Configuring x86 OpenWrt as a device behind an ONT access point

Hello, my networking knowledge is quite bad, but basically, what I am trying to do is connect my OpenWRT x86 router as the main Internet access point at home. As of now, I have fibre optic cable running inside my property and plugged into an ISP-supplied ONT which has wifi capabilities and 4 RJ45 ports. Three of the ports are used for TV, while I want to connect my own x86 OpenWRT router to the fourth port. First things first, I want to know what settings I need to change on the ONT so it bridges internet traffic through port 4, while keeping TVs on the other 3 ports and any WiFi devices connected to the ONT working. I cannot configure the /etc/config/network on the x86 machine as I never get any connection, even when I plug in my desktop I still cannot access at all which is strange. Not sure if I should even set it in AP mode if I enable the bridge mode on the ONT device. Can you please help?

You would have to call your ISP for such a thing. If you do that, then you could plug in the OpenWrt to the ONT and get a Public IP from the ISP and omit the ISP router.

You have to renumber the OpenWrt LAN network so it doesn't match the network on your ISP LAN device.

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ISP provided TV service usually uses a separate VLAN on the fiber. As long as you keep the TV boxes plugged into the dedicated ports on the ONT they will continue to work. This is entirely separate from your Internet service.

When you add your own router, the ONT wifi will be on the wrong side of that router and not usable as part of the network. It should be turned off. To serve wifi devices in the house, you will also need to provide a different wifi AP, either a dedicated AP or a wifi card in the x86. A card is not nearly as high performance as dedicated AP hardware.

With the x86 not connected to any other networks, one of the Ethernet ports will be LAN, and you can run a patch cord to another computer and receive a 192.168.1.X DHCP address. Try all of the ports on the x86 router as there is no standard order they will be assigned.

If that does not work, probably the driver for the particular NIC card or chip is not in the default OpenWrt build and you'll have to install it. Use a local console (display and keyboard connected to the x86, or a serial connection) to investigate this.


I am talking about connecting the router solely to the desktop PC, without connecting either one to the ONT, sort of an isolated network just to see what I can tinker with. But I guess, as mk24 has suggested, it might be a driver issues. Though, I did connect a keyboard and a monitor to the x86 router and could see the 5 ports on my x86 machine - the 1 that comes with the motherboard and the 4 additional for the NIC (I340-T4).

That could be an issue. If that would be the case, can I then add another old wifi router I have into the following configuration: bridged ONT --> cheap tplink 5-port switch my ISP gave me which then splits the connection between my own x86 machine and the old wifi router. If that isn't the case, I guess I can ask the ISP if I can buy a second IP address?

As for dedicated AP hardware, my x86 router has a mediatek WiFi card but I am curious as to why would that not be enough considering many routers have similar chips inside them?

In addition to my previous post, if I cannot have wifi capabilities on the ONT while bridging, then is there a way to keep the ISP IP on the ONT and then use a local IP address for my x86 router, which could then create another network for all the devices connected to it? How can I do that? Most importantly, I am planning to use a VPN client on my router, will that work? Alternatively, I can bridge the connection to the x86, then set up a VPN client but only have certain devices pass through the VPN, as I also want some (mainly WiFi) devices not run through the VPN. I would assume that is possible. If you can't answer as to how, I would be happy to know if at least that is indeed possible just to know how to route my cables for the time being, then I will troubleshoot more.

I think you would need a managed switch to use it the way you mentioned above. If you can set the IP ONT to bridge mode your router would then be doing the routing instead of the ONT. You need to also disable wifi on the ONT. You would want to connect the AP device directly to your router in that case, or connect the switch to the router and the AP to the switch. It's hard to tell not knowing the layout of your local network. I've done this at my home and it works great.

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Always helpful is to include the make\model info on the hardware you are using (ie the ONT).

You have not indicated or demonstrated that the 4th port works.

  1. If you connect your desktop to port 4 can you get to the internet (reboot the PC JIC)?
  2. If NO call your ISP and ask if port 4 is enabled (or can be)
  3. If yes, what is the IP address the PC has obtained from the ONT? This will get you the subnet of the ONT. (You have not stated what it is, but seem to think it's, prove it!)
  4. If yes, as basically suggested by lleachii, take your "router" and change the OpenWRT LAN DHCP range to something OTHER THAN that of your ONT ( should be safe - and always a good thing to do if you plan to use VPN). Connect it to port 4. It should work if, as suggested by mk24, the correct driver is installed..

Other incomplete info

  • Have you ever used port 4 before?
  • What happens EXACTLY when you type ie messages, if the ONT is at another address this will find nothing (error, time out, etc).
  • If you move one of the TVs (Cable boxes?) to port 4 does the TV work?
  • Do you now how to connect to the ONT Wifi and access the ONT GUI for config?

You can, and I am suggesting you do for at least now, double NAT the OpenWRT behind the ONT.
Ignore all else until you have the internet working.

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