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Wireless Bridging of Routers

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March 8, 2005 6:42:50 PM

This is just a general question regarding bridging wireless connections.
I went out and picked up a WRT54G (I think that was the model) - The basic Wireless 802.11G wireless linksys router thinking that I would disable the DHCP portion, bridge the connection over to another router and use it as an access point instead. My thoughts are I'm in an apartment, broadband wireless router is in one bedroom on the other side of the apartment. I don't want to run a cable across the apartment to connect in. I wanted a bridged connection between the routers. Apparently the Linksys wireless routers don't support bridging of routers, I would need to purchase an actual WAP instead. I don't really want the WAP because I won't have much use for it which is why I was thinking about just picking up the router.
In short, does anyone know of any brands of router that will allow router-to-router bridging wirelessly? Apparently this is some huge thing no one has ever thought of. I had to deal with Linksys tech support for an hour to get the person to understand I wanted to bridge two routers together wirelessly - no cabling. After getting them to understand that, I was told the Linksys routers are not designed to work as bridges/access points to other routers.

I'm just looking for a brand that might allow this. If I'm going to buy something wireless, I'd want it to at least be a wireless router. In the worst case I guess I could just hook the WAP to my wired router in other situations and quit my whining about buying something I don't find fully useful... heh oh well.

Riser

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by riser on 03/08/05 04:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 8, 2005 8:37:02 PM

Natively no, Router/AP combo's do not bridge. If you have a V2 of the WRT54G I believe they have disabled the ability to upgrade to third party firmware. I think I read that somewhere though that may be bogus. Certainly the original version would allow it and there are several firmware variants out there that add that functionality to the AP side.
March 8, 2005 9:49:10 PM

i dont really see why you need to do this. you could just hook the two routers together with a crossover cable and the wireless side will connect through just like a regular switch, is there a reason the router needs to be in the other room? i guess if you had multiple computers to hook up in the other room..

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March 9, 2005 11:22:02 AM

Being in an apartment running the cable across the entire length of this place really isn't feasible granted our layout. I have a roommate and our bedrooms are in opposite corners. Between the bedrooms are the kitchen and living room. I've looked for an easy way to run a cable, but any way I would try to do it I'd have some cable crossing at least 2 doorways or hallways. It's not something I want sitting out for people to either look at or trip over which is the reason for the wireless bridge.
Basically my roommate has around 2-3 computers he wants to hook up while I have around 6 I want connected. We're both on opposite sides and I don't want to run a cable across the entire apartment. I know I look dorky with a small server room set up in my closet, but at least that's hidden. I don't need a colorful cable running across my living room. :) 
I honestly was under the impression I could just bridge two routers' signals and be done with it.
I guess I'm stuck running out buying a WAP. In the future I'll just have to hook up the WAP to my wired router if I want a wireless connection. I was hoping to eliminate one piece of hardware by buying the wireless router. Guess it's not possible.. something so simple becomes a little bit more difficult.

Riser
March 9, 2005 11:27:24 AM

I was thinking some higher end equipment is capable of doing this, I just thought it would be simple to bring it down to lower end SOHO equipment.
According to Linksys, two of their routers are not able to bridge, they recommend connecting via wire. Defeats the wireless I'm seeking. I'm not looking for a wireless connection to roam with my PCs. I have a work laptop with wireless that I couldn't care less about. I mainly want to create a wireless connection between two seperate networks.
I want to have my own test network on my side of the apartment while he has his own, linked together by a wireless connection. I would just do away with the wireless option if I have to run a cable over to the other side of my apartment.

I just bought the WRT54G router two days ago. I'll have to check the version info on it and see if I'm able to change that around. If I have an earlier version I'll hunt down some different firmware to see what I can find.

Thanks for the heads up on the firmware variety though.

Riser
March 9, 2005 1:49:06 PM

now i see. i think you would be better off putting wireless nics in each of his computers. you may find that 3 computers running over a single wireless connection to be too slow. another option is to dedicate one of your computers to share the wireless connection to his other computers. not a very good option imho though.

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March 9, 2005 3:14:40 PM

At this point I'm going to return the router and pick up a WAP and go from there. My main computer would be the only PC using the wireless connection in normal conditions so that doesn't bother me. The other computers wouldn't be on the internet since they're for testing corporate IT stuff out and not home use. My roommate's computers are wired into his wireless router. The only time either of us would use the wireless is when we have our work laptops at home.
In the end I come out with a WAP I don't really want, I'd rather have the router. Oh well.. can't have it all.

Riser
March 9, 2005 11:34:57 PM

Linksys WAP54G accesspoints have bridge mode, put one of those on each side. Same price or cheaper than the WRT54G and it would do exactly what you are after.

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March 10, 2005 9:19:46 AM

So you've verified you've gotten a version that you cannot upgrade the firmware on?
March 10, 2005 11:39:30 AM

Yeah, I'm going to return the linksys and go with the pos D-link WAP. The roommate has his D-Link wireless router. Oh well. He was cheap when he bought it. He's paying for half the WAP so I'll deal with it. No sense is spending more money switching things around though.

Riser
March 10, 2005 11:41:50 AM

Trying to keep from buying too much unnecessary stuff in this case. I don't use wireless.. I personally don't feel the need to have my computer everywhere I go:)  I have a laptop for work and I try not to bring it home. Other than that I have PCs and don't want two WAPs which is why I bought the router in the first place - it would have been more useful had I needed it in the future.
I'll just buy a D-Link WAP and be done with it since his wireless router is a D-Link.

Riser
March 14, 2005 4:09:36 PM

Here's an update.. DLink sucks. Enough said.
Dlink's WAP's don't offer the bridging capabilities. You must purchase their "Ethernet to Wireless" or "Wireless to ethernet" one of the two. So you have 3 pieces of equipment. Your router, your WAP to extend out to your wireless devices, and your Wired for Ethernet WAP that will bridge to the WAP/Router and allow wired devices to connect in.
The Linksys WAP allows for bridging, which is what I wanted but being they're brand specific, we'd either have to buy another linksys router and WAP, or two WAPs. Either way, it's tedious to get something so simple.. which is why I have no respect for Dlink aside from very cheap and basic wireless access.
Linksys is the way to go but all too often people want to save that extra 10 dollars.
March 14, 2005 10:56:46 PM

I didn't re-read everything so I may be off here but if the primary router is a wireless router then you would not need to buy the AP, just the bridge.
March 18, 2005 5:53:02 PM

Problem was I couldn't readily buy a D-Link bridge.. and then I would have been stuck with a piece of hardware that 1) I didn't like the brand 2) was useless to me without having that brand router to use with.
I would have liked the Linksys Router/AP point because of the builtin bridging capabilities. I was trying not to buy a bunch of hardware for this. I'm going to end up just getting a PCI wireless card and use ICS for any other PC I have that might need the internet for testing.

Riser
February 27, 2006 6:22:06 AM

riser, I have a similar need.

I cannot install wireless cards on my laptops in second room because it is office laptop with restricted access :( 

so, after doing some google, i found this. http://www.ezlan.net/router_AP.html

But to use this, I have to run a crossover cable to connect router A to router B.

If I dont want to run the cable, then I have to do the following. Is my understanding correct?

I have to buy a wireless AP...this will be configured to use my primary router A(connected to cable modem)..then I have to connect the lan port of AP to the internet port of router B..then I can plug the 2 laptops(of my roommates) to router B...this will allow them to access internet also..

please let me know if my understanding is correct?

Thanks
Askids

PS: I already have 2 wireless routers
February 27, 2006 11:09:39 PM

What you need is 2 USR5450 AP. These are capable of bridging. They are equiped with 5dbi High gain antennas. Install the latest firmware and connect with their turbo mode 125 vs 54. These are good solid units. You have power control and 256bit encription if needed. When you do comercial setup, alot of time they will use external antennas to brige between buildings. It is powerful enough you may get by using it as a AP connected to your router.

Linksys makes good equipment, but they put low gain antennas on every thing. Meaning to get it to perform good you need to replace the antennas, 2 x $30 each = the cost of the original equipment.
March 12, 2006 3:37:50 PM

Perhaps there's something I'm missing, but is there any reason that you would need more than one router (in an apartment, no less) in one network? Additional switches or access points, maybe. I know that I can purchase a Linksys wireless router for about $20 less than a WAP. Does that have anything to do with it?
November 11, 2009 1:20:38 AM

Hi There. I have been reading up on the same subject. From what I have read about Linksys Routers is that they are designed to connect to each other. You may need to purchase another Linksys Router or a Wireless Access point. I was reading up about Linksys Wireless Access Points and they can be configured to act as a Wireless bridge. Meaning that They are now configured to transmit to your other Wireless Linksys Router and join the two networks together.

Here is one helpful comment that I found:

I am sorry but I am not so familiar with the Thomson Device but I can give you a clue on how to set it up....you can skip the security settings first just make sure they work then you can set it later...Check it out!

- Thomson as "Master Router" connected to modem set up as follows
-- 192.168.1.1
-- Set up wireless access point as you normally would in Wireless Settings, muine are "MY_SSID",Channel 2,b+g mode,
64-bit WEP with hex key (rather than pass phrase)
--- Enter any laptop wifi MAC addresses in the "Client Access List" here to allow them and make sure it's set to restrict
them
-- Set DHCP range to 192.168.1.10 to 192.168.1.127 (my preference) in "Lan Settings"
-- go to Wireless Bridging and Repeating menu option
--- Set "Enable Wireless Repeating Function"
--- Set as "Wireless Base Station"
--- DO NOT check the "Disable Wireless Client Association" if you want to be able to use laptop wifi
--- Enter the mac address of your "Slave Router" here
Make sure all of the above is applied and has stuck, i had a habit of setting some things then clicking to a sub-menu
before clicking apply, always scroll down and click apply before drilling into sub options!

DG834G V3 : "Slave Router"
-- Get latest firmware as earlier v3 firmware doesnt support WDS
-- 192.168.1.2
-- Enable Wireless Settings and set to exact same as "Master Router" including 64 bit WEP key and MAC access list for
laptops etc
-- Disable DHCP in Basic Setup (I think)
-- "Advanced Wireless Settings" menu option
--- "Enable Bridging and Repeating"
--- Select the "Wireless Bridge With Client Association" (or similar) option
--- Enter the "Master Router" MAC address here
Again, double check everything has stuck, that the "normal" wireless settings for both routers are identical and reboot
both (in either order worked for me but booting the Master first is probably best practise)
GOOD LUCK!!!

Hope that this helps!!!
!