Plugging Freedombox into repeater connected to Router

Being closer to the router doesn’t help. . . .

When you can’t connect by network you need to connect, “in-band.” Plug in a monitor and keyboard. When you get logged in give this command:
ip address

This will tell you the IP address for each interface. Look for wlan0 for wifi, I believe, or eno0 for the ethernet interface IP. Then connect to that address from your laptop browser

1 Like

Thank you. What do you mean when you refer to ‘each interface’. What interfaces?

Network interfaces generally refer to the device connecting the FreedomBox to the network. These can be physical devices such as a WiFi card or virtual devices such as a VPN interface. You’re working on the physical interfaces. When you run $ip address you’ll see a bunch of information. Here’s what I see for the network card connected to my home network powerline ethernet:

3: eno2: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP group default qlen 1000
link/ether 3c:ec:ef:00:52:91 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
altname enp4s0f1
inet brd scope global noprefixroute eno2
valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
inet6 fe80::71e5:5127:4a15:b0ae/64 scope link noprefixroute
valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

  • 3: is the interface number in the list. You will have several different interfaces defined. It helps you figure out when the information for one interface stops and the next one starts.
  • eno2 is the interface name, and I recall that you may define these yourself when you set up FreedomBox.
  • link/ether is the unique MAC address or hardware address for the interface. This is usually globally unique and it may help you to recognize that address if you have to do troubleshooting. You may use this when you are doing lower level network diagnostics. Just remember that this is one way to see your MAC address. You don’t need this now.
  • inet ← this is the IP address (yours may be different)
    – is the IP address of the FreedomBox. On the internal network it should be, to, or as these are reserved address ranges for private networks such as your home network.
    /24 is call the netmask. The netmask tells you which part of the IP address refers to the network the computer is on, and which part refers to the computer itself. /24 is common in home networks. is the network (first three numbers are each 8 bits, so the first 24 bits are the netmask hence /24 is the address of the specific interface.
    — if you don’t get the netmask right you can have trouble communicating between computers even when you type in the right ip address.

You should expect to see an interface called lo. We don’t do anything to that, but is explained nicely here.. You will also see one entry for each ethernet card if you have any, and each WiFi network device you have.

Once you have your FreedomBox IP address this way you can try to connect directly being confident that you are connecting to your FreedomBox and not something else (unless there is a duplicate IP on the network which matches that of your FreedomBox. Then we have to use the MAC address to try and figure that out…)

On FreedomBox

  • log in with keyboard and monitor and do the “ip address” command
  • make a note of the IP addresses this gives you including the netmask

On your laptop

  • look at your laptop IP address and netmask
  • look for the FreedomBox IP address from above which has the similar looking IP address and netmask
  • connect from your laptop browser to that FreedomBox IP address - that should work if FreedomBox is working
  • if you can’t connect that way then you’re going to have to sort something on FreedomBox using the monitor and keyboard.

Welcome to networking school.

If you like computers and networking, you’re about to learn a lot. There’s a reason your FreedomBox is not working, and it is correctable. This will take some time and effort if you’re new to this sort of thing, but you’ll gain some valuable understanding if you work through it.


Thank you for your generous response. I really appreciate it, though I am, I confess, feeling a little overwhelmed by everything it seems I need to learn.

Are there any general educational resources on networking (books/websites) you might point me in the direction of, please? I feel like, unless I get some of the conceptual foundations under my belt, I am going to have a hard time.


So I have used another laptop with an Ethernet port to connect to the router where the FB is plugged in. I tried following the instruction in the manual:

If your computer is connected directly to the FreedomBox through a second (LAN) ethernet port, you can browse to: http://freedombox/ or

This didn’t work. Nor did it work, with the above setup, with these instructions:

But I am not sure whether directly means exactly that, or via the router. The pioneer FB only has one port, so I guess the instructions to connect directly to the FB through a second (LAN) ethernet port can’t apply.

I guess I have to connect in-band.