Monday, August 17, 2015

Hacking TL-WA901N v2 AP into a Wifi Router

A TP-Link TL-WA901N/ND v2 is an Access Point, you can use this AP as Wifi client, WDS or standard repeater and bridge. I have this AP and had been used for repeater for several years without problems. But now, I want to use this AP as a wifi router because my existing router is quiet old and only support wireless G. Of course, there is no official firmware that can change this AP into wifi router. So, I decided to try an opensource firmware for this task.
I tried dd-wrt and openwrt for this purpose. DD-WRT can be installed and have good user interface but it has bug with it's current firmware, the network interface is not recognized so it cannot be used as wifi router. I decided to install openwrt and voila, I can create this tutorial using this AP as wifi router. Here is How to convert a TP-Link TL-WA901ND into Wireless Router.

Step by step installation:

  1. Download current firmware from openwrt, download factory and sysupgrade version.
  2. Go to AP firmware setting, choose the factory version, the sysupgrade version is used if openwrt was already installed.Wait until upgrade finish and AP is rebooted.
  3. Connect to the new AP with openwrt ssid. Follow this instruction to login. username: root, password: empty.
  4. Go to Network -> Interfaces and edit the WAN interface.
  5. On the General Setup tab, choose dhcp client in the protocol if you connect to modem.
  6. On the Physical Settings tab, choose eth0 (ethernet adapter) as interface.
  7. On the Firewall Settings tab, if wan firewall zone not available, choose to create it.
  8. Click "Save & Apply".
  9. Go to Network -> Firewall and make sure your settings are like on the picture.
  10. Click "Save & Apply" and Done, you should be able to connect to the internet using your wifi connection.

Additional Steps:

You can change ESSID name and encryption and so on on the wifi setting. You can even install another software like DynamicDNS to make your Router accessible by your dynamic IP using DNS name. But because this AP only has small amount of disk space, I can only install this DDNS software.
Enjoy your new Wireless Router!!

Resources:

  • http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wa901nd#version_2x
  • http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/firstlogin#login_to_webui
  • http://www.tp-link.com/en/faq-699.html

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