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Wireless router with AP client mode?

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Does anyone know of any models of wireless router that support AP client mode?  I'm thinking something in the home/home office price range.  I currently have a TP-Link TL-WA501G that supports client mode, but I need another one and this model is no longer available.  I'm having trouble finding a currently available model that supports client mode.
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Question by:I_play_with_DNA
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by:GJTechSolutions
ID: 22642621
D-Link Wireless Pocket Router/AP w/Client Mode, 802.11g, 54Mbps

http://www.pcworld.com/shopping/detail/prtprdid,4076604-sortby,retailer/specs.html
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22642627
I highly recommend a dedicated access-point for repeater mode. They are designed specifically for this and redistributing wireless connections in repeater mode.
In client mode though, they are very stable and with the latest firmware they support all types of current wireless security.
A very good model os the Linksys WAP54G. It's very stable. I have one customer (a hotel) that has 12 of these actually put in the attic where it easily gets 140 degrees F in the summer time. They run with no problem at 140 F  - this tells me it's one heck of a sold product. Most anything else turns off or has errors at about 100 - 110 F.
Here's the link so you can check it out:
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1126536803676&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper
Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions!
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by:I_play_with_DNA
ID: 22642684
@Pugglewuggle

I've looked at these, however the manual states that the WAP54G can only connect to another WAP54G in AP Client mode.  I need something that cannot to ANY wireless access point/router, regardless of brand/model.

Also, I'm not trying to use repeater mode.  I need to use a router or AP in client mode to connect some wired-only devices to the network.  If I use bridge mode, then no other clients (i.e. laptops) can connect to the parent AP, so I have no choice but to use client mode.
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by:GJTechSolutions
ID: 22642721
i_play you beat me to it. However, as puggle states, that is indeed an amazing product, just no suited for your application. Though it may be a better option...

I wish companies would simply make all networking equipment compatible with some sort of standard i.e. interchangeable parts (but networking hehe). But they don't.

My suggestion is a cheapie that will do the job. But why not go with the newer version of the router you had if it worked well for you? It is a good idea to stick with the same company:

TL-WR543G http://www.tp-link.com/products/product_des.asp?id=109

Or Ebay has your router for $40 ....

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=TP-Link+TL-WA501G&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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by:Jstncase
ID: 22642839
The product you are looking for is called a Wireless Ethernet Bridge. You can check places like Pricewatch.com, E-Bay, CDW and so forth. If you are looking for budget items you can look at Linksys WET200 or Linksys WET54G. These products you will set up to connect to your wireless device then connect either a single node, or plug a switch into it so any device plugged into the switch will now communicate wirelessly to your original AP. Price Range $90 - $125 (From CDW.COM)
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by:I_play_with_DNA
ID: 22642856
I connect a bridge to my parent router, that means I have to put both units in bridge mode, which means that no other client devices and connect to the parent.  And that's why I need the AP to operate in client mode.
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by:GJTechSolutions
ID: 22642865
Can I ask what exactly you are trying to accomplish with your network?
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22642873
Bridge and client mode are essentially the same thing. They connect to the main AP/router and extend the network to a remote location by wireless and then have ethernet ports to connect the rest of a wired network to.
And as GJ asks, what is the exact application and end goal?
Cheers!
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by:pmwrightjr
ID: 22643064
If I might step in, the difference for him is that he needs other devices to connect to the AP in addition to the device acting as the "bridge" device.  It sounds like he might have several computers that act as wireless clients but he also has some network devices (printers, perhaps?) that also need to connect as clients to the same AP.  So in this sense, bridge mode and client mode are not exactly the same thing because bridge mode is exclusive (in most access points I've seen, anyway) and client mode is not exclusive with respect to the access point.

If the devices are, indeed, printers as I have speculated, maybe a wireless printer server would be an appropriate answer so I agree that more information as to the final result desired could be important in getting the best answer.

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pmwrightjr earned 125 total points
ID: 22643138
As an addendum to my note above, D-Link has a few products that work in client mode.  The DWL-2100AP does and the DWL-2200AP can serve as both an infrastructure bridge and an AP client.
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by:GJTechSolutions
GJTechSolutions earned 125 total points
ID: 22643142
Right, so question originally asked was answered.

Then Puggle and I started on a completely different topic through which we hope to assist him in improving his current setup.

You have a good point PMW. And as we've all been doing, there are easier/possibly better alternatives.
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22643146
This is true with enterprise equipment - but in home-grade equipment there is really no difference unless you're using 2 APs. The second router can still connect as a bridge to the first router even if it's in infrastructure mode.
Good ol' differences in terminology for consumer products... gotta love em. Thus my comments stand. :)
Cheers!
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by:Jstncase
Jstncase earned 125 total points
ID: 22646427
In regards to connecting a Wireless Bridge. Upon connecting a bridge you are still allowed to connect other devices to the original access point. The Wireless Bridge connects to the orgiinal Router/AP in client mode, but allows all devices connected to it to function seemelessly as if they were all wired connections. I may be missing something here, but I don't see how there can be a better setup. Better equipment yes, but this should be an optimal solution.
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22652304
That is exactly what I said. :)
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by:I_play_with_DNA
ID: 22652361
Regarding connecting two routers in bridge mode.....I tried it and it didn't work.  The two routers talk to each other fine, but no other device could connect to the parent router.  Tried it with two different routers I had lying around (neither of which supports client mode but do support bridge mode).

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by:I_play_with_DNA
ID: 22652419
@GJTech

I looked at the TL-WR543G you suggested and from the docs I'm not quite sure if it supports the type of client mode I need.  The docs says that it supports WISP client mode but I think this is for connecting directly to your ISP, not to another wireless access point.

And the seller on eBay doesn't ship to Canada. :(

I know the models are out there; I just can't seem to get one here!
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by:Pugglewuggle
Pugglewuggle earned 125 total points
ID: 22652636
Very interesting... can you try it for just a second without security (MAKE SURE YOU DON'T FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES)? See if it works that way first. If it does then you need to make sure you have your security settings right. Also, make sure you're using the same SSID (it is case sensitive).
Also, as far as obtaining another TL-WR543G goes, it shouldn't be that hard.
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getoffers.php?keyword=TP%20LINK%20TLWR543G&search=TL-WR543G
Here are a few for about $30 USD. I know directron will ship there even though they are in Texas.
Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions!
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Author Closing Comment

by:I_play_with_DNA
ID: 31503111
I finally managed to get my hands on a router with AP client mode that actually worked the way I wanted it to.  But thanks all for the discussion; i learned a bit from it so I'm distributing the points.
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