Home Office Connectivity: OpenWRT to the rescue!

 This past week I finally got around to setting up my home office and as I use a laptop as my primary system I had planned to just use wireless when I was working in my office since my WiFi enabled router is on the first floor and my office is really just a converted bedroom on the second floor. This was a great solution until I went to setup my company issued phone, which uses a VPN device and has to be hardwired in for connectivity.

Luckily, as a network geek, I had a TP-Link WR841N v9.2 just laying around and thought “There must be someway to link this router to the one downstairs.” After a bit of Googling I was pleased to find out that I could flash the device with an open source firmware that would allow it to act as a network bridge using OpenWrt which is really just a linux based firmware.

After downloading the appropriate firmware for the device (which was easy to find) I went through the process of flashing the firmware and then following the basic steps to setup the device as a bridge. Once setup I was able to see the 2.4GHz network from my main router and bridge the TP-Link to it, and voila I had 4 10/100 ports available to use in my office for my phone and other devices.

I plan to eventually get a better router than the TP-Link, since it can’t do 802.11n, but for now I’m in business and able to make calls across my bridge network.

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