How To Setup Client Bridge

I have an old Linksys WRT54GL router flashed with an open-source firmware DD-WRT. One of the nice things you can do with DD-WRT is configure it as a client bridge. You can then use the client bridge to connect a computer with no wireless network interface to the network. This article was written to help me remember in the future how to setup a client bridge on a Linksys WRT54GL flashed with DD-WRT. The configuration details pertains more to me and may not necessarily work out for your setup. If you want a more complete instruction, check out the client bridge documentation available from DD-WRT’s website.

  1. Reset the router. Login. Set username and password.
  2. Go to Wireless > Wireless Security. Set security mode and key to match your AP.
  3. Go to Wireless > Basic. Set wireless mode to Client Bridge.
  4. The wireless mode and SSID should be the same as your AP.
  5. Go to Setup > Basic setup and manually set IP address.
  6. Set IP address to 10.10.10.12. Leave local DNS blank. Main router is 10.10.10.11.
  7. Go to Security > Firewall and disable SPI firewall and only multicast checked.
  8. Go to Setup > Advanced Routing. Change mode from gateway to router.

Install DD-WRT on Cisco E1200

The Cisco E1200 is a relatively inexpensive wireless access point. I bought one from Amazon for under $50 dollars. It’s a Wireless-N device with transmit speeds to up to 300mbps. It operates in the 2.4Mhz band, with two internal antennas, and four Fast Ethernet ports. It comes with Cisco Connect, and support for IPV6, as well as a guest access feature.

It gets even better. Starting in the spring of this year, DD-WRT open-source firmware is now supported on this device. DD-WRT will give the Cisco E1200 stability, and features that you normally see only on high-end wireless routers. With DD-WRT, you can create virtual networks or guest networks just like on the original Cisco firmware. Plus, you’ll get a ton of other features.

You can purchase the E1200 for under $50 dollars. There are two versions of the E1200. Depending on what you end up with, you can download the appropriate DD-WRT firnware for the E1200 version 1 or version 2.

Finally, here’s a screenshot of my Cisco E1200 running DD-WRT.

DD-WRT To The Rescue

I got a Linksys WRT160N wireless router with a wireless problem. It’s not good when a piece of hardware no longer function the way it was intended to. I can’t get my laptop connected to it even if I’m literally 3 inches away from it. Instead of throwing away the router, I’ve decided to install a third-party firmware called DD-WRT.

It was a little unsettling at first because installing a third-party firmware can potentially brick a router if I don’t do it correctly. But, since the router is already useless, I’ve decided to install DD-WRT. Just as a word of caution. If you decide to install DD-WRT, make sure your router is supported. Read up. Do your homework. And follow instructions.

Suffice to say, the wireless router firmware upgrade was successful. The router is functioning nicely. DD-WRT will give you router functions you normally see in enterprise equipment, but the biggest improvement is, I now have a router with a much stronger wireless signal. Linksys sets their routers to transmit power at about 40mW. The DD-WRT firmware allows you to change the transmit power from 1-251mW. Mine is set to the DD-WRT default, which is about 70mW.

In addition to increase signal, you can also set the router as a wireless client, a wireless client bridge, a wireless repeater, and a wireless repeater bridge. Awesome. If you have an old router that’s misbehaving, you might want to look into the DD-WRT firmware. You can breath new life in an old wireless equipment.

Snapshot