DD-WRT router with Astrill VPN Applet - some information

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DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 16 Mar 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 17:35    Post subject: DD-WRT router with Astrill VPN Applet - some information Reply with quote
I live in China, and it is well known, the government here increasingly blocks foreign websites etc. For instance Google and whatever is linked to it is not accessible anymore without VPN. However, the so-called "Great Firewall" got more and more sophisticated and is now able to detect most of the VPNs, which are then subsequently also blocked. However, Astrill offers a special VPN protocol (still based on OpenVPN, but with further encryption) that is more difficult to detect, and which still works in China. I noticed that several users in the forum installed the Astrill Applet on their routers.

Therefore, I decided to purchase a suitable router, to flash it with DD-WRT and to install the Astrill Applet. I have already another router for my local network and WLAN (TP-Link Archer C7, 1750). However, this router is not suitable for DD-WRT. Hence, I purchased a 2nd hand D-Link DIR-825 revision B1.

Before changing anything, I checked that the router worked well with the original firmware from D-Link. Everything was fine.

Then, I flashed the router first with the factory-to-DD-WRT firmware. Thereafter, I upgraded the firmware to the lastest DD-WRT version for this router.

All was fine, and the firmware version shown was DD-WRT v24-sp2 (12/22/14) std - build 25697. The router worked well, the internet access was ok, and the LAN/WLAN, both were ok.

However, when I tried to install the Astrill Applet, I was unable to do so. There are several different methods to install the Applet, and I tried all of them, without success. It seemed that the router did just not respond to the installation, neither through the Astill application, the Astrill website, a command under the Administration tab of the router or through a telnet session. After trying for two days, I gave up and contacted Astrill Technical Service and read through the DD-WRT forum.

Astrill recommended then another DD-WRT firmware. So, I "downgraded" the firmware on my router, and the "new" version was: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (03/25/13) std - build 21061.

After the downgrade of the firmware, I tested the router again, and all worked well.

In the next step, I installed the Astrill Applet, and it went smoothly without any problem (I did it through the website method). After installation, I only had to make a hard reset, before the added Tab "My Page" under "Status" showed its contents. Thereafter, I connected the VPN, and all is perfect.

Astrill offers the options to tunnel all sites, selected sites or only international sites through the VPN. Also different protocols are available. In China, the most suitable setting is to use the "RouterPro VPN TCP" (due to better stability than UDP) and to tunnel only international sites. This works perfectly well in my case. It actually works better than Astrill's software version, which can be installed on the computer. The router solution is obviously more attractive as it allows to connect all devices through the VPN.

In conclusion, I recommend using the build 21061 rather than the latest build 25697 if you want to install the Astrill Applet on a router with DD-WRT firmware.

I hope this may help some other DD-WRT users and may save time. If there are any questions that I may answer, I am happy to do so.


P.S. I have no affiliation or any interest whatsoever in Astrill. I am just a user. I am neither a router specialist and don't pretend to be one.
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 16 Mar 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks, eibgrad for the additional information. As a DD-WRT novice, I was not aware of the issues of the build 21061.

I am more than happy upgrading to a newer build, as long as it allows me installation of the Astrill Applet. The build 25697 did not allow me to do so, irrespective of whatever I tried.

Do you have any recommendation, which build I might try that does not suffer from the SSH problems? I might give it a try to figure out whether Astrill can be installed. Obviously, I will report back.

Thanks! UOB.
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank for sharing this, as I live in China too I have tried to do as you did
the question is , how did you use 2 routers ? as I know the router you wanted to set up Astrill in can not be used for PPPoE connection ? how did you do this ?
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 16 Mar 2015
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Barodi

I stay in a residential property managed by a hotel, and the internet is provided by the landlord (Ethernet). Hence, my D-Link DIR-825 router is connected to this Ethernet (= WAN), using DHCP. I did not check whether PPPoE would be possible with the DIR-825 running under DD-WRT. I am currently traveling and will need to check when I am back home around May 8.

Since the DIR-825 is a bit slow (300 Mb/s), I use it practically only for the access to the internet. Since the internet is slow anyhow in China (except for domestic sites), the slow speed does no (further) harm.

I connected then the WAN port of my second router the TP-Link Archer C7, 1750 to one of the Ethernet ports of the DIR-825. Hence, my computers run fast for data transfer between them (all such traffic going only through the Archer C7), and for internet access, they connect through the Archer C7 and the DIR-825 (with Astrill). I also use the USB port(s) of the Archer C7 for a shared disk, and a printer is also connected to one of this router's LAN ports (via a printer server). Hence, locally all is connected through the Archer C7 (wired and wireless), while the DIR-825 provides the internet connection with Astrill.

I can imagine that some experts of this Forum might have arguments against this setup. However, it works pretty well for me, and I don't have to think about the GFW anymore (except for the still slow speed of the internet).

Note also that in Astrill, I defined all relevant local sites as exceptions (e.g. Baidu, etc.), i.e. they bypass the Astrill VPN and work, therefore, with local internet speed - much faster than going via the USA or another Astrill server.

Hope this gives you some idea.

DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 19 Oct 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:45    Post subject: Thank and a question Reply with quote
I also live in china,
I had the same problem with installing Astrill, Followed your instruction and I was able to install astrill with no problem.
But I have a different problem now.
When I connect astrill via my-page tab all my internet connection is gone.
Can;t connect to any website, any idea why or how to solve it?
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 03 Feb 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 13:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
For the benefit of anyone looking to get the Astrill VPN applet working on DD-WRT on a newer build I can report that

DD-WRT v3.0-r28976 std (01/27/16)

Works well with Astrill applet installed for over two years.

Trick to installing the applet is using the "strongpath.net" url in the command line as astrill.com is blocked in China and you can't use that installation URL unless you have a way to use another VPN to install the applet.
DD-WRT Novice

Joined: 21 Sep 2020
Posts: 7
Location: Oxford, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 22:18    Post subject: Astrill VPN Reply with quote
Can confirm 2018/04-06-2018-r35681 also works with the Astrill Applet.

If anyone out there has a later version working, please let us know.

Linksys WRT3200ACM AP 1
DD-WRT Version: 2018/04-06-2018-r35681
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