Home network restructuring during Lockdown

Home network restructuring during Lockdown


3 min read

Hi everyone the lockdown imposed by COVID-19 left me some free time to restructure the home network and solve a performance issue that I had encountered in the first days of home working.

I noticed that from the position of my room the Wi-Fi signal was really bad due to 4 walls that were between my desk and the main router, the laptop continued to disconnect from the network, the speed was only 2/3 Mb/s (instead of the 30 Mb/s of my connection) and it was not possible to make a video call due to the performance of the network. So after the first week of limping I decided to take the situation in hand and solve it once and for all.

So I resurrected an old router that I had in the cellar, a TP-Link Archer C20i AC750, looking for some solution on the net to make it still useful. Incredibly I discovered that it was supported by the OpenWrt Project, an Open Source community that develops a Linux operating system targeting embedded devices. First of all I installed the OEM firmware (Build 140709) from here due to compatibility issue with the OEM GUI, after that I installed the OpenWrt firmware of my router. The installation went smoothly without problems and after that I was able to follow this two guides to use the router as a wireless extender:

So I managed to configure the router as a "bridge" to bring the signal to my room too. Unfortunately, in my opinion due to hardware limitations of the router, I was not able to use it exactly as a wireless extender and expand the WiFi signal, but I was able to configure it so that I can connect with a network cable to the router with OpenWrt and take full advantage of the speed of my home connection. I therefore use the power of the antennas of the two routers to bring full speed to a point in the house where the laptop could not get a strong enough signal.

This is currently my home network scheme


In the figure the dotted links represent a wireless connection while the continuous ones represent a network cable, and the bridge is the dotted link between the Fritz!Box router and the Tp-Link router. This change led me to have a speed of connections from the laptop of 30 Mb/s via a wireless connection ... the same as I would have if the computer was directly connected to the main router.

These are the results of the speed test before and after the change



Pretty awesome, right? Bye Alberto

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