7 Best Routers For Tomato in 2023 [Highly Compatible]

Each one of us would want to experience and establish better wireless security, improved internet control, better coverage, stringent control, top-shelf VPN access, and whatnot. While most of the modern routers come with all the features, there’s a chance that you might not be trusting them. That’s why a Tomato compatible routers makes the most sense to Ethical hackers, P2P users, etc.

Whether you’ve already used the Tomato operating system on your previous router or have come to know about its true potential, since you’re here, you must be looking for a high-quality router that supports Tomato firmware.

If truth be told, not many standalone routers can match up with the expectations, and people end up compromising. Also, most of the mentioned user requirements are hindered by the inability of the router to block malicious IPs, lack of better parental controls, slower 2.4GHz speeds, minimal app access, and restricted VLAN setup.

However, I feel that flashing the existing stock firmware with Tomato is the best way forward to scale beyond these pain points. Also, finding the perfect router for Tomato can be an overwhelming experience, and this is where I can be of help.

7 Best Routers For Tomato in 2023

In the subsequent sections, I have enlisted top 7 routers compatible with Tomato firmware. While each of the mentioned routers has specific capabilities, I have made my pick based on the existing hardware, inherent speeds, rated coverage, port arrangement, prevailing app support, heating or lack thereof, and certainly the pricing.

If you are a seasoned gamer who often ditches the desktop for console-specific gaming, the ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 is the perfect router to consider, precisely for flashing it with Tomato. While the firmware can empower the Asus RT-AX88U in a host of ways, it is the enhanced security that makes it perfect for gaming, followed by the flexible QoS support it exhibits when flashed.

Pitted against the likes of RT-AC68U, the Asus RT-AX88U is a much more competent option, courtesy of 8 GigE ports as opposed to 4.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

Although the RT-AX88U comes equipped with both traditional and adaptive QoS, you might be tempted to acquire better manual control over the settings. This is what installing Tomato firmware helps achieve.

The point here is that instead of adding new traits to a middling router, the Tomato firmware enhances every attribute of the Asus RT-AX88U, thereby making it way more promising. It is the acceptability and incremental performance upgrade that make the AX6000 perfect router for flashing Tomato firmware.

Design & Build, App Support

ASUS RT AX88U Design

The RT-AX88U comes forth as a rugged piece of hardware, measuring 15.1 x 10 x 5 inches when dimensions are concerned. The external layout still seems conventional, with 4 antennas sitting pretty atop the plastic-clad chassis. Plus, this is one of the heavier routers on the list at 5.16 pounds.

However, the design seems well-ventilated, as you might expect the router to heat a fair bit upon flashing it with Tomato. The app support is well etched out and allows you to monitor the network, block selected traffic, explore port forwarding, DMZ, and other gaming-focused traits, even better with Tomato on-board.

Security Features

While the RT-AX88U already offers a wide array of security safeguards, right out of the box, including website blocking, IDP, parental control, and more, the Tomato firmware opens the door to a much-improved traffic filtering approach, HOS setup, and VPN configuration. 

Hardware & Port Management


At the core, Asus accommodates a quad-core processor, working in tandem with 1GB RAM. While the existing configuration enhances the transmitting capabilities of the router, it is the 256MB of flash storage space that helps with storing the configuration details, pre, and post-firmware flashing.

The port arrangement seems more plausible for setting up wired connections as there are 8 GigE slots on-board followed by 1 USB 3.1 port for transferring files over the network.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

If you consider an ISP plan for the RT-AX88U, nothing less than a Gig plan would be suitable, provided you have a good modem to turn to. As far as band-specific speeds are concerned, this router assumes a theoretical throughput limit of 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804Mbps on the near or 5GHz band.

The coverage area of close to 3500 sq ft seems quite appropriate considering the capabilities of the same. Also, there is MU-MIMO functionality to deal with, which allows you to connect more than 30 devices to this router with ease.

Overall, the already powerful Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 can be sanctioned further when flashed with the Tomato firmware. Also, compared to other products on the list, it responds better to this resource by making the best use of the guest network and the elusive repeater mode.

  • Powerful processor
  • Top-shelf security safeguards
  • 8 Ethernet slots
  • Static IP support
  • Massive coverage
  • Not meant for VoIP
  • Heavy

The Netgear R7000P is one of the best routers to invest in if you want to flash Tomato purely for securing and immunizing the network against cyberattacks and other threats. While I even tested the R7000 with Tomato, the R7000P seems to be a faster option, courtesy of the extensive network standards and MU-MIMO functionality that increases efficiency and router capacity.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

Compared to other routers on the list, the R7000P is a better bet for installing Tomato, courtesy of the extensive range that you can build on. Plus, the dual-core chipset ensures that the Tomato firmware processes signals better and eventually helps with faster internet.

Also, this router already comes with two USB ports for DLNA access, which in turn justifies the inclusion of this open-source firmware.

Design & Build, App Support

Netgear R7000P Design

This sub $150 wireless router comes in black and features a standard router-specific design with three external antennas to account for. As far as the dimensions are concerned, this device measures 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 inches. Also, the 1.65-pound router comes with excellent app-based compatibility, courtesy of the Nighthawk app that makes setup and configuration easier for users.

Security Features

If you are planning to flash the R7000P with Tomato, you might just be able to use better the existing Smart Parental controls associated with this router. Also, once flashed, you can monitor usage in real-time and even use the OpenVPN access to connect another network for P2P activities. 

The existing Netgear Armor functionality also outshines once you have the Tomato firmware replacing the existing stock offering.

Hardware and Port Management

Netgear R7000P Ports

Complementing the processor is 256MB RAM and 128MB storage space that keeps the firmware updates and other insights stored for future access. Plus, Netgear offers four Ethernet ports for faster-wired access, followed by one WAN port and Gig capabilities.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

Personally, I would recommend the R7000P for Gig and mid-range internet plans. Also, it exhibits concurrent dual-band coverage with max speeds of 600Mbps and 1625Mbps, assigned to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, respectively.

The 2000 sq ft coverage is more than acceptable and can be amplified once the Tomato firmware is at work, alongside Beamforming+ support. Overall, the top position for the Netgear R7000P is completely justified as the existing features are in line with expectations and can amplify the potency of the Tomato firmware.

  • Seasoned security traits
  • Excellent coverage
  • Reliable processor
  • Dynamic QoS for better traffic prioritization
  • Alexa-compatible
  • Heats up a bit
  • A heavy and rugged device

If you are more inclined towards extending the range of your existing network, the Asus RT-AC68U seems like the best option to invest in. Also, when compared with the older RT-AC66U, this router fares better courtesy of the better cumulative speeds and one additional Ethernet port for improved wired throughput.

Tomato OS compatibility

The ASUS RT-AC68U is one of your best bets for installing the tomato firmware, especially if you plan to deploy the same for extending the network range and minimizing the dead spots.

Also, as this Tomato-compatible router comes equipped with a dual-core chipset from Broadcom and 256MB of system memory, it becomes easier to use the open-source firmware and its ability to scale beyond the usual issues pertaining to low far band speeds.

Plus, the AiMesh capability simply enhances the impact of this firmware as it allows you to make seamless network handoffs without having to switch networks. This way, it becomes easier to manage the VLAN along with the existing public network.

Design & Build, App Support

Asus RT-AC68U Design

The RT-AC68U comes in black, weighs 1.40 pounds, and measures 6.3 x 3.3 x 8.6 inches. While the structural framework is in line with user expectations, it is the easy app-based management that furthers the credibility of this router.

Coupled with the hidden benefits of the Tomato firmware, the existing app-specific support allows you to remotely monitor the network in real-time.

Security Features

Flashing the RT-AC68U with Tomato ensures OpenVPN access and increases the ability of this router to implement better guest and parental controls by allotting hours of usage or filtering content.

Hardware and Port Management

Asus RT-AC68U Ports

This router also comes equipped with 128MB of flash memory for storing the configuration details. Plus, you also get access to four Gig Ethernet ports for speeding up wired access. Other ports include the WAN connector with Gig support and two USB slots for sharing data and media over the LAN and WAN networks.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

The AC1900 router is best suited for the 500Mbps internet plans, preferably from the cable ISPs. Also, the far and near band download speeds are restricted to 600Mbps and 1300Mbps on paper, but I could only churn out 120Mbps and 433Mbps, for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, respectively.

Also, the 3000 sq ft coverage area makes sense as most users prefer flashing Tomato on this router to extend the overall coverage and improve accessibility at every given access point of their crowded apartment. The Asus RT-AC68U is easily one of the best choices for Tomato, as it already brings in features like bandwidth monitor, QoS, real-time monitor, and the credible traffic analyzer.

  • Compatible processor
  • IPv6 support
  • Enhanced security safeguards
  • High-speed Ethernet ports
  • AiMesh compatibility
  • Not fit for Gig internet plans

The Linksys WRT1900ACS is my preferred choice of router if bridging is one of the priorities. Also, if you already own the WRT1900AC from Linksys, it is natural for you to be slightly unsure about the purchase.

While even the WRT1900AC supports open-source firmware flashing, it pales in comparison to the ACS variant owing to the lesser chunk of RAM and a weaker processor.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

If you want a secondary Wi-Fi AC router that can be used in the repeater mode with ease, the WRT1900AC S is the best possible bet. This is why installing the Tomato firmware on this router makes sense, as it is the perfect host for activating the wireless repeater or the bridge version, upon deployment.

Plus, Tomato adds to the existing set of customizable options, including better control over the guest network and improved website filtering. However, I would recommend the Advanced Tomato firmware on this one as bridging requires faster response times.

Design & Build, App Support

The WRT1900AC S weighs 1.77 pounds and measures 9.76 x 7.67 x 2.01 inches. Despite being considered a thick router with 1.77 pounds’ worth of heft, the product is quite aesthetic. Also, the Linksys app allows you to manage most networking factors remotely, regardless of the smartphone in hand.

Security Features

Once you flash the router with Tomato, you get access to the OpenVPN and its extensive range of security safeguards, including filtering, IP blocking, and more.

Hardware and Port Management

Linksys WRT1900ACS Ports

The WRT1900AC S is a processing heavy router with support for a high-end Broadcom processor and 512MB RAM for improved throughput. As far as the pot arrangement is concerned, you can make use of the 5 Ethernet slots for establishing LAN and WAN networks, followed by two USB slots for seamless data management.

This is one of the few tomato routers to offer eSATA access for connecting external data hubs, if and when required. This device is suitable for big office space or 2 story house considering its long coverage range of 3000 sq ft.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

I would recommend the WRT1900AC S for basic to mid-range ISPs instead of using it as a primary router; users are better off deploying the same for bridging and repeating an existing wireless setup.

When it comes to band selections, this router supports concurrent transmission over 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, with speeds reaching up to 600Mbps and 1300Mbps. The 3000 sq ft coverage is top-shelf, and with Tomato firmware and Beamforming support in play, you can get the best speeds even at the farthest point.

Overall, the Linksys WRT1900AC S is one of the best open-source compatible routers on the list, which scales above others when repeating and bridging traits are concerned.

  • Supports the repeater mode
  • Compatible with multiple firmware versions
  • High-speed data access
  • 5 high-speed ports
  • 4 high-gain antennas for excellent coverage
  • Not a good bet as the primary router
  • Heavy

Finding a router with the best cost-to-ownership ratio isn’t child’s play. Therefore, keeping every aspect of router customization in mind, I feel that the Netgear R7000 is the best option to invest in, for under $150.

I even compared the R7000 with the older R6900 upon flashing both the routers with the Tomato firmware. However, the former became a better option in terms of USB sharing, courtesy of the additional port in play.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

The inclusivity of the Netgear R7000 makes it a great option for installing tomato firmware. However, what justifies its position on the list over other products is the excellent hardware setup, let by a dual-core chipset and 256MB RAM. 

Therefore, Netgear packs in the requisite processing firepower to help you get the most out of this router in terms of range, throughput, and improved control.

Design & Build, App Support

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Design

The R7000 assumes a standard build quality, courtesy of the dimensions that read 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 inches. The 1.65-pound router comes in black and allows you to monitor the existing networks via the Nighthawk application.

Security Features

When it comes to the existing security safeguards, the R7000 brings in a wide array of parental controls and the cyber threat mitigating Armor support. Also, once you get Tomato on board, it becomes easier to explore the possibilities concerning site blocking and real-time monitoring.

Hardware and Port Management

Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Ports

Apart from the powerful processing setup, there is a 128MB flash storage module in place. Netgear also brings in 5 Ethernet slots for better-wired performances, followed by the availability of two USB ports for advanced file sharing.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

Overall, this is one of the more recommended modems for the mid-range and Gig ISPs. However, when it comes to speeds, this router promises real-time throughput of 600Mbps and 1300Mbps for 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

The 1800 sq ft coverage is more on the expected lines and can be improved upon with the Tomato firmware flash on the same. Overall, for the given price, the Netgear R7000 seems like the perfect bet for managing resourceful open-source firmware, including OpenWRT and DD-WRT.

  • Improved DLNA access
  • Beamforming support
  • 5 Ethernet slots
  • High-gain antennas for consistent coverage
  • Lacks MU-MIMO support
  • Heats up a fair bit

The Asus RT-AC66U B1 is the most affordable router on the list. Still, it certainly packs a punch if you want to flash it with Tomato firmware for exploring diverse facets of monitoring, security, range extension, better network control, and more.

I compared the RT-AC66U B1 with the dated RT-AC58U and discovered that the former is a better bet for amplifying router potency, courtesy of double the RAM allotment and 4 times the storage space, which is vital for firmware flashing.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

While this $100 budget router might not look like much, it is extremely responsive towards open-source firmware like Tomato and the proprietary Asus WRT. Also, the advanced security safeguards against Zombie attacks and Trojan make it a great choice for installing third-party firmware, which would then amplify the same further.

Design & Build, App Support

This sleek yet durable router exhibits a mesh-like layout and weighs 1.40 pounds. Plus, when it comes to dimensions, the measurements come out to be 5.8 x 1.7 x 8.5 inches. Not to mention the in-house Router application from Asus that allows you to monitor the home network remotely.

Security Features

In addition to protection against malicious websites and IP filtering support, this is one of the few routers to offer AiProtection Pro support for online threats. Also, you can explore additional parental controls and commercial-grade safeguards upon flashing the Tomato firmware.

Hardware and Port Management

Asus RT-AC66U B1 Ports

There is a standard dual-core chipset in play, which works with 256MB RAM and 128MB of flash memory. Plus, this 3×3 router also comes equipped with 4 Gig Ethernet LAN ports, one Gig WAN port, and two USB slots for FTP file sharing and connecting peripherals.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

Purchasing the RT-AC66U B1 makes sense if you consider pairing it with an entry-level ISP internet plan. Also, the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band speeds are capped at 450Mbps and 1300Mbps, but you can only get maximum download speeds reaching up to 330Mbps, and that too with a 400Mbps plan.

The 3000 sq ft coverage is yet another feature in its cap, followed by SPI intrusion support and Beamforming compatibility that make it worth purchasing over other products on the list.

  • High wireless speeds for the 5GHz band
  • Beamforming support
  • Advanced parental controls
  • High-end security traits
  • High-speed USB 3.0 port
  • Not meant for Gig Plans
  • The router app doesn’t have the best interface

The Linksys EA6900 is my favorite router with open-source compatibility if file and data sharing over the home network are some of the priorities. But then, if you already own something like the EA6350, you might hold off the purchase unless you really want to make the most of the Tomato firmware.

But then, if customizability is on your mind, I would recommend the EA6900 as it comes with an additional USB port for improved file sharing and obviously better cumulative speeds.

Why is it suitable for installing tomato firmware?

The EA6900 makes the most of Tomato’s file-sharing support and DLNA compatibility. Also, the router is DLNA certified, which validates its capabilities when it comes to sharing media across the home network.

Also, the better and consistent speeds make it a good choice for Tomato, whereas the UI is AJAX optimized for minimizing server downtime. Finally, it is compatible with a wide range of firmware choices.

Design & Build, App Support

This cheap tomato router features a standard layout and comes equipped with three external antennas. When it comes to the dimensions, the product measures 1.58 x 10.1 x 7.26 inches. Also, the 1.18-pound router is easy to carry around if you plan to shift to a different location.

As far as the app management is concerned, the Linksys app allows you to manage and monitor the home network remotely whilst supporting seamless setup via the SimpleTap support.

Security Features

This device also allows you to set stringent parental and guest controls with password-specific access. Plus, once the Tomato firmware is flashed, it becomes easier to gain real-time control and even make use of OpenVPN.

Hardware and Port Management

Linksys EA6900 Ports

The 800MHz dual-core processor is good enough for cutting through congestion. Also, Linksys offers 256MB of RAM, which minimizes the response time further and speeds up the data transfers. The EA6900 also comes equipped with one USB 3.0 port for file sharing, followed by a USB 2.0 port and 5 Gig Ethernet slots.

ISP Plans, Frequency Bands, Speed & Coverage

I would recommend this router for managing ISP plans reaching up to 400Mbps. In case you are interested in speeds, this router promises a theoretical capping of 600Mbps and 1300Mbps respectively for the Wi-Fi N 2.4GHz band and the Wi-Fi AC 5GHz band, respectively.

As far as the coverage is concerned, Beamforming support and the hardware setup ensure that the wireless network propagated by the Netgear EA6900 spans up to 2000 sq ft, making it one of the better choices for open-source flashing.

  • Smart Wi-Fi support for remote monitoring
  • 256MB RAM
  • Improved parental controls
  • High-speed USB file sharing
  • SPI firewall compatibility
  • An underwhelming processor
  • Prone to overheating

Frequently Asked Questions

What features does tomato firmware provide?

The Tomato firmware increases the efficacy of an existing router. It offers built-in file sharing support, the scope for better bandwidth monitoring, guest network designing, website filtering, and improved security standards with better VPN compatibility.

Is Tomato firmware better than the DD-WRT & OpenWRT?

If you are deep into P2P downloads and OpenVPN access, Tomato is a better firmware choice to consider. Plus, its real-time network monitoring support is truly top-shelf. Also, unless you are a network engineer, the OpenWRT traits might be too overwhelming, and it is better to go with the user-friendly Tomato firmware.

What is the difference between Advanced Tomato and Tomato by Shibby?

Tomato by Shibby is the more popular interface but can slow down the router response rates. In comparison, Advanced Tomato is a lighter version that incorporates every aspect of Tomato by Shibby but offers a better Graphical user interface, making it more user-friendly.

Is it safe to flash the router with third-party firmware?

If you follow the instructions to the letter and do not halt the process abruptly, you need not worry about the safety quotient. However, for the skeptics, I would still recommend updating the stock firmware before flashing as it helps you modulate the NVRAM limit and avoid sudden bricking.


Each of the mentioned routers seems like a pretty good bet if you are onboard with firmware flashing. But then, finding the best option as per the preferences might be confusing for someone who hasn’t had prior experience with Tomato. Keeping this in mind, I have curated a small list for helping you make informed selections:

  • If you want high-end future-proof wireless router for gaming, 4K streaming, and data-intensive activities, the ASUS RT-AX88U is an excellent router with support for Tomato open-source firmware.
  • If you are more inclined on network security and bandwidth monitoring, I would suggest the Netgear R7000P or even the Netgear R7000 if you want to more affordable option.
  • If you are more into flashing multiple firmware versions and testing each in time, the Linksys WRT1900ACS seems like a better bet, in terms of open source firmware compatibility.
  • For buyers on a budget, the Asus RT-AC66U B1 seems like the best option, despite the lower far band throughput.

Overall, these are some of my favorite picks for flashing with Tomato firmware. However, you are still free to skim through the other products on the list and pick the most suitable router for the tasks, according to preferences, customizability, and budget.