Wireless extender Linksys WRE54G unexpectedly switches network

You might do better using a better antenna on your wireless device. In my never humble opinion, repeaters, range extenders, and range expanders, are evil. Details on request.

Is this a WRE54G v1 or v2? There are some differences. V1 with 1.04.16 will only do WEP which is rather insecure. V2 with 2.01.10 will do both WEP and WPA-PSK (TKIP or AES) which is much better security.

That can only happen if you have a non-unique SSID. Is your neighbor using the default SSID of "Linksys"? If so, kindly convince your neighbor to change it to something unique. My guess(tm) is that the change in networks is caused by another WLAN with the same SSID.

Another way to do it wrong is to use an SSID of "ANY". On some repeaters, this will repeat any SSID that it hears.

There are three items that will prevent unauthorized use in 1.04.16 firmware:

  1. The SSID.
  2. The WEP Key.
  3. The MAC address of the access point. My guess(tm) is that your neighbor has setup their wireless router with all defaults and you have compounded the error by not adding the MAC address.

See above.

Actually, it will if your neighbor is running encryption. Reading between the lines, I deduce that he's not running encryption. I'll spare you my standard rant about running a wide open, unsecured, publicly accessible, wireless access point.

With no encryption, that actually might have been a possiblity.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
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I am trying to use a Linksys WRE54G wireless repeater because the network I am using only reaches part of my appartment (I am sharing my neighbor's access). It works fine after configuring the repeater (to do this I need to connect it to my Mac using Ethernet and then set the channel number and SSID) for the wanted network.

The problem is that sometimes the repeater decides to change network... Most probably it hooks to a network that is stronger at this moment. Now, there is no setting at all on the WRE54G to allow it to change network on its own, or to prevent it from doing so. There are settings for selecting the network (SSID and channel), then I click on "Save Settings" and the device reboots. So I guess that the network choice is frozen. BTW, when cycling power (by disconnecting the mains plug), the channel and SSID remain correctly set.

So how do I lock the WRE54G on the wanted channel and/or SSID ???

The Linksys support failed to solve that issue. They only advised to encrypt the network, which I doubt would solve the issue. Of course I changed the default password, so I am sure nobody is reconfiguring the repeater for his own use.

Reply to
C-A Berseth

There's a B2000 and a B2000 v2. Which do you have? I'll assume the later V2 model which adds WPA and an SPI firewall.

Looking at the data sheet at: : ftp://ftp.us.zyxel.com/ZyAIR_B-2000_v.2/document/ZyAIR_B-2000_v.2_V.1_Datasheet.pdf I find the tx and rx numbers to be rather typical for 802.11b wireless.

That would be the V2 hardware.

You can't see 802.11 networks that do not broadcast their SSID. In addition, a 802.11b only router will not see an 802.11g only network. Don't assume that the channel is empty.

Thanks for the details.

I checked the manual at: : ftp://ftp.us.zyxel.com/ZyAIR_B-2000_v.2/document/ZyAIR_B-2000_v.2_3.50_UsersGuide.pdf (12MBytes, 420 pages, yech)....and the ZyAir B2000 does NOT have a feature where it selects the "best" channel. How are you determining that the B-2000 changes channel? Status page? As far as I can tell, the channel is fixed in the B-2000 settings and should not change. It does have a feature called "scan" where it searches for the best channel, but it appears that it does this only if instructed to do so during the initial setup. If some new feature has been added where the B-2000 selects the "best" channel, turn it off. The WRE54G has no way to follow any channel changes.

There seems to be some channel hopping involved in their roaming feature. Try turning off roaming if you have it enabled. Whatever the setup, the B-2000 should *NOT* be changing channels or you'll lose contact with the WRE54G which cannot follow.

Support stuff (nothing really relevant).

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Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Hi Jeff, Thanks for your detailed comments. My update :

- Sure enough, a better antenna would help by solving the basic problem... the access point is a Zyxel B-2000 and I suspect it is not very powerful. Also, it is located at the far end of my neighbour's apartment. But I doubt that a better antenna would cover all of my apartment. BTW, I have admin right to the access point as well.

- There is currently no encryption at all. We have a rather small neighborhod, but your statement about safety is of course pertinent.

- I have a WRE54G V2.01.10

- The SSID is "Wireless" and is unique at our place. It is also alone on its channel (1), the other networks are on channels 6 and 11. BTW, I think that every time my repeater changed channel, it went to #6. Is it possible that the Zyxel B-2000 sometimes switches channel (goes back to the default #6) ?

- I am not sure that I can specify the access point's MAC address to the WRE54G, I will check. Claude-Albert

Reply to
C-A Berseth

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