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I've looked and looked and don't have an answer for the following:

I have a WRT54G v6 as my main wireless router/wired switch.

I would like to connect it to another WRT54G v1.1 via a power line link (or possibly wireless if needed). Seems like I would get faster transmission rates via the power line link.

I would then use the 1.1 as a switch for my Xbox and 2d Tivo. If possible, I would also like to have the wireless transmission from the 1.1 enabled. I'm in a 2 story house and the WRT54Gs are on opposite ends and different floors (as far away from each other as possible, pretty much).

Can this be done? Will I need to put open firmware on 1 or more of the WRTs? Any help is appreciated.
 

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First off, I don't think you can configure a WRT54G as a wireless client or bridge, so you'll have to use a wired connection between your second one and your main router.(Make certain you disable DHCP on the second router and change it's IP to something other than 192.168.1.1) Powerline is a good solution if you have a newer home, but you might want to check you throughput, Powerline I'm familiar with only runs as 14mbs while the wireless G runs at 54mbs.

If you haven't purchased your second WRT54G yet I'd recommend a WAP54G configured as a wireless client and plugged in a small wired switch. This would give you as many ports as you had on the switch for the devices at the remote location without using a powerline solution.
 

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MickeS said:
Just wanted to thank you again for that tip!

I just installed DD-WRT onto my WLI-TX4-G54HP bridge, and now music and photos in Galleon works perfectly again!
I'm glad it worked for you! I think it's a great way to get more out of those boxes once you realize you should have been using a different firmware the whole time. :)
 

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MickeS said:
Just wanted to thank you again for that tip!

I just installed DD-WRT onto my WLI-TX4-G54HP bridge, and now music and photos in Galleon works perfectly again!
That's great to know! I am planning to put a TiVo upstairs and it's good to know I can reuse my old bridge that I gave up on instead of buying a new adapter.
 

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Here was my solution:

I purchased the Linksys Powerline AV Ethernet adapter. There is a PLK200 kit that has 2 units. They are configured using a setup disc and a computer (nothing to be set). Once that is done, you just run a cable from the router to the unit and plug it into a power outlet. Plug another unit into another power outlet, wherever you want the network outlet to be, and run a cable to the network device of your choice.

One unit went with the main WRT54G v6. The other went downstairs on the opposite end of the house. I was previously only getting 25% or so on the Tivo wireless adapter. From the powerlink device downstairs, I ran the Cat5 into a "spare" WRT54G v1.1. Prior to this, I had configured the v1.1 by changing the unit's IP address to 192.168.1.3. The Cat5 from the powerlink was inserted into a numbered port on the v1.1. According to a guide I used, if inserted into the WAN port on the WRT54G, the router would then need additional configuration for routes to the v6 main router. I also setup the wireless on the v1.1 to broadcast a 2d SSID name. I'm not sure if it would be ok to have 2 devices broadcasting the same SSID since they are on the same connected network. I may try that later just for the following reason. When I move my laptop from upstairs where the v6 is located, it remains connected to that SSID. The signal is very weak in a couple of spots. However, if I switch to the downstairs' SSID, signal is excellent and vice versa. Switching is really easy using the Dell's wireless utility but even so, is really beyond my wife's comfort zone.

In summary, if you happen to have an extra WRT54G lying around, it can be configured to act as a switch off of a wired connection. One caveat, since the 2d unit connects to the network via a numbered port, you get 3 instead of 4 open spots on the router/switch.

One last thing. You may wonder why I didn't just go with the wireless solution? 2 reasons. First, I want to connect my xbox to the network for xbox live and media center applications. The wired solution allows the hookup of the router which enables more devices without more wireless adapters. Second, since I envision TTG on the TivoHD soon, I need higher transmission rates than I was going to get from a wireless connection with a low signal strength.

Hope this helps someone.
 

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bigusmfan said:
Here was my solution:

I purchased the Linksys Powerline AV Ethernet adapter. There is a PLK200 kit that has 2 units. They are configured using a setup disc and a computer (nothing to be set). Once that is done, you just run a cable from the router to the unit and plug it into a power outlet. Plug another unit into another power outlet, wherever you want the network outlet to be, and run a cable to the network device of your choice.

One unit went with the main WRT54G v6. The other went downstairs on the opposite end of the house. I was previously only getting 25% or so on the Tivo wireless adapter. From the powerlink device downstairs, I ran the Cat5 into a "spare" WRT54G v1.1. Prior to this, I had configured the v1.1 by changing the unit's IP address to 192.168.1.3. The Cat5 from the powerlink was inserted into a numbered port on the v1.1. According to a guide I used, if inserted into the WAN port on the WRT54G, the router would then need additional configuration for routes to the v6 main router. I also setup the wireless on the v1.1 to broadcast a 2d SSID name. I'm not sure if it would be ok to have 2 devices broadcasting the same SSID since they are on the same connected network. I may try that later just for the following reason. When I move my laptop from upstairs where the v6 is located, it remains connected to that SSID. The signal is very weak in a couple of spots. However, if I switch to the downstairs' SSID, signal is excellent and vice versa. Switching is really easy using the Dell's wireless utility but even so, is really beyond my wife's comfort zone.

In summary, if you happen to have an extra WRT54G lying around, it can be configured to act as a switch off of a wired connection. One caveat, since the 2d unit connects to the network via a numbered port, you get 3 instead of 4 open spots on the router/switch.

One last thing. You may wonder why I didn't just go with the wireless solution? 2 reasons. First, I want to connect my xbox to the network for xbox live and media center applications. The wired solution allows the hookup of the router which enables more devices without more wireless adapters. Second, since I envision TTG on the TivoHD soon, I need higher transmission rates than I was going to get from a wireless connection with a low signal strength.

Hope this helps someone.
You can safely give them the same ssid and the wireless devices will switch to the stronger connection automatically. Just make certain your security is configured the same on both wireless networks.
 

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Stormspace said:
You can safely give them the same ssid and the wireless devices will switch to the stronger connection automatically. Just make certain your security is configured the same on both wireless networks.
Thanks. I was going to try that tonight when I got home anyway.

Another question. If I decide to do mac filtering (I already run WPA and ZoneAlarm), will there be any problems? I would assume that I need to enter the MAC addresses on each router, correct?
 

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I've been using an extra Linksys router with dd-wrt with a DirecTivo and it works great. The added benefit is that dd-wrt now supports Repeater and Repeater Bridge mode. Not only do the up-to-four devices you plug in the back get access (like in a client bridge), but the router acts as a repeater of the wireless signal. This has significantly improved my wifi access on the lower level of my house. Where before the connection was spotty, I now have zero problems connecting with wifi.

Several folks have mentioned using WDS, but I've read that WDS actually reduces your throughput; I don't think it's duplex. Repeater mode does not have any loss of throughput.
 

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PaulS said:
Development on HyperWRT/Thibor has essentially stalled. Tofu, one of the prime contributors to later versions of HyperWRT, has continued development in his "Tomato" firmware. It features a superior GUI, improved QOS and is very robust. I'd recommend it over HyperWRT/Thibor and DD-WRTv23 at this point in time.
Its true that Thibor has essentially stopped developing new features but the latest version is rock solid. I have not tried Tomato yet so I only wanted to suggest what I knew worked really well. Other than moving to a new place I have never had to restart my Thibor WRT54G.
 

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bigusmfan said:
Thanks. I was going to try that tonight when I got home anyway.

Another question. If I decide to do mac filtering (I already run WPA and ZoneAlarm), will there be any problems? I would assume that I need to enter the MAC addresses on each router, correct?
Don't bother. MAC filtering is worthless as they can be cloned. If someone breaks your WPA encryption (not likely) MAC filtering will last about 2 seconds against them, on a good day. It's a pain in the butt to keep updated and doesn't help security.

If you really must do it anyway, you need to enter the MAC addresses for every wireless device into every router/AP they might connect to.
 

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Scott in CO said:
I've been using an extra Linksys router with dd-wrt with a DirecTivo and it works great. The added benefit is that dd-wrt now supports Repeater and Repeater Bridge mode. Not only do the up-to-four devices you plug in the back get access (like in a client bridge), but the router acts as a repeater of the wireless signal. This has significantly improved my wifi access on the lower level of my house. Where before the connection was spotty, I now have zero problems connecting with wifi.

Several folks have mentioned using WDS, but I've read that WDS actually reduces your throughput; I don't think it's duplex. Repeater mode does not have any loss of throughput.
WDS and repeater mode are going to have the same problems with speed (though repeater might be a little more efficient). Your radio can't transmit and receive at the same time. At least I'm not aware of wifi equipment that can. It's possible to build stuff that can, but consumer gear is unlikely to do it. So if you connect wirelessly with your upstream connection you are going to be doing a store and forward type link. That's going to cut your available bandwidth in half. I use WDS for linking bridges and internet access, which isn't going to top out the about 10Mbps of real speed available anyway so it doesn't matter. This problem doesn't affect wired clients connected to the router running WDS/repeater/client-bridge because the wired clients don't need the wireless channel, so it can be dedicated to the remote link.

That kind of thing is why I have cat-5 all over my house now. No worries with all that crap. I still use a WDS link to handle internet access as I haven't moved my internet service to the new house yet. I used WDS so I can connect my laptop to it for internet access. It takes the speed hit in that case, but it doesn't matter since my internet connection is lower than I can get over the WDS link anyway. If I need better wireless coverage, I'll link them with cat-5 and use the same SSID to get better coverage. And I'll probably need a special one for the Wii and DS as I won't run my main network on WEP.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=68&start=90&sid=9bd56b62c8aafef2287e151d41978c8e

Scroll down a bit and read the post by wayland. If you need more bandwidth than that, you need to use 2 routers at the repeater area linked with a cable on different channels (I've done this, it works) or run a cable to the second AP. If you try to use the same wireless channel you will lose about 50% of your speed.
 

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:) Series 2 --> Wired adapter (Linksys USB200M)-->Zyxel P-330W in bridge mode (w/wpa security) --> wireless router. I've had absolutely no trouble with the Zyxel. :up:

:mad: Which I can't say for the Dlink dwl122 wireless adapter I purchased. (This was pre tivo wireless adapter.) Tivo constantly lost my network and the adapter itself. And the only way to get it back was reboot tivo. It was a constant headache.

Watch the deal sites, the zyxel show up there quite often. The last time I saw it buy.com had it for $13 (post rebate).
 

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PaulS said:
Development on HyperWRT/Thibor has essentially stalled. Tofu, one of the prime contributors to later versions of HyperWRT, has continued development in his "Tomato" firmware. It features a superior GUI, improved QOS and is very robust. I'd recommend it over HyperWRT/Thibor and DD-WRTv23 at this point in time.
How would you compare the Tomato feature set with DD-WRTv23? I'm not sure that the current grumbling about DD-WRT is going to play out, but in the even that it ends up going on the "bad list" like Sveasoft before it, I'd like to have another suggestion to offer people (or to move mine to).
 

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Jazhuis said:
How would you compare the Tomato feature set with DD-WRTv23? I'm not sure that the current grumbling about DD-WRT is going to play out, but in the even that it ends up going on the "bad list" like Sveasoft before it, I'd like to have another suggestion to offer people (or to move mine to).
Tomato has a better GUI (for both config and real-time stat/bandwidth monitoring), more comprehensive QOS section, is based upon the official Linksys codebase (with certain mods by Tofu) and is pretty damn stable for me. Releases seem to have slowed down a bit.

DD-WRT has more features, supports far more platforms, and is based upon the OpenWRT code base. GUI is a bit cryptic at times. Development is fast 'n furious, going ahead with the V24 branch. I'm actually very interested to see the multiple WLAN stuff (up to 16 wireless networks supported by a single router -- kewl!) in action. I would think that this would come in very handy for lots of folks.

Given all of that, DD-WRT is the clear winner on a purely features standpoint. Tomato's strongpoints are in reliability, and in the ease of use and configuration.
 
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