How to Install OpenWRT on NETGEAR WNDR3800 Open Platform Router

If you're one of the first people on the block to get your hands on the shiny new WNDR3800, I'm happy to report that installing the OpenWRT beta is simple, and it works extremely well for an early build.

If you're not familiar with OpenWRT, it's a new firmware (the router's "brain," if you will) that you can install that is felt by many to be faster, easier to use, and more customizable than other firmwares. Want to give it a try? Follow these instructions to get started.

Step 1: Download the Firmware

You can snag the 1.0 BETA version of the OpenWRT firmware for the WNDR3800 from the download link here on MyOpenRouter. Once downloaded, you'll need to unarchive the file (you'll need WinRAR or a similar program if you're on Windows. Mac can do it natively.)

Step 2: Perform a 30-30-30 Reset On Your Router

Performing this step will ensure a clean and smooth installation. You can find complete details on how to do this here.

Step 3: Log In To Your Router's GUI (Graphic Interface)

Simply type 192.168.1.1 into your browser bar and enter the username and password for your router. You can read our review of the WNDR3800 for more information on the default username and password, and how to change it (or how to recover it if you have forgotten.)

Step 4: Install the Firmware

Once you're logged in to your router, click on the "Advanced" tab, then select "Firmware Update." You'll be presented with the screen above. Select the file with the .IMG extention from the firmware package you downloaded and select it, then press the Upload button.

It will pop up with an error message, disregard it and continue. Make sure not to power down the router during this process, as it can damage or corrupt the router's firmware and cause everything from erratic behavior to a complete "bricking."

After a few minutes, the firmware will be installed and the router will reboot.

Step 5: Perform another 30-30-30 Reset

It's always a good idea to do this both before AND after installing, changing, or upgrading router firmware.

Step 6: Log in to OpenWRT

Once your router has rebooted from the reset, enter 192.168.1.1 into your browser and the interface for OpenWRT should come up. The default password is simply "password."

Once you're in, you can have fun poking around and changing your settings. I recommend that you set up your wireless encryption and change your admin password first. Since this is still an early build, 

Step 7: Troubleshoot and Post on the Forums

Have fun with this new firmware! If you have any problems or questions, please make sure to drop by the OpenWRT forum and post them--our helpful members, many of whom are networking experts by hobby or trade, are always happy to help.

MReptile
MReptile's picture
It is always nice to have an

It is always nice to have an installation guide. But is there already a solution for reverting to the stock firmware?. Whats known about debricking? The same way as the 3500?
I am absolutely new and have not yet desiceded wheter to buy the 3500 or the 3800

Peter Redmer
Peter Redmer's picture
I haven't yet had a chance to

I haven't yet had a chance to try debricking the WNDR3800, but I imagine the process is similar. When we get a chance to cover a tutorial for that, we will.

As for which one to buy, it depends on what you're looking for. From experience, I can say that the WNR3500L is a fantastic router and has TONS of support on the firmware side, with Tomato and DD-WRT especially.Right out of the gate you'll be able to try stable and established third party firmwares, whereas the WNDR3800 is just getting started on that front. That being said, the 3800 is newer and more powerful.

 

MReptile
MReptile's picture
Peter Redmer said: I haven't

Peter Redmer said: I haven't yet had a chance to try debricking the WNDR3800, but I imagine the process is similar. When we get a chance to cover a tutorial for that, we will. As for which one to buy, it depends on what you're looking for. From experience, I can say that the WNR3500L is a fantastic router and has TONS of support on the firmware side, with Tomato and DD-WRT especially.Right out of the gate you'll be able to try stable and established third party firmwares, whereas the WNDR3800 is just getting started on that front. That being said, the 3800 is newer and more powerful.

Thanks. Because I would enjoy to try openWRT on (the beta) too!!! But without a "Way back" when it bricks or something fails, it is far too dangerous. I have not enough money to replace a bricked WNDR3800?

Because of your answer i bought the new one, as it is more powerful and i have a network with lots of devices connected. I can not get enough power... (-: Can you send me a link (PM?) as soon as there is a solution?

Probably the Process is similar to the WNDR3700? I red about a recovery mode. Do you know anything about that? Will this be useful to debrick?

Is this something like the iphone has? an iphone can never fully brick because there is always a DFU-Mode to recover to Stock-Firmware.

p3rstr4ndh
p3rstr4ndh's picture
Hi

Hi
Bought a 3800 yesterday and have now verified that the LAN/WAN throughput is what I needed.

Now I would like to test if the throughput is OK in the the OpenWRT firmware.

But can I easily revert back to the NETGEAR firmware?
Can I use the firmware file from NETGEAR and use the normal OpenWRT firmware upgrade process?

lulo
lulo's picture
normal OpenWRT firmware

normal OpenWRT firmware upgrade process, Netgear firmware from luci ?
CD disk and orginal firmware from Netgear ?

dcjd
dcjd's picture
My desires for the WNDR-3800

My desires for the WNDR-3800 are pretty basic. The latest factory release is fine with the exception of no capability to perform a Wake on WAN. It seems many others have the same complaint with a variety of other routers (my old Linksys router would allow this and hate the fact I lost that functionality since upgrading). How could one go about allowing port forwarding of a wake up packet to 192.168.1.255 that the Netgear firmware prevents. I'd really hate to loose other functionality that I currently have, such as parental controls.

Uncle Claibourne
Uncle Claibourne's picture
The WNDR3800 is now

The WNDR3800 is now "officially" supported by OpenWrt (Backfire 10.03.1). I've been running it for a few days and am quite pleased; especially after all the time and effort wasted to get dd-wrt working acceptably on a 3700 or 3500L. So far, rock-solid, and I get better range and throughput on both 2.4 and 5 GHz than the Netgear stock firmware. I'd highly recommend it.

Debricking or restoring the original firmware is exactly the same as a 3700 (Hold in reset button while powering on, wait for flashing green power light, tftp the firmware image you want to restore).

Brandon C
Brandon C's picture
Uncle Claibourne said: The

Uncle Claibourne said: The WNDR3800 is now "officially" supported by OpenWrt (Backfire 10.03.1).

Good deal. I am looking forward to trying it.

What version or DL did you install?

Uncle Claibourne
Uncle Claibourne's picture
I downloaded the squashfs

I downloaded the squashfs version from the openwrt site (downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03.1/ar71xx/).

Looks like all they really did was tweak the 3700v2-specific code to adjust for the larger RAM size on the 3800. As a result, the status page still says the router hardware is "Netgear WNDR3700v2").

I've been running it since last Thursday, and knock on wood :) still no issues.

Uncle Claibourne
Uncle Claibourne's picture
 

 

Uncle Claibourne said: I downloaded the squashfs version from the openwrt site (downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03.1/ar71xx/). Looks like all they really did was tweak the 3700v2-specific code to adjust for the larger RAM size on the 3800. As a result, the status page still says the router hardware is "Netgear WNDR3700v2"). I've been running it since last Thursday, and knock on wood :) still no issues.

 

 

FWIW, I also tried the Gargoyle version (gargoyle-router.com).  This is also OpenWrt Backfire 10.03.1, but with a different admin interface; it's simpler and not as configurable as Luci, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on one's needs. :)  I didn't play with it for more than a few hours, but it seemed stable as well. Its default utilization graphs are quite nice, with info available down to the client level.

Brandon C
Brandon C's picture
Thanks for the info. I also

Thanks for the info. I also installed it and am playing with it now. So far so good!

MCC
MCC's picture
Maybe silly question, but

Maybe silly question, but does this build support openVPN and DynDNS?

majed5160
majed5160's picture
Huawei Technologies

Huawei Technologies