What Does Tomato Do?
Tomato firmware is offered for specific Linksys and Buffalo routers (any router that runs on the Broadcom system) by Polarcloud.com. Although the firmware is based on DD-WRT programming several tweaks have been made that allow specific actions to be taken to unleash the capabilities of a low-end router. Because most routers are made from the same components, the only real difference in functionality comes from the firmware that is installed by the factory. By using the free Tomato software, you can essentially turn a $40 router into a $200 router.
One of the most amazing features is the Wi-Fi boosting capability. Click on the Advanced tab then Wireless in the sidebar. There is a place marked Transmit Power. The default 42mW but it can be pushed all the way to 251 mW. 84 mW is considered the best setting to reduce noise and enhance transmitter distance.
Tomato also offers bandwidth logging so you can see which devices are using the most bandwidth. An Access restriction section lets you set up rules to block browsing of certain topics at certain times of the day.
The wireless options in Tomato let you easily turn the router into an Ethernet bridge by boosting certain bandwidths while the Afterburner settings can improve speeds on for g band devices to as high as 125Mbps.
In addition to the standard and ND modifications offered by Polarcloud there are several user enhanced modification versions including; hardc0re Mod, jyavenard, Neorouter, roadkill, SgtPepperKSU, slodki, Teddy Bear, Thor, Trzepako and VicTec. Each of these offers its own set of specific enhancements but none is sanctioned by Polarcloud. As with all proprietary freeware, these are use at your own risk modifications.