Xiaomi Mi Wifi Router 3G Alternative Firmware

On the way looking for a new affordable 5GHz router I found the inexpensive and good-looking Xiaomi Router 3G.

With its technical specification it fits to my needs at all. Unfortunately I am unable to read and understand Chinese. Moreover I would rather like to rely on a more open-sourced firmware. With alternative firmware and TP-Link routers (preferred for use with Freifunk running OpenWRT) I already gathered great experience in performance and stability.

There are several possibilities now:

  1. Use the router as intended
  2. Use the router as intended, but replace the firmware for english language as soon as international firmware is available (HK release?)
  3. Use the router AS NOT intended and flash LEDE
  4. Use the router AS NOT intended and other custom roms
  5. As Xiaomi enthusiast this is another addition to the wide range of Xiaomi products you are already owning. You neither touch the package nor let other people grab it. Unboxing videos of Xiaomi products are torture and pain to you. So you leave it as it is – securely locked in a room, supervised by latest Xiaomi cams and a radio-controlled Xiaomi toy robot that fights all intruders.

I prefer way number 3.

Technical specs

Good hardware value for the price.

  • MediaTek MT7621AT (DualCore, 880 MHz)
  • 128 MB Flash
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 2 x RJ45 GBit LAN
  • 1 x RJ45 GBit WAN
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Port
  • WLAN standard a,ac,b,g,n
  • WiFi Distance : 100m
  • WLAN 2.4GHz (300Mbit/s)
  • WLAN 5GHz (867Mbit/s)
  • 12V/1.5A

Compared to current TP-Link routers (12V 4-5A), the power supply is rather small-scaled.

It consumes around 4 Watts which is great for the price and the processing power. Other comparable WiFi router with similar specs are with 11 Watts greedier concerning its power consumption.

Flash LEDE on Xiaomi Router 3G

If changing the webinterface language is not enough for you and you do have a little experience in flashing firmware to router devices, you are right here.

As time of exploring, I was lucky to be right 2 minutes after “hammer” smashed his nice tutorial on the LEDE forum to give a like – Thanks to all members, especially dissent1 who added the device!

Original short instruction: https://forum.lede-project.org/t/xiaomi-wifi-router-3g/5377/57

Instructions

  1. Unbox router, plug in
  2. Download developer firmware from here http://miwifi.com/miwifi_download.html (firmware download)
  3. Download LEDE snapshot from here http://downloads.lede-project.org/snapshots/targets/ramips/mt7621/ (lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-kernel1.bin and lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-rootfs0.bin)
  4. Connect to router WiFi network – no credentials neccessary
  5. Go to http://192.168.31.11
  6. Step through the wizard and set WiFi credentials and router login password
     

    And another form to fill in the router webinterface password – I did not take a screenshot here.
  7. Reconnect to the router using WiFi
  8. Go to http://192.168.31.11
  9. Enter set password, go to the menu
  10. Click on the upload form and select the firmware file.
  11. Flash miwifi_r3g_firmware_c2175_2.25.122.bin and wait a few minutes.
  12. Download https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xiaomi.router11 to your phone/tablet (there is also an iOS app)
  13. Open “Mi Wi-Fi” app (and sign-up) and sign-in to your account. Router will be detected and added to your account (assuming you are connected to the WiFi on the router and the routers WAN port is connected to Internet. I just plugged the WAN to my FritzBox router and connected the phone to the Xiaomi WiFi).
  14. On a PC, visit http://d.miwifi.com/rom/ssh11 and sign-in to you account. You will get to a page that should display your router, the root password and a download button to the right. Agree the download with the right button to download miwifi_ssh.bin.

    I received some crude 502 gateway errors. Tried some times – works.
  15. Format USB drive using FAT32 and copy miwifi_ssh.bin, lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-kernel1.bin and lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-rootfs0.bin to the USB drive
  16. Power off the router, plug the USB drive in the router, press and hold “reset” button (with a paper-clip), power on the router (while holding reset). When the router starts flashing yellow slowly, release the reset button. Wait until router has rebooted and you should (finally…) have SSH access.
  17. Login to the router using SSH (while connected to router wifi) using the “root” as username and the (root) “password” from http://d.miwifi.com/rom/ssh11
  18. In SSH console
    cd /extdisks/sda1 (can be different if you remove and reinsert the usb stick)
    mtd write lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-kernel1.bin kernel1
    mtd write lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-rootfs0.bin rootfs0
    nvram set flag_last_success=1
    nvram commit
    reboot
  19. LEDE should be installed and available at 192.168.1.1 (WiFi is still disabled yet)
  20. Upgrading to a newer snapshot can be done using the regular methods (from the command-line using sysupgrade or through LuCI) using lede-ramips-mt7621-mir3g-squashfs-sysupgrade.tar

Configure LEDE

After steps above:

  1. connect your computer via LAN to the router on Port 1
  2. SSH to root@192.168.1.1
  3. After logged in successfully, use passwd to change the root password.
  4. Configure WiFi (original reference taken from LEDE forum)
  5. Continue using the official user guide. https://lede-project.org/docs/user-guide/wifi_configuration

7 thoughts on “Xiaomi Mi Wifi Router 3G Alternative Firmware

  1. HI Damian,
    I used the wrong firmware for router 3G. So now, router 3G reboot indeterminate. What can I do now.
    Thanks you
    Nghia Hoang

  2. Hi Damian,

    I like your guide! Does the router 3 and 3g use the same firmware? The video shows the change of language for a xiaomi router 3.

    thanks in-advance
    Dennis

    1. Hi Dennis,

      thanks for asking – you are right. You can’t use the Mi Wifi router 3 firmware for the Mi Wifi router 3G.
      International firmware is available for the Mi Wifi Router 3 only. 🙁 I changed the post accordingly and removed the youtube link.
      I just checked it on the Router 3 which I am also running.

      Until its release in Hong Kong, there won’t be an international firmware available.

  3. Hmm my comment wasn’t approved? You don’t have to be that rude if you don’t want to help, anyway still a nice guide. Hope you can consider my request.

    1. Hi iSkios,
      there was no intention to block your comment 🙂 that was done by the anti-spam system.
      I will play around a bit over the next weeks. Maybe I will have a look at padavan!

      If you still want to use LEDE, make sure to set a proper WiFi channel (for 2.4 and 5GHz) and to apply the right country code.

      Best
      Damian

      1. Hi Damian,

        Wow thanks for your reply, looking forward to that guide.

        I might not consider LEDE, the interface looks very complicated and not user friendly. I want a simple interface with advance features and in English =), which Padavan might support.

        warm regards,
        iSkios

  4. Very nice guide and noob friendly, can you also post a step by step guide for a Padavan firmware? 4pda have a guide and a video but its all in russian. Hope to see an English guide like this. Thanks!

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