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NETGEAR WNR2000 V2 Review--The Little Router that Could

NETGEAR's WNR2000 V2 is like the WNR3500 V2 router's "little brother." The case itself is almost identical, but inside it uses a less powerful 300Mhz processor and does not support 1Mb wired speeds.

It does support wireless 'N', however, and has an extensive list of features:

• Push ‘N’ Connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup™ (WPS) and Smart Wizard®
• Wi-Fi Protected Access™ (WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK) and WEP
• Live Parental Controls with flexible and customizable filter settings, installation available on Resource CD
• Multiple SSID support with separate security and access restrictions
• Traffic meter measures Internet usage• Double firewall protection
• Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention
• Intrusion detection and prevention (IDS)
• Supports Wireless Multimedia (WMM) based Quality of Service (QoS)
• Exposed Host (DMZ) for secure gaming.
• IEEE 802.11n draft version 2.0, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, 2.4 GHz

What is does have is a Broadcom BCM4716 CPU, 32 MB Ram and 4 MB of flashable space.

This gives you the ability to use DD-WRT, Tomato or even Toastman's special Tomato firmware. (Just make sure you have the correct version!)

Knowing this, we decided to update the firmware to the latest available Tomato build.

Just like how you install Tomato on the WNR3500, you must first install a DD-WRT 'chk' file. The NETGEAR firmware doesn't allow you to go directly from it to Tomato. The file we used was 'dd-wrt.v24-15943_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-WNR2000v2.chk" which is available here.

How to Install DD-WRT on NETGEAR WNR2000 v2

Updating to the initial DD-WRT firmware is fairly straightforward. You need to be connected to the router wired, not wireless, and then reset your router to factory defaults. Once the reset is complete, go to the update page, browse for the DD-WRT firmware you downloaded and select it to be installed.

When completed, your router will reboot and you should wait several minutes for everything on it to settle down. Once it does, you can reconnect to the router, using your browser, at 192.168.1.1.

You should then be shown the login and password setup screen. Enter 'root' as the login and 'admin' as the password. That can be changed later, if desired, but these are the defaults to use when initially setting up DD-WRT.

If you decide to stick with DD-WRT and this firmware does what you need, you don't need to go any further. If you want to use a different DD-WRT firmware, then you can install it at this time.

The DD-WRT firmware that can be used for the WNR2000 V2 are only the 'mini' versions and should not be much larger than 3.4MB. There are several different mini versions available that have specific added functions. A good place to start looking at the various options is this list.

We wanted to take it a step (or two) further and try Toastman's Tomato firmware. If you would rather install 'Teddy Bear's' Tomato firmware you can get his 'mini' version on his download pages.

How to Install Toastman's Tomato Firmware to NETGEAR WNR2000 v2

You can find Toastman's Tomato firmware here. The one to use on the WNR2000 V2 is again the 'mini' build.

We installed the 'tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx' build. It is basically the only one that will fit on the router. Any other firmware will be too large and make brick your router if you attempt to install.

Although it's a mini build it contains quite a few nice features. Here is the list from their 'About' page.

Tomato Firmware v1.28.7440 MIPSR2-Toastman K26 Mini

Based on Tomato Firmware v1.28
Copyright (C) 2006-2010 Jonathan Zarate
http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato/

Linux kernel 2.6.22.19
Broadcom Wireless Driver 5.10.147.0
Support for additional router models and Wireless-N mode.

Copyright (C) 2008-2010 Fedor Kozhevnikov and Ray Van Tassle
http://www.tomatousb.org

This compilation by Toastman, Bangkok, may include:

All current "Teddy Bear" features, notably:
- Web Monitor
- Per-connection transfer rates
- Byte counter added to QOS/Details
- QOS rule ID added to QOS/Details

With special thanks to Wes Campaigne

"Victek" RAF features:
- IP/MAC Bandwidth Limiter | ARP Binding
- CPU Info & Overclock | Previous WAN IP
- Access Concentrator ID | Additional Themes

"Toastman" Features:
- 250 entry Static DHCP | 500 entry Access Restrictions
- QOS class labels | Toastman QOS rules
- Fast conntrack timeout | Fast auto refresh
- Tools/System refresh timer
- Safe CPU frequency selector

To install this firmware, all you have to do is go to DD-WRT's update page and select the firmware to install. Let it run the installer and reboot. After rebooting, wait about 10 minutes for everything to settle down. Once it has, turn off the router, press and hold in the reset button and turn the router back on. Wait 30 seconds and then release the reset button.

After doing this again, wait about 5 minutes for it to boot up and settle down. Once it has rebooted completely, you can connect to the router at 192.168.1.1 using your browser.

From there, you can set up your personal options and give the little big guy a good test drive.

As an additional note, if ever needed, the WNR2000v2 has a serial port at JP1.

The connection rate is  115200 8N1 at 3.3V.
Pads are, from top to bottom with the ethernet ports above: [Vcc] [Tx] [-] [-] [Rx][GND]

[Shop for NETGEAR Products]

Tags : dd-wrthow-totoastmantomatownr2000

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-21 of 21 | Latest Comment

February 4, 2011 10:25 AM

I just bought the WNR3500L, but now I'm wondering if I should get this WNR2000 instead. I do have gigabit on my motherboard's NIC, but unfortunately I have always had a problem with that NIC losing connection so I ended up getting an ethernet PCI card. So gigabit isn't that important. What is important to me is good wireless connection/speed.

There's only a $20 difference between the routers. Do you think I should get the WNR2000 instead, or keep the 3500L? Would the performance be the same, or the 3500L better? Thanks!

February 4, 2011 10:39 AM

The wnr3500 does have a faster processor and USB support. If you don't need 1GB speeds, have just a few connections and no need for USB the 2000 is fine.

For $20.00 more though you have a router that will grow with your needs in the future.

BC Support, Design and Development

February 4, 2011 11:45 AM

Thanks, Brandon. I didn't realize the 3500L had a faster processor. The USB isn't a strict requirement, but I'm sure I'll have fun playing with it. Think I'll keep the 3500L. I haven't hooked it up yet as I just bought it but plan on doing so this weekend. Really nice article, thanks.

February 5, 2011 10:34 AM

Does anyone know if WNR2000 v1 is flashable to DD-WRT or Tomato? I have a spare V1 that I'd like to put to use.

February 18, 2011 7:52 AM

Hoplite, from what I know the version 1 doesn't work with Tomato or DD WRT, its only Version 2.

February 23, 2011 10:59 AM

Hi,
I can't find tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx. Is tomato-K26-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-Mini.trx also good for the WNR2000? Please advise.
Thanks!

February 23, 2011 11:00 AM

IS tomato-K26-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-Mini.trx also good for the WNR2000?
Thanks!

February 24, 2011 7:52 AM

compy168 said: Hi, I can't find tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx. Is tomato-K26-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-Mini.trx also good for the WNR2000? Please advise. Thanks!

It appears his download site's address has changed.

Try this one. You should see all his releases there.

BC Support, Design and Development

February 24, 2011 11:15 PM

Which release would you recommend for WNR2000 v2? Stock, DD-WRT or Tomato? (and if Tomato, which ver).

Just looking for the best performance, QOS (torrents, skype, youtube, netflix etc)

February 25, 2011 10:12 PM

Works awesome! Running Toastman Tomato on the WNR2000v2 without incident. I pushed the CPU to 400Mhz and the power to 84mW. Ideas if this will ruin the unit?

March 6, 2011 8:02 PM updated: March 6, 2011 8:48 PM

Installing DD-WRT went fine, but installing tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx appears to have bricked my router (currently connected directly to cable modem). After a long wait to make sure the firmware installation/initialization had finished its business, there was still no way to access the router through wired means, even after resetting my adapter and trying to release/renew IP, and there was no wireless signal at all. All buttons on the router have lost function. The top two LEDs display orange, and the wired port # displays a green light. Word of caution.

some addt'l info: upgrade (to toastman's Tomato) said finished, then rebooting. It hanged on "rebooting" for ~5m, so I manually rebooted. Now when on, it displays the top power LED in orange, then below, the "Internet" LED in flickering orange when attached to cable modem, and a solid green LED where the computer is plugged in. Pinging the router's IP gives destination host unreachable ~80% of the time, "request timed out" ~20% the time, and on Windows' adapter page, it cycles between "unidentified network" and "identifying network...," so perhaps something on the router is looping.

April 29, 2011 5:11 AM

Well, i am also quite curious how did they manage to install the tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx on this router.

I have bought it myself, flashed DD-WRT, then TomatoUSB mini (from Teddybear). Afterwards I have tried to update to the Toastman version, but i got a "Firmware too large" error. After some googling i have found this post: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=526980#526980 If its true that the router has a 3473408 bytes limit for a firmware image, there is no way you can safely install the tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx firmware (or any other current Toastman build) on this router.

I am very glad that i didnt follow this guide and went with the Teddybear version first, otherwise i had a bricked router with lost warranty...

April 29, 2011 10:18 AM

molnart said: Well, i am also quite curious how did they manage to install the tomato-K26-1.28.7440MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx on this router. 

You have to go from DD-WRT to the Tomato firmware.

I went from dd-wrt.v24-14536_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-WNR2000v2.chk to tomato-K26-1.28.7467MIPSR2-Toastman-Mini.trx 3,416KB. It must just barely fit.

BC Support, Design and Development

July 19, 2011 5:04 PM

If people are still struggling for to find it..Uploaded to my website :)
www.netscapist.com/tomato-k26.128mini.rar

July 20, 2011 12:44 AM

Thanks for the upload Spencer. Eventhough, I am 200% satisfied with the stock firmware on the v2 router from Netgear. Stable, fast. Allows me to have Apple TV, VOIP ATA, Torrents and normal surfing without any issues nor reboots!

I was an avid user of DD-WRT on linksys and don't miss that at all. I find the performance much better with just the stock Netgear firmware.

June 24, 2012 2:50 PM

I just upgraded from stock to DD-WRT to TomatoUSB Mini, but was unable to upgrade to toastman.

Is the key not not upgrading to TomatoUSB mini but instead going directly from DD-WRT -> Toastman Tomato USB mini?

December 29, 2012 8:49 PM

Yep. Bricked here. Thanks...

(oh, and I'm a 20 year IT vet, I've flashed hundreds of times, etc...)

I think this tutorial is lacking in the 30-30-30 department...

October 15, 2013 8:01 PM updated: October 15, 2013 8:03 PM

Bricked my router too. If you managed to install DD-WRT, I recommend not going any further...

November 20, 2013 12:15 PM

Though this post and article are two years old. It comes up on Google searches for the wnr2000v2 and tomato. The comment's that were left are kinda scary and somewhat misleading.
The only one that makes sense is where the person reminds us to do a 30-30-30. This is a must when flashing from dd-wrt to tomato. I agree that info is missing and may be the reason for the bricks.
There are two other important points to be made:
1. You must stay in a k26 mini build for both firmware's.
2. The firmware can be no larger than 3473408 bytes. Always check the size before attempting the flash.
This is what I did and had no issue with toast man's. I may be missing something somewhere? But, again the flash was successful.

November 20, 2013 3:16 PM

I forgot I was subscribed to this thread. Nice to see some new posts. Good points, Pckarma112. I have Tomato on mine but can't remember if it's Toastman's or Teddybear's. I'm actually using the router just as a switch now.

November 23, 2013 7:38 PM

The post was for anyone like me who bought a v2 refurb and was worried about it..lol. Makes a great little bridge too with this firmware. Happy Holidays!

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-21 of 21 | Latest Comment

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