos or what.
      Is this possible with Tomato on n66u ?

      currently I have n56u and its qos is not qos, its BS!

       
    23. Thank you for this guide. I put shibby 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-093 K26 USB AIO on my n66u. So far its been working great.

      For future shibby releases, can I just upgrade the firmware from the router > admin option? Or do I need to repeat the above procedure?

      thank you!

       
    24. Hi,

      Thanks for the guide. Seeing you got both the latest Asus router can you confirm your thoughts with regards to performance on them minus being able to install tomato firmware on n66u. I have ordered my n66u but been reading elsewhere performance wise mainly wireless N56 is better.

      Thanks

      Chris

       
    25. Scott,

      For future upgrade, just need to upgrade from the web admin.

       
    26. First wanted to say thanks! I found this guide because I blogger I follow posted about it: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/06/because-everyone-still-needs-a-router.html

      So I made the leap and bought the router, and I’ve been walking through the instructions as prep. It appears to me that the current location for the firmware has changed (again) to here:

      http://tomato.groov.pl/K26RT-N/build5x-093-EN/Asus%20RT-Nxx%20(with%20USB)/

      Thought you would like to know. And if I am mistaken, please let me know so I don’t install the wrong thing. Thanks again.

       
    27. Thank you very much for your guide!!

      On a brand new RT-N66U, flashed with the actually newest
      tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-094.1-AIO.trx
      I never got 2.4Ghz up and running. Only 5Ghz wireless is working.
      It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to clear the NVRAM before you use TomatoUSB, even if you have never used the device or Tomato before!!
      After doing this, both frequencies worked well and I finally can connect my HTC Desire HD to my new Router .-)

       
    28. I wasn’t able to upload the Tomato firmware under Windows 7 64-bit. I had to drop down to XP to make it work – very frustrating, it took a while to figure this out.

      It would be a nice footnote in the guide to suggest a different machine if you are having trouble with Win7x64.

       
    29. I’m not sure what trouble you encountered, but I just flashed mine using Windows 7 64-bit, Ultimate Edition.

       
    30. Look for the latest build for “RT-N66U”??
      Only found N5x firmware. Is this correct?

       
    31. Just an addendum to your instructions here… I had some trouble flashing TomatoUSB onto a brand new router out of the box and had to do a little poking to figure out why.

      There are four steps that you need to accomplish to get the flash to work. Fancy timing is not required, as you implied, it just has to be done in the proper order…

      1. Plug into the router with a cable and set your PC to have an IP address in the 192.168.1.1/24 range, but NOT 192.168.1.1. So anything from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254.

      2. Put the router into “rescue mode” by doing the following:
      A. Press and hold on to the reset button with the power cable disconnected.
      B. Plug in the power cable and turn on the power button so that the RT-N66U turns on.
      C. Keep the reset button pressed until the power led begins blink slowly. The router is now in Rescue Mode.

      3. Start the firmware restore utility, browse to the downloaded firmware file, and start the upload. When you are warned that this is not official firmware, click OK. The firmware will upload and the router should restart automatically.

      4. Change your PC’s network settings back to DHCP and connect to the Tomato interface and clear the NVRam as suggested above.

      Hope this helps someone. I had to go digging in ASUS’s website to find out how the Firmware Restore Utility was SUPPOSED to work to figure out how to make it work in this situation.

      Thanks for the guide,

      Glenn

       
    32. Got THE router today.
      What a nice black beast!!!
      Flashed it with the tomato, but after some vlantweaking i lost my wireless.
      Had to reset it and flash it again. Now i’m fine.

       
    33. Followed your steps today and they worked liked a charm! I noticed though that the link for the firmware download no longer works. It’s now http://tomato.groov.pl/download/K26RT-N/

       
    34. Emanuel House,

      Thanks! Updated the firmware download location.

       
    35. Would flashing an RT-N66U with Tomato be possible without using Windows? Specifically, I’m wondering if I could somehow flash the the thing using OS X.

       
    36. works great, thanks!

      In Advanced wireless settings, I see an option to set tx rate but I DO NOT see any 802.11n data rates. Any idea why? Any solution for this?

      regards
      sid

       
    37. sid,

      It might be a “feature” of Shibby’s firmware. Need him to fix it. :)

       
    38. To bad, Virtual Wireless isn’t working in the tomatousb. Would be nice if that is fixed in near future. I’m using the Tomato Firmware 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-097 K26 USB AIO from Shibby

       
    39. kasteleman,

      You can try using the older release from TomatoUSB if the current version does not work for you.

      I am using Tomato Firmware 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-092 K26 USB Mega-VPN and the wireless is working great.

       
    40. Support for multiple printers & scanners. Can I have a USB hub attached to RT-N66U and access hub’s attached scanner and printer?

       
    41. DaveW,

      Personally I have yet to try this out but on my other devices that support USB devices, attaching a hub does not break the functionality. You can try it out. :)

       
    42. Thanks everyone for the great information. I’m new to home networking and would greatly appreciate if someone can point me to a good detailed beginner’s guide to generally networking best practices.

      I have a very basic setup, with 5 to 6 connected devices. However, I would like to add a robust QoS setup for an Ooma, insure proper security, etc. I plan on getting u-verse service soon. Currently on At&t DSL (5Mbit).

      Thanks!

       
    43. It took a while before it finally uploaded the firmware successfully. Once it did, everything seemed to work.

      But for some reason the 5ghz channel only appears on my Samsung galaxy s2, and not on my Asus N53 dual band adapter.

      I cleared the nvram before and after uploading the firmware with the firmware restoration tool.

      Any ideas on what might cause this to happen?

       
    44. Nevermind I fixed it. Under advanced wireless settings I changed my country region to my country and set the 802.11n preamble mode to Auto, and voila the 5ghz channel appeared.

      Thanks for the guide, very helpful!

       
    45. Thanks for the instructions. I haven’t quite gotten Tomato working yet, but I did get it flashed onto my Asus N66U. I can’t seem to get it to actually work with my cable modem for some reason though. It just constantly says “renewing”.

       
    46. C,

      I am assuming you are from Singapore. Your router must be set to DHCP mode and both the cable modem and router need to be rebooted. Else the cable modem will remember the last MAC address of the connected equipment and refuse to issue an IP to your newly connected equipment.

       
    47. I am about to order the N66U and already bookmarked this awesome guide!
      Thanks shadowandy for sharing this info with us.
      Just one question: if by chance I want to revert to official Asus firmware, is that possible or I must stick to Tomato forever ? Is it possible to save the original firmware to disk before flashing the new one ?

       
    48. Flashing went fine but after flashing I could not access the webGUI. No what I tried…

      Had almost given it upp when i found the solution:

      Press and hold the WPS button (on the back) while plugging in the power cable. Hold for 30 seconds and release the WPS button, the router will now boot. Now it worked!!

      This will clear NVRAM without needing to enter the web-UI. What a life-saver.

       
    49. Anders,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I am sure one will panic if the web admin cannot be accessed.

      Will try out the wps button trick the next time round if I need to clear the nvram.

       
    50. Nice guide used it on my new RT-N66U as the pppoe would not work this firmware solved the problem.

      A few points in the guide are wrong

      1.To upload the firmware you need to hold down the reset button push the power switch on (while holding down the reset switch down) untill the power light starts flashing on and off.

      2.Then you can leisurely go to your pc and use the ASUS upload utility to load the firmware.

      3.To access the web interface after installing the firmware the Nvram must be cleared first. You do this by Pressing and hold the WPS button (on the back) while plugging in the power cable. Hold for 30 seconds and release the WPS button. It will now reboot

      4.now attempt to access the web interface on 192.168.1.1 L:root PW:admin

       
    51. I cannot put the router into the restoration mode. I followed the instruction in the article and in the message from Glenn Sullivan. None of them works. Here is what happens: the power button starts blinking in about 2-sec (on and off) intervals. Is this the signal for the restoration mode, the so called slow blinking? This is all I get, anyway. Then I try a variety of possibilities: I tried releasing the reset button both before starting the flashing process and after that but, no luck. It scans for the router for about 30 secs and then gives the message that the router in not in restoration mode.

      Maybe this is because I am under Windows 8 64bit?

      Is there another way to flash the Tomato firmware? I have a Mac too and I have access to a terminal.

       
    52. Woohoo! I finally got this thing working. I “bricked” it a few dozen times flashing it again and again since last night. I stayed up until irresponsible o’clock in the morning working on this and got maybe 2 hours of sleep before work. I brought it in to work so that I could work on it in my down time. I couldn’t get it to work after flashing it to anything other than if I flashed it back to stock. I read that you should clear the nvram, advice that didn’t really help me out because everything I did didn’t seem to work. I would restart in recovery mode and use the link in there to clear it and that didn’t work. The web interface (aside from the recovery mode one) never loaded, so I couldn’t use the option from within there.

      I think this is the only tutorial that I read that actually made it clear that to clear this out you need to hold down the WPS button for 30 seconds and NOT the reset button. I can’t wait to get it home to be able to set it up on my home network. Thanks for the great advice. I would have hated to spend so much money with the promise of a custom firmware only to have to use the stock firmware.

       
    53. I just installed the
      tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-102-AIO-64K.trx
      om a new asus RT-N66U previously flashed with the last 246 firmware from asus. It seem faster now with the Tomato one and easier to configure. I wander wy Asus dont come first with a firmware as good !
      Thank you .

       
      Richard Duranleau October 29th, 2012 at 5:44 am
    54. I finally managed to flash to Tomato. I was using a third party modified version of Asus firmware and apparently, it was allowing me to go to restore mode. I first switched back to an original Asus firmware and from there I was able to follow the instruction on this site.

       
    55. I like the Tomato firmware a lot, but it does NOT give me the possibility to Disable WAN/Internet which I must as I`m running the RT-N66U as a Client bridge, so I have to use dd-wrt as the dd-wrt makes this possible. TomatoUSB refuses to let me disable WAN/Internet.

      If you can make this opiton possible I would be very happe. But as long as TomatoUSB does not give me that option I cannot use it. Too bad really.

       
    56. Can anyone confirm whether Parental Controls work on Tomato? I’m currently running Asus firmware v3.0.0.4.246 and PC’s don’t work very well. Kids can still access the internet after hours. Thanks.

       
    57. Tony O.,

      There is a “Access Restriction” feature in TomatoUSB for ASUS RT-N66U which you can define computer MAC addresses to be blocked from Internet access during certain hours.

      Did a quick test and it appears to work. Well, unless your kids are tech enough change MAC addresses on their devices.

       
    58. Great guide. Worked on the first try without having to do anything beyond the instructions you wrote (no setting ip address, performing ceremonial dances to appease the gods, etc…). Just in case anyone else has this questions: yes, the RT-N66R is the exact same as the RT-N66U. Just did the flash on the RT-N66R model, works great. Thanks again.

       
    59. I am having trouble logging back into user interface of the router. When the flashing is completed, i waited for 10 mins. The router seems not willing to reboot itself. And the power led stays ON. My connection icon on my computer shows no connect to the router.

      Should I wait for 10 mins and then manually power off the router and do a Nvram clean?

      Always am i correct going into RT-N66u 64k and choose AIO or BT VPN?

      I just bought the router today Nov 12 2012 and I dont know if i can run AIO?

       
    60. Is there a build for the RT-N66R that would enable me to create a Guest network?

       
    61. Can anybody let us know about 5Gz wireless option on rt n66u at tomato fw? On stock and Merlin Fw there are only 4 channels there to choose. 36,38, 40, 44 or smth. I do wonder what configuration options now you have?

       
    62. valerima,

      The ASUS RT-N66U (TomatoUSB) 5 GHz Wireless N channel options are:

      1) Auto
      2) 40 – 5.200 GHz
      3) 48 – 5.240 GHz
      4) 56 – 5.280 GHz
      5) 64 – 5.320 GHz
      6) 153 – 5.765 GHz
      7) 161 – 5.805 GHz

       
    63. [...] Step 1: Install Tomato USB (Guide for RT-N16 and Guide for RT-N66U) [...]

       
    64. 5Gz – while I am still on stock fw and used Merlin’s builds for the moment still can confirm that experiencing problems with 5Gz. It is visible just on few devices as samsung galaxy s2 and dell xps studio lapt, but nobody else. And I see last messages from ddwrt forum – they do have problems with 5gz either.
      What is the experience with 5Gz at you guys.

       
    65. USB Hubs (powered):

      Hates my D-Link (DUB-H7) USB Hub but works perfectly with my TRENDnet (TU2-700).

      That’s the opposite result from a Toastman build for my WNR3500Lv1.

      MIPSR2-104 K26 USB Mega-VPN

       
    66. I am trying to put my new RT-N66U, firmware RT-N66U_3.0.0.4_260.trx, into firmware restoration mode, using:
      ASUS Utility\RT-N66U Wireless Router\Router Setup Wizard.lnk

      Connecting only 1 Ethernet cable to my computer, I get the error:
      “Two or more wired connections are detected. Connect your computer with the router using only one Ethernet cable then try again”.

      What can I do to put the router into firmware restoration mode ?
      Please help.

       
    67. Cucumber,

      To update the (official) firmware for RT-N66U, you can simply do it through the webgui.

       
    68. Excellent guide! Couple of questions for clarification:
      1. Should we be going after builds in the “Asus RT-Nxx (with USB)” folder, or the “Asus RT-N66u 64k”? And what’s the difference?

      2. Is there a link to describe what the different build types are? I assume there are feature differences between the AIO, BT-VPN, & Mega-VPN builds. I just can’t find a description on Shibby’s site.

      Thanks!

       
    69. MDunkleSr,

      The difference in the non-64k and 64k is the amount of nvram set aside for saving the router settings. For feature rich firmwares like TomatoUSB, people found that they ran out of storage space when they enable more features. So it is better to install the 64k builds to avoid migration in the future. I had to reconfigure from scratch when I changed over to 64k builds.

      For the features, he used to have a English site. Now is just Polish (http://tomato.groov.pl/?page_id=66). For me, I simply chose the AIO build.

       
    70. Again, thank you. Your explanation of the 64k variant was helpful. I was doing some more research before flashing my router & did run across a feature listing: http://tomato.groov.pl/download/K26/build5x-101-EN/builds.png

      Turns out AIO stands for All-in-One…

      Thanks!

       
    71. Does anyone know if this firmware supports running OpenVPN on a separate guest network? Giving my users the choice of VPN or no VPN would be awesome.

       
    72. As wyred detailed, I had an Invalid IP message when attempting to upload the firmware. The methods mentioned on timing recovery mode did not work for me. I’m on Windows 7 64 bit.

      What finally worked was to
      1) put the router in recovery mode as mentioned above
      2) reboot Windows 7.
      3) open the Firmware Restore utility, select the file, and upload as above.

      All well after that. Hope that helps someone.

       
    73. this guide worked perfect. thank you.

       
    74. [...] ASUS RT-N66U – TomatoUSB firmware Flashing Guide | shadowandy – my life stories. [...]

       
    75. Did anybody tried to flash RT-n66u directly from Asus original firmware (3.0.0.4.260) to 64k Tomato (firmware- tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-104-AIO-64K) using this guide? I had problems uploading the firmware, as it keep saying “The wireless router is not in rescue mode”, even I put it in recover mode by holding the rest button (led blinks slowly).

      appreciate any aswers.

       
    76. max,

      “The wireless router is not in rescue mode” – it appears that the firmware restore utility is looking on the wrong network adapter, I had this problem as well.

      Here’s what I did to resolve it:
      1. Disable my laptop’s wireless adapter (in general, this should probably be disable all network adapters – be careful if you have an active virtual machine talking to a host machine I guess).
      2. Restart the restore utility. Mine appeared to still be trying to use a now disabled adapter.

      Hopefully, that will get you to a point where the restore utility can see the router.

       
    77. cordite,

      I managed to flash it in another way, via tftp from my Linux laptop. Still, I need to be very
      fast. Since laptop connect to router with cable, while router is in maintenance mode, there is a very short time window when firmware can be uploaded. With Shibby fw is not a problem, as it is small for the moment, but Merlin is bigger, so I had couple of retries.

      And, just to share a little bit of my experience:
      - Shibby looks nice, have a lot of features, but the main router function (at least in my side), the wireless speed transfer was bellow original Asus firmware.
      - Merlin is very simmilar to Asus fw
      Therefore I decided to stay for the moment on Asus (which I re-install it from miniweb 192.168.1.1 being in maintenance mode).

       
    78. Hi, I am new to Tomato Shibby, but not to 3rd party firmware. I have used dd-wrt in the past. I am having a problem since installing Tomato on my RT-N66R. I had been running several stock firmware iterations in the past, all the way up to the latest 3.0.0.4.270. I rarely had any glitches with wireless connectivity. Since upgrading to tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-5x-MIPSR2-105-AIO-64K.trx yesterday, all wireless users have been reporting intermittent disconnects. The upgrade went smoothly and I cleared the NVRAM afterwards. I bumped up the transmission power from 42 to 80mW but still same. The stock Asus firwmare was set to 80mW and again, wireless network connectivity was reliable. Nothing else has changed, just the firmware. Did I do something wrong? Any help is appreciated.

      Thank you.

       
    79. an alternative is to use Merlin firmware, which is derived from stock firmware, plus several nice feature you may want to have.

       
    80. Hi Max, the main reason why I moved away from the stock firmware is because Parental Controls don’t work. What I mean by ‘don’t work’ is, youtube video streaming, iHeart/iTunes radio and website chat functions all continue to function after the time that the internet is supposed to turn off. After installing Tomato, Parental Controls work the way they are supposed to. Everything is disconnected mid-stream. Same thing with ddwrt, as I have used that in the past on an older router. With all due respect to Merlin, if his firmware is derived from the stock firmware, I’m guessing that Parental Controls don’t work on his firmware. In fact, I have posed the same issue/question (to him directly) on the Asus Forum but did not receive a reply. If you are using a Merlin build, please test it and if it works, I will gladly consider switching.

      Thank you.

       
    81. i haven’t checked the parental control until now, so just had a look now on last Merlin fw.
      and trying to setup a limited time-frame for a specific IP/MAC address.
      The result was that the parental control works, meaning that the banned computer cannot access internet anymore.
      I wonder if you tried exactly the same on stock firmware, as it supposed to work too…
      So, even the parental control is not very granular configurable, it seems to work fine.

       
    82. @Max – Yes, normal web surfing is banned and cannot access the internet at/after the cut-off time with the stock firmware, but what about streaming youtube videos and iTunes or iHeart Radio? Try streaming both before the cut-off time, then see if they continue past the cut-off time. If they both stop, then Parental Controls are working. If not, then it doesn’t. I wanted to try Tomato-Shibby for this very reason, which seems to have fixed the Parental Controls issue now as both streams stop at the cut-off time, but the wireless connectivity is occasionally intermittent on Tomato24. I haven’t tried much on Tomato50 yet.

      Thanks.

       
    83. 4rings,

      I am not sure if it is the TomatoUSB firmware issue but have you tried to baseline your wireless noise floor and choose a wireless channel that is less congested?

       
    84. Hi shadowandy, no, I have not tried that but perhaps I should. Can you direct me on how to do that please? By the way, thanks for the awesome flashing instructions.

       
    85. 4rings,

      To baseline or calibrate your wireless, we will need to measure the existing noise floor for the affected range – 2.4GHz (eth1) and/or 5.0GHz (eth2).

      To measure the noise floor,
      1. Login to your TomatoUSB web admin using a wired computer
      2. Navigate to Status –> Device List
      3. For 2.4GHz, click on the “Measure” button on the right of “Noise Floor (eth1)”
      4. For 5.0GHz, click on the “Measure” button on the right of “Noise Floor (eth1)”

      To choose a wireless channel that is less congested,
      1. On your TomatoUSB web admin, navigate to Tools –> Wireless Survey
      2. Click on the Refresh button
      3. Sort the list by channel by click on the table header “Ch”
      4. Locate an unused channel, the preference is always channel 1/6/11
      5. If you are unable to locate an unused channel, choose a channel whereby most of the RSSI is in the range of -90 to -80 dBm. The more negative is that number, the weaker is the signal of others (e.g. -80dBm is weaker than -50dBm)

       
    86. Hi Shadowandy,

      Thank you for these instructions but I am not sure what the objective is. Is the goal to change to a specific channel on my router? If so, do I do it on the Basic -> Network tab? Right now Tomato24 is on 6 and Tomato50 is on Auto. I got the floor as you suggested (-76dBm). I am able to sort the channel list in the Wireless Site Survey and I see my neighbors Access Points. Not sure where to go from here.
      Also, someone on the Tomato Shibby General forum stated that the build that I chose might be unstable and suggested flashing an older build. Is there any truth to that? If so, how would I go about flashing to an older build, and which build should I choose? Would I use the same process I used to flash from the Asus stock firmware to the build I have now? Another RT-N66R user chose tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-102-AIO-64k.trx a few months ago and reported a smooth transition.

      Thank you for your help.

       
    87. 4rings,

      The objective is to measure the wireless interference in your area and hopefully get the software to work better by taking account of the surrounding noise.

      The other is to choose a channel with lesser interference.

      I am hoping these two steps will address your wireless drop issues.

       
    88. @shadowandy – I chose a channel for my 2.4 Ghz range based on your instructions and my wireless is working much better now. Thank you very much for your help.

       
    89. Hi,

      As with dd-wrt, the process works smoothly when performed from an XP OS. Windows 7 etc. will result in many hours of frustration.

       
    90. Hi,

      I posed the question back in November about whether TomatoUSB Shibby has the functionality of creating a Guest SSID. That was before I installed the firmware. Now that I installed it on my Asus RT-N66 router, I’m still wondering. I Googled the topic, searched the forum and even posed the question but I’m still not finding a definitive answer. The firmware version on my router is Tomato Firmware 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-105 K26 USB AIO-64K. So Yes or No? And if yes, then how? Would it be:

      Would it be Advanced/Virtual Wireless to create the SSID, then Basic/Network to name the SSID, set the security and channel?

      It would be nice if it was that simple.

      Thank you.

       
    91. @4rings – A simple guest/virtual SSID is possible and fairly easy to setup. What I’d like to know about is info on a more secured guest ID where the guest account is put in a different subnet and vlan. I have the simple account running but I’ve been unable to configure the separate subnet & vlan. Whatever I try, the vlan & DHCP service work but Tomato doesn’t probably route traffic through the gateway.

      The simple guest account requires only the virtual wl0.1 enabled, bridged into br0, SSID set and secured.

       
    92. Bos,

      For my guest wireless, I had created:
      + br1
      + new dhcp range
      + new vlan with br1
      + new virtual wireless

       
    93. @shadowandy – Thanks for the reply! I’ve tried the configuration like you’re suggesting. My wireless clients could connect, get a DHCP address in the vlan on the separate subnet but there was no internet access. I assumed that to be a routing or gateway configuration problem but I was not able to resolve the issue.

      My guess was that it was because I’m not using my RT-N66U as a gateway, it’s an access point. The WAN port is disabled & reassigned to the switch. It is running DNS (dnscrypt-proxy) & DHCP though.

       
    94. Bos,

      You have a interesting set up. I don’t have the answer but not sure if it is worth to try my suggestion below.

      You are right that it is a routing issue as the devices on the new DHCP range will have the IP of the ASUS RT-N66U (new DHCP range) as the gateway.

      The problem is the ASUS RT-N66U does not know where to route the stuffs to and it is probably not aware of your actual gateway hence it doesn’t updates its routing table.

      Lets try to determine if your ASUS RT-N66U can reach the actual gateway. Try logging on to your ASUS RT-N66U, using the Ping tool (Tools –> Ping) to ping your actual gateway. If it is reachable, you can try adding a new routing rule (Advanced –> Routing):

      Destination: default
      Gateway: IP address of actual gateway
      Subnet mask: 0.0.0.0
      Interface: LAN1 (this should be your new VLAN)

      This routing rule is suppose to route all traffic on the new interface to the next hop (your actual gateway).

      Try if it works. If it have internet access, I suspect your guest wireless might be able to reach out to your non-guest segment via your actual gateway. It might be a security concern.

      If it doesn’t work, I guess we can just delete the routing entry and see if we can tweak the TomatoUSB in other ways.

       
    95. Sorry, I wanted to bump my question and add a new one since 2 months have passed and no answer.

      Original:
      “Does anyone know if this firmware supports running OpenVPN on a separate guest network? Giving my users the choice of VPN or no VPN would be awesome.”

      Extra question:
      - How is the external hard drive support in Tomato? I ask because the factory firmware has a tendency to randomly disconnect hard drives (I verified many people were having this issue via Google search). Has Tomato been more reliable from anyone’s experience?

      Thanks for keeping this thread alive. I’m subscribed and it’s been very informative.

       
    96. @shadowandy – Unfortunately the gateway address cannot be pinged and “default” as the destination gives an “invalid IP address” error when trying to add it.

      Assuming I get the routing problem addressed, wouldn’t I be able to use “LAN Access” to limit br1′s access to br0?

       
    97. Bos,

      Just wondering, how do you administer this RT-N66U (AP) mode? It does hold an IP belonging to the same subnet as the gateway right?

      What are the routing entries on this AP?

      Just trying to figure out how it is routing. Hmmm, maybe it doesn’t have routing entries too.

      My intent is to make it a router for your guest lan while still remaining as an AP for your regular non-guest wireless. Not pretty sure if it is achievable.

       
    98. Ravo,

      Users on guest vlan should not have issues connecting to external OpenVPN service/server.

      For the harddisk, the disconnection could be due to some firmware spinning down the disk when there are no activities. I vaguely remember that TomatoUSB has got this feature. Do experiment with this feature to see if it solves your issue. Cannot really help on this issue as I am not using this feature. I am using a NAS (Synology DS412+) for network storage.

       
    99. @shadowandy – That would be perfect (being router for guest lan). The gateway, access point and the rest of the PC’s are on the same subnet as you’d expect. I have direct access as usual. There’s only a problem when it comes to the guest network being created on a different subnet.

      192.168.1.0 * 255.255.255.0 0 br0(LAN)
      10.0.0.0 * 255.255.255.0 0 br1 (LAN1)
      127.0.0.0 * 255.0.0.0 0 lo
      default 192.168.1.1 0.0.0.0 0 br0(LAN)

      Those entries were all automatic, I haven’t manually entered anything. That is other than we I tried your suggestion. I did play around with this in the past too but I stopped after I accidentally blocked myself out and had to reset the router, ha-ha! The mode is set to Router and DHCP Routes are enabled (again, all defaults).

      BTW, I’m running 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-106 K26 USB AIO-64K

       
    100. @shadowandy – Any other ideas I might could try? I’m at a loss myself. Like I said, it’s just the default routing tables created when I added wl0.1 and br1. Should I have something else for the gateway of the VLAN?

       
    101. @Bos – The guest SSID instructions from earlier worked great.
      Thanks.

       
    102. Thank you for this page! I used these instructions to successfully install Tomato/Shibby on my n66u. I had very slight differences with the procedure described:

      ————

      “Start the firmware flashing and a prompt should appear stating that it is an incompatible firmware.”

      I did not receive a prompt about incompatible firmware. When I clicked ‘Update’ it immediately started a count-up from 1 to 31.

      “Note: Keep holding the reset button until the power led starts to flash (on and off). When power led starts flashing, release the reset button and proceed.”

      When I powered on the router with the reset button held down, my power light never started flashing. Or, if it did I didn’t notice. The Restoration utility seemed to immediately recognized it was time to go and did something. I wasn’t convinced it had done the right thing so I tried to repeat the process without luck before realizing that the Restoration had succeeded the first time.

      ———-

      Anyway I’m excited to play with Tomato. Thank you again. I’m going to drop a tip in your virtual tip jar.

       
      Anonymous Nicholas April 20th, 2013 at 11:12 am
    103. I’ve been using Shibby for awhile, but I’m thinking of trying Merlin. If I wanted to go back to stock, I have to go through the restoration method, correct? I cannot upgrade to stock direct from Tomato.

       
    104. Ranger,

      Yes, you are right. You will need to go through the restoration method as it is the safest. You settings will be lost so do make a note of any special settings you have (e.g. dhcp reservation, QoS rules).

       
    105. Please help…

      I followed the instructions I found here, and everything proceeded as outlined except I was never advised that the firmware was incompatible. The upload went fine, and then it seemed to be installing fine and got to 99%, then said it couldn’t connect to the router. I have tried it several times with the same result. I also tried to reload the stock firmware with the same result: install to 99% and then unable to connect. I tried both via the asus utility and the web interface. Neither works.

      To make matters even worse, I cannot connect to the internet any longer. Even if I bypass the router and connect my laptop directly to the modem I still can’t connect.

      Any idea where I can start to fix this? If I can still upload to the router through the utility, is there hope? I’m very stressed…

       
    106. Is there a way to log the full url of Web traffic on my network running Tomato on this device? I see a list of accessed domains but not the full url request.

       
    107. I just could use the webservice on 192.168.1.1 when the router was in rescue mode to upload the tomatousb firmware.
      I still had to clear the NVRAM though.

       
    108. Thanks a lot! This guide was all i needed. :)

       
    109. First thanks to shadowandy for the great guide.

      Also thanks to posters Glenn Sullivan and Mike Jones for their information. I had to use all 3 (original guides and tips from Glenn and Mike to get my RT-N66U to flash correctly. I was using tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-112-Mega-VPN-64K.trx

       
    110. Hi all!
      Output power on wifi limited in europe for max 100mWatt.
      And it is limited in new original firmware. Is this limited even in TOMATO??
      Thanks
      B.R.

       
    111. Dante, The wireless output power is user configurable up to 400mW in TomatoUSB firmware.

       
    112. Sounds good!
      Thank you shadowandy!

      I will probably need 150-200mW to cover my area.

      Another questions regarding latest Tomato:

      Is TomatoUSB stable today or it still has buggs?

      Is it difficult to reflash to original firmware in case i will need it?

      Is firewall functionality in TomatoUSB us god us in original firmware?

      Thank you!

      B.R.
      Dante

       
    113. Dante, TomatoUSB is pretty stable and I been using it right from the start since I wrote this guide. Firewall features are no different. Flashing back to original firmware uses the firmware restoration application too, instead of pointing it to a tomatoUSB firmware, you use the original ASUS firmware. Hope it helps.

       
    114. I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

       
    115. […] Flashed to TomatoUSB firmware (I am using TomatoUSB on my RT-N66U and RT-AC66U). […]

       
    116. I did all this below from Mike Jones and add my few observations:

      1. I did all these below.
      2. I did not see any warning about error firmware.
      3. After I am done with Step 4 below, I plug in my hot WAN into it and wait. Few minutes later I use the address on #4 and it work.

      A few points in the guide are wrong

      1.To upload the firmware you need to hold down the reset button push the power switch on (while holding down the reset switch down) untill the power light starts flashing on and off.

      2.Then you can leisurely go to your pc and use the ASUS upload utility to load the firmware.

      3.To access the web interface after installing the firmware the Nvram must be cleared first. You do this by Pressing and hold the WPS button (on the back) while plugging in the power cable. Hold for 30 seconds and release the WPS button. It will now reboot

      4.now attempt to access the web interface on 192.168.1.1 L:root PW:admin

       
    117. […] This guide is based on How to flash RT-N66U with Shibby’s TomatoUSB firmware and ASUS RT-N66U – TomatoUSB firmware Flashing Guide […]

       
    118. Thanks for the guide, update my router easily with the instrucctions.

       

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