Automatic WLAN management for travel routers with OpenWrt

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The OpenWrt router operating system, developed by volunteers, can turn repeaters and routers with rudimentary software into real functional miracles with a high degree of customization. An extensive package management system helps with the setup, making upgrading software an uncomplicated click task.

There is also something useful for digital nomads, mobile office workers and campers: The “Travelmate” add-on – a project by GitHub user “dibdot” – makes it easier to manage multiple WLAN client profiles in OpenWrt, including prioritization, automation and login pages -Recognition. Thanks to the integration into the OpenWrt web interface LuCI, there is no need to mess around with the command line. After the installation, Travelmate is only activated and provided with WLAN profiles. The rest happens automatically: If a known WLAN is nearby, the software establishes the connection and checks whether the way to the Internet is free. You connect your own end devices directly to the Travelmate router so that you don’t have to worry about anything afterwards.

Why use a router when a campsite or hotel offers WiFi? If you choose a model with external antennas, you usually get better reception values ​​and thus more data rates than the miniaturized antennas in mobile devices can achieve. Since the router can be set up flexibly at the location of optimal reception – for example in the awning of the caravan or near the hotel room door – you get the most out of it. Devices with weak reception remain mobile because they are connected to the travel router at a short distance and not, for example, to the 150 meters away access point on the toilet block, whose signal does not get behind the sheet metal of the mobile home.

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