Router operating system: How to configure OpenWrt as a wireless repeater

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If the family keeps complaining that the WiFi is paralyzed, don’t rush anything by buying a cheap no-name repeater from a discount store. First, you should check whether there are any ready-made repeaters that can mesh with your router. You will usually find what you are looking for from the manufacturer of your router. This saves time and possibly also costs.

If you do end up with a no-name item, you have to consider the following: Even if the supposed bargain brings up-to-date WiFi hardware, that doesn’t have to mean that the repeater is running without any problems and is up to date with regard to security gaps, for example – and you shouldn’t expect updates from a little-known manufacturer anyway. The open source router operating system OpenWrt can help, because a repeater mode can be easily reproduced.

The reveals whether OpenWrt supports your device official hardware table. If your model is listed there, it is usually easy for you: OpenWrt offers the appropriate memory image directly for download, and installation instructions are usually described on the respective wiki page or in the Git commit (see link under “Supported since commit”) – even if only in English. The installation instructions differ and therefore cannot be summarized across the board in this article; the methods vary from direct upload in the manufacturer’s web interface to bootloader TFTP upload to commands via the serial interface.

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