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bt homehub 5a - cheap ac1300 + gigbit router
cheapskate #1 was looking for a new router, coz I wanted to do vpn direct on the router so all my internal traffic is routed and unable to be sniffed by my isp. It also needed to have a gigabit switch and wireless ac, coz thats what all the cool kids have. And it needed to support ddwrt/openwrt, because #reasons

After missing out on pcworld selling the tplink archer c9 for £49 (and subsequently/predicatably £60 on ebay~) I stumbled upon a post

the most-hated bt broadband homerhub 5a supports openwrt! joys! This is good for me, because they'll be cheap on ebay as they are essentially free from bt. Total cost, £10 delivered.

specs: 128mb ram, 128mb rom, 500mhz~cpu, 4 port gigabit lan, 1 gigabit lan, adsl modem (wont be used in my scenario), wireless ac (400mb n, 866mhz, ac)

all good chaps, lets get rocking. 

A butter knife opens it up, solder three wires to rx, tx and bootsel

Boot it up with bootsel grounded (no lights come on), but you get serial monitor the serial somehow (I used picocom and raspberry pi as per the post on plusnet forums)

we got 3 stages.
stage 1, send a new temp, bootloader across via serial, whichgives you enough network support to.........
stage 2, send a new temp system to run in ram via tftpd which gives you usb support to........
stage 3, flash a new filesystem via usb, making shit permanent. all went well, happy bank holiday #hackallthethings!

My shitty virgin "superhub" is now running in modem mode, while my shiny new "bt homehub5a but actually openwrt" is serving  the lan.

jobs a good 'un
Box, check...juice, battery, check.....SQUONK! Big Grin
This has me interested. How much does yer vpn service cost? I'm interested in what's entailed in vpn for various reasons, mainly the BT throttling.
Problem is my home system seems to kill routers, home hubs only last me 6 months and my home system( server, Apple TVs, MacBook, Mac mini, printer, phones n tablets) just seem to overload them. I've a TP-link 8970(I have V-DSL)at the moment and it seems to be going the same way though it supports openWRT, think it might b worth installing to see if there's a difference.

I'm gonna install a switch soon to see if that takes the weight off.
i pay $10 a month for a rented server to use for $whatever. this includes acting as my vpn server, mail server etc, I dont understand how your system kills routers, but ok:-)

so I go to, sign up for a cheap-ass generic hosted linux server, and use their scripts to install e.g. openvpn server. Didnt take long, but being a bit comfy with the command line, OR being able to read and follow instructions is handy.

the openvpnaccess server only allows two concurrent client connections before you need to upgrade to a paid service (so you can then rent out your vpn to friends etc) but for home use 2 connections is ok, as long as you use your router for one.:-)

if you want gung-ho unlimited connections, then you install the community edition and roll your own config files, sans gui
Box, check...juice, battery, check.....SQUONK! Big Grin
I do a lot of network streaming and I think it's just too much for cheap home routers over time. My whole system has changed over the last 8 years and my house and it still happens so it's the only reason I can come to. We don't watch "Muggle TV" as it's been coined at work, I download all my stuff to my HP proliant N54L running iHomeserver on Win Home Server 2011 and stream to my Apple TVs. Before that it was PS3s and a dlna LG NAS.
I got my home hub 5 to last 9 months by using a switch to take some of the load but inevitably it succumbed to the same random restarts and other weird behaviour.
Might just have to pony up for a high end router.
I'm fairly confident with command line tutorials so I'll have a look at that when I get a chance.
if u get a switch, then internal traffic will stay withing the switch (the ports will know what traffic is destined for what port, and not send it viai the router). Thats one of the good things re switches vs hubs. A 5 port gigaibt switch is about ~£20 nowdays. So internal streaming etc will not touch the router.

That said, the bt homehub 5 has a 5 port switch, with openwrt you can vlan tag the packets etc, so its doing the same job ++. Any port can be assigned to be lan or wan, or 5 wan, or 5 lan etc.

The way I set it up was 4 normal lan ports on vlan 1, 1 red wan port on vlan2 (and the "cpu" port) in both vlans. set the red port to dhcp client (so that ntl/virgin modem gives it an ip), and set the 4 lan ports ot dhcp server so that my network gets addresses. I also dis an 'opkg install adblock' so all ads etc are removed..normally i root all my phones and install adblock, and adblock on chrome etc etc, but now that is being done at the border router.
Box, check...juice, battery, check.....SQUONK! Big Grin
The Adblock is another major draw for me! I'll get reading as networking was sent by the devil IMO. Never really gotten a full grasp on it but no time like the present....
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I used this version
BusyBox v1.24.2 () built-in shell (ash)

_______ ________ __
| |.-----.-----.-----.| | | |.----.| |_
| - || _ | -__| || | | || _|| _|
|_______|| __|_____|__|__||________||__| |____|
|__| W I R E L E S S F R E E D O M
DESIGNATED DRIVER (Bleeding Edge, r49377)

from here
its the "mikecsmith" build
you need the *.asc file to send over serial, then tftpd boot the initramfs file, then install the mikecsmith build via usb.
All applicable to the bt homehub 5A ONLY.

there's a forked openwrt project called "lede" which is mentioned a lot, but I didnt go that route. No real reason

once its all setup and running, from a ssh terminal do
opkg install adblock

opkg install luci-app-adblock
(to get a gui for the adblock script)

£10 or so
Box, check...juice, battery, check.....SQUONK! Big Grin
My 7800DXL has proven to be rock solid, and just jumped on one of these to get the better wifi and bundled VDSL (" AKA BT Fibreoptic broadand") modem. Using mine on a Plusnet 80Mbit connection, and it's rock solid, and worked out the box (just put my DSL username and password in). I would recommend loading the latest firmware before you do so and then a factory reset, as I didn't need to change any of the settings that other had to (looking at the Q/A section here). I guess it's now smart enough to work it out for itself.

Configuration is pretty much as before, wifi speeds with the 802.11AC speeds are VERY fast, but coverage is not as good as my 7800DXL, due to I guess, lack of external antennas, this is a shame, and it's lost it a star in my review. This could have been the best router on the planet, if aesthetics hadn't taken precedence over function :-(

If you want to replace the rubbish boxes the the UK ISP's dish out like smarties, this should be top of your list. It's reliable and offers all the configuration settings you could possibly ever want.
Configuring LEDE is usually very straightforward, but it remains a buyer's responsibility. If you can not configure the router for your purpose, you can return it within 14 days, but you will be responsible for P&P costs. You can return for a full refund (including P&Ps) if the item is not as described.
International bidders are welcome, but please note that this router comes with the UK mains power adapter. In the UK most providers use ADSL Annex A, VDSL Annex A, VDSL Annex B, or cable FTTP lines. The router will not work with ADSL Annex B and is not guaranteed to work on other lines — please check the router is compatible with xDSL specification in your country before bidding.
If you want to collect in person, please contact me before buying this item to discuss collection time and payment options and I will remove the "collection in person" fee for you. If you don't contact me in advance, you have to pay the fee.

HP Envy 5540 Wireless Setup

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