Cisco 871W to connect to another wireless network as a client and obtain an ip address

Posted on 2010-11-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi there, I have a 871W router operating as an edge router in my small network.
I need it to connect as a wireless client to a wireless backup network that I have, and obtain an ip address by dhcp. I need to use this as an internet connection alternative to allow my internal clients to access the internet. how would I go about configuring my dot11radi0 interface to achieve this?

Question by:eggster34
  • 5
  • 3
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 34181016
Those 2 points are covered on pages 2-7 and 2-8 in the Wireless ISR and HWIC Access Point Configuration Guide, which can be downloaded as a PDF or viewed as HTML in a web browser online at:

# interface Dot11Radio0
Selects the interface

#station-role non-root
sets 'Universal Client' mode. (the 800 series does not support 'non-root bridge'; only 'non-root', which is AP Client mode).

#ip address dhcp
sets that interface to get its IP from DHCP.

You'll also need to overload the radio interface (instead of FastEthernet4) so NAT will work between LAN and the (wireless) internet.

Of course, when it's operating in Universal Client mode, its only connection to the internal clients will be via the 4 wired LAN ports (FastEthernet0 through FastEthernet3). i.e. it's not a bridge+repeater-type mode.

If that's not how you want to leave it setup all the time, I would make a couple different configs and save them in the Excel template[s] offered by techrepublic/zdnet:
I think you need to login to download the PDF, but it's a free account.

You can edit them (using Excel or OpenOffice Calc) with your LAN's and the WISP's settings on the Variables tab, and save one to 871W-Eth4 and the other one as 871W-APClient... and the correct commands will appear on their Reference tabs to copy/paste to the CLI... you could probably just load the 871W-APClient settings and not overwrite the startup config with the running config... then when you're ready to switch back, just rebooting the router should turn it back around to being an edge router through its WAN port (by reloading the original startup config).

Author Comment

ID: 34189967
thanks: is there a way that would allow me to see the list of wireless networks available ?
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 34193085
I use inSSIDer, by MetaGeek, on a laptop. It's free.
PRTG Network Monitor: Intuitive Network Monitoring

Network Monitoring is essential to ensure that computer systems and network devices are running. Use PRTG to monitor LANs, servers, websites, applications and devices, bandwidth, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and many more. PRTG is easy to set up & use.


Author Comment

ID: 34193103
Is it possible to install this software on my cisco 871w?
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 34193134
I don't know of any way to monitor what other networks are available on the 871W, no. That doesn't mean it's not possible, of course.

I like the way inSSIDer gives a graphical representation of how the channels overlap.

Author Comment

ID: 34193245
right, that'd have been great if I were onsite, but I'm connecting remotely :(

Author Comment

ID: 34201705
Hi, the examples in the PDF are too complicated for me and it doesn't show in a straightforward way how I can connect my router to a wireless network as a client.

could you pls provide step by step instructions? my ssid is eggster and my wpa key is 3ggst3r

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34297750

Featured Post

Live: Real-Time Solutions, Start Here

Receive instant 1:1 support from technology experts, using our real-time conversation and whiteboard interface. Your first 5 minutes are always free.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Network Config 9 77
ESXI home lab network setup (KISS) 12 159
Vlan to Vlan communication 9 102
Expanding Subnet Mask 20 104
In the hope of saving someone else's sanity... About a year ago we bought a Cisco 1921 router with two ADSL/VDSL EHWIC cards to load balance local network traffic over the two broadband lines we have, but we couldn't get the routing to work consi…
Creating an OSPF network that automatically (dynamically) reroutes network traffic over other connections to prevent network downtime.
After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

813 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

16 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now