Home > Hardware, Linux > TP-Link WR703N – $23 Hackable openWRT Wi-Fi 802.11N Router

TP-Link WR703N – $23 Hackable openWRT Wi-Fi 802.11N Router

TP-Link WR703N is a tiny 802.11N 150 Mbps Wi-Fi router smaller than a credit card (5.7 x 5.7 cm) and 1.8 cm thick based on Atheros AR7240 processor with 4 MB flash and 32 MB RAM. It costs just above $20 US and can be hacked with openWRT. It features one USB host connector that allows you to connect USB devices (USB flash drive, printer…) to it.

Low cost openWRT router

TP-Link TL-WR703N

TL-WR703N Specifications:

  • Atheros AR7240 CPU @ 400Mhz (MIPS24k core)
  • Atheros AR9331 Chipset (integrated wireless)
  • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
  • 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps
  • 3G support via external USB dongle
  • 4 MB flash memory
  • 32 MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 port
  • micro-USB port for power
  • Dimension – 5.7 x 5.7 x 1.8 cm

All you need is a USB to TLL board to access the serial console, open the box to access the serial pins (TP_IN and TP_OUT) and follow the instructions on openWRT website to convert it into a Linux router.

You can do all sort of things with this board such as an home automation system, a printer server (there may be limits to the document size due to the lack of memory), a sensors gateway and more. It is powered via USB and only consumes 0.5W on average.

The router is available for $23 including shipping on Dealextreme, Aliexpress and eBay, and comes with a power supply and a micro USB to USB cable. You can get further information on the device on TP-Link website (in Chinese).

Via DangerousPrototypes

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  1. Europi
    July 19th, 2012 at 15:50 | #1

    There is also an easier way to flash OpenWRT: http://cmikavac.net/2012/06/03/how-to-flash-tp-link-wr703n-with-openwrt/

  2. July 19th, 2012 at 16:43 | #2

    It’s a really great tiny device (I have a couple and use one as my main home router), it’s been around for quite some time though: http://embeddedtimes.blogspot.com/2011/09/tp-link-tl-wr703n-tiny-linux-capable.html

  3. Onebir
    July 19th, 2012 at 16:52 | #3

    $22 here: http://www.tinydeal.com/tp-link-mini-3g-mobile-broadband-wireless-router-blue-white-p-41446.html

    I’ve only ordered from Tinydeal once; that one time went smoothly.

  4. Tyler
    July 19th, 2012 at 20:16 | #4

    Hello cnxsoft, can you make a video detailing how to flash open wrt to this device? Thank you!

  5. July 19th, 2012 at 20:21 | #5

    @ Tyler
    Sorry, I can’t, I don’t have this device. Check the 7-steps post provided by Europi above.

  6. Tyler
    July 19th, 2012 at 21:21 | #6

    Ok thank you. And I have one more question, I have a portable micro usb charger. So say I put OpenWRT on it, along with SAMBA and plugged in a flash drive powered by the portable charger. Would I have a portable NAS?

  7. July 19th, 2012 at 21:33 | #7

    @ Tyler
    Yes. But the performance might not be optimal. Somebody did this https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=150596#p150596, and he used FTP instead of SAMBA, because the performance is better about 10MB/s.

  8. s7mx1
    July 19th, 2012 at 23:46 | #8

    I have heard reports from users that my firmware works with hw version 1.4 and 1.5 but not 1.6. I am currently busy with the raspbmc project and will revisit it a bit later this summer.

    The coolest thing is actually the pulseaudio server and if you pair it with raspberry pi you could actually make a really nice wifi audio streaming solution.

    http://forum.stmlabs.com/showthread.php?tid=1052

  9. Tyler
    July 20th, 2012 at 10:30 | #9

    Actually after researching I find out you can make a PirateBox out of this. Already bought mine.

  10. July 20th, 2012 at 10:54 | #10

    @ Tyler
    Do you mean MiniPwner ?

  11. July 20th, 2012 at 11:25 | #11

    @ cnxsoft
    A PirateBox: http://wiki.daviddarts.com/PirateBox

    Also, I’d say everyone should get one :D It’s only $22 and by the time it arrives you’ll already have some ideas how to use it.

  12. July 21st, 2012 at 01:24 | #12

    Wonder if you can make a Fonera box out of this

  13. July 23rd, 2012 at 04:04 | #13

    I tried to order one at Dealextreme 2 times, my order was cancelled and DL never managed to deliver one.

  14. Brian
    October 20th, 2012 at 03:53 | #14

    Is there a method for DD-WRT similar to the OpenWRT method, that wouldn’t require the USBSerial adapter?

  15. onebir
    November 22nd, 2012 at 03:16 | #15

    @Brian
    The stock firmware has an ‘update firmware’ button. This is how I installed OpenWRT on mine, which was very straightforward. Should be the same for DD-WRT, provided there’s a suitable binary…

  16. January 8th, 2013 at 21:03 | #16

    Search around for a good price on a TPLink MR-3020. It is a slightly different version of the device for $5-10 more. The main advantage is that the serial line is easy to get to unlike the WR703N. There are four easy holes where you can solder on a four pin header for a serial connector.

    This works good with the MR-3020.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GXEF8A/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i01

  17. steven
    March 9th, 2013 at 14:10 | #17

    Hi,guys.We have a portable power bank specifically designed for TP-Link mini wireless router WR702N and WR703N,you can check it at http://igg.me/at/sofa/x/989539.

  1. August 29th, 2012 at 17:37 | #1
  2. January 8th, 2013 at 20:01 | #2
  3. January 14th, 2013 at 15:30 | #3
  4. May 19th, 2013 at 11:45 | #4
  5. July 19th, 2014 at 16:50 | #5
  6. August 25th, 2014 at 10:35 | #6