Definitive Guide to Setting up WAN?

Can anyone please point me to an up-to-date definitive guide for setting up the WAN interface on an Openwrt router.

I've set up DD-WRT and Tomato routers before (admittedly a long time ago), without much problem, but am finding OpenWrt guides particularly opaque and confusing (maybe there's a message there!). There are Youtube videos, but I can't access them when I'm offline, besides which some of them are delivered at high speed in a heavy foreign accent (my 'advancing years' also don't help! I tried the downloading the videos for offline viewing with youtube-dl, but that no longer works!)

I'm using a Virgin Media router, set as a modem attached to the OpenWrt router by an ethernet cable.

From memory (been a while since I had to play with Virgin), the out-of-the-box OpenWRT configuration should work. WAN is set to DHCP by default. Is the Ethernet cable plugged into OpenWRT's WAN socket?


Thanks for the reply 'iplaywithtoys'.

Yes, the cable is plugged into the WAN of the OpenWrt socket. I've tried starting again by ssh'ing into the router and running 'firstboot' to reinitialise the router. I'll give it another try.

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I realize you noted this, but just to be sure - that you verify your WAN network isn't matching LAN (i.e. Otherwise no routing will occur.

To be clear, you additionaly run reboot after.

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Nope - I give up.

Life's too short to configure OpenRwt routers!

Thanks for the replies.

No worries.

You provided no information. Nonetheless, I hope this wasn't because of my comment. What I suggested you check is common to all routers (i.e. general networking common knowledge).

As already noted, devices generally need no configuration to enable Internet access. I hope the best for your setup.

got to suck, not owning a cell phone ...

tried cloning the WAN port address from a device that did work ?

I've got a mobile 'phone. Ever tried reading the text on a youtuber's computer screen on a mobile, when it's rendered the size of a postage stamp? ;^)

I've got the WAN info I need from my existing router. I guess that it's 'just' a matter of reading it across to the OpenWrt - wherever it's supposed to go.

Thanks for the reply

I've got little information to provide - the logs aren't very helpful. The WAN interface is there, but not configured. OpenWrt is so alien to my experience of routers that I find it frustrating - and at my age frustration turns me all grumpy and testy!

Maybe I've downloaded and installed the 'gotcha' firmware for the router!

Anyway, the b'stard has locked me out now and I'm going to have to put it into failsafe mode - yet again!

It's possible. Which device do you have, and which firmware did you download for it? If you have a link to the particular firmware file you downloaded that could be helpful.

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could you share this information with us ?

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OK...I know you're new to OpenWrt and maybe a little frustrated.

But it may help if you explain what steps you're undertaking - especially ones that resulted in a lock out (you can even use screenshots). It's simply not clear how you're managing to lock yourself out - since you've only told us you were attempting to edit WAN (which shouldn't result in a lockout).

The router is a TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750. The firmware is openwrt-22.03.5-ath79-generic-tplink_archer-a7-v5-squashfs-factory. Downloaded from: #1613. The SHA checked out and it installed OK on the router.

Thanks for the reply 'iplaywithtoys'

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From my FreshTomato router:

Connection Type: DHCP
IP Address: 82.14.##.# (Obfuscated for security)
Subnet Mask:
Gateway: 82.14.##.#

Thanks for the reply 'NPeca75'

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Your ISP gives you a /21 to play with? Luxury! I have to beg, plead and cajole to get a /29 out of mine!

Subnet envy aside, if your existing router is configured for DHCP on the WAN, then OpenWRT should be a drop-in replacement with its factory default configuration. There's no overlapping IP address issue (at least, not an obvious one), so this is a weird one.

OpenWRT lets you clone a MAC address to get around stupid ISPs which implement MAC address locks. Might be worth copying your working router's WAN MAC address to OpenWRT's configuration.


well, if there is no other options used, like
61 client ID or
82 circuit ID
and similiar

simply reset OWRT to default and plug your WAN port as usual

it is worth to note previous router WAN MAC address as last resort. Maybe ISP device will have some kind of filtering/bonding to MAC

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"Your ISP gives you a /21 to play with? Luxury! I have to beg, plead and cajole to get a /29 out of mine!"

I guess that this means I have a lot of external IP addresses that I can use. Not sure what I would do with them though!

"simply reset OWRT to default and plug your WAN port as usual"

I've tried it several times - with the same result.

I can't remember what I did to get locked out. By that time the 'red mist' had descended!

My mistake. Your ISP has your WAN interface on a subnet potentially shared with 4092 other customers. So no, they're not for your use. Apologies for my error.

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