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.

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.

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