"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Bridging between two wireless routers

I recently stepped into the wireless world. I changed Internet provider and I had to send back them the old modem they leased me and buy a new one. I so decided not only to buy a wireless router modem but also an extra wireless router. My idea was to make them connect together and get rid of the wire crawling under the carpet across all the living room (the phone socket and the computer room are quite in the opposite side of my house).

Choosing the routers
I have to admit I did choose my routers in an almost random way. I didn't know that not all routers support the WDS function which allow router's wireless bridging. Anyway I've been lucky (very lucky) in my choice. I bought a DG834GV4 wireless modem router and a WGR614V9 wireless router both produced from Netgear and both of them support WDS.

Configuring the routers

First of all I tested both devices to verify they regularly worked alone and set up all the routine configuration usually needed (change password, set up Internet connection and so on).
Then I had to upgrade the WGR614V9 router's firmware to the last version available (V1.2.6_18.0.17) since the version it was shipped with did not support WDS yet.
Then I configured wireless options on both devices to be the same: same SSID name and same security key. I had, unfortunately, to switch security options to WEP because bridging is not supported under other encryption methods.
I configured the modem (DG834GV4) LAN properties in order to work as DHCP server leaving, of course, the other router address free from the DHCP addresses range.


I also enabled WDS bridging and registered the router's (WGR614V9) MAC address as remote address.

On the other side (the WGR614V9 router) I disabled DHCP server and changed the LAN IP address to the one left free from modem DHCP configuration.

at last I configured WDS option registering the modem (DG834GV4) MAC address as remote address.


Now all the network works fine, I would recommend to anybody wold like to set-up a similar configuration to be very cautious and to consult as many Internet forums as you can before to buy anything. I'd like also remark how useful has been the EEEPC during the configuration process. I used it to verify all possible wired connection and also to measure wireless network reach in every room of my house. Doing this with a lightweight computer is indeed an easier job.

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