Using a OpenWRT router to connect to a WIFI hotspot rather than a wired WAN connection


I have a TP-Link TL-WDR3600 v1, running Chaos Calmer 15.05.1 and I'm actually using LuCI 15.05-149-g0d8bbd2 as I'm an interface and click kinda guy as opposed to typing.

I have been using OpenWRt for years and have three routers running various things very well, home WIFI and guest WIFI and so on.

I'm getting annoyed with the raising cost of fibre and having to have a phone line that I don't use, so I thought I might try a 4g (or later 5g) data connection and see how it goes.

I have a smart phone that can work as an access point and I wondered if I could reconfigure the main router to connect to that rather than the WAN connection (from my fibre router).

If successful I could buy a 4G modem with an ethernet port and just remove the current fibre router, the OpenWRT router does everything else, so other than a modem the WAN port does nothing else.

Does anyone know how to do this with Luci? Or can it even be done?

Any help appreciated.

This is an ancient, obsolete, and unsupported, and highly vulnerable version of OpenWrt. It is highly recommended that you immediately upgrade to a newer version -- at least 19.07 but preferably 21.02. This is assuming you have revision 1.1 or higher.

Sure. This could be done -- you'll basically setup the router to operate as a wifi client (connecting to your phone) as a wireless WAN connection, and then it can broadcast a normal SSID and offer wired+wireless access for your LAN. Beyond a quick test, though, I'm not sure how practical this will be, and your router is old and may not have great performance in this mode.


Thanks, I'm putting on the latest builds now, it will take a short while and then I'll come back and lok at those points to try to do it.

Finally I have OpenWrt 21.02.1 on all my routers and all networks up and running, all guest networks and all rules and port forwards sorted. I remember why I left if on V15 for so long man that was hard!

Anyway, now I have the latest version I would like to go back to my original objective.

So what I have to do now is as follows,

Setup the router as a WIFI client.
The Router then connects to the hotspot from my phone.

So how to set the router as a WIFI client?

Do I create a new interface (under network) to do that please?

Thanks in advance.

You can edit the existing WAN interface if you are not using it.