FS#499 - WiFi client mode leaves router inaccessible if upstream network goes down #5519
This bug was originally reported to the OpenWrt team and there is a [[https://lists.openwrt.org/pipermail/openwrt-devel/2017-February/042712.html|discussion of it in their mailing list]]. Luiz Angelo Daros de Luca suggested reporting here (and switching to LEDE, which I will do).
I have a TP-Link TL-MR3020 v1.9 with Chaos Calmer 15.05.01. I'm using it to provide a WiFi access point to my phone/tablet while I travel, and it's acting as a WiFi client for the various hostels I visit.
If you configure it as a wifi client with a wwan interface using the LuCI scan/join wizard, and then you configure a wifi access point on the same radio, the router works as expected and when you connect to the router's AP, you get Internet via the client connection.
However, if you move out of range of the network the router is a client of, or if it goes down, when you power off the OpenWrt router and power back on, the access point won't come up.
The AP will only come up if the client network you configured is also working; so you have no way to connect to the router over wifi, and no way to reconfigure the router, if that client network is down or out of range.
This is a particular problem for a travel router because it will often move it out of range of the original upstream network, and you may only have a wifi-capable device with which to reconfigure it.
The Ethernet port on the router does remain active, so I can tell it does actually boot. It's just the radio that doesn't come up. I managed to get back in range of a network once, and the router worked as expected.
It doesn't matter whether the AP or client connection are configured first or second on the radio interface, and, unticking "bring up on boot" for the wwan interface has no effect on the behaviour.
Steps to reproduce: Connect the router to a wifi network as a client using the Join wizard. Add a wifi master-mode access point on the same radio interface. Verify you can access the Internet by joining the router's new master AP. Reboot the router with the original network it was a client of turned off. Notice the router's AP you configured never comes up.
Expected behaviour: The master access point of the router should always come up, regardless of the availability of the client network.
The OpenWRT team will not fix it, but [[https://lists.openwrt.org/pipermail/openwrt-devel/2017-February/042732.html|had some explanation as to why it is happening]]. IMO, it's still a very frustrating bug and most users would expect the behaviour I did.
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I stumble upon this problem too, using a ramips device, the thing is that if you configure multiple client wireless profiles it will work if one of them is connected.
You could also try dynapoint (luci-app-dynapoint for gui) from the packages and/or luci repos. This disables/enables wifi networks depending on the the presence/absence of an internet connection. I use it to have an admin wifi come up if the internet connection goes down.
Actually for my AP's I've even set up a uhttpd instance on the primary router so that the AP's wget/curl from it instead of internet servers, so they only do the admin interface if the main router goes down (since if the main router is up for them, I can easily access from a local network).
I know loosing access to your router can be quite frustrating.