If you are using an open source router, then you should know that you can install a custom OS on the router to enhance router’s performance to a decent degree. In this article, we will look at the best free router OS that are available to download and install for free.
1. Pfsense – Official Website
Pfsense hails itself as one of the best router operating systems in the market, and I cannot deny that. I have never felt more at peace with my router before. The Pfsense makes the entire user experience much, much better, and the best part is that it supports a plethora of routers using different platforms as well.
Plus, the installation procedures are super simple, and straightforward for most of the options, that you will not have any issue whatsoever. That is one of the biggest reasons why one should actually use the Pfsense as their must have OS for their routers. Just make sure that the router you want to install the OS on is compatible and the rest will be as good as possible without any issues.
2. Mikrotik – Official Website
MikroTik is another company who is very prolific when it comes to offering some of the best wireless solutions to their consumers. However, they are not only known for their hardware side of things. As a matter of fact, the company is actually very popular when it comes to delivering one of the best router operating systems in the market.
The operating system gets installed easily on the supported routers, and once that is done, using your router will become an even simpler task. All you need to do as a user is to make sure that the router is supported, and you have all the necessary installation files, the process is simple and self-explanatory to follow, and you will not hit any roadblocks either.
3. Clear OS – Official Website
If you run a small business, and want an all in one solution for your networking needs, then the Clear OS is definitely the way to go. It is perhaps one of the best operating systems for routers, and it mostly caters to small business owners, however, you should keep in mind that even if you are not a small business owner, you can still benefit from all the amazing features provided by the Clear OS.
As always, the OS supports a variety of routers so you will not have any issues related to that. The one thing I really like is that the OS receives updates frequently, so you really do not have to worry about running an outdated version on your router, which is great.
4. IPFire – Official Website
IPFire is another great option that many people are using, especially on the enterprise side of things, because it has become so much popular over the years. The OS come with its own firewall that is one of the most versatile ones I have used. You also get amazing network security, that makes sure that all the traffic that is coming and going on a network is safe.
IPFire also ensures that your high speed network gets the best possible performance that it can deliver, and considering how the OS itself is open source, the changes keep coming, and making the OS better and better. Last but not the least, the installation process is among the easiest you get. The installation process is simple and straightforward, so no issues there.
5. OPNSense – Official Website
OPNSense is a completely open source firewall that is available for a multitude of different routers in the market. It provides one of the best firewall experience that you will get. Although the website might look like that it is outdated, the good thing is that thanks to the open source nature of the firewall, you will be getting constant updates, and changes.
Considering how the OS is free to use, you can download it right away, and even chip in by offering the company a small donation. As far as the user experience is concerned, the OPNSense is one of the best open source firewalls I have used; everything from the user experience to the installation experience is easy as it can get.
6. NG Firewall – Official Website
I am almost done with the list but NG Firewall is another option when it comes to open source firewalls. Considering how popular the open source firewalls have become, it is no surprise there are so many out there. However, the important thing that you need to keep in mind about these firewalls is that you must choose a good one, otherwise your entire experience can be messed up.
The NG Firewall is actually one of the best ones out there; it is open source, can be installed easily, and keeps getting updated with more features as well. So as far as the feature list is concerned, you will not have to worry about staying behind the curve, because you would get the updates nonetheless.
7. ZeroShell – Official Website
The last router OS is ZeroShell, again, an open source OS that is made for people who want the best possible experience with router OS. If you are wondering why people install these OS in the first place, that is mainly because they want to ensure that their experience goes as smoothly as possible, and sometimes, the stock router OS is not as good, however, that is not always the case.
ZeroShell caters to people who prefer to have the best possible performance, and in addition to that, they also want security through a custom firewall. These feature can only be provided by applications like ZeroShell that work really, really well, and should not create any issues for the users either. So, always keep that in mind when it comes to a good a router OS.
Not all routers come with subpar OS installed in them, some are actually very good, however, there are times when you find one that is just average at best. So, it is important to find the best possible OS that you can install in an open source router.