WRT54G vs WRT54GL: Difference and Comparison

Networking functions on different hardware. Hardware mainly includes routers. Routers have evolved and have launched as wireless routers. Linksys routers are the most popular routing devices which have several models and products. The most common products which are used interchangeably are WRT54G and WRT54GL.

Key Takeaways

  1. WRT54GL is an updated version of the WRT54G wireless router, with Linux firmware pre-installed.
  2. Both routers share similar hardware specifications, but WRT54GL supports third-party firmware, offering more customization options.
  3. WRT54GL is more suitable for advanced users looking for additional features and control.


The WRT54G was first introduced in 2002 and quickly gained popularity due to its affordable price and the ability to install custom firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato. The WRT54GL, which was released in 2005, is an upgraded version of the WRT54G, with more memory and a Linux-based operating system.


IT Quiz

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Which American Computer Company is also known by the nick name "Big Blue"

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The app or software, or website asks about access of your location, camera, storage, contacts etc., are known as

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Which mobile company first introduced Emoji internationally on their mobile devices

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WRT54G is a model line of its own and is not Linux-based. There are several versions in WRT54G. WRT54G has switched to VxWorks-based OS from specifically Version 5. The devices are not compatible with most third-party firmware. The model line is ideal for small businesses as an access point.

On the other hand, WRT54GL is Linux-based. It is not an original line and was launched as a variant of WRT54G. The devices are compatible with most third-party firmware and custom firmware. WRT54GL has SpeedBooster in it. Though it is disabled, it can be easily enabled. This affects the overall speed of the model line. The model line is ideal for medium to large businesses for access points.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWRT54GWRT54GL
OriginWRT54g was first launched in the year 2002 WRT54GL was first launched in the year 2005
Flash memory The flash memory is reduced to 2 MB after the launch of version 5 WRT54GL doubles the WRT54G’s flash memory
Compatibility Not compatible with most third-party firmware or custom firmware Compatible with most third-party firmware or custom firmware
Speed Comparatively slower Comparatively faster
Type Original model line Variant model line

What is WRT54G?

The first WRT54G was launched as an original model line in late 2002. The original device is derived from a network switch that has a port in the fashion of 4 + 1. The device has two antennae attached to the device, which can be detached from the device. The antenna is connected to the device through Reverse Polarity TNC connectors. The latest models of WRT54G use VxWorks.

The later versions of the device had no TNC connectors or antennas that were removable or detachable from the device. The reason for eliminating the connectors was to reduce and minimize the costs involved in production. The elimination from the device was, however, replaced with thin wires. These thin wires were attached to the shells of the antenna.

The device allows the users to share internet connections efficiently between several devices and computers which had 802.11b/g and 802.3 Ethernet data links and is essentially wireless. The device has a wide range of versions, and such variants are WRT54GS, WRTSL54GS and WRT54GL. These versions have specific features and derivations.

WRT54G is not Linux-based. It cannot be flashed with ease with 3rd party firmware. Another reason for hindrance in flashing by third-party firmware is due to its compatibility issues. VxWorkskiller is needed by WRT54G to make it practical and even secure.


What is WRT54GL?

WRT54GL was released in the year 2005 as a variant model line of the original model line WRT54G. WRT54GL is compatible in nature. The compatibility with third-party firmware or custom firmware makes the model line versatile. WRT54GL is a model line that is Linux-based. In technical terms, WRT54GL is functionally similar to version 4 of WRT54G.

WRT54GL devices were based on Linux but later shifted to VxWorks. This shift in the variant made it a popular choice, and the amount of usage increased. Though not in 2005, WRT54GL gained popularity as a new model line after the upgrade. The new line had come back to its Linux roots.

The significance of the letter ‘L’ in the name WRT54GL stands that it is Linux-based. Other versions of WRT54G may be able to accept 3rd party or open-source installations with VxWorkskiller, by bitsum.com. WRT54GL uses newer technology and even supports DDWRT. This provides superior configuration abilities and boosted performance with enhanced usability.

The stock firmware of WRT54GL has SpeedBooster disabled in it. But most third-party firmware or custom firmware can easily enable the SpeedBooster of the device. The hardware of the device is identical to WRT54G (version 4). However, it has some minor alterations to the internal numbering of the port switch of the device.


Main Difference Between WRT54G and WRT54GL

  1. The flash memory of WRT54G is less, while the flash Memory is more in WRT54GL.
  2. The model line WRT54G was released in 2002, while the WRT54GL was in 2005.
  3. WRT54G cannot be easily flashed by open-source, while WRT54GL can be easily flashed by open-source firmware.
  4. WRT54G is not Linux-based, while WRT54GL is Linux-based.
  5. The WRT54G is the original model line, while the WRT54GL is a variant of the original model line.
  1. https://www.dbpia.co.kr/Journal/articleDetail?nodeId=NODE01585338
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=9oj4NbB4NEQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=wrt54g+and+wrt54gl&ots=UH4WL8DbM0&sig=h9c1-8BMufLZ1vYYLOmZ4GtQEi8

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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