When you have ordered some of these babies - the TP-Link WR703-N just for playing around - and you fire them up for the first time, you will find that there other people on this planet and where this box is coming from, that speak probably a different language than you do. Basically: The whole thing is in chinse and there are so many options to choose from, that you will have a hard time to use the router if you cannot read chinese.

So what here is some help for flashing the firmware through the chinese menue into something more commonly known as english.

Preparation

Download the firmware from http://downloads.openwrt.org/:

$ wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin

Connect to the router

In order to flash the firmware, we need access(tm):

HTTP

  • The IP is on the back of the router, usually 192.168.1.1. In the default configuration the Router will run a DHCP server and provide an IP for your client.
  • Power the router via USB and connect via Ethernet.
  • Connect with a browser to the management IP.
  • Enter username admin and password admin.

Telnet

  • The IP is on the back of the router, usually 192.168.1.1.
  • Connect on the the console to the management IP.

Firmware upgrade

Web-Based

Based on this article:

  • Connect to the router as described in Connect.
  • In the menu, go for the link in the chinese interface that looks like "系统工具" or points to http://192.168.1.1/userRpm/DateTimeCfgRpm.htm (usually at the very bottom).
  • In the opening sub-menu search for the link that says "软件升级" and points to http://192.168.1.1/userRpm/SoftwareUpgradeRpm.htm (third from below). You get to the upload form for the firmware.
  • Select the downloaded firmware version for the router, start the upload and confirm the popup-box (all in chinese, of course).
  • Wait until the upload has finished and the router has rebootet. You will loose access to the interface momentarily, but gain it back later when you are done. Do not unplug the router or interfere with the upload.
  • The openwrt interface appears. You can login without any password.

Command line (SSH)

If you have an old version of OpenWRT to update or otherwise lost access to the webinterface you can perform the upgrade on the command line, e.g. using SSH.

  1. Download the image for your router to your local computer:

    $ cd
    $ wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin
    
  2. Copy the firmware to the router:

    $ cd
    $ scp openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin root@192.168.1.1:/tmp/
    
  3. Login to the router and start the firmware upgrade:

    root@OpenWrt:~# mtd -r write /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin  firmware
    Unlocking firmware ...
    Writing from /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin to firmware ...
    Rebooting ...
    

Reset to Factory defaults

Via CMD this is very simple.

  1. Connect to the router and run the command firstboot. Done
    $ ssh root@192.168.1.1
    root@OpenWrt:/# firstboot
    

Setting password

  • When no password is set, you can set it either via the telnet command line or via HTTP.
  • When connecting via Telnet (see section Connect), enter passwd to set a password.
    root@OpenWrt:/# passwd
    Changing password for root
    New password:
    Bad password: too short
    Password for root changed by root
    root@OpenWrt:/# exit
    

Troubeshooting

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