The TL-WR703N is the perfect travel router. It’s small, cheap and can be powered from your Laptop USB port. It can be used to provide better wireless coverage in your hotel room using the wired connection or a 3g USB modem. It will provide same subnet access for all your wireless devices, this is especially useful when using your Chromecast in a hotel setting.
The TL-WR703N is priced in the $25 range and can be ordered online from the likes of E-Bay and DealExtreme.
Configuring the AP
The TL-WR703N comes with Chinese firmware, and broadcasts an SSID in the following format: SSID TP-LINK_xxxx
Tthe admin page can be reached by opening your browser to 192.168.1.1 after connecting to the SSID.
After logging in with “admin” you’ll want to replace the stock firmware with something like OpenWRT which is what I’m using. Its probably a good idea to read the following OpenWRT page: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr703n
When ready to replace stock firmware look for the following:
Once OpenWRT is loaded you’ll lose wireless connectivity as wireless is turned off by default. You’ll need to connect your laptop/desktop to the AP ethernet port and access the admin page at 192.168.1.1 (you’ll need to configure your laptop with an IP in the 192.168.1.x range)
I have made available a generic configuration of the below steps here for those who just want to restore a working config without going through all the steps. The root password is “tinyap” and the wifi security password is “password”, you’ll want to change both.
First step with OpenWRT is to set the root password
Next, we’ll get wireless set up.
Network —> Wifi —> edit the current wireless config
Set the desired SSID and security, you likely don’t want open wifi in a hotel environment.
Now that your SSID and security is configured we’ll need to enable wireless:
At this point the AP should be broadcasting the configured SSID, to continue configuring connect to the AP over wireless and connect the network cable from the AP into your home/work network.
Next create a “wan” interface:
Network —> Interface —> Add new interface:
Give the interface a name, I used “wan”… change “static” to “DHCP Client” and make sure it covers eth0:
Now edit the LAN interface and remove the bridge setting, it should only cover the wireless network.
Firewall rules need to be set up to allow wireless clients access through to the wan side (internet):
You now have a travel AP that will provide your own wireless connection when plugging into a wired hotel connection.