Wired access is better than wireless generally, so when I wanted to have two machines in opposite areas with wired internet, something had to give. My initial setup before using two routers was to have the modem and main router in one area and just use wireless everywhere else. But that was cramping my speed testing style; I was consistently seeing poor speeds far from the router.

I got a new router, retiring – or so I thought – my trusty WRT54GL to backup duty. But when I installed the new wireless N router (sorry, not AC yet :)), I was happier with the performance far from the router, but not happy enough. So I decided to setup the WRT54GL as a repeater. And this is where it gets interesting.

Ingredients:
Linksys WRT54GL
DD-WRT firmware
Netgear WNR2000-100NAR

The WNR2000-100NAR became my new main router, because it has wireless N (not dual band, but good enough for this setup). Setup using WPA2-PSK (AES) and ensured internet access worked and all devices could connect. All was good so far.

When I switched my WRT54GL to “Repeater” and configured it using the same WPA2-PSK security and SSID as the WNR2000, it completed one task, which was to pickup the signal from the WNR2000 and bridge it to the WRT54GL’s ports. So now I had successfully attained wired internet access in both areas simultaneously. Sure, I lost some performance by using wireless as the repeating medium, but I had to start somewhere…

What I didn’t do was configure the repeater correctly so it wasn’t rebroadcasting the wireless signal and it was still acting as a DHCP server.

I remedied this by switching the WRT54GL from “Repeater” to “Repeater Bridge,” then configuring a new Virtual Interface. Next, I setup the wireless security specifically for that new virtual interface and ensured the DHCP server was disabled. Voila, the WNR2000 was now transmitting the network connection both wireless and through its wired interface. The WRT54GL was picking up the WNR2000’s wireless signal, rebroadcasting the signal wirelessly and on the wired interface. So now I had achieved both machines being wired and far superior wireless coverage.

Boo ya


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