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Connect to client wifi network

This page will explain how to connect your OpenWrt device to another wifi network by using its own radio. Due to technical limitations, your OpenWrt device will create its own subnet (in the example below it's 192.168.2.x while the wifi router's subnet is 192.168.1.x ) just as it would when connected to a modem, your OpenWrt device and devices connected to it will be able to reach the Internet, but won't see devices connected to the other wifi/router).

If you want to actually set up a wifi repeater or keep devices connected to this device in the same subnet as the devices connected to the other router, you will need to follow this tutorial instead.

Setup with Luci GUI

As said above, the LAN interface must be set in a different subnet than the wifi network you are connecting to. In our example the wifi network we are connecting to is using 192.168.1.x addresses, so we will need to change the IP address of the LAN interface first to

Set LAN as static address Apply the setting change.

Disconnect and connect again to the device (when you change the IP you need to do this).

We will now set up the client wifi network, the configuration needed to connect to another wifi network.
Once you are connected again to the wifi extender, go in the wireless networks page, and click on Scan button.

Choose the wifi network you want to connect to from the page and click “Join Network”.

Enter the wifi password, leave the “name of new network” as “wwan” and select wan firewall zone. Click Save. If you have no *wan* firewall zone you need to create it, don't save the wifi configuation and see the next step.

If you have no “wan” firewall zone you must create it. Click on Network and then on Firewall, then click on the Add button, and set up the new zone as you see in the following screenshot (which is a default wan firewall interface),

Note that in “Covered networks” you will probably have “lan” and “wwan” instead of the ones shown in the screenshot. My router (used for the screenshot) has WAN ethernet ports and a default wan firewall zone already, and also I'm doing a tethering with my smartphone. If you are doing this step you probably don't have either.

After you have done this, go back and repeat the other steps to add and save the wifi connection.

You will land in the client wifi settings page, set other things as needed.
The most important settings are on the Operating Frequency line.
Set the Mode to Legacy if you are connecting to a wifi g network (like in my example) or N if you are connecting to a wifi n (and so on).
Set the Width to the same value that you set on the wifi you are connecting to (to avoid bottlenecking the connection for no reason).

Setup with CLI

Before doing any actual configuration, the wifi interface must be enabled in order to be able to scan for networks in the vicinity:

uci set wireless.@wifi-device[0].disabled=0
uci commit wireless

:!: if you have more than one wifi radio in your device, then you can use the others in this tutorial instead by substituting their number. For example to enable the second wifi radio (usually a 5Ghz radio) you would need to uci set wireless.@wifi-device[1].disabled=0 and then use wlan1 instead of wlan0 in the command below.

  • Set the disabled option to 0 (to enable wireless)
  • Save changed configuration file
  • Start wireless using the wifi command

Now we can list networks in range using iw dev wlan0 scan, substituting your actual wireless interface for wlan0 if different (ifconfig lists all available interfaces to find how your wlan is called)

iw dev wlan0 scan output example:

root@LEDE:/# iw dev wlan0 scan
BSS c8:d5:fe:c8:61:b0(on wlan0) -- associated
        TSF: 24324848870 usec (0d, 06:45:24)
        freq: 2412
        beacon interval: 100 TUs
        capability: ESS (0x0411)
        signal: -72.00 dBm
        last seen: 140 ms ago
        Information elements from Probe Response frame:
        SSID: Violetta
        RSN:     * Version: 1
                 * Group cipher: CCMP
                 * Pairwise ciphers: CCMP
                 * Authentication suites: PSK
                 * Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000)
BSS f8:35:dd:eb:20:f8(on wlan0)
        TSF: 24225790925 usec (0d, 06:43:45)
        freq: 2457
        beacon interval: 100 TUs
        capability: ESS (0x0431)
        signal: -90.00 dBm
        last seen: 1450 ms ago
        Information elements from Probe Response frame:
        SSID: GOinternet_EB20FB
        HT capabilities:
                Capabilities: 0x11ee
                        SM Power Save disabled
                        RX HT20 SGI
                        RX HT40 SGI
                        TX STBC
                        RX STBC 1-stream
                        Max AMSDU length: 3839 bytes
                        DSSS/CCK HT40
                Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003)
                Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 4 usec (0x05)
                HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15, 32
                HT TX MCS rate indexes are undefined
        HT operation:
                 * primary channel: 10
                 * secondary channel offset: below
                 * STA channel width: any
        RSN:     * Version: 1
                 * Group cipher: TKIP
                 * Pairwise ciphers: TKIP CCMP
                 * Authentication suites: PSK
                 * Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000) 

In the example, there are two networks, a Wifi g one called Violetta and a Wifi n one called GOinternet_EB20FB. The device was configured to connect to the one called Violetta.

These are the uci values that were added or changed by the configuration procedure.
For SSID, BSSID, and encryption you must use the info you got from the wifi scan above.
For an explanation of why these values were changed, please read the luci tutorial above.

docs/guide-user/network/wifi/connect_client_wifi.txt · Last modified: 2018/05/19 18:09 by bobafetthotmail