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Buffalo Technology > 
Item#: N82E16833162086
BUFFALO WHR-300HP2D AirStation N300 Open Source DD-WRT Wireless Router IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • DD-WRT Pre-Installed
  • Wireless speeds up to 300 Mbps
  • Onboard power amplifiers for increased range and coverage
  • Configure as an Access Point or Wireless Bridge
  • $69.99
  • $54.99
  • Save: $15.00 (21%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

4 out of 5 eggs Could be better, could be worse. 05/28/2014

This review is from: BUFFALO WHR-300HP2D AirStation N300 Open Source DD-WRT Wireless Router IEEE 802.11b/g/n

Pros:

===Important: See cons if you’ve already purchased this router!===

A solid 4 out of 5 eggs. It somewhat limited and if it had external antennas the high power attribute would be amazing. Also, it wouldn't have hurt to add one USB port and gigabit ethernet.

- 580MHz processor and 64MB RAM. Some great power if it had a firmware to use it all…

- Bridging capabilities are easy and concise. There is a hardware switch on the back of the router between “Auto,” “Router,” and “Bridge.” I like this function. With added to an existing network you could setup a WDS system to extend your wireless network.

- The VPN+DD-WRT aspect is the only pro that really makes this router even worth anything, in my opinion. Buffalo’s stock build is limited and even DD-WRT’s standard build is as well. You can, however, do many things such as creating multiple wifi networks and bridging them to virtual networks if you’re an advanced user.

- It has 2T2R/MIMO for more efficient single band speeds. It's not dual-band but at this price point that is not a con.

- The spec sheet says “Power Amplifiers” and in DD-WRT under Wireless > Advanced Settings you can set the output power as high as 1000mW. (Typically, other routers limit around 200 to 300mW and the default is set from 17mW to 30mW. This router defaulted to 71mW power with the Buffalo firmware and 100mW with the DD-WRT beta build.)
If this router had an external antenna that would be more impressive but still it is a definite pro. I set it to 500mW output power and it's operating with no problems. But the signal dropped as much as my primary router when I walked out in the yard. Without antennas giving it reach, this power isn't so intimidating. But it's still a definite pro. I might consider fabricating antennas in the future, if possible. But that's just me :p

- Bandwidth monitoring, access restrictions, firewall, DDNS, as well as many other DD-WRT features standard to the firmware.
In reality, the features packed into DD-WRT do make this a very capable router. Even if you're not tech savvy, you can read some how-to's online and do many great things. This router has the tools and power to let a user control their home or office network in many ways that companies don't usually allow in their devices.

Cons:

- The Ralink/Mediatek hardware is limited to a particular DD-WRT build. This means you cannot flash the DD-WRT “Mega” or “Big” build, which includes many additional features. With this router you can only use DDWRT “Standard.” This is a crippled, basic version of DD-WRT compared to others. Though this router is very powerful, it's still limited.

- No external antennas always worry me with range. I live in a smaller duplex, however, and have not had any issues. I like to use external and extended antennas, personally, to ensure coverage. That is not an option with this router.

- No gigabit or USB. There are much cheaper alternatives that support gigabit, have USB, and even support full DD-WRT out of the box. (In fact, I have listed some in OTs)


===IMPORTANT: This router is vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug out of the box! (My build was #22750 dated in 2013.) ===

I went to Administration > Firmware Upgrade > “Check for Updates” and it said “Error retrieving update information.” There was also no firmware on Buffalo's site to download so there does not appear to be an official fix.

Per the DD-WRT developer, directly: “https nor ssh is affected in all builds. https uses matrixssl and dropbear uses tomcrypt.
openssl is used for freeradius, openvpn, tor, [and] asterisk. so if you have a small router with 4 mb flash, you arent affected since openssl is not even included. if you use a big router with openvpn, you might be affected if tls is used. next beta builds will fix that issue.”
(Source: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=260167 )

Even if you will not be using VPN or freeradius, you should not ignore this!
The latest DD-WRT firmware can be found here:
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/
These are beta builds, not stable! Download a few different builds to try.
I recommend “04-18-2014-r23919” which has "OpenSSL 1.0.1g 7 Apr 2014" and works perfectly. At first I used "05-27-2014-r24160" and had major problems!
Click "buffalo_whr_300hp2" (<-- Double check you're on the correct router!! If you flash the wrong firmware file then you can, and probably will, brick it.)

The router says is a 300HP2 if you check the Status configuration page to confirm it. The extra -D in the model only designates that Buffalo charged you $15 extra to sell the router pre-loaded with DD-WRT.

Download "buffalo_whr_300hp2-webflash.bin". Navigate to your router's config: http://192.168.11.1/ and go to Administration --> Firmware Upgrade. Click "Browse..." and find the .bin file you downloaded. Double and triple check that is the file! Click "Open," and "Upgrade." A light on the front of the unit will blink red three times every 3 seconds for up to 5 minutes and will restart when finished. It might take a while so be patient.
*continued in OTs*

Other Thoughts:

Note: When you do something major after updating your firmware, like changing the IP from 192.168.1.1 back to 192.168.11.1, you *may* have to manually reboot the modem. Either via the web or unplug/replug it. In my testing I had to reboot it twice for the new settings to show up.

1. This will replace Buffalo’s stock firmware. It will look completely different but have a similar layout. Don’t be alarmed. You can change themes in the Administration page but there will be no Buffalo logo anywhere.

2. You can elect to not "reset to factory settings" if you want. It may work, or it may not. It's usually recommended to reset to factory defaults when significantly changing versions like this. If you do not and it causes problems then refer to the manual for reset procedures. It won't brick your router or anything.

3. Here is how to check your openssl version for vulnerability, if you wanted to:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=891583#891583


I first loaded a WRT54G with DD-WRT nearly 10 years ago when I was a teenager. I've since modded and hacked routers all sorts of ways. It's come a long way since forking from Sveasoft! It's powerful and capable but this router is, without doubt, purposely limited and doesn't harness that power. It lacks gigabit LAN, numerous DD-WRT features, USB, etc. Had they included gigabit and USB, like it's big brother model the WZR-300HP, this would be a perfect router.

However, if you don’t need speed and NAS capabilities, then by all means, this may be the router for you. Personally, I think it is best used as an isolated VPN-only device (Once the Heartbeat vulnerability is taken care of.) Considering how on VPN I won’t need even 100mbps of speed, it can work amicably for that application. For an every day use router, however, money can be better spent elsewhere...

You can better spend $50 to $70 on a router to have much better capabilities if that’s what you’re looking for. Some DD-WRT alternatives worth looking into:
Netgear WNR3500L, Item# N82E16833122334. $40, has gigabit LAN, USB, external antennas, and a better chipset.
WZR-300HP, Item# N82E16833162069. (if you can find one) is basically this router with gigabit, USB, external antennas, and a better chipset for only $15 more. It's a great router at a great price.
Asus RT-N16, Item# N82E16833320038. $70. This has been the backbone of my home network for over 3 years. I've yet to find a router with the value, power, and capability worth replacing it.
WZR-HP-G450H, Item# N82E16833162048. Expensive at $80, external antennas, gigabit, USB, faster speeds, and a better chipset.

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  • Theodore P.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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