Asus WL-520UG: Loving Tomato Firmware

Posted: March 17, 2009 in Networking
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
WL-520gU EZ Wireless Router with MFP Server

WL-520gU EZ Wireless Router with MFP Server


For a while now, I have been using Tomato firmware in all of my Broadcom-chipset-based broadband routers. I have a Linksys WRT54GS v1.1, Linksys WRT54GL v1.1, Buffalo WHR-125G and now the Asus WL-520UG, all on Tomato Firmware.

I particularly like Toastman’s version of  Tomato firmware, because of the added features (CPU Info and overclock, WAN Info, IP/MAC limiter, Speedmod, NOCAT, QOS) on top of the vanilla version of Jonathan Zarate’s. Recently, with the help of “Teddy_Bear” from the USB functionality of the Asus WL-520UG is now fully supported in Tomato firmware.

Unlike the Linksys routers wherein flashing with a 3rd party is like a walk in the park, flashing Tomato in supported Asus and Buffalo routers needs a few more steps. Instructions on flashing these routers are already posted in the web. I, however, didn’t want to take the complicated steps by flashing it first with DD-WRT and then flashing it with Tomato.

I also tried Jonathan Zarate’s instruction to “renaming the tomato-ND.trx to WL520GU_2.0.0.9_EN.trx”  and flashing it the normal way, but it didn’t work. Perhaps I was doing it the wrong way? LoLz! 😀

I went straight to flashing it with Tomato using Linksys’ tftp.exe utility and Victek’s latest firmware, particlulary for the WL-520GU, Tomato_RAF_1.23.8622_ND_USB_Std Toastman’s latest firmware for the WL-520GU, tomato-NDUSB-1.28.7624-ND-Std-NOCAT.

(Note: The Asus WL-520GU should only be flashed with an “ND” firmware. Toastman’s latest firmware for the Asus WL-520UG with USB functionality is tomato-NDUSB-1.28.7624-ND-Std-NOCAT )

Warning: I will not be responsible for any damage as a result of this instruction. Do it at your own risk.

Before you start, make sure that the router has been reset to its default settings.

1. Set a static IP to your PC Subnet Mask Default Gateway (Note: This step is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because Toastman’s latest firmware builds have the DHCP disabled by default. You have been warned!)

Set A Static IP on your PC

Set A Static IP on your PC


2. Run the tftp.exe utility. Set the IP address to Use “admin” as password and browse for the tomato-NDUSB-1.28.7624-Toastman-ND-Std-NOCAT. Leave this utility open for step no. 8

TFTP.exe Utility


3. Using an ethernet cable, connect your PC to LAN1 port of the router.

4. Check if you are able to logon to the router’s admin page at

5. Disable windows firewall.

6. Unplug power from the router.

7. Using a pen or a paper clip, press the reset button at the back of the router (the black, recessed button, not the protruding red one), keeping the reset button pressed, power on the router. (TIP: You can plug the router to an extension cord with a switch button. Turning on the router is much easier).

8. When the power led begins to flash slowly, release the reset button, upload the Tomato firmware by pressing the “upgrade button” in the tftp.exe utility. You should get a green circle indicating the firmware upload was successful.

Note: The ‘green circle’ is dependent on the version of  tftp.exe utility you are using.  Your version may only show the ‘Upgrading flash’ progress bar. As long as the utility showed the firmware ‘upgraded successfully’, everything went well 🙂

Upgrading  Flash

Firmware successfully flashed.

Firmware successfully flashed.


9. Wait for two (2) more minutes BEFORE you reset the WL-520GU router.

10. Power cycle your router, log in to it at with admin/admin default username/password.


12. Now you can tinker and enjoy Tomato 🙂

Note: Please do not forget to reset the Static IP of your computer to “Obtain IP address Automatically’ in step 1. (Thank you Julian for the suggestion Ü).  Also, you don’t need to go through this process anymore when upgrading to the latest Tomato builds.  You can now upgrade to any Tomato builds, (be it the vanilla, Victeks’ Teddy Bear’s or Toastman’s) directly from Tomato webgui.



• Please note that from the time of this post’s original writing, newer builds have become available as well as more powerful routers have come up in the market.  I have since adapted to Toastman’s builds simply because his builds are also based on Victek’s builds and added a few more features – QOS (short for Quality of Service) is one particular feature that works wonders for my networks).  I have also upgraded my routers to more powerful routers like the WRT610N-v2, E3000, E2000 and E4200 which can also be flashed with Tomato firmware.  But I still have a couple of these bang-for-the-buck Asus routers.

• Because newer builds have become available, some of the images here contains older build versions – particularly Victek’s old Tomato_RAF_1.23.8622_ND_USB_Std.trx firmware.  However, this process works the same.  I only updated to Toastman’s latest build.

• Here’s the latest tftp2.exe utility, if you prefer to use it.

• The latest Toastman Tomato build for the WL-520GU is 1.28.7628.1 

  1. RK says:

    I spent hours searching the internet on how to install tomato, and this is most definitely the simplest! Took me less than 10 minutes. I found several other methods which probably apply to earlier ASUS routers but they contain other steps (such as installing dd-wrt first, using utilities to clear NVRAM) which are not necessary, at least for the 520Ug.

    For anyone else looking to do this, I would recommend the tomato version described here, which enables USB functionality:
    the site refers to download from: (get the Tomato-1.25-NDUSB-xxxx-Lite.rar version)

  2. darkdelta says:

    I just used your method of installing Tomato 1.27 to my ASUS WL-520GU. It worked perfectly. Thanks for the information, I read many other places you had to flash DD-WRT, then use its upgrade util to load Tomato. To me, it sounded to many chances to brick your router. All went well as you described. Now I just have to figure out how to configure Tomato!

    Thanks again

  3. JJ says:

    Thanks very much for the flawless method! This took a short amount of time and worked perfectly. Now to learn about all the options available using tomato.

  4. vladster says:

    Thanx!Works great.Upgraded later to 1.27 nd std.

  5. Julian says:

    Thanks for the easy steps and detailed descriptions and instructions. I echo the previous comments, your technique is the only one that does not require flashing first to either DD-WRT or to an older version of the ASUS firmware. Thanks saving me some time and stress.

    I should add that a couple details seem to have changed. The tftp.exe utility has a slightly different GUI now. There is no circle any more, retries shows 1/3, and there is no version in the window header/label.

    By the way, I flashed the Tomato mod by “teddy_bear”, the exact version is “tomato-NDUSB-1.27.8745-vpn3.6.trx”. I know there is a slightly newer version, but I think that no other more recent version provides USB support and file sharing in 4MB or less.

  6. Julian says:

    You may also want to add a step to the instructions at the end that reminds your readers to undo the static IP that was set as this can cause some confusing trouble later on when they try to hardwire into some elses non-192.168.1.X network.

  7. kevin says:

    Thank you so much.
    I just follow your instruction, then everything works fine.
    thank you…

  8. Turqoise says:

    this was the only method that worked for me!

  9. flyboy320 says:

    Just to say a big thanks! One note, I could not get the tftp.exe to upload the new firmware even after going through the tutorial several times. Last thing I tried was to leave the password field blank in the tftp.exe program and it worked first try!

    • blinkthinks says:

      The default username/password is admin/admin for my Asus routers, same goes with the Linksys ones… Just make sure you use your password for your router when flashing. Thanks!

  10. flyboy320 says:

    Ya when I wanted to log into the router berfore I flashed it I had to use admin/admin, but when flashing it, it would only work with the password field blank…..weird

  11. Fabian says:

    I’m planning to flash my wl520gU with Tomato soon and this information is great! One question: In step 1, is there a way to confirm the static IP has been set correctly? Thanks in advance!

  12. blinkthinks says:

    @ Fabian

    Fabian, you can check it via command line. Type cmd in the Run field. It will bring up the DOS command prompt. then type: ipconfig /all

    You should see your PC’s IP address. Good luck.

    By the way, you can use the latest firmwares by Victek, Toastman or Teddy_bear (

  13. Fabian says:

    Blinkthinks, thanks! This is my first time flashing a router firmware so am a little nervous. Please pardon my 101 questions. I am thinking of using the lite version. Would you recommend using kernel v2.4 or v2.6? Also, on I don’t see any mention of the teddy_bear mod. Have the mods been incorporated into the releases?
    Thanks so much. This blog and your timely replies have helped many a distressed individual!

  14. dufftime says:

    thanks blinkthinks… just flashed my buddy’s router and was totally painless. i flashed my own asus wl-520gu with dd-wrt, but he wanted the USB printing. i had to enable USB 1.1 to get his printer to show up.

    good instructions:

  15. alsafah says:

    i would like to ask you a question about if i can use those steps to install my tomato on a Cisco router (linksys E3000 N) and if tomato am really thank full for those info.

    • blinkthinks says:

      You can definitely flash your E3000 with Tomato. I have my own E3000 flashed with Toastman’s Build 1.28.7475.5 You can flash directly from Cisco’s stock firmware, in the upgrade tab. Just make sure that you do STEP 1 BEFORE you attempt to flash, since Toastman’s build has the DHCP set to disabled by default.

      So in your case:

      1. Set a static IP to your PC Subnet Mask Default Gateway
      2. Flash the E3000USB-NVRAM60K-12874 firmware from the Cisco’s upgrade page.
      3. Make sure you do not interrupt the process. It takes around 4-5 minutes. Just wait until the power LED of the E3000 is no longer blinking
      4. Enter the Tomato webgui username/password is admin/admin.
      5. Go to Administration-> Configuration TAB. I Restore Default Configuration, select “ERASE all DATA in NVRAM (thorough).
      6. Wait for the process to finish.
      7. You may now setup your E3000 in Tomato webgui. The first thing you need to do is to ENABLE DHCP in the Basic Tab.

      Lastly, make sure that you reset the IP address of your PC from Static to it’s default state.


  16. H. Colwell says:

    I just used the above process and in less than 10 minutes my ASUS wl500gP was up and running Tomato, thanks for posting these instructions, truly made my life easier.

  17. Arun Mathew says:

    I recently bought an asus wl 520gu. I would like connect my 3g modem (Huawei E1550) to it and share the connection over wifi. I hardly need any other feature. Can anyone suggest me a stable build that will do my work??

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