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View Full Version : The Linksys WiFi Experience...


Brother Michael
Nov 25, 2004, 10:44 AM
...and Mike Miller.

So yesterday my dad and I decided that we had had enough of me running cables all around the house when I came home from school. We went half in on Wireless. W00t!!!

So we went to the store and bought a Linksys Wireless G Router (WRT54G) and two Linksys Wireless G cards (WMP54G)

The set-up wasn't hard at all and went pretty much without a hitch. I even did all the initial set-up work on my Mac instead of the PC's. What can I say I couldn't be happier...with my Mac.

I took my iBook all around the house, upstairs, downstairs, accross the house, even outside. I lose 2-3 bars of signal strength on in the Internet Connect program...the router by the way, is in the left-hand corner of the house. Neat.

My PC's though...I can't believe it. Windows continually drops the connection even when the signal is very good...The signal range is TERRIBLE with the Linksys cards. My PC is one room over with one wall seperating it, the best it gets is Very Good...sometimes. My parents PC is in two rooms over, it has a low strength. My iBook 3 rooms over, is still almost full! What is this? I mean I am using all Linksys equipment, so there is no issue with different brands...

I think I may have to call Linksys and complain about their wireless cards and thank them for making a terrific router for my Mac!

Take it easy all,
Mike

JeffTL
Nov 25, 2004, 11:13 AM
One solution would be to phase in more Macs, since they seem to work fine; also, you could try another brand of wireless card, but I suspect the problem is Windows -- I have a Linksys 11b adapter on my TiVo and it works just fine.

winwintoo
Nov 25, 2004, 12:19 PM
I also have a Linksys WRT54G and when I tried to hook up an el-cheapo laptop to it using a wireless card, I had mucho trouble until it dawned on me that I was using the Windows dealy to do the configuration rather than the app that cam with the card. In my case, the card that came with the computer was restricted to WEP encryption so I had to reset the router and all that mess.

When I switched to using the app that installed from the CD that came with the card, I was finally able to connect and kept a strong signal.

Just a thought. You've probably already tried that, but I didn't know about it until someone pointed it out to me.

Margaret

Hoef
Nov 25, 2004, 01:41 PM
I have a linksys router and a netgear wireless card on my laptop PC. In order to make it work properly I had to fiddle around with the firewall on my laptop. The driver was seeking access and my firewall didn't like that. It all works fine now.... Just a thought

Roger1
Nov 25, 2004, 05:34 PM
I have a linksys. How hard was it to set up security. I have tried several times, but always ran into trouble with my Airport card not being able to access it. Any clues??

iHambone
Nov 25, 2004, 05:58 PM
I've traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from St. Louis, Missouri for Thanksgiving. I've got a 500mhz G3 iBook that goes with me. I'm always curious to see if I can receive signals when I travel. Unpacked my laptop, opened it up and BAM Lynksys showed up as an option in airport.

The closest neighboring home is about 45 - 50 feet away. I'm sending this right now using this rather unusual setup.

Probably not ethical using someone elses service, but I'm not planning any malicious activity.

Fun, fun, fun.

So yeah, Lynksys seems to be a pretty good wireless router.

Dan

winwintoo
Nov 25, 2004, 06:29 PM
I have a linksys. How hard was it to set up security. I have tried several times, but always ran into trouble with my Airport card not being able to access it. Any clues??

You don't say which Linksys router you have - I don't know how different they all are and the only one I know is the WRT54G.

Here's what I do: Hook the router up to the cable or dsl modem, hook an ethernet cable from the router to your computer. Now open a web browser and put 192.168.1.1 into the address bar, hit enter and you should be in the router setup screen.

The version of the setup utility that I have has a section called "wireless>wireless security" It's pretty self-explanatory from there on.

HTH margaret

Roger1
Nov 25, 2004, 06:34 PM
You don't say which Linksys router you have - I don't know how different they all are and the only one I know is the WRT54G.

Here's what I do: Hook the router up to the cable or dsl modem, hook an ethernet cable from the router to your computer. Now open a web browser and put 192.168.1.1 into the address bar, hit enter and you should be in the router setup screen.

The version of the setup utility that I have has a section called "wireless>wireless security" It's pretty self-explanatory from there on.

HTH margaret

Thanks, I've gotten that far. My issue was with setting up the WEP, or RADIUS. But this forum and another one got my playing around, and I think I figured it out. Thanks for the help though. :)

Littleodie914
Nov 25, 2004, 09:25 PM
Yea, I've also experienced very good results with Macs, but poor results with Windows. I have both our PC and our Yosemite connected physically to the router, and when I connect wirelessly with my iBook, the Mac always shows up in the Network window within a second or so, while the PC takes literally minutes (or doesn't show up at all.) Sometimes the only way to connect to it is to use Command+K and type in the actual IP address issued to the PC... It's horrible :(

P.S. The router works so well with my Mac I was actually able to wirelessly share my dial-up AOL connection!

Brother Michael
Nov 26, 2004, 09:22 AM
Thanks, I've gotten that far. My issue was with setting up the WEP, or RADIUS. But this forum and another one got my playing around, and I think I figured it out. Thanks for the help though. :)

I had an issue with WEP so I just went straight for WPA protection and did the TKIP protection. No issues.

Mike

Brother Michael
Nov 26, 2004, 09:26 AM
So should turn off Windows support for using the wireless cards and use the Linksys CD's and install the applications that make the card work on their?

Basically let Linksys manage my card and connection not Windows.

Mike

winwintoo
Nov 26, 2004, 10:20 AM
So should turn off Windows support for using the wireless cards and use the Linksys CD's and install the applications that make the card work on their?

Basically let Linksys manage my card and connection not Windows.

Mike

I had better luck when I let the software that came with the card manage the card instead of letting Windows do it.

Margaret

Brother Michael
Nov 26, 2004, 01:47 PM
Thanks I am going to give that a shot and see what happens. I know getting a Mac is out of the question right now (money issues...surprised that my dad even wanted to go half in on this). But, they would like for the wireless internet to work somehow/way.

Mike

Hoef
Nov 26, 2004, 01:51 PM
Basically let Linksys manage my card and connection not Windows.

Yep, works better for me

blackpeter
Nov 26, 2004, 02:14 PM
Former Linksys WiFi router owner here...

I never had a problem with the actual performance of the hardware. It was the software/firmware updates that finally drove me to sell it and go AirPort.

Firmware updates would hobble the performance or signal strength instead of improving the device. The web admin interface is horrible compared to the AirPort Admin Utility. Not to mention that even though the Linksys has two huge antennas, I get a much better signal using my tiny AirPort Express.

Linksys is a decent router if you want to save some cash, but as usual - if you want a high-quality product - spend a little more and go AirPort!

Brother Michael
Nov 26, 2004, 05:23 PM
Well the big issue with the Airport, no hardwire ports for my Linux Box...I refuse to even attempt wireless with that thing...Believe me as much as I like Linksys I would rather have an Airport Express.

Mike

Brother Michael
Nov 26, 2004, 05:24 PM
Still having a small issue with Windows. I disabled Windows automatic control of the wireless, but that only kept the linksys wireless program from access the internet.

Mike

crazzyeddie
Nov 26, 2004, 06:00 PM
Question for all of you WRT54G owners... how is the range? I just picked up two Airport Express units today, but the range is less than spectacular. I was thinking of getting a WRT54G to use as the main router and then using the AX units for boosting the signal. I currently get 3 bars signal strength at about 20ft using my AX, while my old 802.11b had 4 full bars, no matter what.

daveL
Nov 26, 2004, 06:17 PM
Airport Express can only extend the range of an Aiport/Extreme. There is supposed to be hacked firmware out there for the linksys that allows the Airport Express to be used this way, but I haven't tried it myself. If you read the Airport Express specs closely, Apple mentions this limitation, I mean feature :)

winwintoo
Nov 26, 2004, 07:21 PM
Question for all of you WRT54G owners... how is the range? I just picked up two Airport Express units today, but the range is less than spectacular. I was thinking of getting a WRT54G to use as the main router and then using the AX units for boosting the signal. I currently get 3 bars signal strength at about 20ft using my AX, while my old 802.11b had 4 full bars, no matter what.

I have a WRT54G and I live on the 6th floor of a steel and concrete building that is surrounded by other networks and all kinds of interference but I can get 3 bars on the main floor of the building - that's 6 whole floors away!!:D

BUT as I've said in this and other threads, when some other network decides to take over the airwaves, I can't get a signal when I'm right beside the router :(

Take care, Margaret

crazzyeddie
Nov 26, 2004, 08:00 PM
Airport Express can only extend the range of an Aiport/Extreme. There is supposed to be hacked firmware out there for the linksys that allows the Airport Express to be used this way, but I haven't tried it myself. If you read the Airport Express specs closely, Apple mentions this limitation, I mean feature :)

The most recent official LinkSys firmware supports WDS.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 26, 2004, 08:51 PM
The most recent official LinkSys firmware supports WDS.
That doesn't matter if Apple implemented it in such a way that it won't work with other brands even if they support WDS (which I suspect is what Apple did).

crazzyeddie
Nov 26, 2004, 09:31 PM
That doesn't matter if Apple implemented it in such a way that it won't work with other brands even if they support WDS (which I suspect is what Apple did).

WDS is like WPA, its a (not as popular) "standard" that works between Belkin, Linksys and Apple wifi products. Do your homework.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 26, 2004, 10:10 PM
WDS is like WPA, its a (not as popular) "standard" that works between Belkin, Linksys and Apple wifi products. Do your homework.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I learn something new every day that I visit these forums. Thanks for setting me straight, crazzyeddie!

Brother Michael
Nov 27, 2004, 12:40 AM
I am more than pleased with the router in terms of signal strength and range. The wireless cards on the other hand are a pain my rear...same with windows.

Mike

notserp
Nov 28, 2004, 03:40 AM
Hi,

Can anyone help me I recently used my powerbook to contact belkin wireless lan at a freinds house but now can no longer contact my airport extreme base station.

Cheers Robin.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 28, 2004, 04:44 AM
Hi,

Can anyone help me I recently used my powerbook to contact belkin wireless lan at a freinds house but now can no longer contact my airport extreme base station.

Cheers Robin.
Two things to try that have worked for me in the past:

1. Turn the power to the AirPort Card in your Mac off then on again (use Internet Connect application).
2. Do the same thing to the base station (by yanking out the power then plugging it in again and waiting for it to finish initializing).

notserp
Nov 28, 2004, 04:53 AM
Hi wyz,
Thanks for yor prompt answer but I've tried that the laptop can see the station but the airport icon remains grey my daughters got an ibook with airport card but same problem.

Cheers robin.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 28, 2004, 05:01 AM
Hi wyz,
Thanks for yor prompt answer but I've tried that the laptop can see the station but the airport icon remains grey my daughters got an ibook with airport card but same problem.

Cheers robin.
The station might be misconfigured not to let you in. To fix that, launch AirPort Admin Utility (make sure you have a wired connection to the base station when you do this), choose your base station, enter the password if one has been set, then check the settings to see if all is fine.

Or, it could be that you simply haven't selected a network. Open Internet Connect and choose the network you want to join, enter the password if prompted for one, and you should be set (assuming there isn't a configuration problem as mentioned above).

jsw
Nov 30, 2004, 06:56 PM
Airport Express can only extend the range of an Aiport/Extreme. There is supposed to be hacked firmware out there for the linksys that allows the Airport Express to be used this way, but I haven't tried it myself. If you read the Airport Express specs closely, Apple mentions this limitation, I mean feature :)Just got it to work for me. Linksys WRT54G and Airport Express, linked via WDS. I had to update the Linksys firmware using this (http://www.linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=8) site. That worked quite well - and I can boost the signal strength as well (I jacked it up slightly, not all the way, and saw better reception). I then set up the AE and, after some tweaking, all was well.

Key sites:

http://troyandgay.com/index.php?p=2888 (esp. comments below)
http://weblogs.java.net/blog/inder/archive/2004/10/using_airport_e_1.html

A couple of caveats:

(1) Be sure to use the correct Linksys MAC address when configuring WDS on the AE - you need to use the wireless MAC, not the router MAC. (On the Linksys, go to Status->Wireless to get the correct MAC address).

(2) Be sure to use the correct AE MAC address - or, if in doubt, use both the addresses on the AE.

Basics:
On the Linksys...

Fetch the Sveasoft firmware upgrade and, using the WRT54G's Administration->Firmware Upgrade panel, upload it to the Linksys. Fear not - it looks just like the original firmware with a few more options.
Under Wireless->WDS, add two LAN entries (one for each listed AE MAC address, so you don't need to bother deciding which one is the right one), disable Lazy WDS, and disable "WDS subnet"
Make note of the channel used under Wireless->Basic Settings
Make note of the wireless MAC listed in Status->Wireless


On the AE (or more precisely, using Airport Admin Utility)...

On Airport tab: Set Base station name, contact, and location to anything you want. set wireless mode to "Create a Wireless Network (Home Router)" Name the network whatever you want - same or different as WRT54G's SSID Set the channel to the one used by the WRT54G
On the Internet tab: Connect using AirPort (WDS) Set the MAC address to the WRT54G's wireless MAC Configure using DHCP
On the Network tab:disable everything
On the WDS tab: Enable as a WDS remote base station Select "allow wireless clients on this base station" Enter (or verify - it should be there by now) the Linksys wireless MAC


You can now use the AE as a wireless extender and plug an ethernet cable into it (not crossover/patch, just a standard cable) and plug non-wireless devices (like, say, an Xbox) directly into it.

Best of luck!

BTW, to completely reset the AE, should you muck it up, unplug it, use a paperclip, etc., to press the small reset button prior to plugging it in, keep it pressed as you plug in and for a dozen seconds or so until it blinks gree 4 times - this let up on the reset button and wait a minute or two. Then it's completely reset to factory specs. And, when intially setting it up, skip the internet connection portion of the setup (don't specify Cable/DSL modem, etc.).

SiliconAddict
Nov 30, 2004, 11:12 PM
I will never use Linksys ever again. I went through two Linksys 802.11A/B routers within 1 year and after the warrantee expired it died again. At which point I purchased a Netgear 802.11G with 108mb turbo support along with the wireless card. The thing is fast as heck. Very close to my wired network which is scary.