Using the Linksys WRT54G as a client ?


I would like to know if the above device can used as wifi client to connect to a wireless network ? My understanding is that it is designed to wirelessly distribute adsl or cable internet. Can the opposite be true: using the wifi module to connect to the wifi network and the router / switch to connect lan computers ?

Thanks in advance for your reply.


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Yes, client mode is supported with alternative firmware. See:

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the feature list is: "Client mode (support multiple attached devices)" I haven't actually tried it yet, but methinks it's worth a try.

Unfortunately, I don't understand your question. Instead of trying to describe how you plan to impliment something, could you describe what you're trying to accomplish? The WRT54G is very versatile, but it isn't the answer for all problems.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

If your ISP has a wireless AP that you can access, then yes a WRT54G in client mode (using third party firmwire) can access the AP and will bridge that link to the 4 LAN ethernet ports, which can be connected to various hosts on your LAN.

To increase the number of LAN ports, the WLAN port could also be reconfigured to make a total of 5 LAN ports available, or one of the 4 ports can be connected to another multiport switch.

Or the WLAN port can be configured separately (as opposed to the

4 LAN ports, which are not routed) and traffic routed to it through the firewall module in the WRT54G. Such routing can be used to keep two distinct LAN's separated.

BUT, note that as it is configured (and reconfiguration of this part is not trivial) you cannot use the firewall between the wireless and the LAN ports, only between the WLAN port and the wireless + LAN ports as a group.

For what you have described, it would be best if you did reconfigure the bridge in the WRT54G. Learning how would be lots of "fun". But what you'd actually want is to have all 5 ethernet ports bridged together, and the wireless separated from them by the firewall. That would isolate your LAN from the Internet (wireless ISP) with the significant filtering capability of a Linux firewall.

Here it is graphically. The configuration by default is intended to have the Internet connected to the WLAN connection, but your use would look like this, with up to 4 host computers connected to the LAN ports, and a 5th connected to the WLAN port. Only host 5 is protected by the firewall.

+--------+ | | | |==> LAN1 (host 1) | | +----------+ | |==> LAN2 (host 2) | WRT54G | | WRT54G | (host 5) LAN3 (host 3) | FIREWALL | | | +----------+ | |==> LAN4 (host 4) | | | |==> WIRELESS (ISP) | | +--------+

Probably most useful is something like this. All 5 hosts are protected by the firewall. This is a possible configuration, but cannot be done with the web interface provided (DD-WRT beta firmware might in fact be able to do this from the web interface, I'm not sure).

+--------+ | | | |==> LAN1 (host 1) | | +----------+ | |==> LAN2 (host 2) | WRT54G | | WRT54G | (ISP) WIRELESS LAN3 (host 3) | FIREWALL | | | +----------+ | |==> LAN4 (host 4) | | | |==> WLAN (host 5) | | +--------+

If you are not into doing things like 3rd party firmware and getting very deep into the machinations of reconfiguring (and perhaps recompiling) the whole works, it might be a great deal simpler to purchase a little ethernet switch (I've got both 5 port and 8 port units from D-Link that were inexpensive and work very well) and set up something like this one. It can be easily be done with the web interface, using any of the various firmware packages that allow client mode operation,

d-Link Swtch Linksys WRT54G Router ------------- --------------------------------------------- / \\/ \\ +--------+ | | | |==> LAN1 (unused) +-------+ | | LAN2 (unused) I've got another question for you: while reading the user manual for the

In regular client mode you don't need the MAC address unless the AP is filtering on MAC addresses. Hence, an open AP would not have that set and it would not be needed, but a closed AP might very well require it.

On the other hand, if WDS repeater mode is used, it does need the MAC address.

Reply to
Floyd L. Davidson

Correct. You have to specify the target access point. I think this is generally true of all ethernet wireless client bridges, such as DWL-900AP+, WAP11, WAP54G, etc, that I've played with. I haven't tried Sveasoft Alchemy as a client yet, so I don't know how it performs.

Most people don't use ethernet wireless client bridges for traveling or roaming. There's a "site survey" tool in the web based configurations for these devices. It will list the MAC address and SSID of the nearby access points. You manually select the correct access point, hit save, and you're done. Even access points with a blank SSID show up on most ethernet wireless client bridge radios.

It's considerably less convenient than the software based client utilities found in most portable wireless clients. It also effectively prevents roaming. However, it does give you absolute control of exactly which access point to connect. That's something that appears as a frequent complain with the software clients. If the SSID is identical, there's usually no way to select the access point by MAC address.

Another item that should be a concern is the number of computahs you can hide behind an ethernet wireless client bridge. Many of these are limited to exactly one MAC address per ethernet wireless client bridge. I know the DWL-900AP+, and WAP11 are thus limited. I also know the WET11 and some "game adapters" can handle more than one MAC address. I should make a list of these as this type of information is almost impossible to obtain from the manufactories. (Yet another project). Anyway, the WRT54G with Alchemy claims to handle more than one computah. Let me know if/how it works.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Hi Jeff,

Well I just wanted to use the wifi part of the WRT54G to connect to my isp and use the router/switch part to connect my individual computers. Otherwise I have to buy a wifi client (AP / bridge etc) and a router. If this one device could replace two devices it would be economical.

I've got another question for you: while reading the user manual for the Linksys WAP54G and D-link DWL-2100AP I discovered that for using these devices in client mode it is necessary to mention the MAC address of the remote AP. Does this mean that when you don't know the mac address you can't connect to the remote AP ? If yes, then how do people do to connect to hotspots when travelling ?


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