TP-Link TL-WDR3500

Dual Band (concurrent) and 100Mbps Ethernet. Advertised as 600 Mbps it is Dual-Stream (2×2) on the 2.4 GHz Band and Dual-Stream (2×2) on the 5 GHz Band.

Version/Model Release Date OpenWrt Version Supported Model Specific Notes
1.0 2012/?? Barrier Breaker (14.07) factory sysupgrade Similar to TP-Link TL-WDR3600
1.2 2012/?? Chaos Calmer (15.05) sysupgrade , Barrier Breaker (14.07) same as above
1.3 ?? Chaos Calmer (15.05) factory sysupgrade Same as above.

Chaos Calmer (15.05), Barrier Breaker (14.07). Chaos Calmer tested and installed through the sysupgrade image.

NOTE: After upgrading to Chaos Calmer, kernel output (dmesg) reports that this device actually has gigabit ethernet. Unfortunately tests shows just 100Mbit connections.


  1. Download the OpenWrt factory firmware for this router above and rename it from “openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wdr3500-v1-squashfs-factory.bin” to “wdr3500v1_tp_recovery.bin”
  2. Plug the router directly into your ethernet and turn the router on. (You may have to turn off wifi (easy) or change the order of devices your computer connects to network (google it) so the ethernet device takes precedence.
  3. Open Browser and navigate to, login= admin password= password. (in my case, it was password=admin)
  4. On the left, navigate to SYSTEM TOOLS
  6. Point the router to the file “wdr3500v1_tp_recovery.bin” you renamed in step 1.
  7. Click UPGRADE.....that's it.
  8. DO NOT UNPLUG OR POWER OFF YOUR ROUTER DURING UPGRADE or you will likely have a Brick
  9. login to to confirm firmware upgrade.
  10. it may be possible to do this firmware upgrade wirelessly, however it is not recommended. Use Ethernet to reflash firmware whenever possible.

Thanks to the inspiration from who made me brave enough to try it.

This section describes actions that might damage your device or firmware. Proceed with care!

With the TL-WDR3500 router, there is a catch: the stock firmware is obtained from the OEM:

  • in case the file name of this firmware file does not contain the word “boot” in it, you can simply revert back to original firmware
  • in case the file name of this firmware file does contain the word “boot” in it, you need to cut off parts of the image file before flashing it:

An example of an image file with the word “boot” in it is wdr3500v1_en_3_14_1_up_boot(141113).bin.

Cut the first 0x20200 (that is 131,584 = 257*512) Bytes from original firmware:

dd if=orig.bin of=tplink.bin skip=257 bs=512

You should transfer the firmeware image to the /tmp folder and revert back to original firmware (if availlable you can flash the firmware via the webinterface as well):

Via the safer method using sysupgrade:

sysupgrade /tmp/tplink.bin

Or you use the mtd method:

mtd -r write /tmp/tplink.bin firmware

OEM TP-Link firmware for the TL-WDR3500 with the boot part removed to revert to the original OEM firmware:

For general failsafe help, consult the OpenWrt Failsafe Mode page.

For this specific TP-Link model there is an alternative way of flashing the firmware to the router. Thanks to for finding this.


This method may work if you have a brick already, but see above for an alternative method using the factory firmware upgrade function.

This guide assumes you are using Ubuntu.

  1. Change your ip address to
  2. Connect your cable to one of the LAN ports on the router (WAN port won't work for this)
  3. Setup a tftp server on your machine by entering sudo apt-get install xinetd tftpd tftp
  4. Download the OpenWrt factory firmware and rename openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wdr3500-v1-squashfs-factory.bin to wdr3500v1_tp_recovery.bin
  5. Put the renamed firmware in your tftp folder (/var/lib/tftpboot/)
  6. Start the tftp server with tftp
  7. Hold down the WPS/Reset button on the router
  8. Power on the router. The router will show the two arrow symbol when done correctly.
  9. After approximately 7 seconds release the reset button
  10. The router will now download the firmware from your server and upgrade
  11. After about a minute the router will indicate a restart.
  12. Change your IP to and try to connect to Openwrt by telnet.
Architecture MIPS MIPS 74Kc
Vendor Qualcomm Atheros
bootloader U-Boot *** How to upgrade ***
System-On-Chip AR9344 (MIPS)
CPU/Speed 560 MHz
Flash-Chip cFeon Q64-104HIP
Flash size 8192 KiB
RAM 128 MiB
Wireless Atheros AR9340 2.4GHz 802.11bgn
Atheros AR9300 5GHz 802.11an
Ethernet Atheros AG71xx: eth0, eth1
switch AR934X built-in switch
USB Yes 1 x 2.0
Port Switch port
LAN 1 4
LAN 2 3
LAN 3 2
LAN 4 1

The “Ports” above are the port numbers as designated on the case.

Physical interface eth0 is connected to the switch.

WAN port is on separate physical interface eth1.

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  • Last modified: 2024/02/12 08:58
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