I just got myself a GL-MT300A (GL.iNet) mini router. GL.iNet routers have OpenWrt pre-installed, unlike other mini routers with which you have to flash an open source firmware, going through hacky processes.
I do not think there is a need of repeating what below links say about using an open source firmware in your router.
I’m just quoting a line from second link written by “Artefact2”
Your router is basically a full-blown computer that’s always powered on. Might as well make some good use of it!
OpenWrt turns your router in a fully capable GNU/Linux computer, not just a network magic box.
Security Researcher’s Point of View
- OpenWrt allows your to SSH into router itself and use familiar Linux commands.
- Ability to apply VPN at router level itself (external network operators will not be able to intercept your traffic).
- Ability to use tcpdump from router level and capture on going traffic as required.
- Ability to perform port-mirroring and clone traffic for analysis : https://github.com/mmaraya/port-mirroring
- Availability of hundreds of ready made packages (including intersting tools like aircrack-ng) : https://downloads.openwrt.org/chaos_calmer/15.05/ar71xx/generic/packages/
- Possibility to write custom packages using the SDK : https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/obtain.firmware.sdk
- Ability to run server applications including web servers and ftp servers, directly within router.
Power up the router and wait for few seconds. Once orange color light up you will have the default WiFi network up and running.
Default WiFi password is written on the back of the mini router. Once you are connected to the network, use the default IP address written on the back of the mini router to access the management console.
After language, country selection and setting admin password, you will get the simplified admin console for GL.iNet.
Towards the top-right corner of the console, there is a link for “Advanced Settings”, with which you can access the OpenWrt LuCI web GUI.
Similarly you could connect with router using Ethernet cable by connecting router’s “LAN” port to computer’s Ethernet port.
Creating a WiFi Repeater Setup
Reset the router to remove any existing configuration or adjust below instructions according to your current configuration.
Connect with router using LAN interface and log into OpenWrt console.
Open “Interfaces” screen from “Network” section and “Edit” “LAN” interface.
Make sure, the WiFi router which you are going to repeat (main WiFi router) using OpenWrt is not using the same IP address as this interface. For example, if main WiFi router is using “192.168.8.1” as its base IP address and exposes admin console of the main router with that address, you should change the OpenWrt LAN interface IPv4 address to “192.168.9.1” or some range that does not conflict with other network. If you do not do this, routing will not work properly and you will not get internet access after repeater setup is done. If you had to change the IP address, you *might* need to disconnect the Ethernet cable and connect it again in other to renew the IP address you initially got. Note that administration console is now available at the IP address you selected for the interface.
Select “WiFi” option under “Network” menu. Remove any already available WiFi network configurations.
Click “Scan” button and select the network you need to connect to. Provide password for the access point, pick firewall zone “wan” and “Submit”.
If you do not see that router has connected to the WiFi network (interface does not display signal strength and such). Navigate to “Interfaces” screen of “Network” tab and click on “Connect” button for the interface connected to newly connected WiFi network.
Select “WiFi” option under “Network” menu. Click “Add” button to add another network configuration.
Select “Access Point” mode and pick “LAN” as the network.
In “Wireless Security” tab, provide password / authentication mechanism for the repeated network and select “Save and Apply”.
After all the configuration, “WiFi” screen should look like below :
Connect to “OpenWrt” access point and observe that internet connectivity is available or the main network has been repeated through the OpenWrt router.
Other internet access methods
- Ethernet to WiFi/Ethernet
- USB 3G modem to WiFi/Ethernet
- WiFi/Ethernet connectivity using USB Tethering