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Not too long ago my old D-Link router died on me and I noticed this particular TRENDnet (yes, they really do use that capitalization) on sale for roughly thirty bones at Fry's Electronics. Finding a wireless-N router that seemed fully featured for said price seemed to be a mere fantasy. There had to be some kind of issues with the router itself, right?
Right I was! TRENDnet's pre-flashed firmware is a literal mess. For two days, I was entirely confused as to why my server absolutely would not face outside. Just previously, on my dead router, I had no problem forwarding the requisite ports, or using virtual server settings. Was something wrong with my server? Nope! I tried an older, spare router I had lying around and everything worked exquisitely. The 652, while it would confirm my virtual server settings, would never, ever actually forward them.
So what's the solution to the 652's nightmarish firmware? Luckily, if you have a v1.0 or v1.1 652 model, you can flash (with a bit of work) DD-WRT onto your device. Unfortunately, v2.1 does not use an Atheros chipset and cannot be "fixed" (I would advise a refund if you are having issues). Also, if you are having a tough time determining your hardware version, you can find it on the bottom of the router (mine says V1.0R next to the first bar code).
The process I found, while not 100% plug-N-play, can be reduced to a rather simple series steps. After having a tough time with the modification and experiencing many oddities, I feel that this is the definitive, fool-proof guide to getting your 652 running DD-WRT.
Access your adapter settings on your choice operating system (Windows 7: Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network Connections).
Ensure that in your TCP/IPv4 settings that everything is 100% automatic – your 652’s DHCP should be doing all of the heavy lifting here (this is contrary to a lot of guides, but this works best).
Download “dir615_revC_firmware_301_-_TRENDNET_652BRP_MOD” (current link here – please notify me if the download is lost).
Download “dir615c1-factory-to-ddwrt-firmware” (current link here – please notify me if the download is lost).
Make sure that you have Firefox installed – if you don’t like Firefox, download a portable version of it. Opera, IE8, IE9, and chrome often fail with the firmware flash; save yourself the heartache.
Plug your computer of choice into one of the router’s LAN ports (not the WAN port) and disconnect everything else (including WAN).
Do a 40 second reset and a power cycle. You can do this by holding a paper clip into the reset port on the rear of the router.
Confirm that you can navigate to 192.168.10.1 in your web browser. If you cannot, do a 30-30-30 reset, in which you hold the paper clip in the reset port, unplug the device while holding the paper clip in, and plug the device back in while still holding the paper clip in; each step lasts 30 seconds.
When you do successfully connect to the portal at 192.168.10.1; your login credentials will be: admin, admin.
Now that you have logged in, navigate to Tools -> Firmware.
Upload and flash the “.bin” file in “dir615_revC_firmware_301_-_TRENDNET_652BRP_MOD”.
After the flash succeeds, navigate your browser to 192.168.0.1; credentials are: admin, no password.
Navigate to Tools -> Firmware.
Force and flash the “.bin” file “dir615c1-factory-to-ddwrt-firmware”.
After the reboot, power cycle your device.
Once your connection is re-established, connect to 192.168.1.1 – configure and enjoy DDWRT on your once annoying router! I’ve found everything to be substantially more stable. If you have any questions, please post them for me.