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Wireless repeater help

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 30, 2012 5:03:16 AM

I have a Dir615 hardware version E3, I am going to try to use as my base router and a Netgear WPN824NA to use as my wireless repeater. Is that even possible? If so please tell me how configure my network. If not can I use the two routers in any combination to achieve my goal wirelessly?
Thank all!

More about : wireless repeater

a b F Wireless
July 30, 2012 3:02:11 PM

As you've described it, NO. As far as I can tell from skimming the manual, the Netgear can't be configured as a repeater. But if it supported dd-wrt (third-party firmware), it could be reconfigured as a repeater ("repeater bridge", specifically). Unfortunately it doesn’t.

All is not lost, however. The D-Link *is* dd-wrt compatible. So if you were willing to reverse their roles (make the Netgear the primary, the D-Link the repeater), and install dd-wrt on the D-Link, it would work.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/D-Link_DIR-615_rev...

The only other option would be to connect the routers by wire (or even powerline), which may not be what you're looking for.
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July 30, 2012 3:43:13 PM

Thank you eibgrad for responding, I have read up on dd-wrt and it scares me a little, I believe it would be to trash out a router not know what you are doing and I don't. I also read that my netgear router does have "repeat mode" but still I know what i am doing, and most likely you are still right. And just reading dd-wrt instructions confuses me, I have downloaded the correct file already but just scared to to flash it. Am right to be scared? And hardwired is out, no choice. Thanks again my friend.
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a b F Wireless
July 30, 2012 4:10:33 PM

Most of the time the repeater used by the stock firmware uses a technology called WDS (Wireless Distribution System). I don't want to confuse you with too much technical detail, so I’ll try to cut to the chase.

WDS is NOT a wifi standard (unlike wireless B/G/N, which are), so that makes incompatibilities common w/ other devices that also claim WDS support (I'm not even sure the D-Link does, I'd need to check). In short, the repeater of the Netgear assumes the other device is also a Netgear. But once the devices are from different manufacturers, the likelihood of the repeater (WDS) working is very slim.

So that leaves you with either the wired option (which you reject), or changing out the D-Link firmware to something that *can* support wireless repeating, and NOT dependent on WDS either, just standard wifi protocols (B/G/N).

Now whether you want to go down that road is entirely up to you. Yes, the instructions are a bit arcane, perhaps even scary, but you’re essentially hacking the router, and that’s just part of the deal. There’s always the chance (if remote) you’ll brick the router. OTOH, the DIR-615 is only worth about $15-20, and as is, isn’t all that impressive anyway. Something like dd-wrt actually INCREASES its value. But again, only you can decide what to do. I can only provide you the information regarding your options.

Think of it this way. How much will it cost you to purchase a compatible wireless repeater should you NOT use the D-Link w/ dd-wrt? Probably more, perhaps $30-40. So what’s the better gamble?
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July 30, 2012 6:29:24 PM

I see your point, and you are right about the price of the router, no big lost. I do use the netgear as my network router now and have for while. So if I loose the dlink so be it. I believe I would earn some experience and some knowledge, plus I enjoy trying new things like this. Any pointers before I begin would be helpful. I have two PC's in my office, both on the network wired together, so I can take one off the network to work on the dlink with. And once I get things right move the dlink to where I want. For a period
of time I will two different routers running but only one will have internet at a time switching my modem back a forth,any problem there?
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a b F Wireless
July 30, 2012 7:54:25 PM

Sorry, you lost me after "I have two PC's in my office...".

As for pointers,

1. Only use a wired connection for firmware updates, NEVER wireless.
2. For the truly paranoid, I suppose a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), if one is handy, doesn't hurt either.
3. If and when it recommends a 30-30-30 reset, do so. More ppl end up w/ weird problems because they get lazy and decide to skip this step than you can imagine.
4. Personally, although those instructions don’t require/mention it, I always reset any router I’m about to update w/ dd-wrt firmware back to factory defaults on the stock firmware. I just like the idea of having a KNOWN, GOOD state before embarking on the journey.
5. Triple check the firmware you’re about to install is the correct one for your make, model, and version/release! Install the wrong one, esp. if the versions are incompatible, and it could be all over. Of course, if there’s only one version to be concerned with, it’s hard to screw up this step. :) 
6. When it says use a hex editor, I hope you know the difference from a text editor. You want the file saved as binary, with only your changes. If you make the mistake of using a text editor, it will add changes (e.g., CR/LF), corrupt the binary file, and well…, you can probably guess the outcome.

As these firmware updates go, this is actually pretty safe. Many require more risky procedures that don’t use the stock firmware’s upgrade interface. The only way you can really screw it up is by improperly updating that binary file.
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July 30, 2012 9:08:33 PM

Thanks again eibgrad I am going to do it. Will let know how it works. Also will post again if I have a question.
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July 31, 2012 10:46:22 AM

Sorry back again! Ok the file to update my router is "dir615e3-factory-to-ddwrt-firmware", and I got a free Hex editor called "HxD Hex Editor", and the magic hardware code is "AP99-AR7240-RT-091105-01",. Now I have no idea how to edit, I sure it is not a simple name change in that case a text editor would do the trick. Please a little more help if you don't mine.
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a b F Wireless
July 31, 2012 3:24:29 PM

It's simple. You can literally cut and paste it. Just copy the string, select the string on the right hand side, and paste it. Now save the file.

In fact, I did it myself. The only change is the very last byte (it changes from a 0 (0x30) to a 1 (0x31)). You could literally change that one byte and you're done. Once you save it, it will save a backup first. Then load both and compare them side by side. The file lengths should be exactly the same, with only the very last byte changed.
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July 31, 2012 5:40:43 PM

Best answer selected by frogman.
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July 31, 2012 5:41:44 PM

Thanks again my friend
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August 1, 2012 7:56:10 PM

eibgrad thanks once more the flashing went off with a hitch! I am going to start a new post about setting up my router.
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