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OpenWrt surgery on more home routers

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Home routers are more capable than default firmware would lead you to believe. I replace that firmware with OpenWrt: an embedded Linux distribution that converts energy-efficient, network-capable devices into much more useful hackable computers.

Install and first login

Supercharge a home router using OpenWrt on a TP-Link TL-WR841N (~$25CAN) I currently use as a bridged repeater.

More routers

WARNING! OpenWrt builds different install images for different devices. Consult the Table of Hardware to confirm that your router is supported and read the wiki entry for your particular device to identify the correct image. It is easy to brick a device (render inoperable) using an incorrect install image.

Specs:

Router was acquired used and its default TP-Link firmware had been previously configured:

  • Reset router to factory defaults System Tools->Factory Defaults and device reboots
  • Access at address 192.168.1.1 with user: admin / password: admin
  • Use System Tools->Firmware Upgrade to upload the OpenWrt image and flash router

If the TP-Link uploader balks at the OpenWrt image filename (mine did) then rename the file to a TP-Link-compatible firmware name. Example …

mv openwrt*squashfs-factory.bin mr3420v1_en_3_13_1_up\(121123\).bin

My intention is to use this router on a separate address range attached to my home LAN as a playground for network experiments.

Specs:

This is my primary home router.

Specs:

I have setup this router model for family members and friends.

Happy hacking!