I work with several non-profits. As you can tell from the name “non-profits” there most likely isn’t a whole lot of money floating around. A person from admin approached me to come up for a solution for connecting a non-wireless network device to wireless network. You can not buy a wireless card for this device although you can buy an upgraded version for thousands of dollars more. This post is my solution on how I did it.
You are going to need use two wireless routers. From now on in I am going to refer to them like this:
1.) Dlink DIR-655 will be called the “Access Point”. It’s job is to broadcast the wireless signal. Below is a picture of the Dlink DIR-655 router.
2.) WRT54GL will be called the “Client Bridge”. It’s job is to bridge the two routers wirelessly and allow any device plugged into the “Client Bridge” on ports 1-4 to be part of the regular network. I will be flashing the WRT54GL with DD-WRT firmware. DD-WRT is an open source firmware that turns WRT54GL’s in enterprise level routers. Below is a picture of the Linksys WRT54GL router.
The test network IP address range I will be using is: 192.168.101.1 – 192.168.101.254
I’ve create a quick list of what IP addresses are for my test network. If you are needing to use different IP addresses you can print off this page and write down the info in the spaces provided. This will help you troubleshoot things later on. *NOTE* Notice how the “Access point” and “Client Bridge” have the same network address? (192.168.101.x). Another thing to note is the client bridge will not have any sort of DHCP server running on it. All clients plugged into the “Client Bridge” will get their IP address from the DHCP server in charge of that network wether it is on the “Access Point” or from a server somewhere else on the network.
Access Point IP address: 192.168.101.1 ______.______.______.______
“Client Bridge” IP address: 192.168.101.99 ______.______.______.______
The Subnet Mask is: 255.255.255.0 ______.______.______.______
The Default gateway is: 192.168.101.1 ______.______.______.______
The DNS is going to be 192.168.101.1 ______.______.______.______
Wireless “Access Point” SSID __________________________
Wireless “Access Point” Security Mode __________________________
Wireless “Access Point” Key __________________________
Wireless “Access Point” WPA Algorithm __________________________
Wireless “Access Point” Wireless Mode __________________________
When you are going through your setup make sure to plug in to ports 1 – 4 on the “Client Bridge”
Step 1 – Flash the WRT54GL router
I recommend that if this isn’t a brand new router that you completely reset all items back to factory settings. You can do this buy holding down the “Reset” button on the back of the router for 45 seconds while it is plugged in. Still holding down the reset button unplug the router for 30 seconds. Now plug the router back and still holding down the reset button for another 30 seconds. If you follow this trick you should be able to reset every router out there.
Download the firmware for your router over on DD-WRT. This link is for a WRT54GL v1/v1.1 If your router is not this exact model do not even try to flash the box. Like I stated before you could “brick” the router making it useless. If you do have a different version go here to Search DD-WRT and see if your router is supported. The process might be different with each router so always read the “How To”.
When ever you are working on the Client Bridge you must use a network cable to talk to the router. If you do it wirelessly you could brick the router. If you are using a laptop make sure to have it plugged in.
Now that the router is reset you have to go to it’s default configuration page. For this particular router it is http://192.168.1.1 When you try and log in there is “No username” and the password is “admin”.
Now that you are logged into router go to the administration tab. Look for Firmware.
Browse for the firmware you just downloaded. Click update firmware. The whole flashing process takes anywhere from 3-10 minutes. If the router seems to be “Stuck” make sure to just leave it alone.
One the router said the router upgraded correctly exit your browser. Again open your browser and go to: http://192.168.1.1 You will be prompted with the new login screen. For this router the password is:
I recommend that you change this ASAP!!!!
Go to Setup Tab – Basic Setup.
Under WAN Connection type STP – Select “Disable”.
Network Setup info: (Make sure the IP address is not conflicting with another machine on the network.
Assign WAN Port to Switch
Still under Setup Tab go to “Advanced Routing”.
Make sure the “Operating Mode” is set to “Router”.
Dynamic routing “interface” should be set to “Lan & WLAN”.
Go to the Wireless tab now. Click on “Basic Settings”.
Wireless Physical Interface Information. (The “Access Point” router is sending out a wireless signal using “heinrichs” SSID. The Password info for that router will be entered in the next tab we look at.
The info here should line up with the info you would have setup on the “Access Point”. This layout should look familiar. It’s almost the same advance layout as you would see on any windows machine that you would like to connected to the wireless network.
Make sure that authentication type is “Auto” and “Basic rate is default”. I played around with these items and they either one slowed the connection down or broke the bridge.
Under Security tab click on “Firewall”.
Make sure the SPI firewall is disabled!
Make sure that None of the filters are checked off.
Make sure that “Block Anonymous WAN requests” and “Filter Multicast” is checked off.
Your router should now be connected to the “Access Point”. To verify this go to the status tab and click on wireless:
The wireless status should look like this and should mirror the information that was entered in previous steps.
Hopefully there is no errors in the Wireless packets info section.
The Access point infor should look similar to the screen shot below.