OpenThread Border Router

A Border Router connects an 802.15.4 network to networks at different layers, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet. A Thread network requires a Border Router to connect it to other networks.

A Thread Border Router minimally supports the following functions:

  • End-to-end IP connectivity via routing between Thread devices and other external IP networks
  • External Thread Commissioning (for example, a mobile phone) to authenticate and join a Thread device to a Thread network

OpenThread's implementation of a Border Router is called OpenThread Border Router (OTBR).

Get started

  1. Choose a platform:
  2. Build and configure OTBR
  3. Learn about tools and scripts included with OTBR

To go straight to the code, see the OpenThread Border Router GitHub repository.

You can contribute to the ongoing development of OpenThread by submitting bug reports and feature requests to the Issue Tracker.

Features and services

OTBR includes a number of features, including:

Border Agent

The Border Agent binds to both Thread and WAN (Wi-Fi, Ethernet) interfaces, to support an External Thread Commissioner in authenticating and joining Thread devices.

OTBR Border Agent Architecture

It also provides support for the NCP design, where Thread functions are offloaded to an NCP and OTBR runs on the host side. In this design, the Border Agent communicates with the NCP via wpantund and Spinel. A Border Agent Proxy provides an interface between Spinel and OpenThread's CoAP client and server components on the NCP. For communication with an external Commissioner, the Border Agent uses standard UDP sockets.

OTBR Border Agent NCP Architecture

The Border Agent utilizes the following third-party components:

  • libcoap — An open-source C implementation of CoAP
  • mbed TLS — Supports DTLS communication with an external Commissioner

Border Router Services

OTBR provides the following services:

  • mDNS Publisher — Allows an External Commissioner to discover an OTBR and its associated Thread network
  • PSKc Generator — For generation of PSKc keys
  • Web Service — Web UI for management of a Thread network
  • WPAN Controller — DBus operations for control of the WPAN interface

Third-party components for Border Router Services include Simple Web Server and Material Design Lite for the framework of the web UI.

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