Load balancing home router with Raspberry Pi

After the fix for Realtek usb ethernet card for openwrt to run on raspberry pi 2,  I started my new project,  Load balancing router.

The working is quite simple, install and configure MWAN3 but I can’t install from repo since I got the source and compiled it with the patch for my usb ethernet card, purchased a few more of those from eBay and combined to form 2 WANs and  2 LANs.


WAN uses 2 usb ethernet adapters and one configured to dial my PPPoE fiber connection  and another to cable modem, so that I could combine both to  get load balancing.

Then LAN

One lan port is same as the built in of Raspberry pi and another usb adapter.
One lan port is configured to use for my private network which contains few laptops,  a NAS and few cell phones via Dlink DIR850L 1200 dual band AC router .
Another one is to a wireless AP dedicated to guest,  which I keep isolated from my private network.

Since you are much experienced i am not mentioning how to install OS to a memory card for Raspberry pi . I have already compiled a version of OpenWrt for raspberry pi with MWAN3 , Firmware for USB adapter QHM8106 USB 2.0 Lan Adapter , drivers .

It works on Ethernet adapters with following firmware

  • AX88772B ASIX Elec. Corp
  •  RTL8152 Realtek Semiconductor Corp

Few other things like Freifunk [for splash screens on wifi connect ] , VnStat , QoS etc are also included in this build.

Download SD card image from  Google Drive 

Just after you finished your memory card and connected the USB ethernet card , insert it to your Pi 2 and boot  connect a rj45 lan cable from Pi to your PC / Mac .

Point your browser to

Set the basics such as password  and enable SSH ,

Set up the interfaces 

Here we are configuring eth0 as main LAN ,  eth1 , eth2 as WAN , WAN2 and eth3 as GUEST

To set up the interface to go Network -> Interfaces

Adding new interface

Click on Add new Interface

Enter “Name of the new interface” as  WAN for  interface eth1 , WAN2 for eth2 and Guest for eth3 . [ WAN , WAN2 , GUEST are to entered separately corresponding to interface selection ]

“Protocol of the new interface” should be static for GUEST  . For WAN , WAN2 it should correspond to connections you have, in my case it was PPPoE for WAN and DHCP for WAN2 since i have a Fiber GPON device and an ordinary cable modem with WiFi .

Adding WAN / WAN2


Step 1 : Adding WAN / WAN2

After clicking submit button on the next window enter the details of the connection such as username and password if required , if the connection type is dhcp there is nothing to do here , go to next step.

Step 2 : Adding WAN with PPPoE connection

Next step is to assign “Use gateway metric” 10 for WAN and 20 for WAN2 . Go to Advanced settings and add gateway matric

Step 3 : Use gateway matric

Now we have to go to the firewall settings tab and and it to WAN zone

Step 4 : Assign to wan Zone

Save and Apply

Repeat the above steps for the WAN2 also.


Adding GUEST interfaceÂ

The same way add an interface , name it as guest and set the protocol as static , submit

Step 1 : Adding Guest

On the Next window  Set IP address [ not the same as LAN uses ]  I selected  and the select subnet mask as .

Scroll bottom to DHCP server section , got Advanced and tick “Dynamic DHCP”

Step 2 : Setting IP address and Enable DHCP Server

Next is to assign it to a new Firewall zone called Guest . Go to Firewall setting on the top .

Step 3 : Assign Firewall Zone

Save and Apply


Configuring Interfaces is now complete .

Setting up firewall

In order to allow guest to internet we need to add one rule go to Network – > Firewall scroll down to Zones and Click Add  , use the settings from below image.

Save and Apply

Now connect all cables and check internet connectivity through LAN and GUEST ports . If all working move to next step .

Load balancing

We are using MWAN3 which is pre installed to the image file given above .

Configure MWAN3

Go to Network -> Load Balancing 

You can see Live status as of interfaces .

Go to Configuration and  click on edit against WAN2

Edit WAN2


Select Enabled to Yes


Save and Apply

Now you will be able to use both connections  . Wiki Article on Load Balancing 

Use MWAN Member Configuration to fine tune settings .

To test it download a torrent since normal web connection’s speed can’t be increased since it should be done using same IP . Please read below reference material to know how to configure MWAN3 for your best performance .

Reference : MWAN3 ,OpenWrt , OpenWrt Ethernet USB Dongle Compatibility  , Another post on MWAN3

Notes :

In order to install packages from OpenWrt Repo

Go to System – > Software – > Configuration

Replace the distribution feeds with

Then Save and Apply

If there is any mistakes or corrections , please comment below .

5 comments On Load balancing home router with Raspberry Pi

  • The problem I’ve always had with this on the Pi is that my USB ethernet ports would swap randomly on reboot. So one boot eth1 would be my WAN port, the next day it would be eth3 and the whole thing would fail.

    How did you resolve this problem, or did it just not happen to you?

    • Hi,
      Same thing happened with GSM usb modems and asterisk on raspberry pi. You should create /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
      Content should look like, (this worked for me, I just copy and replaced fields from another example) :
      # USB device 0x:0x (SMSC9512/9514)
      SUBSYSTEM==”net”, ACTION==”add”, DRIVERS==”?*”, ATTR{address}==”B8:27:EB:12:69:EC”, ATTR{dev_id}==”0x0″, ATTR{type}==”1″, KERNEL==”eth*”, NAME=”eth0″

      # USB device 0x:0x (AX88772)
      SUBSYSTEM==”net”, ACTION==”add”, DRIVERS==”?*”, ATTR{address}==”D8:EB:97:BD:C3:CB”, ATTR{dev_id}==”0x0″, ATTR{type}==”1″, KERNEL==”eth*”, NAME=”eth1″

      # USB device 0x:0x (AX88772)
      SUBSYSTEM==”net”, ACTION==”add”, DRIVERS==”?*”, ATTR{address}==”00:0E:C6:F0:20:E3″, ATTR{dev_id}==”0x0″, ATTR{type}==”1″, KERNEL==”eth*”, NAME=”eth2″

  • Hi.i followed the guide and now i have a router with 2 pppoes and a lan on separate interfaces. Even though both of the pppoes are active and get ip i cannot browse from wan2. If i unplug wan, then nothing is working. Any help please!

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