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 FlashRouters Review FlashRouters Review Summary

On the whole FlashRouters is one of the best providers of flashed routers on the market. Their routers, which come with a choice of Tomato or DD-WRT, help you obtain the best out of your router – whether it’s old or new. Read our full FlashRouters review below, to find out more about their great service.

Video Review

If you’re unsure as to what a flashed router is, then have a look at the fantastic video below.

Pricing & Plans

FlashRouters sells 15-20 different types of routers from 4 of the main manufacturers: Linksys, Netgear, Asus and TP-Link. The models they sell vary from low-end examples such as the Linksys E1200 ($89.95) to full powerhouse routers like the Netgear R8000 ($429.95). These prices are similar, and in some cases lower, than what other flashed router providers are charging. For this price, you also get their fantastic support, which we outline later on in this post. It is more expensive than if you bought the router on its own and then flashed it yourself, but you could end up with a number of problems. Again, we will discuss this further on.

FlashRouters_Pricing

For the price, you also get a 7-day faulty router cover, a 90-day hardware warranty, and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee all for free. If you wish to, you can also add additional warranty and support time, either when checking out or in the future. That is a lot more than you would get if you purchased your router from your local IT shop! Also, if you buy a refurbished version, you will be provided with a discount which ranges from $30-$70, depending on make and model.

Should you already have a router you wish to install DD-WRT or Tomato on, you are also able to purchase a support plan that will help with the flashing and VPN installation process. Depending on which plan you opt to go for, you will also receive up to a year of support. Before purchasing this, make sure they support your VPN provider, but with a growing list of 53 (and 4 Smart DNS providers), the answer is most likely a resounding yes.

FlashRouters_Support_Pricing

They also sell some media streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, and Boxee. If this is the only item you’d like to purchase, then you’re better off buying it somewhere else.

To pay for your router, you can use any traditional credit card types as well as PayPal. It would be nice to see support for BitCoin as well, like the VPN providers they support, but it’s non-essential.

Features

As their name suggests, FlashRouters is a company that specializes in flashing custom firmware onto routers. While, there are a number of different types of firmware available online, they only focus on the most popular two: DD-WRT and Tomato. They are based in New Jersey, USA which is great for all North American and Canadian customers, but will mean slightly more expensive shipping for customers in other places around the world.

As mentioned the company primarily sells flashed routers but also has media devices on offer. They mainly specialise in VPN optimising routers and have solid relationships with all the main VPN providers to be able to solve their customers’ needs.  They have also invested a considerable amount of time into helping customers optimise the through-put, Wifi and VPN speeds through ideal firmware settings.

Visit FlashRouters »

Security & Privacy

Since FlashRouters only provide the physical routers, the security you obtain by running VPN on these, purely depend on the VPN provider you choose. To help you out with this, we have created a 5 Best list around the topic.

In their Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy they clearly highlight that they do not sell or distribute any information they obtain from you during your purchase, which is great to know.

The website

The FlashRouters website is clearly laid and easy to navigate. In their top navigation menu, you can easily find all the products and support services, while in their footer lies more in-depth information relating to their service. While it does look slightly old-school, there is nothing wrong with that, it would be nice to see a slightly fresher and modern design.

FlashRouters_Homepage

They also run a blog that is kept up to date with tips and tricks, the best devices to use, recommend VPN providers and information about various streaming news.

All of their social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Google) are kept up to date with the latest news. It’s refreshing to see that these aren’t mirror copies of each other and they also share various security and streaming news from favorite news websites.

Support

FlashRouters has extensive support mechanisms: email, ticket, live chat, remote desktop, knowledge base and phone.  While none of these are 24/7, it’s nice to see such a significant range. We had a chance to test out all of them apart from phone, as it is only toll-free from the US and Canada.

Their live chat, email and ticket systems were usually quick to reply and they were able to help us with most things that we were stuck on. For complex issues, where they need access to your desktop you will need most likely need remote support.

Their remote desktop support is available between 10am and 5pm EST weekdays, but it is possible to receive support outside of these hours if previously discussed. We tested it a multiple times and found that it is absolutely fantastic. Not only was the staff extremely friendly but also very knowledgeable and helpful. We did ask a question that they weren’t able to answer immediately, but they researched it for us and gave us a solution within a day.

FlashRouters_Support

The knowledge base was a letdown, half of it was related to service closure times and the other half to very basic technical questions. We would have liked to see it populated with guides on optimizing speeds, installing add-ons, configuring set-ups, sharing devices and printers, and generally more in-depth.

The Process

Signing Up

Ordering from them was extremely easy. All you need to do is select the product, enter the shipping information and pay. You can also select add-ons, customizations for your VPN provider and enter any other special setup requests. US deliveries will take 2-3 business days, while international customers will need to wait around a week for their product. Such a short lead time for flashing, configuration, testing and shipping is very good in our opinion.

FlashRouters: DD-WRT and Tomato

We received our flashed router, running on Tomato firmware. Within the box, there was also a manual on how to set up and optimize our settings. We were also able to talk to support and get some optimisation tips that were more specific to our use case. Within the introductory pack, there was also a guide on how to setup of your router so that you can appear to be using devices from different countries (i.e. your phone in your home country and your laptop connected to the Netherlands via a VPN).

After we done our testing on the Tomato firmware, support was also able to remote flash our router with DD-WRT.

While we like the feel and performance that both firmware provider, we do prefer Tomato as it’s better optimized for VPN. Clearly the big advantage of both is that they allow for a larger range of settings: Quality of Service, UPnP, VPN Client and Server, better logging, better optimisation, and the list goes on.

Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)

We tested the pure speeds of our internet connection through Ethernet and WiFi, and in both cases found no loss from our 30/3 Mbps pure speeds. If you have faster internet, then it should have very little problem with these as well.

As you can read in our R7000 review we also tested VPN on our router. We obtained no speed loss for this either, but our research shows that VPN download speeds will top out at around 42Mbps.

Clearly, IP, Speed, and DNS leak tests will depend on the provider you have chosen. We recommend looking at the aforementioned list to find the right one for you.

Other Routers

We had the chance to test the Netgear R7000 (full review here) and found it to be all round superb. We also received an AC66U from them previously. From our experience of both of these, we believe that FlashRouters provides quality product with high attention to detail.

Other Services

During our FlashRouters review, we had the chance to test their remote desktop support, which you can also buy separately, as mentioned in pricing. The main reason for this is that if you already have a router and want Tomato or DD-WRT on it, but are unsure of doing it yourself. We also gave them a test on this aspect, and got them to set up one of our old Asus routers to run Tomato instead of the stock firmware. They were also able to help us optimize this.

Therefore, if you already have a router but want some help on setting up, optimizing and general improvements, then we highly recommend getting one of their support packages.

FlashRouters Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Best support we’ve seen so far
  • Great technology
  • Wide range of products

We weren’t so sure about

  • Knowledge base is very bare
  • Slightly expensive

We hated

  • Nothing

If you want a Flashed Router then look no further. FlashRouters can either sell you one that is already fully set up, or they can help you customize your existing one. While some services are lacking, and they are slightly expensive, on the whole we found their packages to be jam packed with value.

Visit FlashRouters »

Peter Selmeczy

I am an engineer by trade and tech geek by night, who's passionate about sharing his knowledge with the people. Find me on Google+.

22 Antworten auf “FlashRouters Review

    I’m a retired IT support manager for 15 years and in IT for over 30 years and not stupid. Unfortunately for me this was relatively new technology to me. I have installed, configured and utilized many routers in the past, I had purchased a Linksys AC4000 5 months prior and it operated perfectly. I recently purchased a Linksys WRT3200ACM preconfigured router from Flashrouters after utilizing the desktop version of expressVPN from expressVPN. Following the instructions for the install and configuration had flaws in it and the installation did not go well. After many wasted hours of chats, and a couple of days, with various support team members I got nowhere. Finally, I stuck out on my own experience and background and had some success. While testing the various options in the Router application I discovered the “VPN Connection” option only produced a blank screen. According to instructions on the internet this option would allow you to change which server you want to utilize. Finally, I had to go back to Flashrouters once again to the various support team members and wasted more hours on chats. I was eventually informed that this option would NOT work on the IE browser and that the browser had bugs. I was told to download Chrome or Firefox and attempt that option. It finally worked successfully when I downloaded the Chrome browser. How can you market a product that only works properly on certain browsers, let alone not on one of the most popular ones? To recap, you will need to operate 2 separate web browsers while utilizing the Router application to get the full functionality of the router OR switch from the IE browser to Chrome or Firefox. Router VPN great concept, this product has bugs in it that need addressing. In addition, that there is no phone support and adds hours to solving support issues but saves the company a few dollars. Lastly, the competence of the various support members in many cases left a lot to be desired. BEWARE before you purchase this product and be aware of what you are getting for high price.

    1. Hi Gary,

      We are very concerned regarding the content of this review and want to make sure we did not miss anything or have anything sent to any spam filters by any chance. We did not you used the word trash in your e-mail address so it is possible that that might be at fault.

      To this point, our support team has no record of attempted contact with you and have not seen any support tickets that were opened regarding your case. Our team offers a satisfaction guarantee on our site and accept returns for any customers that are not happy, and are still happy to offer you a return for a refund. As of now there is no request for refund or return or assistance.

      All ExpressVPN routers shipped out by FlashRouters are fully tested and setup so that as soon as you connect the router to the Internet you can enter your ExpressVPN activation code to complete the setup. If you are not directed to the router page to enter your activation code as soon as you connected to the ExpressVPN router, then the issue is not related to router settings, but rather to the wiring of your network setup or settings on your computer from a previous network connection.

      When a customer does run into this type of issue our team is very responsive and happy to assist with the setup via support tickets or via a remote support session that comes free with any FlashRouters Support Plan. However in order to arrange a support session or get answers from our team you must contact our support team via e-mail or ticket. We are also not part of any other site’s support services or chat so we are not aware what you may be contacting them about.

      Our team is also happy to fully preset routers before shipment so that customers do not have to complete any setup on their own. When placing your order you chose to complete the setup on your own, so our team configured and tests as much as we possibly could before shipment.

      The FlashRouters Help Center is also very robust, in-depth resource featuring answers to a wide variety of common questions for layman’s to IT experts such as yourself. Our goal is to address issues in advance such as router access and Internet connection issues.

      In our article regarding FlashRouter Access, you will see the following lines that address one of the main issues you have referenced: “Getting Started: Connect to a FlashRouter numbered Ethernet port or wireless network and then open a web browser (Recommended: Chrome, Firefox, or Safari).” https://flashrouters.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/217490087-How-do-I-access-my-FlashRouter-settings-

      Our team does not offer support for Internet Explorer since Microsoft has ended most of the updates of this browser as of 18 months ago – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsforbusiness/end-of-ie-support.

      Microsoft directly recommends that all users shift to the Microsoft Edge browser if you want to use a Microsoft browser at all. As general advice to all Internet and FlashRouters users, using a browser with limited to no security updates for 18 months is not recommended for any Internet activities whatsoever.

      Again, Gary, we are very sorry to hear about your experience. If you were in contact with another support team outside of the FlashRouters Support Team, this may be the reason that you did not get the immediate answers and support you were looking. Our team is always available at support@flashrouters.com and our Help Center is always available at http://www.flashrouters.com/support.

      We look forward to getting you properly set up as we do thousands of customers each month.

    Do NOT waste your money. The advertising that it comes with basic support is false.
    There is NO customer support. They do NOT have even a phone number to contact them. You could send an e-mail, but they will NEVER solve your problem. They respond by sending links to different articles on the website and hope you just leave them alone. …well and leave them your money.

    1. Hello George,

      I apologize that we have not seen this page/comment sooner to try and handle your issue.

      I am truly sorry to hear about your experience. Our team focuses on one-on-one assistance via remote Teamviewer as we help customers from dozens of countries in various languages diagnose and solve their networking issues. Due to the complexity of networking support, without seeing your screen in this manner, it is highly difficult to try and diagnose your issue which is why we complete our support in this manner.

      As we do not have your contact info, please contact us your preferred method – https://www.flashrouters.com/contacts and we can do our best to get this sorted out for you ASAP.

    i purchased a 3 band vpn router from FlashRouters.com; They screwed up the initial setup and i spent hrs going back and forth emailing the tech support. The tech support was simply just rewording my request with generic replies and referring me to obscure articles.
    It became very clear, that flashrouters.com just wanted me to go away and were not interested in resolving my issue, i just wanted to get online. Took days just to get online.
    Then only 1 of my 3 bands was working properly and that resulted in a another set of back and forth emails which lasted weeks.
    Tried to run my amazon fire stick through VPN router with no success; At the point the tech support pretty much told me to go away and stop responding altogether.
    In short this company is a RIP Off: you are better off just using a regular router and install a VPN on your devices. This is alot easier and cheaper

    1. I apologize that we have not seen this page/comment sooner to try and handle your issue.

      As we do not have your contact info, please contact us your preferred method – https://www.flashrouters.com/contacts and we can do our best to get this sorted out for you ASAP. Please provide your order number as we would really like to look into seeing why your router was not set up to your specifications and see what we can do to correct that now and into the future.

      Part of our attempt to plug and play customization of every device we ship does lead to confusion for users and ourselves from time to time but our goal is to fix that ASAP which is something no other vendor will offer you at any price in our experience.

      We look forward to trying to help you or accept your expedited return.

    My gf bought this and when buying she did not provide my VPN account- but it didnt even ASK!

    Customer Service is terrible for paying for premium support-

    They completely complicated an interface by Asus that was built to be consumer friendly.

    I follow their instructions and my router completely kicks me out and shuts down that internet connection.

    1. Hi acast009,

      – They completely complicated an interface by Asus that was built to be consumer friendly. – I will just note that the whole point of having a flashed route is that the default UI is replaced with DD-WRT. This is why people buy these routers.

      It sounds like customer support is not doing its job. Can you ask for a refund?

    2. I am sorry to hear you had issues. Our team is always willing to try and assist with any issues via our one-on-one remote tech support.

      We do offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on all purchases.

      As we do not have your contact info, please contact us your preferred method onhttps://www.flashrouters.com/contacts and we can do our best to get this solved ASAP.

    They have one of the worst customer services I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. I have NEVER seen such a poor service.

    1. There is no phone number to contact them.

    2. When you send them an email, it usually takes days, or if you happen to be lucky, hours for them to send you a response with a link to connect to them. This is where your short-lived luck runs out. It may take an entire day, or NOT AT ALL for them to connect to you.

    Either EVERYONE in their IT department is named “Tom”. Or, there is only ONE person making feeble attempts at addressing everyone’s problems.

    I sent them an email at 1353 on 20 Aug for a recurring issue which rendered my router useless. Tom replied 2 days later, on the 22nd at 1511. I happened to be working on my computer, so I immediately clicked on the link he had sent me. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. And as of 0853 today (the 23rd of Aug), I am STILL waiting!

    I sent this Tom an email asking him how many more hours I had to wait? I never heard back. So, I have sent another email asking for my money back. This is the second time I’m doing this. But THIS time if they don’t refund my money, I’ll go to the ends of the world if I have to, including take legal action to make sure they don’t pull this crap on anyone else..

  1. Peter Selmeczy, do you work for FlashRouters? It literally takes 10 minutes to flash a router. Why would you pay the insane premium they are charging?

    1. Hi Mark G,

      True – flashing a router with DD-WRT is neither difficult nor time consuming. But as someone who has bricked a $200 router while trying to do just this, I can fully understand why many people would prefer to buy their routers pre-flashed (albeit at a fair premium). Flashrouters does what it does very well. If you are not interested in its product, then fair enough, but I don’t think it fair to judge the service based on this preference.

    I just heard of Flashrouters. How would you compare them to Anonabox PRO? The Anonabox has both Tor and VPN embedded in it. I can actually tunnel Tor through the VPN. I can also use any VPN that utilizes OpenWRT. Pretty cool stuff. The Flashrouters look pretty bulky. My device can easily fit in my pocket. Does Flashrouters offer a travel device?

    1. Hi Matt,

      Your Anonabox PRO sounds pretty funky!* My main concern is that (as far as I can tell) the router is tied to using Hide My Ass, which is not a service I recommend. I don’t think Flashrouters sells any travel routers, but it does sell some very powerful routers (1Ghz CPUs), whicxh is the main advantage of using its service.

      *I’m not sure what the current state of play is, but the original kickstarter campain for Anonabox left alot of people unhappy.

    Update:
    Pleased to say that things turned around for the better. The Tech honoured the teamviewer meeting (approx. 45 late), and spent considerable time working through the issue. I needed to send something urgently, so he stayed online until it was resolved – given it was afternoon here (in Sydney), it must have been the wee hours in New York, where I presume he was.

    At any rate, a positive outcome.

    I’m having the same issue. Within the DD-WRT user console I changed a ‘time zone’ setting from the default (Europe/Berlin) to my local area. From that moment forward I lost connectivity. I’m a novice, so should have known better – nonetheless… Started a ticket shortly after. Had one response several hours later, requesting that I send screenshots – can’t do that without a connection, so took photos and sent using my phone. Waiting to hear back. Have been looking forward to using the router, and am frustrated that it’s taking so long to get the issue resolved. I’m hoping customer support doesn’t just work during standard business hours in the US. If so, I’ll be waiting another day…

    Jess is spot on. Their products are good, but the customer service is complete and utter garbage. I wish I had done more research. Looks like I’ll be setting this up myself even though I also paid for the premium support package.

    Their products are good but unless you are a software engineer don’t bother. There is no customer service. I purchased the premium support plan but they refused to call me and only wanted to email me. I waited for them to remote connect to my computer but they did not respond. I finally figured it out myself.

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