TP-Link TL-WA801ND

This device is NOT RECOMMENDED for future use with OpenWrt due to low flash/ram.
DO NOT BUY DEVICES WITH 4MB FLASH / 32MB RAM if you intend to flash an up-to-date and secure OpenWrt version (18.06 or later) onto it! See 4/32 warning for details.

1) This device does not have sufficient resources (flash and/or RAM) to provide secure and reliable operation.
This means that even setting a password or changing simple network settings might not be possible any more, rendering the device effectively useless. See OpenWrt on 4/32 devices what you can do now.

2) OpenWrt support for this device will end after 2019.
19.07 will be the last official build for 4/32 devices. After 19.07, no further OpenWrt images will be built for 4/32 devices. See OpenWrt on 4/32 devices what you can do now.

Model VersionSoCCPU MHzFlash MBRAM MBWLAN HardwareWLAN2.4WLAN5.0100M portsGbit portsModemUSB
TL-WA801NDv1Atheros AR7240400432Atheros AR9283b/g/n-1---
TL-WA801NDv2Atheros AR9341 rev 3535432Atheros AR9341b/g/n-1---
TL-WA801NDv3Qualcomm Atheros QCA9533-BL3A560432Qualcomm Atheros QCA9533b/g/n-1---
TL-WA801NDv4Qualcomm Atheros QCA9533650432Qualcomm Atheros QCA9533b/g/n-1---
TL-WA801NDv5MediaTek MT7628NN580864MediaTek MT7628Nb/g/n-1---
Model VersionSupported Current RelFirmware OpenWrt Install URLFirmware OpenWrt Upgrade URLFirmware OEM Stock URL

Since v3 hardware, TP-Link has started shipping with the new locked TP-link firmware. Investigation into this locking mechanism is still in progress, but the device does support tftp flashing. To use this feature, press and hold the reset button while powering on. The device will use the ip address, and attempt to load a new firmware from a tftp server at The v3 is looking for the file: wa801ndv3_tp_recovery.bin. Rename your openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wa801nd-v3-squashfs-factory.bin file to wa801ndv3_tp_recovery.bin, confirmed working as of trunk r49037. However, this does not work with v4. Use the Workaround below instead.

A workaround for the locked firmware has been found, based on Keyboardgnome's solution for the WR710n. The key is that a command can be injected by including it as part of the SSID. Several SSIDs are set which compile a script in the router's ram, and then a final command executes that script. After about 60 seconds, the web interface will be available again, and should accept an Openwrt image.

To use the workaround, set the device's SSID to each of the following lines, making sure to include the backticks. Set the ssid and click save between each line.

`echo "httpd -k"> /tmp/s`
`echo "sleep 10">> /tmp/s`
`echo "httpd -r&">> /tmp/s`
`echo "sleep 10">> /tmp/s`
`echo "httpd -k">> /tmp/s`
`echo "sleep 10">> /tmp/s`
`echo "httpd -f">> /tmp/s`
`sh /tmp/s`

After the reboot sequence, the router may have fallen back to its default IP address :, with the default credentials (admin:admin)

Rename the downloaded firmware to firmware.bin

Log in to the web interface and go the the firmware upload page

Select the correct firmware file, and you're done : the system now accepts the openwrt image 8-)

…Not Tested…

dsc_0804.jpg dsc_0805.jpg

Some weeks ago i’ve succesfully ported OpenWrt to the TP-Link TL WA801ND v3, that access point features 2×2 MIMO, detachable antennas, 32 MBytes of ram and 4 Mbytes of flash. It is based, like most new tp-link devices on a Qualcomm Atheros system on chip (QCA9533-BL3A) which integrates the MIPS core, ethernet switch and wifi hardware.

Out of the box even if the serial header is present and has the typical TP-Link pinout, it won’t work, because some resistors are missing from the board, namely R105 and R107. TL-WA801ND v3 solder bridge required Solder bridge on R105 required to receive data from the serial port TL-WA801ND v3 solder bridge required Solder bridge on R107 to allow sending to serial port

The serial port settings are, as usual 115200 baud and to enter uboot prompt you have to quickly type “tpl” when it says that it is waiting 1 second.

OpenWrt trunk builds can be installed using the original tp-link firmware from the web interface. In order to do that download openwrt trunk build for the device, under the directory ar71xx there should be in trunk a file named openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wa801nd-v3-squashfs-factory.bin , download it and rename it to a.bin ( tested working, but maybe anything works ), and use it to upgrade the access point from the web interface. Once you uploaded the file, wait for the device to reboot, when it reboots currently , no leds will be lit. That’s because by default no led is assigned to anything, maybe i should do some patch to fix that in the future. To configure it connect with ssh to ( DHCP should be enabled by default too ), or if you have built an image with luci, just navigate to


TP-Link TL-WA801ND v5 PCB

Pre-built images are available starting with release 19.07.

Don't try to update the firmware from the web interface, it'll brick your device. Anyway, to install it (or unbrick):

  • rename the bin/…/xxx_recovery.bin to tp_recovery.bin
  • put it in your tftp folder
  • the router expects TFTP at
  • power device on with reset button pressed until the rightmost led is lit (the lock) to enter TFTP recovery mode

Once it's installed, do a normal sysupgrade with the squashfs image you built, also found in bin dir of the sources

FIXME OEM serial bootlog to be added.

Insert serial bootlog here

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  • Last modified: 2020/09/09 09:42
  • by tofuschnitzel