OpenWrt on TP-Link TL-WR703n

Hey! Listen! There are a few posts about installing OpenWrt on these travel routers. Make sure you’re reading the latest version, below.

2015-08-26OpenWrt with OpenVPN server on TP-Link Archer C7
  • Initial post
  • 2015-02-15OpenWrt with OpenVPN client on TP-Link TL-MR3020
  • Setup entirely through SSH instead of LuCI
  • Small tweaks
  • 2015-01-24OpenWrt with OpenVPN client on TP-Link TL-MR3020
  • Added SAMBA share
  • Added alerting scripts
  • 2014-10-19OpenWrt with OpenVPN client on TP-Link TL-MR3020
  • Replaced PPTP client with OpenVPN client
  • Replaced my home server with PIA server
  • 2014-06-28OpenWrt with PPTP VPN on TP-Link TL-MR3020
  • Replaced WR703n with MR3020
  • 2014-06-08OpenWrt on TP-Link TL-WR703n
  • Initial post

    Recently, I purchased a TP-Link TL-WR703n from Amazon with the intention of installing OpenWrt on it. I wanted a router that could act as a VPN client to connect back to my VPN server at home when I travel. Any clients that connect to the router’s wireless network would be automatically VPNed in. Apparently, this travel router is very OpenWrt-friendly, as there are plenty of mods available for it.

    The process was supposed to boil down to two basic steps:

    1. Flash OpenWrt
    2. Configure OpenWrt

    Unfortunately, it ended up being a little more complicated than that. According to the OpenWrt wiki page, any router with a firmware version of 1.7 or newer can’t be flashed with OpenWrt without bricking the router. A sticker on my router said v1.7, but I wanted to verify.

    I plugged in the router and ran ipconfig from the command line (Windows).

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
    Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
    IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
    Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :


    I opened Chrome and navigated to If you’re not aware, this router isn’t sold in the US, and the entire web interface is in Chinese.



    Chrome offered to translate this for me, but since my only network connection was to this device, I said no.



    At the prompts, enter “password” for the username and password.



    Next, you’ll be greeted by the main screen. Select the first link on left (运行状态), which is Status.



    Here, you can see the build number, mine is 140120. Again, according to the OpenWrt wiki page, build 120925 corresponds to v1.7, so I must have a newer build of v1.7. According to this comment, the newer builds of OpenWrt work with v1.7, but it doesn’t mention a specific build number of the v1.7 firmware. According to this thread, the newer builds of v1.7 calculate a checksum of any uploaded files to verify integrity. Because the OpenWrt firmware isn’t in the list of approved files, it won’t upload.



    Select the last menu on the left (系统工具), which is System Tools, and then the 3rd sub-menu (软件升级) which is Software Upgrade. If you try to upload OpenWrt, you will see that it fails with error 18009.




    Until someone finds a fix, I’m using this router as a paperweight. Let me know if you hear of anything!


    2 thoughts on “OpenWrt on TP-Link TL-WR703n”

      • Thanks! Unfortunately, I’ve given up on the 703n after moving onto the MR3020. But you may want to post your link here as well.

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