Wireless Network/Access Point Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by davidg4781, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #1
    I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router. I want to extend the reach of this and need another wireless device. I thought an Access Point would do the job, but these are running around $70, where another WRT54G is $48. Do I have to have an AP, or will a router do the job after it's configured properly.
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    go with the wrt.
    I'm not sure if you can do the settings you want with the default firmware, but use dd-wrt. It is a linux operating system for your wrt54, installs like normal (well almost), and gives you tons more options.

    the biggest headache with this is getting the correct version for your router, linksys makes major changes within the same model number but different version number. There are pretty good instructions for most models and versions.

    check out this page for how to set up like you need.
     
  3. Bakkalohriat Guest

    Bakkalohriat

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    Getting it to work with another Linksys will require a little legwork. I've had a good deal of experience with Tomato, another Linux-based third party firmware alternative. It will allow you to extend your wireless network if you have the proper hardware. WRT54G models up to revision 4 will run Tomato, so the units on the shelf today won't work for you, nor will your current router if it is revision 5 or newer. Linksys currently sells the WRT54GL, L standing for Linux, that will run Tomato. Once you have the right hardware, you'll need to spend a good deal of time flashing the routers and configuring a Wireless Distribution System enabled network.

    In honesty, the complexity of setting up a WDS network versus the simplicity of purchasing an access point instead probably justifies the extra ten or twenty dollars of cost. If you still want to go that way, there's a fairly comprehensive FAQ, including the basics of WDS under Tomato, to be found at http://www.polarcloud.com/tomatofaq.

    Hope that helps; let me know if you have more specific questions!

    :apple:
     
  4. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #4
    Thanks for the replies folks.

    I'd like to keep the original firmware on the devices. One thing, what does an access point have that a router doesn't? Why might this be a problem? Is it just that it'll be a little harder to configure, or would I actually run in to problems where this may not work?
     
  5. Bakkalohriat Guest

    Bakkalohriat

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    I know that the stock Linksys firmware has no option that allows a wireless network to be extended by another router. You'd have to ask someone with more Access Point knowledge, but I believe these devices have the right internals to use an existing wireless network as an input and rebroadcast using the same SSID, etc.
     
  6. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #6
    Thanks. This may be why the internet is so slow. I have the internet connected to a wired router, the wired router connected to the wireless router, and the computer connected to the wireless router via a wire.

    It's a lot cheaper than buying wireless cards and AP, if I don't need them. Looks like I might.
     
  7. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    Short answer

    Yes, a second WRT54G with the stock firmware will work just fine, I have done this myself.

    To make it work all you need to do is two things:
    1) Turn off DHCP serving.
    2) Connect the two routers together with an ethernet cable to a LAN (numbered) port on each. Do not use the WAN port on the router you turned off DHCP on!!!!

    The manual I think tells you how to do this but its terminology was unintuitive so it took me forever to figure out which section was the one actually explaining this.
     
  8. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #8
    I appreciate the help, but I'm confused. Why would I need a second wireless router if I'm just going to connect it to the first using an ethernet cable? I'm using this to extend the signal around a metal garage that isn't allowing signal to pass.
     
  9. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    Because it would get signal out there that you can use without having to plug your laptop into a cable. However you do need to get one ethernet cable out there to the router.

    If you are looking to "boost" the signal without using any wires, then an Access Point is not what you want. An access point is what I described, it increases the zone of a wireless network but requires a wired connection to the AP itself.

    What is sounds like you want is a wireless repeater. These unfortunately are not as cheap as routers. If the people above are right about the Linux version of the WRT54GL being able to do this, then that would be your cheapest option. Otherwise you are probably looking at something like a $100 or more for a repeater. NOTE: The Airport Express is a repeater, that is one of its advertised selling points.
     
  10. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #10
    Hmm, well, maybe if I describe my situation it will help.

    I have a computer in one room that my grandfather uses. I'd like to keep the modem in there, in case he needs to reset it, as he's there most of the time. The setup is in a triangle shape...like this....
    A B





    C

    If the modem is a point A, where gramp's computer is, there's a garage between A and B preventing the signal from reaching B. Right now, there's a wired router at A with a wire running to a wireless router at C. This allows signal to B, but the internet is crawling at C, and I'm assuming it's because of this crazy setup.

    I could maybe put the modem at C, along with a wireless router, and then put in a wireless card in A. I bought a card and put it in C. It cost me about $15, which was about $14.99 more than what the thing is actually worth.

    It does make it look cooler with the little antenna sticking out, but, it doesn't make my space load any faster.
     

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