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:
- Use the router as intended
- Use the router as intended, but replace the firmware for english language as soon as international firmware is available (HK release?)
- Use the router AS NOT intended and flash LEDE
- Use the router AS NOT intended and other custom roms
- 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.
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)
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
- Unbox router, plug in
- Download developer firmware from here http://miwifi.com/miwifi_download.html (firmware download)
- 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)
- Connect to router WiFi network – no credentials neccessary
- Go to http://192.168.31.11
- 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.
- Reconnect to the router using WiFi
- Go to http://192.168.31.11
- Enter set password, go to the menu
- Click on the upload form and select the firmware file.
- Flash miwifi_r3g_firmware_c2175_2.25.122.bin and wait a few minutes.
- Download https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xiaomi.router11 to your phone/tablet (there is also an iOS app)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- LEDE should be installed and available at 192.168.1.1 (WiFi is still disabled yet)
- 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
After steps above:
- connect your computer via LAN to the router on Port 1
- SSH to firstname.lastname@example.org
- After logged in successfully, use passwd to change the root password.
- Configure WiFi (original reference taken from LEDE forum)
config wifi-device 'radio0' option type 'mac80211' option hwmode '11g' option path 'pci0000:00/0000:00:00.0/0000:01:00.0' option htmode 'HT20' option country 'DE' option channel '13' option log_level '4' option txpower '17' config wifi-iface 'default_radio0' option device 'radio0' option network 'lan' option mode 'ap' option ssid 'Network' option key 'makemehappy' option encryption 'psk2+ccmp' option wpa_group_rekey '1800' config wifi-device 'radio1' option type 'mac80211' option hwmode '11a' option path 'pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:02:00.0' option htmode 'VHT80' option channel '44' option country 'DE' option log_level '4' option txpower '17' config wifi-iface 'default_radio1' option device 'radio1' option network 'lan' option mode 'ap' option ssid 'Network_5G' option key 'makemehappy' option encryption 'psk2+ccmp' option wpa_group_rekey '1800'
- Continue using the official user guide. https://lede-project.org/docs/user-guide/wifi_configuration