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Questions regarding using a WRT54G and WAP45G to link two wired networks

Posted on 2007-08-07
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I have a wireless network presently installed in my home, and I'm looking to change the configuration.  At present, I have my broadband connection coming into a Linksys WRT54G, logging onto the broadband provider through PPPOE, and three computers (two laptops, one desktop) that connect through wireless NICs.  

(I have the recommended wireless security options enabled - no SSID broadcast, changed admin password, non-standard IP range, WPA w/16+ character PSK, and a limited number of IP addresses offered via DHCP.)

What I'd like to do is change the way the desktop connects to the WLAN.  Right now it has an internal PCI card installed, but I'd like to change that and install a small 5 or 8 port ethernet switch with some sort of a wireless connection attached so that the desktop and possibly one or more devices can share one wireless connection rather than have to purchase wireless cards for each device.  I don't want the wireless configuration limited to WAP to WRT - I still want to have other wireless equipment (such as the laptops) able to connect to the wireless network.

I thought I could accomplish this by purchasing a WAP54G and setting it in repeater mode while being hardwired to the 5-port switch, but that doesn't appear to be working.  I configured the WAP54G in repeater mode and supplied the MAC address of the WRT54G, but it doesn't seem to be working.  I've set the WAP to have all the same wireless configurations as the WRT and have given it a static IP address in the same subnet (i.e. 1.2.3.4 for the WRT, 1.2.3.5 for the WAP).  I can ping the WAP when it's hardwired to the WRT, but not when it's disconnected.

I've read a lot here on EE regarding using WAP54Gs as repeaters, and it doesn't necessarily seem to be the most reliable configuration.  I've considered setting up two WAP54Gs in bridge mode but I'm trying to do this with the minimum amount of hardware and configuration needed.

Any suggestions?
Here's a simplistic diagram of how I have it configured at this point:

Broadband----------WRT45G                       WAP54G-----------Linksys 5-port workgroup switch
                                 |    |                                                                                   |
                                 |  Desktop                                                                         |
                                 |                                                                                    Desktop
                                                        (wireless)------laptop
        (wireless)-----laptop
                             Printer
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Question by:cferino
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by:final4fever
ID: 19645944
Here is a link from the linksys forum on your issue...
http://forums.linksys.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Access_Points&message.id=762

BUT...It sounds to me though for what I understand that you are trying to accomplish, that it would be easier to just put a wireless card in your desktop.
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jekl2000 earned 2000 total points
ID: 19646314
If you want the destop connected to the switch to communicate with the wrt54g, you can run it in AP client mode, although in AP client mode, it acts as a single wireless adapter so I dont thing multiple devices can communicate through it using a switch, it may be possible using a hub, but I have not tried it. It will not work in repeater mode connected to a switch.

The best bet would be to get another WAP54g and bridge the two together.
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by:cferino
ID: 19647961
Thanks for the suggestions - as to the wireless card in the desktop, I had that configuration previously.  That's what I'm trying to move away from so I don't have to purchase wireless adapters for another printer and any other devices in that desktop's area.

As to the bridge suggestion, I'm not opposed to doing that - I just wanted to be sure what the best configuration would be.

Do I have to/should I configure the two WAP54G units with a completely different SSID and WPA PSK than the main WRT54G so the bridged units don't interfere with the main wireless network in the house?
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by:cferino
ID: 19652762
I set up an additional WAP54G with both units set for wireless bridge mode, and everything is working as desired.  One followup question - the configuration looks as though I can set additional bridge configurations (there are spots for four different MAC addresses in the wireless bridge setup).  Is this possible?  Can I set up one unit with a maximum of four different bridge configurations (MAC addresses)?
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by:jekl2000
ID: 19656394
I don't think the wap54g supports point to multi-point bridging. If it does, it will have that option, but if I recall, it does not. The other 3 Mac inputs may have been there just in case they did wanted to support it later.
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Author Comment

by:cferino
ID: 19657385
Thanks.  I may give it a try in the future.

Appreciate the assist!
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