How to set up WRT54G as a WiFi bridge to Fritz!Box 3270
Recently we got a Fritz!Box as a new DSL modem, our old ZyXel P-660HW suffered frequent crashes (it froze or interrupted the internet connection) especially when there were a lot of devices associated with the wireless network and/or a lot of banwidth used by someone. The Fritz!Box WLAN 3270 is a great piece of hardware and has never crashed so far by the way. Because it supports the IEEE_802.11n standard it offers quite a satisfying range and speed.
But due to two desktop PCs which aren’t wifi capable I needed to set up our Linksys WRT54G router as a wireless network bridge.
The first part was to download dd-wrt, an alternate firmware, and flash the device with it. You can do this under the tab “Administration” –> “Firmware Upgrade”. Note that this procedure can potentially brick your router (=you can’t access nor use it anymore), for a full description see this howto the dd-wrt wiki.
The second part is a bit more complicated, but essentially you can just follow the tutorial from the dd-wrt wiki, with a few changes. Here is what I did:
- Connect a cable from your computer to the LAN port on your router.
- Set your computer to a static IP address of 192.168.1.9
- Set your browser to 192.168.1.1 and open the dd-wrt webgui.
- You should be asked to change your password and username. Carefully type these in. Hit change password.
- Go FIRST to wireless, wireless security and enter the security type and key that matches your primary router.
- Hit SAVE
- Go to the wireless, basic settings page and change the wireless mode to Client Bridge.
- Your wireless network mode should be set to the same as the primary router.
- Set the wireless channel to match your primary router channel
- Set mode to mixed.
- Set the wireless network name to exactly the same as your primary router. Make sure spelling and capitalization match.
- Set Ack timing to 0 unless you have a long distance (>300 meter) link
- Hit SAVE at the bottom. Then hit APPLY.
- Check to make sure all the configurations, including the mode, saved and the mode is still client bridge. If any changed, fix them, and save again.
- Goto Setup, basic setup and enter a router Local IP address of 192.168.178.10. You can also enter another IP, just make sure it’s in the same subnet (192.168.178.X) and outside the DHCP range of your primary router (Fritz!Box: 192.168.178.20-200) Leave subnet mask at 255.255.255.0.
- Set the Gateway IP (the one in network setup) to 192.168.178.1
- Leave Local DNS (the one in network setup) blank
- Change your timezone and DST to match where you are.
- Optionally enter a NTP server (eg. 126.96.36.199)
- Hit Save.
- Goto Security, Firewall. Uncheck all boxes and disable SPI Firewall
- Hit Save.
- Goto Services. Uncheck Dnsmasq
- Hit Save.
- Goto Setup, Advanced Routing, set Operating mode to “Router”
- Hit Save
- Set Dynamic Routing interface to “Lan & Wlan”
- Hit Save
- Goto Administration and hit “Apply Settings” at the bottom.
- Set your computer back to DHCP (auto IP and auto DNS).
Bridging with WPA2 security does NOT work. Believe me, I spent hours figuring out the problem and looking why there was no link. Your Fritz!Box (primary router) has to be set to WPA or WPA + WPA2 and your WRT54G accordingly to WPA!!
And that’s it. You should have a working wireless bridge now with the wired computers in the same subnet as the wifi devices. Worked for me so far.
Although I haven’t tried it yet, it should work just as well in “Repeater Bridge” mode.