ASUS RT-N66U – TomatoUSB firmware Flashing Guide


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 keeps assigning lowest priority to the first 3 custom rules. To be fair, this is fixed if you flash up to
  • 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. The instructions on this guide are meant to flash from the manufacturer’s firmware to third party firmware. Do take caution when flashing from other third party firmwares.



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.  

136 thoughts on “ASUS RT-N66U – TomatoUSB firmware Flashing Guide

  • March 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Vlan configuration available?

  • March 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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

  • March 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I didn’t have the best of luck with Tomato. Instead I’ve gone with

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

  • March 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm


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

  • March 20, 2012 at 1:23 am

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

  • March 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    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?

  • March 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm


    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?

  • March 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    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!

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:22 am


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

  • April 5, 2012 at 12:46 am

    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.

  • April 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    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.


  • April 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

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

    Place the router into recovery mode.

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

  • April 14, 2012 at 10:52 am


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

  • May 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    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.

  • May 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    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?

  • May 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    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.

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

  • May 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

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

  • May 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm


    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.

  • June 3, 2012 at 7:31 am

    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.


    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.

  • June 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    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!

  • June 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    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!

  • June 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm


    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.



  • June 16, 2012 at 11:01 am


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

  • June 19, 2012 at 3:53 am

    First wanted to say thanks! I found this guide because I blogger I follow posted about it:

    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:

    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.

  • June 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you very much for your guide!!

    On a brand new RT-N66U, flashed with the actually newest
    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 .-)

  • June 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

    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.

  • June 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

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

  • June 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

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

  • June 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    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 range, but NOT So anything from to

    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,


  • June 28, 2012 at 6:22 am

    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.

  • July 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Emanuel House,

    Thanks! Updated the firmware download location.

  • July 7, 2012 at 2:43 am

    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.

  • July 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    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?


  • July 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm


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

  • July 27, 2012 at 3:06 am

    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

  • July 28, 2012 at 10:01 am


    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.

  • July 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm

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

  • August 2, 2012 at 11:45 am


    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. 🙂

  • August 10, 2012 at 12:29 am

    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).


  • September 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    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?

  • September 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    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!

  • September 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

    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”.

  • September 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm


    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.

  • September 19, 2012 at 6:26 am

    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 ?

  • September 21, 2012 at 5:52 am

    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.

  • September 21, 2012 at 7:48 am


    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.

  • September 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    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 attempt to access the web interface on L:root PW:admin

  • September 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    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.

  • October 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

    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.

  • October 29, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I just installed the
    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 .

  • October 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    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.

  • November 10, 2012 at 1:34 am

    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.

  • November 10, 2012 at 3:23 am

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

  • November 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    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.

  • November 12, 2012 at 12:53 am

    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.

  • November 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    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?

  • November 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

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

  • November 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    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?

  • November 23, 2012 at 9:43 am


    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

  • November 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    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.

  • December 6, 2012 at 1:59 am

    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

  • December 11, 2012 at 7:00 am

    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.

  • December 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm


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

  • December 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

    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.


  • December 19, 2012 at 8:24 am


    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 ( For me, I simply chose the AIO build.

  • January 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    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.

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:09 am

    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.

  • January 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

    this guide worked perfect. thank you.

  • January 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Did anybody tried to flash RT-n66u directly from Asus original firmware ( 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.

  • January 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm


    “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.

  • January 22, 2013 at 12:26 am


    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 being in maintenance mode).

  • February 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    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 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.

  • February 5, 2013 at 12:16 am

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

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:43 am

    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.

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:45 am

    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.

  • February 5, 2013 at 6:15 am

    @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.


  • February 5, 2013 at 7:53 am


    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?

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

    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.

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm


    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)

  • February 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

    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.

  • February 8, 2013 at 9:00 am


    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.

  • February 15, 2013 at 5:03 am

    @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.

  • February 22, 2013 at 8:46 am


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

  • March 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm


    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.

  • March 4, 2013 at 12:19 am

    @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.

  • March 4, 2013 at 8:50 am


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

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:04 am

    @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.

  • March 5, 2013 at 7:21 am


    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:
    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.

  • March 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

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

    “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.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    @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?

  • March 6, 2013 at 7:25 am


    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.

  • March 6, 2013 at 7:30 am


    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.

  • March 6, 2013 at 9:10 am

    @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. * 0 br0(LAN) * 0 br1 (LAN1) * 0 lo
    default 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

  • March 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

    @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?

  • March 31, 2013 at 4:52 am

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

  • April 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

    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.

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    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.

  • May 1, 2013 at 12:04 am


    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).

  • May 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    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…

  • May 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    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.

  • June 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm

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

  • July 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks a lot! This guide was all i needed. 🙂

  • August 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    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

  • October 15, 2013 at 6:55 am

    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??

  • October 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

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

  • October 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

    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!


  • October 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    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.

  • December 18, 2013 at 1:31 am

    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.

  • January 21, 2014 at 4:59 am

    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 attempt to access the web interface on L:root PW:admin

  • April 25, 2014 at 4:01 am

    For win7 x64 i get it to work by running restoration util in Win XP compatibility and than selecting Run as Admin

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:42 am


    Thanks for the tips. Yes, you are right. The windows compatibility mode does help for apps that do not run in 64-bit environments.

  • May 10, 2014 at 5:05 am

    I just installed the latest version (117-EN) and it did fix the one big issue I had been having with this router – stuttering/freezing playback of media from my Drobo5N to my WDTV Live Streaming (3rd Gen). Video playback is now smooth and flawless.
    However, the 2.4ghz wireless speeds are absolutely horrible. I was getting 33MB on the stock Asus firmware and on this Tomato I’m getting 2.5MB MAXIMUM. 5ghz is fine but not all devices run on this band. I’ve tried all the channels and it’s ugly on all.
    Any ideas why my connection speeds have been slaughtered?

  • June 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Has anyone tried flashing the Asus DSL-N66U with Shibby? Is it possible?


  • June 21, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Bricked my router with the 64k tomato flash and have not been able to fix it.. just a warning to all that these instructions are not perfect. It got to around 46% and said it failed, then when i rebooted the router the admin interface is stuck with the asus stock looking “settings have updated, please reboot”.

    I started the latest version of merlin firmware.. i don’t get why it failed. I can flash via recovery using the tool or the cfe miniweb, but no matter what I flash (ive tried ddwrt, asuswrt-merlin again, and the stock firmware) and they successfully flash, but when i reboot it defaults into recovery (with the power flashing on/off). I’ve reset NVRAM multiple times, after each flash, and nothing changes.

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    The 120-EN, 64k version is what i downloaded, tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-120-AIO-64K.trx to be exact.. was running asuswrt-merlin 374.40 before that. BRICKKKKK

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Umm… Use the Asus recovery tool and you will be good. It’s virtually impossible to brick these….

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm


    Caution need to be taken when flashing between 3rd party firmwares. In your case, from asuswrt-merlin (a 3rd party firmware) to tomatousb (another 3rd party firmware). This guide is more targetted at those flashing from stock firmware.

    When flashing from 3rd party firmware to another, it is important to clear the nvram. You can do it via key presses and then use the recovery again to flash the 3rd party firmware. Otherwise, you can restore to stock firmware, completwly erase nvram, then install the new 3rd party firmware via recovery.

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm


    Yes, you are right. 🙂

    Using the ASUS recovery tool is usually safe for a stock firmware with stock nvram settings.

  • June 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm


    Thanks for sharing your experience of flashing from asuswrt-merlin (3rd party firmware) to tomatousb (3rd party firmware).

    The set of instructions have been written sometime ago for flashing stock ASUS firmware to tomatousb (3rd party). Maybe you might want to recover to stock ASUS firmware, followed by fully clearing nvram and lastly recovery to tomatousb. 🙂

  • July 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

    if you are using mac os x, you can flash the firmware through the miniweb server.

    1. Plug ethernet cable to lan 1 of router and other end to ethernet port on your mac

    2. Place the router into recovery mode. (unplug power on router, hold the reset button and plug the power back in and wait until the power icon blinks then let go of reset button, usually takes 10 seconds)

    3. Open your web browser to and the miniweb server will come up with options to upload a firmware, choose the tomato.trx and upload it. it will take about 30secs to a min to upload and on the next screen just click continue. THEN WAIT like 10 minutes!. (the power indicator will light back up after 10 minutes and it is done) (after you click continue, it seems like it is unresponsive and not doing anything, but trust me.. wait 10 minutes and after the power icon lights up, it is done.

  • July 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hi, is this instruction still correct? “Download the firmware (.trx) file. If you do not know which to download, just download the one with “mega” or “BT” in the filename”

    When I look, for example, in the most recent folder, “build5x-121-EN”, I see a subfolder “Asus RT-N66u 64k”, but within that the only two options are “tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-121-AIO-64K.trx” and “tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-121-VPN-64K.trx”

    Neither file has “mega” or “BT” in the filename. But they appear to be the latest versions.

    Any guidance? Thanks!

    I have the Dark Knight and am ready to flash. I am installing dual-boot Windows 8 on my MacBook so that I can use the Asus Utility to flash firmware.

  • July 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm


    The flashing instructions are still valid. As for the firmware, download the one with “AIO” (all in one). These are the newer firmware with all features like the old mega.

  • July 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm


    Nice finding you got there. Yes, the miniweb works fine. For users using this method, do make sure your own Mac has got a valid IP on the same network as the miniweb, otherwise you won’t be able to reach it via web browser. 🙂

  • December 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

    To clarify further, I had to assign a manual IP with DHCP (e.g. on OS X before I could navigate to to upload the firmware.

  • July 8, 2016 at 7:21 am

    So after a couple of years of running TomatoUSB on one of these, it went pear shaped on me, unable to get a DHCP address from the cable provider/ISP. I could get one via a computer plugged directly so the let the cable modem off the hook. I ended up flashing the OEM firmware (Yuck) and that works, at least for the minimum of features.

    I think I may need to roll back a a version or two. The most recent version I installed was tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-132-AIO-64K.trx, best I can make out. Anyone have any experience with this problem on this or any other version of the firmware?

  • January 7, 2017 at 4:59 am

    I’ve got TomatoRAF 1.28.9014 – how much of the above has to change for me to flash properly? Will it inherit my settings or do I need to copy them manually or export them?

  • January 7, 2017 at 5:07 am

    I was impatient. I did it myself. AND IT WORKED. Sweet. I haven’t upgraded my firmware in 3 years. 🙂

  • September 26, 2017 at 4:33 am

    i mistakenly loaded a polish version of Tomato. How do i change it to English

  • September 26, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Try to navigate the menu and use the firmware with a language of your choice. Otherwise, you can try loading the firmware via recovery.

  • December 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    It happen to me, this is what I did. First download an English version and save.
    Access your router gui and go to Administration. Your instinct will tell you which one it is and go to the very last section which say something like updater….something in Polish, can’t remember. Click it and you will notice that it is something similar to the English version ’cause of the box. Browse for the English firmware that you download
    and upload it. That’s it. Just don’t rush and let your instinct work for you.

  • January 4, 2018 at 3:31 am

    why can’t i install Tomato firmware on RT-N66U, it says invalid Firmware so far i have tried 3 different vers.
    Anyone please

  • January 4, 2018 at 3:35 am

    To comply with regulatory amendments, we have modified our certification rule to ensure better firmware quality. This version is not compatible with all previously released ASUS firmware and uncertified third party firmware. Please check our official websites for the certified firmware.

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