Can any router be a WAP?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by vsp, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. vsp macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2004
    Chico, Ca
    Quick outline of how our network is set up:

    1. Our DSL line comes into a DLINK DI-605 ethernet router.
    2. Two computers are hooked directly to the router.
    3. There's a third wire that runs through a wall and into the ceiling, dropping down to a room on the other side of the house.
    4. That line connects to a switch.
    5. One line from the switch goes off to some pvc piping and runs to a computer in a back building on the property.
    6. The second line from the switch used to connect to a desktop in the room the switch is in.

    Now, for the question. The desktop in there is gone, now replaced by a laptop. We'd like to set up a wireless connection right there.

    The laptop came with a DLink DI-524 wireless broadband router. It's not described anywhere as being a WAP. Can I still use it as a WAP and just plug it into the switch, Or is there some missing piece of hardware in a standard router that prevents it from acting as a WAP? ? The laptop only needs access to the internet, not the other computers.

    If I can use it as a WAP, do I need to specify any of the internet connectivity settings in the wireless router? Or will it properly connect straight to the internet, following the settings on the ethernet router?

    Thanks for any tips or advice on this.
  2. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    As I understand it, the difference between 'Wireless Access Point' and 'Wireless Router' is fairly quickly being erased. You should certainly be able to get this to work—you will probably want to make sure when setting up the Wireless device, however, that you don't enable its DHCP server. It's far and away easiest just to have one device on your network handing out IP addresses to all the other devices; otherwise you will have to fiddle around with defining different address ranges to be used by the two 'routers' to avoid address conflicts.

    My advice (not that it's worth much)? Just plug it in and see how it goes! Fiddle with the configuration of the wireless router until things are working as you want, and come back here with questions.
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    You can use that as a WAP. Just configure it to get it's internet from the ethernet port and that should be it. I don't have a DLink handy so I can't walk you through more than that, sorry. :eek:
  4. bored911 macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2007
    should work fine. go into settings>security then set a wap password
  5. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    That is not what he's talking about.

    OP: Yes, it will work as the others have said. I've setup my own routers that way before. I typically just connected them to the rest of the network via a regular port (NOT the Internet or "WAN" port) and disabled their DHCP servers via the admin panel. Connected that way, and with the DHCP server off, it becomes a part of your whole network rather than creating its own little network. Any DHCP requests initiated at that downstream router get passed upstream to the main one.

    When I did this with Netgears, they only worked this way if they were plugged into the network via port 1 or port 4, I can't remember may have to fiddle around because sometimes only one of the ports can function properly as an uplink port, but it's not always documented.
  6. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2004
    Chico, Ca
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Been a great help in setting this up.

    Currently, I've got it working...sort of. The laptop can connect to the Internet wirelessly, while the desktops are connecting through ethernet cables. Problem is the connection gets lost on both machines periodically. After a short time they'll both regain it, but this is new behavior for our Net connection. Unplug the wireless router and POOF...problem goes away.

    It is an intermittent disconnect problem, but is happening often enough to be an issue. It seems whichever computer I use has to renegotiate it's connection to my ISP.

    A quick rundown of my settings:

    Wireless router IP address is set to, so that it doesn't conflict with the ethernet router, which is Subnet mask is the same for both routers.

    DHCP is disabled on the wireless router. WEP security is on with a key (took me forever to get this to work).

    The tricky part is the WAN settings. On the main router it's set to dynamic PPPoE, with the user name and password set, and Connect-On-Demand selected. The WAN tab on the wireless router has Radio-style buttons, so something has to be selected. The options are
    Dynamic IP address
    Static IP address

    Currently it's set to PPPoE, with no username or password set. I'm wondering if this is where I point it to my main router? I've tried Static IP address with various configurations for the IP Address, Subnet Mask, and ISP Gateway Address, but none seem to work yet.

    Setting it to Dynamic IP address seems the wrong way to go about it, since I don't actually want it to ask for an IP address. But, when I try this it seems to work very well, and the disconnect problem seems to go away. The setting asks for a MAC address, The address I'm supplying is taken from the Status tab on the configuration screen for the main router. I had two MAC addresses listed, one for the LAN and one for the WAN. I chose the WAN one.

    Things SEEM ok with this setting, but, not knowing exactly what I'm doing, I have concerns I've set this up incorrectly. And dynamic IP intuitively seems wrong, though it apparently solves my problem of disconnects I get when setting the wireless router to PPPoE.

    I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions about what I've done here. Should I fuss around more with the settings for Static IP, or just be happy I've got both connected with the wireless router set to dynamic IP?

    And if I'm being unclear about anything just ask away. I've spent a lot of time fussing with this, so my communication skills maybe be a bit wonky right now. :)

    Thanks for all the help!
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    You didn't say how you have the second router physically connected to the main one. If you connected it correctly (with one of the ethernet ports 1-4), then the WAN settings don't matter at all. If you can't disable the WAN port, then just set it to Static IP and leave it. It's not operating through that port, so it doesn't matter.

    If for some reason you can't get it to work being connected to the rest of your network through port 1 or 4, then yes you would want the WAN set to Dynamic IP. The downside of this is that the other computers on your network wouldn't be able to initiate a connection to wireless clients connected to that secondary router, unless you did port forwarding.

    But try it NOT using the WAN port first. That's the way it should be set up.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    This is the exact same setup I have. Only I used an Apple Airport Express in place of your DI-524. The way I set it up is that the Airport Express routes between the wireless LAN to the local wired LAN so the computers that are wired and wireless CAN see each other.
  9. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2004
    Chico, Ca
    Yes, the cable coming into the wireless router is entering into port 1. But apparently the WAN settings do matter, since setting it to PPPoE vs. Dynamic IP gives very different results.

    I don't see anyway of not choosing a particular WAN setting in the configuration screen for the DI-524 router (that's the wireless one). I'd prefer to set it to Static IP but it won't allow me to without valid entries for
    IP Address
    Subnet Mask
    ISP Gateway Address
    Primary DNS Address.

    Not sure what to use for the setting for these. The primary DNS address is required. I've tried various combinations of things but none seem to work very well (I grabbed the DNS address from the status screen of the main router..not sure if that's the correct spot or not). Using Static the laptop connects wirelessly to the internet just fine but the desktops are kicked off.

    So far dynamic is the only thing that works smoothly, which I can live with if the only issue is lack of connectivity to other wireless devices. But I'd like to get the Static IP setting working.
  10. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    That's really weird that with the static WAN setting the laptop can connect to the Internet, but the rest of your network can't. Really, really weird.

    I'd love to take a look at it personally -- every one of these routers behaves differently when you try to use it like this -- but I guess my recommendation would be to just leave it on dynamic. As long as no one needs to connect TO the laptop, you'll be fine. If you have a server or other machines on the network that you need to pull files from, the laptop can access those, so it shouldn't be a problem.
  11. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2004
    Chico, Ca
    An update on all this, in case anyone was wondering or curious:

    As mentioned above, I got the connection I wanted only when I set the wireless router (the DI-524) to dynamic IP. And it indeed worked.....

    for about an hour. At that point the laptop would no longer recognize anything. I messed with various settings but no luck. The wireless router appeared to be fine, the laptop simply forgot it existed and didn't want to be convinced otherwise.

    Since I had real things to do besides getting a Toshiba laptop running on a wireless connection so someone could check their email while in the kitchen, I put it all aside for a few days.

    Now the DI-524 was still plugged into the network and, over the next few days, would occasionally take it over. It would decide it should be our gateway to the Internet and would, somehow, become so. It, of course, had no way of connecting to the Internet, no username, no password, zilch, so we were rudely kicked off. It was easy enough to get back onto the Internet, I simply unplugged the ethernet cable leaving our main router to the switch the wireless router was on and...BOOM...a near instant return to Internet access.

    Curious about why it would occasionally take over the network, I plugged the wireless router back in but could never figure out what would trigger it.

    At that point we were loaned a Linksys wireless router (WRT54G) which advertises itself as, amongst other things a WAP.

    Since this is already a long post I won't bore you with the details of getting this router working except to say "Thanks for nothing Linksys!" I doubt they could have made it a more difficult, ineffiecient, undocumented, and downright broken process if they tried. Luckily, I eventually found an official posting on their forums about how to set the router up as a WAP. Which almost, almost worked...oh so close Linksys....but they left out a few key pieces of great importance, which I eventually discovered.

    And so far it's working. I hope it stays that way.

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread. I noticed that the lead story on Macrumors right now is about Apple working on making wireless networking easier. Can't happen too soon, far as I'm concerned :p

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