Installing dd-wrt on Netgear Nighthawk R7500v2

3 minutes read


A while back I purchased a Netgear Nighthawk R7500 to replace the TP-Link that had started showing signs of old age and would have to be restarted more and more frequently. Below I’ll go through the steps on how to replace the factory firmware with DD-WRT (Kong mod) firmware.


DD-WRT is a Linux based alternative OpenSource firmware suitable for a great variety of WLAN routers and embedded systems. The main emphasis lies on providing the easiest possible handling while at the same time supporting a great number of functionalities within the framework of the respective hardware platform used.


However, in this post I’ll use modified version of stock dd-wrt called Kong.

-Builds receive additional testing before upload

-Builds can be upgraded through commandline tool ddup (currently only northstar). See: ddup --help

-Builds and packages are cryptographically signed in order to verify authenticity

-Builds sometimes contain hotfixes that are not yet included in regular builds until a universal solution has been developed

-Builds contain a tool called bootstrap that installs a package manager called opkg in order to install additional features.



The necessary file(s) do download can be found at and in our case it’s the file R7500v2-factory-to-ddwrt.img.
It might also be a good idea to download and save NetgearFW/ddwrt-to-netgear-R7500v2.bin in case you want to revert back to stock Netgear firmware.
Armed with the necessary file the next steps are:

  1. Log into your router’s web ui.

  2. Go to AdvancedAdministrationRouter Update.

  3. Click on Browse and select the downloaded R7500v2-factory-to-ddwrt.img file.

  4. Click the Upload button.

  5. You might see some warnings about this being and older version than the currently installed. This is expected and can safely be ignored.

  6. Once completed your router will reboot and you will be disconnected.

First login

Depending on how you’re connecting to your network the next step might vary.

Wired connection

  1. Open your browser and go to

  2. You’ll be prompted to create a new user.

  3. Fill out username and password (twice).

  4. Use the web UI to configure your router.

Wireless connection

  1. Connect to the dd-wrt wireless network.

  2. The password is your router’s factory password, usually found on the router itself.

  3. Open your browser and go to

  4. You’ll be prompted to create a new user.

  5. Fill out username and password (twice).

  6. Use the web UI to configure your router.


The dd-wrt web UI is pretty intuitive and easy to use.
If you need help or want to learn more about what can be done with dd-wrt, head over to the Official Wiki.