Create a wireless bridge in my house
January 9, 2009 9:53 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to bridge two wired networks within a home, wirelessly?

So this question has been asked before, but it's been a couple of years, and I know this stuff goes out of date quickly. Is the advice in the prior AskMe still valid, or are there better ways to do it? I have a wifi connection point in my home (wireless cable modem), and would like to get a piece of equipment to recieve that signal and allow me to hard-wire into it with some game consoles, a Roku box, filesharing server, etc. Sometimes, I need to be able to have a wired connection on these devices (for instance, if I'm installing a new OS that will require me to have an internet connection before I have drivers for wireless cards) but don't have the inclination to move them.

BTW, forgive the terminology if I'm using some of it wrong. Feel free to correct me. :) Thanks.
posted by jasondbarr to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I did this for my office connectivity, and it was extremely simple with an older model WRT54G router and the DD-WRT firmware. The DD-WRT website has a list of models on which the firmware will run along with the bridging how-to. I ran through the instructions and it worked straight out of the gate for me. My office has the DD-WRT router in it, with the man (un-hacked) wireless router down the hall.

I've had no direct experience with it, but I believe the Tomato firmware does this as well, and is supposed to be easier to administer.
posted by jquinby at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2009

I have also used the DD-WRT firmware to the same ends for similar purposes. The short of it is that the second router is a client of the first, and bridges the wired-wireless connection. It's not all that difficult with the right firmware. If you're using the default firmware made by linksys, netgear, et al, you may have a more difficult time. Try googling the term 'wireless bridge' along with your router make and model, see if you get any hits.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 10:11 AM on January 9, 2009

DD-WRT does this fairly well. If youre not comfortable with installing a custom firmware there are some cheap WAPs that have bridging. The Linksys WAP54G does this natively.

Caveat: if the connection isnt solid then the video on your Roku might not work well or at all. If there's a lot of interference or latency then you might not be able to do online gaming either.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:15 AM on January 9, 2009

the word you want to google for is WDS. tomato or DD-WRT have directions when you look for that term.
posted by jrishel at 10:15 AM on January 9, 2009

WDS might be overkill for him. DD-WRT in a simple bridge client mode is more than enough.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:17 AM on January 9, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah, just to clarify, I don't do online gaming (just need to update software occasionally). So that's not much of an issue. Right now, the Roku box is connected wirelessly and it runs fine, so I would hope that the intermediary wouldn't drag it down too much. Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep them coming.
posted by jasondbarr at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2009

N-thing DD-WRT in client bridge mode. But for simple bridging a WAP54G does sound less painful for non-technical users, although you'll need a separate hub too then, since it only has one network port.
posted by chundo at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2009

I have a DLink DAP-1522 which is an 802.11/n unit that operates flawlessly in bridge mode. Fast as hellhounds, too.
posted by trinity8-director at 2:41 PM on January 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm bridging between two wired network segments using WRT54G routers running Tomato. Right now I only have one computer on the far side, but I'm pretty sure it will work with multiple devices.
posted by Good Brain at 4:30 PM on January 9, 2009

I had to get a copier on a network where there was no network jack nearby. So I used a WRT54GL (the L matters!) with DD-WRT. I had to boost the wireless on both ends, and the network was named "linksys" so I had to set MAC filtering so it would only associate with the main wireless router (also on DD-WRT). I couldn't change the name of the network b/c it was a business and everyone already had the WEP key, so I wasn't going to disrupt the whole setup.
posted by ijoyner at 6:47 PM on January 9, 2009

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