ASUS Merlin vs Tomato: Which One Is Better?

asus merlin vs tomato
asus merlin vs tomato

Asus merlin and tomato, both are router firmware. But there is a fundamental difference between the two of them. Asus merlin is a modded Asuswrt firmware, while the Asuswrt was originally derived from early tomato firmware.

So the question is, why are you here?

You might have bought a new Asus router and must have heard a little bit about customization. Now, after looking through several firmware types you want to know which one is better, the Asus merlin or the tomato firmware.

The best firmware for a normal user is still the factory firmware. Because installing new firmware on your device may bring forth some negative effects. For example, removing the factory firmware voids any sort of guarantee that comes with a router. But it’s not just a routers guarantee that’s on the line, irresponsible installation of 3rd party firmware may end up completely ruining your device.

Having the ability to customize a router to your liking may seem a bit tempting but you should also be aware of the risks involved.

Most of the time, the need for a new firmware arises dude to the inadequacy of a previously installed firmware. For example, your factory firmware is struggling with a bug and none of the recent firmware updates has managed to kill it. Similarly, you might want a new feature to customize and play with, but the Asuswrt doesn’t support any. Thus you turn to other 3rd party firmware that provides you with a solution to your problems.

Now, for those of you who want something more advanced and are willing to take the risk, Asus merlin and tomato are two of the best 3rd party firmware you will find on the internet.

Both of these firmware’s have their strengths and weaknesses. Some of them are detailed below.

ASUS Merlin vs Tomato

Strengths and weaknesses, Asus merlin


Asus merlin a 3rd party firmware does a lot of things perfectly, some of them are as follows:

  1. It has the same interface. Meaning, if you have used a factory firmware before then there won’t be a learning curve. The user-friendly interface allows you to interact with the software without getting lost in a sea of complicated options.
  2. Its less customizable, but it’s a necessary sacrifice when you strive for maximum stability. This firmware has the least amount of bugs. It’s super compact and performs every function perfectly.
  3. If you want a more stable alternative to your previous Asuswrt firmware than installing this firmware will be the best choice to make.


Although the firmware has several good features, it still has its weaknesses. Some of them are as follows:

  1.  Only a certain few Asus models support this firmware. Thus it’s only limited to seventeen Asus routers. All non-Asus routers are barred from using this firmware as well. Thus the merlin firmware is the least versatile firmware ever.
  2. Aside from its limited versatility in choosing models, it’s also extremely limited with customization. Everything about this firmware is simple and efficient, meaning there is no room for creativity. All you get from having this firmware installed are some extra tweaks and bug fixes.

Strengths and weaknesses, Tomato firmware


Multiple uses and strengths of the tomato firmware are as follows

  1. Different from a merlin firmware, the tomato firmware only supports routers with Broadcom processors. Broadcom is an American company which that makes semiconductor chips.
  2. It comes with a user-friendly interface that makes interacting and tweaking certain values and options much easier.
  3. It’s old, the first-ever tomato firmware was released in 2006. Even the current Asuswrt firmware has been derived from a previous version of tomato firmware. Due to its early conception, it has gone through a little more than sixteen modifications. Thus making this firmware one of the most stable and bug-free router firmware’s.
  4. Compared to a merlin firmware, an individual can exercise more freedom when working with tomato firmware. This firmware is highly customizable and provides you with basic easily customizable features for beginners and much more advanced features for professionals. For example, unlike merlin firmware, you can connect your home printer to the router using a tomato firmware.


Similar to its strengths the firmware has its weaknesses. Some of them are detailed below:

  1. It only supports Broadcom processors. Any other router with a different processor will not be able to run this firmware.
  2. It’s relatively more complicated than a merlin firmware. Which means, it has a higher learning curve.

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