Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater

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My older sister, in another state, has a problem with Wi-Fi reception,
and she has a spare Linksys WRT54G broadband router which I'd like to  
talk her through setting up over the phone as a Wi-Fi repeater.

I can find generic instructions, such as:
http://kb.linksys.com/Linksys/ukp.aspx?pid=80&vw=1&articleid=4200
http://lifehacker.com/5563196/turn-your-old-router-into-a-range-boosting-wi-fi-repeater
http://www.itworld.com/article/2693382/consumerization/turn-an-old-router-into-a-wireless-bridge-or-repeater-and-boost-your-home-network.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_6848173_set-linksys-router-wireless-repeater.html

But, before I start walking her through the process (she's not technical),  
may I ask you for advice?


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On 12/6/2014 7:07 PM, Howard Schornstein wrote:
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I too have relatives living in different states that I assist from time  
to time.  I have found that talking them through an installation of Team  
Viewer usually aids me greatly in assisting them.  Nice being able to  
watch what they do or even taking control if need be and doing things  
from my end.

As for your situation, if your sisters current router is using the  
192.168.1.1 as it's own you may not be able to use the Team Viewer  
method to work on this problem.  Linksys routers by default usually want  
to use this and the two would fight you.

If the existing network is not using 192.168.1.xxx for her network then  
you should be able to take control of her PC and through it the second  
router once she plugs it into her existing network.  Just default it to  
factory using the button and it will be back to 192.168.1.1 and waiting  
for you.

Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sat, 06 Dec 2014 20:58:05 -0600, GlowingBlueMist wrote:

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I just found out that the Linksys WRT54Gv2 can NOT be set up as a wireless  
repeater without flashing the software with DD-WRT or equivalent, so I was  
apparently doomed to failure from the start.  

I guess I can flash the router with DD-WRT over TeamViewer, but she's on  
iPads and I'm on Linux so that might be difficult considering that I have
never installed DD-WRT before on any router, not even my own.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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I've never had a good experience with repeating the signal. I got it
work a few times but something always go wrong. The last thing I did
which is by far the best solution I've had in my flat thus far are these
TP-LINK devices which use your electric outlet as a bridge.  

*IF* you have two outlets on the same circuit, but a good distance from
each other, you can plug one of these devices into each outlet. These
boxes each have an Ethernet jack. So I have in the front of my flat and
one all the way in the back, which WiFi extenders have always failed to
reach. Now I have A switch on the other side.  

So a switch in room A (front) and a switch in room b (back). The TP-LINK
connects these two together. And then I have Cisco wireless access
points on both connected through the wired switches and they work
together as a pool with a single SSD. Now I get wireless access across
the flat and I have faster wired ports via the switch on both ends.  

The TP-Link gets broadband speeds, not LAN speeds. I might just go ahead
and wire the flat. But this might be a good solution for someone who
just wants a simple out of the box experience.  

--  
Marek Novotny
A member of the Linux Foundation
http://www.linuxfoundation.org
git with the program

Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:38:45 -0600, Marek Novotny wrote:

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For my Linksys WRT-54Gv2 router (same as my sister since I bought
both of them at the same time), I was successful setting it up
as a *wired* repeater (which does not require reflashing).

I used the instructions that were posted on this forum which
I found by searching in Google.  

Here is a repeat of those instructions, but bear in mind that this
requires running a wire from the current router to the old Linksys  
WRT54Gv2 router, which my sister isn't going to do on her own.
-----------------
HOME WIRING:
- Connect the primary home broadband router numbered port to the wall plate
- From the primary wall plate, run a cat5 cable to the secondary wall plate
- The wiring order was as follows for both ends of all cables:
  (1) solid brown, (2) striped brown, (3) solid green, (4) striped blue,
  (5) solid blue, (6) striped green, (7) solid orange, (8) striped orange
- From the basement wall plate, connect to a numbered port on the spare WRT54Gv2

ROUTER RESET:
- The spare Linksys WRT54Gv2 firmware was at Firmware Version v1.02.8
- Disconnect all connections on the spare Linksys WRT54Gv2 router
- Tape shut the Internet WAN port of the spare WRT54Gv2 router
- Connect the power supply to the spare Linksys WRT54Gv2 router
- Hold the reset button for 30 seconds (keep holding the reset button)
- Remove the power for 30 seconds (keep holding the reset button)
- Power the router back on for 30 seconds (keep holding the reset button)
- Finally, let go of the reset button when the third 30 seconds are up
NOTE: This is often termed the 30:30:30 factory-reset procedure.

ROUTER SETUP:
- Turn off the wireless NIC on the laptop (usually by a hardware switch)
- Connect an Ethernet cat5 cable to the laptop eth0 port
- Connect that cat5 cable to a numbered port on the WRT54Gv2 router
- Set the laptop eth0 IP address to 192.168.1.X (anything higher than 1.1)
  (e.g., on Ubuntu, I used: $ sudo ifconfig eth0 92.168.1.2)
- Make a note of the MAC address of the laptop wlan0 network interface card
  (e.g., $ sudo ifconfig wlan0 | grep HWaddr) ==> 00:A0:00:9B:88:C1
- Log into the WRT54Gv2 using http://192.168.1.1 (blank/admin)
  Make a note of the MAC address of the spare WRT54Gv2 router LAN ports
  (the sticker on the bottom of the spare WRT54Gv2 says 00:16:B6:88:A0:8A)
  (the spare WRT54Gv2 Setup->MAC Address Clone reports 00:16:B6:88:A0:8B)
- Setup->Basic Setup->Internet Connection Type->Automatic Configuration - DHCP
- Setup->Basic Setup->Network Setup->Router IP->Local IP Address=192.168.1.200
  (where 200 is anything unused on the primary router's network, and also
   outside the primary router DHCP range of 192.168.1.100 to 192.168.1.150)
- Setup->Basic Setup->Network Setup->Router IP->Subnet Mask=255.255.255.0
- Setup->Basic Setup->Network Setup->DHCP Server=(o)disable
  (This makes the primary router the only DHCP server, for all connections)
- Wireless->Basic Wireless Settings->(set up the same as the primary router)
  (i.e., SSID = whatever, Security = WPA2-PSK [AES] with the same passphrase)
  (If the primary router is on ch1, then put the secondary on ch6 or ch11)
- Change the spare WRT54Gv2 default administrator name & password as needed.
  Administration->Router Password->Password=snafu (repeat)
  Note: There is no way to set a WRT54Gv2 username (i.e., use a blank username)
- Disconnect the wires, and now the spare WRT54Gv2 is a wired access point

TESTING AP:
- Turn on the wireless switch for the WiFi NIC on your laptop
- Select the spare router SSID (which is the same as the primary router SSID)
- No need to enter the passphrase if this is the same SSID as the primary router
- Connect to the Internet, as desired!
NOTE: The SSID & security is the same on both routers; so, the only difference
is the signal srength and the channel. Your equipment should roam seamlessly.

DOUBLECHECK SETUP:
- While wirelessly connected to the spare Linksys WRT54Gv2 router ...
- Using any web browser on the laptop, log into http://192.168.1.200
- Enter the previously set blank username and "snafu" administrator password
- Check to ensure you're actually connected to the spare router SSID AP
$ nm-tool
  Reports the primary access point SSID strength of 58 (84:1B:5E:AF:89:A4)
  Reports the secondary access point SSID strength of 100 (00:16:B6:88:A0:8F)
  Reports that I am connected to the (stronger) secondary access point SSID
  Note that nm-tool will place an asterisk next to the SSID you're connected to.
  Note the two duplicate SSIDs will have different frequencies listed.
  Note the two duplicate SSIDs will have different MAC addresses listed.
  Note the two duplicate SSIDs will have different signal strengths listed.
-----------------


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:38:45 -0600, Marek Novotny wrote:

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This is an interesting suggestion, if I understand it correctly.

Are you saying that the signal goes over the 120V (USA) electrical
wires?

Googling for "TP-LINK", I see they have a "powerline" product line:
http://www.tp-link.us/products/?categoryid=206&ref=pline

Are you suggesting sending the signals across the power lines?



Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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Yeah, that's the device. You'll get good broadband speeds out of it. Not
the full speed of your LAN and setup is very simple. If the devices
detect each other on the same circuit they'll just go green. That's it.
Plug one end into your existing LAN and the end is merely an extension
of your existing LAN now. Now just switch your LynkSys to Wireless
Access point mode so it merely provides WiFi to the existing LAN. Plug
that WiFi AP into the other end and you've go extended wireless backed
up by the wired network. Much more robust.  


--  
Marek Novotny
A member of the Linux Foundation
http://www.linuxfoundation.org
git with the program

Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On 14-12-06 07:24 PM, Howard Schornstein wrote:
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Instead of as a repeater, you could set up the WRT54G as an access  
point, if she's willing to run one long cat5/6 cable from your main  
router to the WRT54G.

<http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/1014-how-to-convert-a-wireless-router-into-an-access-point


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sat, 06 Dec 2014 21:42:30 -0800, stepore wrote:

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These are the options, as I see it:
1. Replace the home broadband router with a more powerful one
2. Move the home broadband router to a better location
3. Set up the spare WRT54Gv5 router as a wired access point
4. Set up some other sort of wired access point (e.g., TP-LINK)
5. Flash the WRT54Gv5 with DD-WRT & set it up as a wireless repeater

All 5 I can do if it were me at my house, but, all 5 have
complexity issues for the non technical.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sun, 07 Dec 2014 04:00:52 -0600, Howard Schornstein

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This may help for that:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Subnets_with_Static_Routes

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FWIW, I don't recommend these Ethernet-over-power devices.  I can't
remember details now, but I'm fairly sure that here in the crowded UK,
they've been known to cause interference in neighbouring properties.

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I've done this with a WRT320N to turn it into a client-bridge to the
house's principal router.  Here are some useful links:

http://www.dd-wrt.COM/site/support/router-database
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Client_Bridged

Wrt to the latter wiki, note that, once re-flashing and configuration
are complete, to get the result to work you will probably have to
reboot TWICE.  Also that any time subsequently the principal house
router goes down or is rebooted, probably also you will have to reboot
the secondary client-bridged router once the principal one is back up,
in order to reestablish the connection.

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Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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Clearly 1 and 2 she has already practised when she set up her current
system. They are probably the easiest and should be tried first.  
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Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On 14-12-07 02:00 AM, Howard Schornstein wrote:
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Well, wired back to your main router, but it acts as a wireless AP.
Not all that difficult to set up. Have her plug it in to one of her PCs,  
then you teamviewer into her PC to set it up via the admin page. Once  
it's set up, she can put it where she wants and it'll be ready good to go.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:57:56 -0800, stepore wrote:

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The cable connection and telephone connection (mainly for the fax)  
come in downstairs in her house, so, the wire would have to run up
the steps, which would be dangerous (she's frail).

Otherwise, I would have asked her to wire it long ago.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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well, no it could go out the window and up the outside of the house  
or up the inside of a closet and through the ceiling...  OTOH if the
floor is wodden it probably passes wifi signals well enough, but if  
it's steel backed concrete no so much.



--  
umop apisdn


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
Jasen Betts wrote, on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:27:44 +0000:

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Too bad I just gave away my nanobridge because I could have
used the horn to transmit the signals from the router at 1Watt.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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I bought 3units on eBay already set up with DD-WRT pretty cheap. Look for
older models. I had a repeater set up for a good while.

Greg

Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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best solution is to go there, or have her send you the hardware.



--  
umop apisdn


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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IIRC the WRT54G is the one with not enough RAM to run linux,  so don't
try to install Open WRT on it. (WRT54GL is the model with enough ram)

--  
umop apisdn


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
On Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:13:51 +0000, Jasen Betts wrote:

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I had written the version wrong. It's the one with too little ram.


Re: Suggestions for turning a spare Linksys WRT54G into a Wi-Fi repeater
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There are several of the WRT54G versions that are "neutered"
with less RAM and flash, but a micro build of DD-WRT can  
still be installed on many of them.

Check for your version under Linksys half way down this page:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices

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