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Bridge WAP54G to WRT54G

Posted on 2004-08-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hello, I am wondering if the Linksys WAP54G access point can be used to bridge to my WRT54G router.  I want this basic setup:

Modem --> WRT54G Router -   -   -   -   -   -   -   > WAP54G --> Computer

Basically, I want to be able to let my computer use the internet without having to wire to the distant router.  I was considering this or the WET54G, and I would like to use this less expensive option if possible.  I am thinking that the LAN port in the back of the WAP54G can be used to connect directly to my computer, and the WAP54G will connect to the router which connects to the modem.
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Question by:BNicholson
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13 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:chrisdixon
ID: 11844178
I don't believe you can bridge between the WAP54G Access Point and the WRT54G Router (which is itself an access-point). The WET54G is the only low-end Linksys product that can be used as a Bridge.
If you only have a single PC you could use the WMP54G PC Wireless adaptor (PCI) or WPC54G (PC Card - if you have a laptop) and connect directly to the WRT54G.


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Expert Comment

by:scampgb
ID: 11844241
Hi BNicholson,

You would need to configure the WAP54G in client-access or bridging mode.
I've had a quick look at the user guide, and I can't see any option for configuring it in this way.

Why don't you just use a normal PCI wireless card, like the WMP54G (http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?prid=520&scid=36) or WPC54G (http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?prid=507&scid=36) ?

I hope that this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:cyrusuncc
ID: 11844652
The WRT54G can support wireless bridging if you use "hacked" firmware.  Go to www.sveasoft.com and click on firmware.

however, this only solves half the problem.  The access point still does not support WDS (wireless bridging).  You might try and find a cheap one that does support it...

just checked the site.. now seems like they want $20 a year to access the firmware files...

The cheapest option for you is either a PCI or USB wireless card for your computer, or the WET (Wireless Ethernet Bridge)
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Expert Comment

by:cyrusuncc
ID: 11844676
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Author Comment

by:BNicholson
ID: 11845296
Sorry, something I forgot to mention -- I would also use the bridge to connect my console.  I was thinking something like having the bridge connect to the router, then have another router connected to that bridge which both the computer and the PS2 could use.  I am not very experienced with networking and there might be a better way, but regardless, I don't want a network adapter since the PS2 would have no way to connect to the internet.  Since the PS2 and the computer are right next to each other, it would be ideal to find a wireless bridge that had at least 2 ports to plug in, but I haven't found anything like that.  Can a second router act as a bridge?  I happen to have another wireless router (though it's Belkin, and B rather than G).  If this could somehow act as a bridge, i could just plug the PS2 and computer directly into that, but that seems like a stretch...
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Expert Comment

by:scampgb
ID: 11845438
You can use a wireless access point to do this, but you need to make sure that you've got one that supports bridging.  Some routers might do it, but I'm not sure about the Belkin range.

I've used the Netgear ME101 to connect printers to the wireless network, and it's worked well in the past.  The wireless bridges only have one port, but I can't think of any reason why you can't attach it to a hub.
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Author Comment

by:BNicholson
ID: 11845469
That's what I was thinking, and it seems to me like all access points would support bridging... What's the point of the router being wireless if it can't connect to the AP?  What exactly is the AP supposed to connect to if not a router, other than another AP?  Is the ONLY thing this model (WAP54G) for is simply linking 2 networks?
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Expert Comment

by:ihuckaby
ID: 11845717
Draw a distinct line between wireless bridge and wireless access point.

A WAP54G can serve as a wireless bridge, but only to another WAP54G.  And in bridge mode, it does not serve as a client access point.

Its uses:

1.  Plug the network cable into local network.  This enables wireless clients to access the wired network.

-I have two of these in my second floor cube farm.  They have network cables running to switches on my network.  All of my sales notebooks can access the network from anywhere on my second floor.

2.  Plug each of two WAP54G into two seperate wired local networks (say, for example, two seperate buildings).  Set them to be a wireless bridge with each other.  Viola, your two buildings can now communicate without running a wire between them.  However, neither of the WAP54G's will serve wireless clients anymore.

-Using two to get a connection to a camera that's mounted on a boat outside.  They are a bridge, and pay no attention to any clients wanting access to their little network.  All they do is pass traffic from a router on one side to a router on the other side.  Essentially, they function as "the wire".

So, if you want to have a remote wireless that is bridged to another wireless setup, you'd need two AP's on your end.  One to be the bridge, and the other to provide client access.

At this point, what you're probably looking for is something more like a repeater (increase your wireless range), or perhaps just a small switch to plug the remote bridge into, so that you can connect the local clients to it.  However, I know the only thing a WAP54G will bridge to is another WAP54G.

Linksys maintains lists of what will bridge with what on their webpage.

Hope that helps the understanding.
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Author Comment

by:BNicholson
ID: 11846050
A WAP54G can serve as a wireless bridge, but only to another WAP54G.  And in bridge mode, it does not serve as a client access point.

That is what's confusing me... why can the AP connect to another AP but not a wireless router?  The exact functionality that I would want is for them to "pass traffic from a router on one side to a router on the other side."  That would mean I would need two APs, and since one would go wired into the router, wouldn't that mean that there would be no point in the router being wireless?

Also, once I do get the bridge up, I will need both the computer and the PS2 to connect to it.  Here is a complete visual image of my setup:

===============================================
= Floor 2 =    Computer1 --> (device I need) <-- PS2                           =    
===============================================
===============================================
= Floor 1 =    Computer2 --> Wireless WRT54G Router  <--  Computer3 =
===============================================

All the devices in the above diagram share the same router, but would connect to it differently.  Computer2 and Computer3 connect to it with wires; the unknown device would connect to the router wirelessly, and then the PS2 and Computer1 would connect to that with wires.

What is the best thing I can use to accomplish all of this?
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Accepted Solution

by:
ihuckaby earned 500 total points
ID: 11846495
The AP can only connect to another AP because that's what Linksys programmed it to do.

Your assesment is correct.  What they would have you do is have a wired (not wireless) router, with a WAP in one port.  Then you have another WAP running as a bridge to the first one, and that is plugged into another switch for client connectivity.

Their expectation is that with the WRT54G, either you will connect to it wirelessly from your end node (PS2, computer, etc.) or connect to it by wire.  They had the home user in mind, and decided a home user wouldn't need a wireless bridge.

Well, given that, I'd say you have limited options.  

1.  Computer1 and the PS2 become wireless and connect directly to the WRT54G.  If range is a problem, either get a bigger antenna, or get a WRE54G repeater.

2.  Run a wire from the WRT54G and put a switch at the other end for Comp1 and PS2 to plug into.  You can pick up small 5 port Linksys switches for a song these days.

3.  The device you need is another WRT54G with the NON-LINKSYS (read: they don't support) firmware from www.sveasoft.com, as mentioned earlier.  Their firmware lets these devices run WDS, which slows bandwidth, but will let them bridge.  Then you have a switch built into the other end to plug into.  I admittedly have no experience with Sveasoft's firmware.  They apparently also have firmware for the AP, but I didn't catch if that would let it bridge with a WRT54G.

4.  The device that connects to the router is either Computer1 or another computer.  That computer can connect wirelessly to the WRT54G, and you set it up to route all the wired traffic from its end to the WRT54G.

Sounds like option three will most directly fit into your model.  Everything else I can come up with changes your model.  However, not having used (nor knowing personally anyone who has) the Sveasoft firmware, I would have to relinquish the floor to someone who knows more about it.
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Author Comment

by:BNicholson
ID: 11846875
Thanks a ton.  Looks like I'll get another WRT54G.  After looking at your post and the below forum, it seems like it would be the ideal thing for what I have in mind.

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,10682572~mode=flat
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Expert Comment

by:ihuckaby
ID: 11851812
Good luck.  Hope it does what it sounds like it does.

I'd be interested to know how well that firmware works.  Must not be too shabby if they can charge $20 for it.  hehe
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Author Comment

by:BNicholson
ID: 11919264
For anybody who's interested, I finally got the above setup working perfectly.  As always, there were some bumps in the road (like finding the best firmware), but everything is great now.

You can actually get the FREE Satori v4 at http://www.linksysinfo.com, which is great and works stable.  Unfortunately, it did not have everything I wanted (e.g. the ability to use all 4 ports on the client), so if you pay $20, you can get another piece of firmware called Alchemy.

Basically, just install the Satori on the AP router, which connects to the internet.  Then install your $20 Alchemy firmware on the client WRT54G, go through a few setup screens, reboot, and voila!  You now have a client router that can access the internet, the network, AND have up to 5 machines connected to it (the 5th being the WAN which can be configured to be used as a LAN port).  Best of all, all the Satori firmware comes with the ability to significantly increase power, enhancing your signal.

I don't believe that for $85 ($65 + $20) you can find a cheaper or more flexible solution.
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