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Wireless setup from apartment ethernet

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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October 9, 2010 4:37:15 PM

I am trying to get a wireless network set up in my apartment. The apartment owner provides internet access to the ethernet jacks in every room. I was originally running a Linksys WRT54G in access point mode from the ethernet port in one of the rooms, but it turns out the apartment manager limits bandwidth to each IP address on the network. So when we all use the wireless at the same time (from a router with one IP), we hit the bandwidth ceiling and we all lose the ability to load pages. I called the apartment complex's tech support, and they suggested running the router in wireless ethernet bridge mode so that the building's main router (wired) will assign IP addresses and my router will just broadcast the signal wirelessly.

I have the tomato firmware for the router, so I have been playing around with the wireless ethernet bridge option, but every time I enable it I lose wireless connectivity all together (network is gone from list). Am I doing this right, or should I be approaching this issue another way? All that I have read about wireless ethernet bridges seem to go from wireless router to another wireless router, whereas I want to go from wired to wireless without forcing all the computers in the apartment from being assigned under one IP address.

Thanks!
a b F Wireless
October 9, 2010 5:37:59 PM

The landlord is wrong. Wireless ethernet bridge mode turns the wireless AP into a wireless client, but at the expense of that wireless AP! IOW, it's one or the other. Either the router is acting as a wireless AP, **OR**, the router is acting as a wireless client, but not both at the same time.

What you want to do is fairly simple. Disable the DHCP server on your router and patch one of the LAN ports to the ethernet port on the wall. Now the router is nothing more than a switch w/ wireless AP. It does no routing, at all. Wired or wireless users now grab their IP address from the landlord’s router instead of yours.

[wall](lan)<-- wire -->(lan)[wireless router (ap mode, dhcp disabled)]<-- wire/wireless -->[desktop, laptops, etc.]
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a b F Wireless
October 9, 2010 6:11:02 PM

P.S.: In this situation, you’re installing a router that normally has a static IP and defines its own local network (e.g., 192.168.1.x). We’ve made sure no one uses that local network by disabling DHCP. However, the router still needs a static IP assignment of its own. Had you been adding this device to your own network, the proper procedure would be to reserve a static IP for it, both for management purposes and to avoid potential IP conflicts w/ other devices on the network. But in this case, it’s the landlord’s network. So *he* controls the assignment of IPs, static and dynamic (DHPC). You need to ask the landlord to reserve a static IP and assign it to your router. OR, you can just assign your router a static IP using a different network (e.g., 192.168.254.254). Unfortunately that makes it slightly more difficult to manage (since you would need to temporarily place some other PC on the same network to gain access), but at least it avoids IP conflicts.

None of this would be an issue if you were behind the WAN port of your own router, but since that’s precisely what’s causing your current problems, you need to take this extra step wrt your router.
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October 16, 2010 1:30:49 AM

I just got back to working on it- your suggestion worked perfectly. Each of the computers now gets its own IP through the landlord's router and we're avoiding hitting the bandwidth cap all the time. Thanks!
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