Replacing the Century Fiber modem paired Wifi Router


CenturyLink came by my house in Seattle and offered a real deal (as opposed to a comcrap deal) for fiber to my house.  I decided to go for it.  40Mib down and 6Mib up.  About 4X my 4G LTE data speeds and lots more data.

The deal came with a fiber modem/wifi router pair.  The wifi router is a leased device that Century Link charges about $10 a month.  It is a low end router that is comparable to $19 routers on Amazon!

I chose to let Centurylink install using their wifi router to avoid connection issues while the appliance level tech installed the fiber connection.

My plan was (and is successful) to install my own wifi router based on the TP-Link WDR3600 and OpenWRT.

Although my preferred web ui for OpenWRT is Gargoyle, Gargoyle lacked the necessary VLAN capabilities to properly connect with the Centurylink fiber modem.  Instead, I installed the latest release of OpenWRT which includes LuCi, a more complete (and complicated) web UI.

The parts

  1. Purchased a WDR3600 rev 1.5 from Amazon.
  2. Downloaded the WDR3600 OpenWRT image.
  3. Follow the ‘factory’ install instructions for the WDR4300
  4. Read the Quick Start Guide, burn your image, connect to LuCi and set your password.
  5. Do not continue until #4 is successful.
  6. Set up your wifi gateway:
    1. Network>Interfaces>LAN edit>  This is where you set your IPv4 address.  I use the stock…. I also set the Leasetime to some large number of hours since I don’t want IP’s to change a lot.
    2. Network>Interfaces>Wifi>(radio0)>edit  There are two radios on the WDR3600.  A 2.4GHz radio and a 5Ghz radio.  Both must be configure.  The Interface configuration section>General Setup  is where you specify your ESSID name.  >Wireless Security section is where you specify your Encryption type and Key.  I use Mixed Mode.
    3. Repeat #2 for the 5GHz channel.  I use the same ESSID but with 5GHz appended.  I also use the same encryption and key.
    4. Network>Interfaces>Wifi> Enable both radios.
    5. Save and Apply button at bottom…
  7. Set the Centurylink PPPoE user name and password
    1. You will need to acquire this information from Centurylink.  Call up tech support at 1-800-247-7285.  Have your account number ready and ask for your PPPoE user name and password.
    2. Network>Interfaces>WAN Edit>General Setup>Protocol    Select the PPoE protocol and enter our username and password.  Leave everything thing else default.  Save and Apply.
    3. Network>Interfaces>WAN Edit>Advanced Settings>Enable IPv6 negotiation on the PPP link.  I don’t know if this is necessary but I enabled it just in case.  Save and Apply.
    4. Now we have to set the VLAN switch up….
  8. Setting up the VLAN switch.
    1. Network>Switch>VLANs on “switch0”.  You will see row with VLAN ID 1 and VLAN ID 2.  Change the VLAN ID 2 to VLAN ID 201.  Now, on row 201, column Port1, change the dropdown selector to ‘tagged’.
    2. Save and Apply.
  9. Returning to the Interfaces, we need to make one last change.
    1. Network>Interfaces>WAN Edit>Physical Settings>  Set the Interface radio button to VLAN Interface: “eth0.201 (wan).
    2. Save and Apply
  10. Your done.  You should be able to disconnect your Centurylink router and connect your wdr3600 router and be on line!