WRT54G (v4) Client mode

I asked a question along these lines a few months back and was instructed how to (with DD-WRT firmware installed) do a wireless survey and then "join" another WAP's network.

I was also warned (by whom I forgot) that doing this would "screw up" my WRT54G so I never did it.

What I want to do is mount my WRT54G on a tall tower in a weatherproof enclosure. I would then (preferably wirelessly) connect with the router and use it as a client mode repeater to connect with a nearby free AP.

Can this be done?

Reply to
Ken Bessler
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"Ken Bessler" hath wroth:

Probably me. We're both apparently too lazy to Google for my original posting so I'll explain it again.

If your WRT54G running DD-WRT is set to the access point mode, then hitting "join" in the site survey page will cause it to:

  1. Switch to the client mode.
  2. Change a few settings for no obvious reason. I forgot exactly which ones but I think one was to disable the DHCP server.
  3. Automagically save the settings. (this may have changed in later releases of the firmware).

If you want to go back to access point mode after doing this, you're stuck with finding all the things that changed, putting eveything back, and saving the results.

The way around this is to first save your current working configuration to a file. Do the join thing or whatever. When you're done, restore the settings from the file. In other words, make a backup first.

There's no such thing as a "client mode repeater". It's either:

  1. access point
  2. client mode
  3. repeater

What you're describing is a repeater. It should work as described including hitting the join button. As long as you can get to the IP address of the repeater for configuration, you should be fine.

Yes. Make sure you have the final version of V23 SP1 installed. Too many bugs in earlier versions.

Incidentally, if you can run power up your tall tower, then you can run CAT5 cable for PoE (power over ethernet) to the WRT54G. The WRT54G has a wide range switching regulator that will run on anything from about 4VDC to perhaps 18VDC. Just take the spare 4 wires in the CAT5 cable, connect one end to the power plug on the WRT54G, and the other end to the 12v 1A wall wart. There will be some cable resistance losses, but it will still work just fine. Then, you can forget about using it as a repeater (with all it's complications) and just plug your computer into the CAT5 connections. The WRT54G client mode can handle multiple computers, so you don't need a router.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Great info here.

- So when in Client mode, DHCP is disabled.

- If another WRT54G is placed right behind the client and wired in, can the second WRT54G then act as the Wireless AP / DHCP server? I'm assuming yes, but please confirm.

Reply to

"TH" hath wroth:

I'm not sure, but that's what I recall. I don't want to mess with my WRT54G at this time to verify it. However, if it doesn't disable the DHCP server, you should do it yourself. It's a bad idea to have two DHCP servers running. (One at the ISP and one in your client radio or repeater).

Yep. However, watch the terminology please. A wireless access point does not have a router to do NAT. Therefore, that will just act as a repeater for the wireless client. Access points normally don't have DHCP servers.

What I think you meant to ask is whether a 2nd WRT54G can act as a wireless router with DHCP server (and NAT). Yes, that will also work.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

DAYUM! Isn't this what I've been pulling my hair out over???

I know I'm clueless - it's been proven many times in many venues.

But I thought I heard him say he wanted to put something on a pole, power it, see it with wifi, and use it to get to any AP he could see - or in this case, a free AP, but I presume that any free one would do.

That's what I've burned an awful lot of electronic trees printing into hyperspace trying to succeed in doing, all to no avail (at least yet). That I could also provide a hard wire feed, if I needed it, to something else (see below) would be a bonus, of course.

However, I'm not sure what you're saying. With the immediately above, can I still do this wirelessly, and have an ethernet pigtail for other devices (a router, a VoIP box, e.g.), or are you saying I have to connect to it via ethernet in order to make it work (at al)?

I've been confused for a long time, but now I'm more confused...




Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig KI4MPC

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"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in boats-or *with* boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

Reply to
Skip - Working on the boat

I think the point is if you want to have more than one computer *on the boat* using the wireless link you'd do well to consider a 'dual device' setup.

One with antennae aimed toward picking up the signal from shore. To this you'd connect *another* device with wired ethernet. It's this second device that would provide the wireless signals to the other devices on the the boat. This is what I'm in the process of doing for our boat.

I'm hoping to let my wife fire up the laptop and use the boat's SSID, not have to hunt up one from shore. Realizing, of course, that a visit to the web configuration page for the shore-connecting device might be required to join up with the shore SSID. But the laptops on the boat won't have to have any part of their configuration changed. I fully expect, at some point, to have an on-boat computer doing the babysitting of the shore link. Since the boat has GPS it should be within the realm of possibilities to have it automagically tracking what SSIDs are 'appropriate' for use based on physical locations. As in, remember what access points I've told it to use, at which locations, and attempt to reconnect without intervention.

What I've done, thus far, is use a pair of WRT54G (both version 2 devices) and loaded the latest DD-WRT (2.3sp1?) onto them. The one making the shore connection is running in Client mode. The one providing Wifi to the boat devices is running as an access point. The on-boat device is connected one of the four switch ports on the shore-link device. There's nothing connected into either device's WAN port.

So far it seems to be working, at least within the limits of getting the shore-link established trying various different antennae.

Note the careful avoidance of terms like router, gateway and the like. These can be somewhat loaded terms when trying to figure out this sort of stuff. While the various terms DO end up being appropriate for the tasks being performed, it can be confusing if they're used in the wrong contexts. As in, yes, the on-boat device is a "router", in the strictest hardware sense as it's default linksys firmware provides. The default factory mode is as a "gateway", but that term also applies at the PC-level as past of the IP configuration. But I'm using it for neither of those purposes, instead as a Access Point. Same deal goes for the shore-link device being used as a 'Client'. Thus it can get confusing for someone new to the stuff to get their head around it all.

If you try to do it with just a single device, with a single radio (two antenna don't mean two radios) then you're really never going to see effective performance. That sort of 'repeater' mode basically wastes half the bandwidth. That and trying to get WDS working is a pain in the ass. Yes, it "ought" to be able to work, but in practice it just doesn't (yet?).

Now, combine all the above with trying to use other devices besides the WRT54g and, well, yeah it's going to be a challenge. It's all getting 'less worse' but it's still a far cry from being easy.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

Bill sent me this directly; I hadn't realized he'd sent it here as well....

Hi, Bill, and thanks for the note.

Comments/followup inline:

As you probably have seen from John Navas' and my conversations, that's what I started out with. The two devices were the highly touted (note that I

never have seen a user report - just touts) Senao 2611CB3 Deluxe units. The ones I was sent were the ones with no housings - shown as "OD", mostly,

apparently, for use in a NEMA enclosure.

However, I can't get either of the units to work as a wired bridge, and

- at least based on last night's efforts - they also don't want to do much else, either. The one which finally saw all the available clients eventually

stopped responding to my attempts to interrogate it. While I didn't do a power down/restore (which I could do, and in fact, since I'm a sailboat and won't have them up all the time due to load issues [though in a windy and sunny location, I could leave them up during the day, as I have ample solar and wind generation]), I can say for sure that until I have something successfully breadboarded a considerable amount of time, I'm not going to put it on top of the mast, where access will be only catastrophic, not a "push the button to reboot"!

Then, to add insult to injury, when I try to connect the two together, IP conflicts abound. It doesn't matter if they're 6' apart (the supplied cable) or 5" (my made-up crossover pigtail), it does the same thing. It also doesn't matter if there's a router in between, as one correspondent went to some considerable detail to suggest would cure the problem. That's so whether I use a really offbeat IP and subnet set (such as and which can tell my NIC to use and interrogate and set them up in whatever fashion I want. There's no way all the crazy IP sets I used can all be causing conflicts with my laptop(s - regardless of which I try it in). Yet the vendor is trying to tell me - and Discovercard! - I have to engage a MSCertified NAnalyst to resolve the IP conflicts in my machine...

Yah, I'd hoped to provide all the cruisers in the harbor with another AP in effect, but this time local to the top of my mast. I was going to have the stick up top, and the duck below, the NEMA. Vendor assured me that would work just fine. Of course, I have since come to regard anything from him as both uninformed and dangerous. Many hours on the phone (in the first few weeks - he's since refused to talk to me) doing exactly what he said to do would not cure the problem(s) - but he refuses to take it back.

Cool idea. My cruisng grounds are unlikely to be as repetitive - we'll

either be in one place for a long time, or not back in the short term (like perhaps more than a year, in which case there likely will be new ones, and better ones, anyway). However, I'm not enthusiastic about causing another set of wiring and other challenges as would be required with a full-time computer aboard, and as above, so - while I'd far rather use the equivalent of the WZC, manually entering the SSID is manageable, so long as I can get to the bridge to configure it.

So far, if I have the bridge in dhcp, it's invisible for configuration, and nothing will change it other than a hard reboot; power cycling doesn't change it, we have to go back to factory default to get it out of dhcp.

That clearly won't work up the mast. Not up the mast makes for no signal if I were to try to use coax...

Cool. However, finding the early versions, I gather, will be very challenging, and from what I read, the current versions don't perform at all like what we need them to do. I *would* like more power, on the premise that reaching the shore would need it (the higher gain antenna supposedly takes care of the hearing part).

Heh. I don't know if I'm being confused, or merely stymied by inop gear...

I don't mind two pieces of gear - though I would, certainly, prefer to do it all in one box. However, if I have to run power up the mast and stick the boat unit (vs the shore unit) someplace belowdecks, so long as I make them both happen off the same switch, it's of little consequence. I've got an instrument panel I've built to hide all the wires for everything at the nav; my 802 brain is behind the fixed part, and I could easily put the extra unit under the nav shelf behind my seat or in that part of the panel which drops down but currently is unoccupied (about half the space, leaving room for more instruments later).

So, I can live with that. Less (very little! - the circuit board and duck of the second unit doesn't weigh much!) weight aloft would be better, along with resolving any RFI issues of the two of them being proximate, too. The easiest way for me to reduce weight aloft would be to not use the cast aluminum case he sent, instead some UV impervious plastic with a real seal rather than the pitiful gasket under the flat plate cover of the aluminum one.

Meaning, the WRT54G is the only device which will work? I certainly see an awful lot of discussion about those units, so there's no question there's an awful lot of them out there...

Thanks for your input, and any further ideas you may have about solving my particular challenges. My time is running out, and getting the boat floated and seatrialed is higher on the list than this, but if I think it can work, I need to do it while I have the electrical and mast stuff opened up (I have to replace a fair amount of gear, and install other new stuff, up the mast once Lydia gets here at the end of July).



Morgan 461 #2 SV Flying Pig KI4MPC

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The Society for the Preservation of Tithesis commends your ebriated and scrutible use of delible and defatigable, which are gainly, sipid and couth. We are gruntled and consolate that you have the ertia and eptitude to choose such putably pensible tithesis, which we parage.

Reply to
Skip - Working on the boat


You cannot just choose random IP subnets. There are specific ranges you should be using. The subnet is a 'live' one. Use 'whois' and you'll see it's assigned to HP.

In Class C it's 192.168.x.x with a mask. In Class B it's

172.16.x.x with a netmask. Class A is 10.x.x.x with a mask.

Some routing devices act to specifically handle these subnets differently. Mainly to avoid bothering to publish them across WAN links and such.

Do not just choose something at random as there may be other things 'at work' in how the routers handle things. It's VERY BAD IDEA to just go inventing your own IP ranges. DO NOT DO IT.

You may not want to have them on the same switch. When things like DHCP are involved you generally want to make sure the issuing devices are up and running BEFORE you bring up the others. Putting them all on the same electrical switch might be a problem.

Only device? No, but it, along with dd-wrt firmware, is one that's known to be reliably hackable.

Honestly Skip from all the thread posts it really sounds like you're in over your head. There just seems like you've been flailing around with too many configuration options without really pinning down what does or doesn't work. I could be wrong but I've been doing this a LONG time and have seen people get themselves confused before...

Backtrack and get some reliable points of reference in what can or can't be configured.

Up the mast you'll want a device configured to act as a 'client' of a shore WiFi SSID. Down in the boat you'll want a device wired by ethernet to the mast device, configured as an access point. The mast device should be assigning DHCP, the in-boat device should not. The in-boat device should be on a static IP address, one within the same range as the up-mast device. Something like, for example, is "less likely" to conflict with whatever IP ranges they might be using on the shore. You could also use if you wanted to be even less likely to overlap with a shore subnet range. Note I'm using '202' but any number in the 1-254 range could be used. The in-boat device should be setup on it's own WiFi RF channel, generally different than the one up the mast. Nothing should be acting as a "bridge".

Get these two things working. If the devices can't be configured to perform these roles then you need to replace them with ones that can. Start simple, build from there. Don't try to do everything at once.

What you'll end up with here is a 'double NAT' setup. You'll be publishing DHCP addresses from the on-mast device through the in-boat access point, translating them to the shore link, which will also be translating them again out to their ISP. This may make it difficult, if not impossible, for services beyond HTTP and mail to work. Stuff like Skype, instant messaging or other multimedia services may not take kindly to being double-NAT'd. You may have to forgo using those services. There may be more configuration choices that could be used to get them working. But let's focus on getting ANYTHING working FIRST, before getting into the more complex routing stuff.

Now, if you're insulted by the tone I'm taking here, don't be. The point isn't to make you look or feel bad. The point is to cut through the confusion and get the eff'ing crap working.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

Ah, well. In the early days of my attempting to make this work with the vendor, internetzones.net, he had me doing all the flaky addresses in an attempt to avoid the IP conflicts. I'd a whole lot rather use the 192 sets...

Point taken. I dont' think I'll need to - as seen here and elsewhere, I can't even get them to work individually, in a hardwired configuration. Doing everything exactly plain-jane, factory default, I can interrogate (for a while; not reliably, consistently, for an extended period of time, such as a couple of hours), change the various settings via URL interface, but not pass data (and not reliably associate with any point, either - but when I *do* it won't pass data).

Small enough issue, I suppose. Of course, it appears I'll have to start over as to gear - I see in another thread that Senao distributors are unlikely to accept returns; certainly, it's taking a major effort to get mine returned, and only by getting my credit card comapany involved.

Heh. Close enough.

That's entirely possible. I am reasonably sure I've tried every single possible configuration not less than a dozen times, including asking them to behave in odd IP configurations as directed by the vendor who likewise had no solutions to making these units work.

I think I may have done that in the thread about "up the mast" - which (making allowances for the likelihood that I'm in over my head) *seem* to indicate the basic inoperability of the units as originally designed, let alone interface to each other.

Clarification, please: I think I'm expecting the shore point to assign an address. Is that done via *its* DHCP or the client bridge? If the former, then, the bridge further assigns an address in *its* system to the AP connected to it? And, assuming the up-the-mast is, for example,, then the AP (in the boat) would be something in the family of 192.168.1.>100 Something like, for example, is "less likely" to

Oops. No bridge on the mast? That's the point at which literally everyone else has had me start (vendors, commentators here and elsewhere, correspondents elsewhere). Understood about the 202 - the vendor and I also did the 2xx groups trying to make it happen (again in the early days - he quit talking to me after repeated failures and repeated requests for return aurhorization).

And, while not a factor recently, assigning different channels was one of the attempted cures (changing only one setting at a/each time and testing again).

If you've seen other recent posts about the same challenge, would you say I had or had not defined that what I have won't work? I'll start over if what I *can't* work. Certainly, that seems to be the case.

Aaack. That's half or more the reason I'm trying to make this work...

Heh. LOL, actually. Agreed. Just getting some raggasnagglegigafratzing wired bridge to work would be an achievement at this point!

I'm not - and don't. And I'm entirely in agreement about the last sentence.

So, unless you can see something I've missed, including the last couple of posts in the "up the mast" thread where I do a step-by-step instruction provided by John Navas, I assume that these Senao units are good landfill fodder or (maybe, in their cards-out-of-the-board configuration) pcmcia cards but nothing else useful to my objective? And I should eat my losses and start over?

Thanks for bearing with me. I'm not really stupid - just stubborn. I hate to give up on something which is *supposed* to work.



Reply to
Skip - Working on the boat

Yes, well, 'bridging' to the shore subnet may not be as reliable as you'd like. If you use an on-boat subnet then you never have to reconfigure those devices. Yes, you end up being behind a second NAT router but most protocols handle this without too much trouble. This is also where things like WDS are "supposed to" be able to work. But they run afoul of too many variables. When you're talking about bathing a floor of cubicles in WiFi signals stuff like WDS can be made to work. But when you're talking about an unstable platform like a boat, all bets are off. You're faced with signal reliability at the start. Then you run into the problem of not controlling both sides of the networking equation. Far too often you're going to run into a shore device that doesn't have the right firmware or setup to actually make things work. And by the time you figure this out, well, lets just say I'd rather not waste that much time/effort.

I may even go so far as to tunnel from my on-boat subnet back to my office via VPN. The dd-wrt firmware supports doing this on the router itself. That way I'm only using the shore link as a tunnel to push all my packets back to the office where I've got control over the uplink back out to the internet. Sure, there's a performance hit to do this but for some of the stuff I'd be doing it's not a big deal. Just something to think about. Remember, packets over clear air are sniffable. If you tunnel them through an encrypted VPN you eliminate a considerable amount of risk.

And if you bridge your on-boat devices as direct members of the on-shore subnet then you're at the mercy of whatever security, or lack thereof, of that network. When you setup a NAT router on the boat you're a bit safer being behind it's firewall. This is also why you may not want to 'share' your on-boat network with others. While it's a nice idea not everyone else on those boats may be as altruistic as you'd like. Regardless, always run a software firewall on your computers anyway. Don't assume anything's ever safe enough.

Also configure the on-boat WiFi to use as weak a signal as necessary. While it's laudable to think about bathing the entire anchorage in a shore-link you're also asking for difficulties in just getting your own stuff working. I'm all for being generous, but I'd want things to actually WORK first.

Frankly, and this is rude to say, but your posts have been quite difficult to figure out. It seemed you were flailing about with too many configuration variables.

So no, I don't have any real idea what you've defined. And I don't want to either. Better to 'punt' and start over from the basics. Get the devices working to within their known configurations and THEN start mucking it up.

And you've got nothing working now.

Good, some folks can't grasp that text doesn't always convey sentiments accurately.

Well, technological devices aren't always broken when people think they 'ought to be able' to do something. And support personnel don't always have a clue about anyhing beyond the most basic of configurations. Combine the two and you've got a recipe for frustration.... but you know this already.

So take a step back and get some fundamentals figured out. Get some of the boxes you've got working in their basic configurations. Make sure they can actually do the basic things they're supposed to provide. Only then should you start mucking around further with them. I suspect the device you've got can be configured to make some of this work. Get them working at a basic level first and then see what else needs to be added, configured or replaced.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

I've been relying on descriptions of vendors and other correspondents. We've already established that I haven't the faintest idea of what I'm doing despite my usual successes in computer stuff. Wifi, networking, et.al, for dummies, indeed. And being a babe in the woods in that area, I don't yet know what a wolf looks like. Seems I'll need to regard all vendors in that light until proven otherwise...

Meaning that's the one the shore point assigns you?

That's something you set as its IP? and in order to communicate with it/configure it, your link (whether NIC, wifi card/internalNIC or AP) would have to also have the 172.16.12.x IP?

Other than "default" or "linksys" or the like, I presume?

Passed through the AP "not-default/not-linksys"?

Cool. I'll try that to see if there's any difference. It won't take me very long to set the two units to that subset, and my wifi card ditto, to see if it does the usual explosion of IP conflicts when joined. Wouldn't it be amazing - unlikely in light of comments in another thread WRT senao - if suddenly it all worked together??

I had always been of the assumption I'd never have to reconfigure these, anyway. As sold to me, it was supposed to be seamless - my wzc or hawking configuration utility was supposed to be able to see and select from the available APs. That I'd have to manually type in the SSID is a nuisance, but not the end of the world. Actually, of course, if the strongest signal is what I wanted anyway, even that wouldn't be needed.

I share your lack of enthusiasm for having to figure it out. However, I'm a bit confused about that in that I have no problem here, or anywhere else I've tried (wardriving, in effect) in connecting and going on about my business on any visible, adequately-signaled, AP.

However, I can't even control *my* side of the networking equation, let alone some other side. Perhaps we're back to where I started, which is every vendor other than the one who had me for lunch telling me it couldn't be done...

I'm not very concerned about being sniffed. I can't imagine anyone having much interest in this sort of communication, or listening in on the VoIP between my wife and her kids or mother, or reading my comics, Fiero or sailing lists subscriptions :{)) In any event, I haven't an office to use - I'm on the boat full time, and Lydia will be here the end of July. If we ever get it finished to where the holes in the bottom are plugged, and the engine reconnected to the fuel, driveshaft and water pump, we're history; no fixed address, no itinerary, no schedule :{))

However, if I don't do better at this part of the refit than I have been, it will be limited to internet caf=E9s!

In addition to the XP? I have one (Norton), but have not put it up as being overkill. And, if I can't get the wireless bit working, sharing will be moot :{))

Yeah, no kidding. However, just so I'm on the same page, are you saying that I should set the 2611 AP (unreasonably optimistically assuming we get it to work) - or whatever other AP I wind up with - to progressively lower strengths until I don't see it reliably, and then go back to the first I *can* see reliably?

Or something else?

That's where I've gone in the ditch. To the best of my ability (and I grant that may be minimal or nonexistent) I've gone back to absolute basics: Owner's manual instructions, factory defaults, hardwired connection, NIC set to the same IP family, configuration screens in every possible combination, with no success. The closest to success I come is having the "bridge" see the access points and associate with one, or specify an access point and have it associate. After that, nothing has worked.

So the only conclusion, in my ignorance, that I can draw, is that these aren't working. I'd actually done all the steps John had asked in the "up the mast" thread, many times, but for the sake of the exercise, documented them. Perhaps my lack of knowledge is making it so I can't convey the results?

Not even a wired "bridge" - which I'm astounded, first, and, now, angry, to see won't happen.

No problem. I've got a very thick skin - and a very long fuse - or this wouldn't still be happening. Instead, the gear would be in the bottom of Salt Creek, adjacent to which the boat's on the hard and near where about a year of trying to make this work just as a wired bridge has failed :{/)

Well, there's no question the vendor won't either take them back or replace them. And Discovercard has abandoned me. So, I'm stuck with what I have. As I've not been able to change the results to get these units working in the most basic configurations despite step-by-step followup, I presume they just _won't_ work. This despite trying for many months now, merely to get what amounts to a powered antenna (the "bridge" connected to my computer via ethernet, associated with an AP, talking over a 200mw, 8.5dBi connection) to work. No attempts to make them work together, and not bothering to try to make one of them be an AP, because without the "bridge" there's nothing to connect the AP to.

Despite the entirely too high investment I have in them, I think it's time to cut my losses and look to other solutions. And, the further I go, the less they're worth. It's like the NIC/Modem pcmcia card I bought for the laptop I used to have. It was over a Franklin - but today is nearly worthless, despite having had nearly no use, and being in the original box. If I were stupid enough to build this assembly today from the parts on his website, the vendor would charge me half of what I paid for it a little over a year ago....

Perhaps I can use the NEMA for whatever else I succeed with...

Thanks for putting up with me so far...



Reply to
Skip - Working on the boat

Meaning the shore may be using a RANGE like Addresses 1 through 254 and 1 use *usually* the gateway.

Yes, you'd set your "up mast" device to use that range for the LAN setup. This way anything on the boat would be getting an address from the up-mast device in this range.

Yes, this device is just acting as a radio communicating with the up-mast router. It's forwarding DHCP requests to it and handing them out (from the

172.16.x.x range).

Exactly. The AP does nothing other than announce it's own SSID and move the packets.

Well, if your up-mast device lets you use the 172.16.x.x ranges then it's HIGHLY unlikely you'd run into conflicts. But if you used a 192.168.x.x range and it DID conflict then all you'd have to do would be change the subnet and address on the up-mast device, the access point and use 'ipconfig /renew' on any on-boat windows machines (or just reboot them).

A lot of things can't be done easily, reliably, cheaply or quickly. The old rule "good, fast, cheap... pick two" always comes to bear. A lot of time a vendor's support personnel don't really know IP networking. Heck, even a lot of so-called consultants don't really grasp it either. There's a lot more to it than just getting the lights to blink. For basic stuff like people in a single-family home it's a breeze. But for a boat, something over 90% of the population doesn't own, it's unfamiliar and untried territory.

They sniff your e-mail login username and password. They then send a password request message to your bank account during the night. Since they have access to your mailbox they grab the verification e-mail before you wake up again the next morning. Meanwhile they empty the account. All because the packets over the wire were unencrypted and a plaintext password was used for mail. Same scenario applies to how they'd hack web-based accounts.

The one in XP is reasonably decent. Adding Norton to the mix, at this point, may make things worse. You need to make sure valid traffic can actually get to where it needs to be, and too many firewalls added to the mix can complicate things. But once you DO get things working it may be worth considering using Norton instead of the one in XP. If you want it's added "features" that is. Personally I find Norton to be a pain in the ass to use and debug. Other vendor solutions are just as bad.

Yeah, no kidding. However, just so I'm on the same page, are you saying that I should set the 2611 AP (unreasonably optimistically assuming we get it to work) - or whatever other AP I wind up with - to progressively lower strengths until I don't see it reliably, and then go back to the first I *can* see reliably?

Or something else?

That's where I've gone in the ditch. To the best of my ability (and I grant that may be minimal or nonexistent) I've gone back to absolute basics: Owner's manual instructions, factory defaults, hardwired connection, NIC set to the same IP family, configuration screens in every possible combination, with no success. The closest to success I come is having the "bridge" see the access points and associate with one, or specify an access point and have it associate. After that, nothing has worked.

So the only conclusion, in my ignorance, that I can draw, is that these aren't working. I'd actually done all the steps John had asked in the "up the mast" thread, many times, but for the sake of the exercise, documented them. Perhaps my lack of knowledge is making it so I can't convey the results?

I didn't say it's not possible. More that it's not practical in some situations. Look at it this way, if you have your own on-boat subnet you can leave the on-boat devices with a stable configuration. You can do device to device networking (like GPS over the ethernet). If, however, you go with an on-shore bridge you're stuck living with random addresses being assigned and constant reconfiguration of the on-boat devices. Not very convenient. While a Double NAT setup might introduce it's own complications I'm of the opinion those are greatly outweighed by reconfiguration hassles.

Heh, stubborn as a mule, eh? Well, good for you in trying to tough it out. With luck the online postings will serve as a pointer to those that follow in our footsteps.

I don't use the same devices so I can't help directly. But I suspect if you reset these things to factory defaults and try the setup I've suggested you might reach some degree of success. What I'm most concerned about, however, is whether the up-mast device can be configured to act as a "client" of an on-shore SSID and route for the on-boat access point. I know devices using the dd-wrt firmware CAN do this. I think many other devices can as well, but often require a hacked firmware to do it. It's KEY to the setup to get the up-mast router acting as a client. Not as a "bridge" per se, but as a routing client. I think it's critically important to determine whether your up-mast device CAN actually be configured to do this. If not then it's time to switch it out to something that can.

Hate to see a fellow mariner having such troubles.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

Heh, I've got a laptop wirelessly connected to an access point wired to a router that's wirelessly connected to a travel router which is wired to a network behind a firewall router to my ISP. That's THREE different subnets before getting out to the Internet.

Stuff like instant messengers (msn, aol, yahoo), web access, mail and even skype ALL work just fine! wifi laptop wifi ch 2 access point wired wrt54g running dd-wrt router running dhcp, dns wrt54g wifi link to wireless travel router wifi ch 6 travel router wifi travel router wired into network wired wired network firewall wired to DSL modem x.x.x.x actual link to the ISP via DSL

I've proved this here at the office and on the boat using some temporarily attached 9db rubber duck antennae. Next step is to get some actual marine mounts and some N-female antenna. I'm going to start by trying some 5db omnis and may get some 8db ones if that's not enough.

I'll say this much, to anyone thinking about picking up Linksys's antenna extension base... DON'T. It loses quite a bit of signal strength. The difference between having the 9db units on the base versus directly attached to the wrt54g was considerable. Might as well have just stuck with the factory supplied antenna directly on the unit. The loss was THAT bad using the extension base. I didn't track specific figures though.

Now, this sort of setup pretty much guarantees I won't be initiating any connections TO the boat FROM on shore. But I plan on having a laptop built-into the boat to handle pushing webcam pictures, mail, gps location and the like. That way the boat itself will handling posting whatever info I'd need remotely.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

Even a VPN worked through all of these subnets. That is, from an on-boat laptop back to the office.

I do know that p2p stuff (emule, kazaa, etc) are unlikely to work. Those services depend on there being an open port on the incoming router configured to forward traffic on specific port numbers. Seeing as how the shore SSID won't be configurable it really won't matter what's in between.

So as long as nothing you're doing on-boat requires it to be accessible from on-shore then using a pair of routers seems like a pretty stable way to approach it.

-Bill Kearney

Reply to
Bill Kearney

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