Sunday, February 2, 2014

Convert an older Linksys wireless router to a wireless bridge.

I've got a couple of devices at the house that don't have integrated wifi (Dish Hopper and Onkyo Receiver), but it would be nice to get them on the network. I can't fish Cat5 to the location easily and the wifi add-on adapters from Dish and Onkyo are expensive.

My solution to this problem was to take my old Linksys WRT54GL running DD-WRT firmware and convert it from an AP to a wireless bridge that can connect these two wired devices to my home wireless (provided by my Asus RT-NSSU). This solution is free since I have the Linksys sitting around; I recently replaced it with the Asus.

  1. The first thing you need is an old wireless router (secondary router). I used a WRT54GL from linksys, an 802.11G box. There are several "aftermarket" software versions for these routers but I know this will work with DD-WRT. DD-WRT is easy to install and there is plenty of information to help you get it on your router if you are still running the stock software. 
  2. I needed to make a couple of changes to the primary Asus router to let the secondary router connect to the wireless. On the 2.4Ghz wireless settings I changed the authentication method to "WPA-Auto-Personal" and the encryption to "TKIP+AES". This allows less secure older WPA clients to connect.
  3. Connect to the secondary router LAN port, and access the admin page.
  4. Reset the secondary router to factory defaults. 
  5. Change the IP address. It will default to, which is probably in use by your primary router. 
  6. Navigate to the Wireless and Basic Settings tab. Change the wireless mode from the default of AP to "Client Bridge" and click Apply Settings. Configure the network name field with the wireless SSID used on your primary router. Click Apply Settings.
  7. Navigate to the Wireless Security tab. Set the security mode to WPA Personal, and the encryption to TKIP+AES. Enter the shared key in use on the wireless network.
  8. The wireless light on the secondary router should turn solid green, and at this point you should be able to pull DHCP from the primary router and access the internet while plugged into the LAN ports on the secondary router. It should be ready to hook up your non-wifi devices. 
NOTE : I had trouble using WPA2 with AES, I had to set the primary router to WPA Auto and the secondary router to WPA to get this to work. This does expose the network to having the key compromised. I don't consider this a risk at in my environment but it is something you should be aware of. 


Great piece of information that how to build wireless router into wireless bride. Actually, in networking, this is considered very important to make such a wireless bridge. I read and like this article.

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