Is it worth trying to install OpenWrt on a Technicolor C2100T to just extend my wifi range?

I switched ISP's and now I have a Technicolor C2100T that I am no longer using. I want to use it to extend my wifi signal. I'm not sure if the factory firmware can do what I want. Before I try to figure it out, I first want to decide if it is worth trying to install OpenWrt on it. The C2100T isn't on the supported or unsupported list. I read the "how can I add support for a new device" page and I'm about to go open it up and see what chips are inside. But I have never used OpenWrt, only heard about it for years now. So I'm not sure if I'm going overboard and maybe I should just play with the factory firmware to see if it can do what I want. Does anyone have an opinion?

If the factory firmware can do what you want then stay with that. Doing a full bring up on a new device to only use it as a repeater doesn’t meet my effort reward balance expectations.

Edit: I had a look at the specs, this is a Broadcom device so wifi in openwrt is likely going to be limited or non functional And the device is a DSL modem which are generally not supported.

If it isn't on the supported list, it means it is currently unsupported. It is true that there are explicitly unsupported devices (ones that have hardware that is not, and will not be supported by OpenWrt), but if it isn't explicitly supported, it won't be an easy bring up process.

Are you a developer? If so, it could be a fun project. If not, you'd have to get some developers on board to help you which could be a challenge (depends on how powerful/useful that hardware is, what chipsets are inside, and how popular the device is overall).

I'd recommend seeing what options the factory firmware has available and going with that if it does what you need. You could also buy a specific wireless extender device which is purpose built and should 'just work.'
As much as I do like to promote OpenWrt, it can be quite a learning curve to do things like setup a wireless repeater and stuff. If you're good with Linux and command line interfaces, it shouldn't be so hard to learn OpenWrt in general. But if learning OpenWrt is your goal, I'd recommend that you get a device that is already well supported to use as you learn the platform.

As others have noted, porting OpenWrt to a Broadcom based bonded A/VDSL2 modem/WiFi/Gateway combo box doesn't sound like a great idea. Especially since it is Broadcom based, OpenWrt won't support WiFi on it anyway.

Used modems and used OpenWrt compatible router and WiFi hardware are available on ebay for very little cost. Flashed with OpenWrt, used router and WiFi hardware is new again - and usually far more capable, if not just up to date with the latest security fixes.

I'm straying OT now, but if it doesn't get used as a simple dumb WiFi AP in your home behind a secure router (one not provided by your ISP LOL), just put the C2100T in storage. Perhaps after upgrading its firmware to the latest stock OEM version available from Century Link's website while they still offer it for download (if it is not already up to date). You just switched ISP. How long until the introductory monthly cost on the new ISP expires, or they just double your rate because they think they can?

When the time comes, all it takes is an on-line sign-up (usually gets the best rates), plugging in the Technicolor C2100T from storage (in bridge mode as a modem only in front of your OpenWrt router), and a phone call to activate the service. No delay or truck roll appointment required. Extra credit if you time it for the last few days of your last monthly term, since ISP's usually do not pro-rate cancellations by day :wink:

Holy smokes. I just looked at the source code. I didn't really think it out before, but yeah, it should've been obvious this is a custom version of Linux...

I can read C, but the only time I've played with code that involved a kernel I was basically following someone else's directions and I barely had any idea what I was doing. I would love to learn how to do this stuff, and I'd love an excuse to learn OpenWrt, but I have little free time and I know I'm not capable of it any time soon.

Thanks for the replies. I'll see if I can get the C2100T to do what I want with the built-in firmware and I'll start watching for a router I can install OpenWrt on. I bump into them periodically, especially since I do IT for a job.

If you want to learn, get yourself a not-yet-supported device with better chances of success (something with existing support for SOC and drivers for the major components), Broadcom hardware will just end up in tears and frustration. Even if you do get it to work, your device would forever lack support for its most distinguishing features (modem, wireless, phone, etc.) - so a lot of time and effort wasted on a device that won't do more than sit on its wired ethernet port, not doing anything useful.

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