Setting Up USB Internet Passthrough

Apr 6, 2016

Internet Passthrough via USB will allow you to connect your smartphone to the internet via your LEDE/OpenWRT device.

SSH to your OpenWRT device

If you are using Windows then start PuTTY and click Session on the left side, select SSH from the options, and then enter in the IP Address of your OpenWRT box into the Host Name field.

Once you’ve done this just click on Open to start up the SSH connection.

If you are connecting via terminal, then just SSH to your OpenWRT device using the following command, where is your OpenWRT device’s IP address.

Prerequisites — USB Support

First we need to ensure that your LEDE/OpenWRT device has basic support for USBs. Some builds come with this as standard, but if yours does not then just follow these steps:

USB 1.1 Support

This will either have a UHCI or OHCI interface. Pick one of the bellow to start off with, and if it is incorrect it will let you know which one you need to install.


Run the following commands for UHCI:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-uhci
insmod usbcore
insmod uhci


Run the following commands for OHCI:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-ohci
insmod usb-ohci

USB 2.0 Support

You will need to install the needed packages by running the following:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb2
insmod ehci-hcd

USB Internet Passthrough

Now that the basic support is complete, we can configure the internet passthrough.

Run the following command to install the needed package:

opkg install kmod-usb-net

Now connect your smartphone to your LEDE/OpenWRT device via USB, and enable Internet Passthrough (also referred to as reverse tethering, the name may vary depending on the smartphone).

Once it is connected, a new network interface should appear named usbX where X is a number from 0.

You’ll then need to configure it like a normal ethernet interface and serve DHCP to it as covered in previous guides.

Once that is done, you are ready to tether your smartphone to your LEDE/OpenWRT device for internet.

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