Chap One – Flashing Tomato (Whole House Router Based Parental Controls and Ad Blocking)

The router being used is an Asus RT-N16. Follow all these instructions carefully or you might brick the router. Your router might get bricked anyway. I am not responsible. These instructions are only for the RT-N16.

Chapter two will explain how to set up the Tomato firmware for parental controls. If you just want to set up the router for whole house ad blocking, that will also be discussed.

Chapter three will explain how the Asus router is configured to work with OpenDNS so that together they provide an almost totally effective kid safe web experience. If all you want is ad blocking, then the router customization is simpler and OpenDNS is not used at all. Chapter three will explain all of that.

You should download all the necessary firmware and software before starting. Don’t make a complicated procedure more complicated by futzing around looking on the Internet for firmware halfway through the setup process. Keep all the software and firmware in a safe place in case you ever need to repeat this process.

You need two different router firmware packages (DD-WRT and Tomato) as well as the Asus Firmware Recovery Utility. DD-WRT is needed only to load Tomato onto the router. Tomato cannot be loaded directly on the router through the stock Asus firmware upgrade mechanism.

On the PC, download the following DD-WRT firmware: dd-wrtv24-14896_NEWD-2_K26_mini_RT-N16.trx. Google it and you should find a few sites to download from.

Then download the following Tomato firmware: tomato-K26-1.28.RT-MIPSR2-123-Mini.trx.

Then go to the Asus RT-N16 support web page and download the Firmware Recovery Utility.

At this point, disable your wireless connection from the “Change Adapter Settings”.  See paragraph below for how to get to this option in Windows 7.

Connect any one of the router Ethernet ports to the Ethernet port on the PC. Set your IPV4 address to static and set it to 192.168.1.2 (or above) with mask 255.255.255.0. To do this in Windows 7, click control panel, then Network and Sharing Center, then “Change Adapter Settings”.

Then right click the “Local Area Connection”, highlight “Properties” and do a normal click. Then do a normal click on IPV4 to highlight it, then click on the Properties button on the bottom of the dialog box. Then click the radio button for “Use the Following IP Address”. Fill in the fields as shown below:

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Start up the router for the first time while pressing the restore pin in the back. The leftmost light on the router should start to flash. Now, on the PC, start the Asus Firmware Recovery utility. Browse to the DD-WRT firmware, choose it and click on Upload. Then wait until it is completely finished. After it is finished, wait at least 5 minutes and then unplug the router for about 30 seconds.

While waiting, set your static IP address on the PC back to automatic. Then right click on it to disable it, then another right click to enable it. Keep your wireless disabled.

After 5 minutes, start a browser (IE or Firefox) and type 192.168.1.1 in the browser address bar. You should see a DD-WRT login screen as shown below. Change the user name and password to admin/admin.

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Then the DD-WRT screen shown below will appear. Click on the Administration Tab and then click on the “Firmware Upgrade” tab. Choose the option to erase the NVRAM. Find the Tomato firmware file on your PC, and then click on the Upgrade button. Don’t touch anything at this point. It takes about 5 minutes to finish.

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When it is finished, unplug the power cord on the router for at least a few minutes, then plug it back in.

Important: At this point (right after plugging it in), press in the black reset button on the back of the router until the power light goes out. Then release the button and wait about a minute or two.

Then start a browser session, and again point to 192.168.1.1. You should see the Tomato login screen at this point. Type in admin/admin, answer the “TomatoAnon” project settings and then relax for a moment.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. In the next chapter, the router will be configured to function as a whole-house parental control and/or ad blocking device. The chapter after that will explain how to set up OpenDNS.

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