Linksys WRT54G questions
July 25, 2006 8:23 AM   Subscribe

A couple questions about my new Linksys WRT54G...

I just replaced my Netgear WGR614, which was driving me nuts with dropped connections. My setup is:

Internet -> WRT54G -> Vonage router (also Linksys, the one they send you)

3 wireless connections to the WRT54G. One laptop serves files and web pages locally,

1) I'm running DHCP. How can I get the WRT54G to still map a specific IP to a specific MAC address (my old router did this)?

2) I game online and occasionally download large files. Is there a "how-to" guide for setting up QoS to make sure that my apps and VOIP play nice together?
posted by mkultra to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How can I get the WRT54G to still map a specific IP to a specific MAC address (my old router did this)?

With the standard Linksys firmware, I don't think you can. If you can swap it for the WRT54GL, you can replace the Linksys firmware with something like DD-WRT, which will give you the ability to do that, and much more.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:31 AM on July 25, 2006

You need after-market firmware to assign IP addresses statically. I highly recommend the Thibor's HyperWRT as it is by far the most stable version going. It has also been built ontop of the stock Linksys firmware, so the learning curve is significantly less drastic then other versions (which have their share of benefits as well).

If you decide to go that route (and I recommend it), assigning static IP addresses is very easy. Setup->Static DHCP. Enter MAC, IP -> Apply.

As for QoS, it is available in the stock firmware under Applications & Gaming->QoS (same location in the after-market version I mentioned above) but the stock is somewhat flaky and again, I would recommend giving HyperWRT a shot.

If so, then you have to enable Internet Access Priority, specify the Upstream Bandwidth (use 90% of your rated bandwidth, check with dslreports to find out what your current upstream speeds are). Then set the MAC address for your Vonage router to the Highest priority and that's it! It's all I've done, and it works like a charm and I haven't had to touch the router in over a month.
posted by purephase at 8:39 AM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: Really, no way map IP's with the stock firmware? Seems like such basic functionality to me. I'd go without DHCP if I could figure out how to assign a manual IP to the Vonage router (which I can't even remember how to access anymore- going straight to the IP doesn't respond).
posted by mkultra at 9:00 AM on July 25, 2006

I've even asked Linksys when they would add static DHCP to the stock firmware, and they replied that it was not planned. Given the quality of the WET54G and the anemic stock WRT45G firmware, I don't plan on buying much more Linksys gear.
posted by kcm at 9:03 AM on July 25, 2006

Really, no way map IP's with the stock firmware? Seems like such basic functionality to me.

It is basic functionality, but unfortunately it has never been present in Linksys firmware and I don't see it changing in the foreseeable future. Also, I've never been able to access the Vonage device to configure it directly which is why I required static IP assignment. However, for QoS you don't have to assign a static address for it to work, all you need is the MAC address and you can see that in your DHCP client list once you attach the Vonage router to the WRT54G.

kcm, The power of the WRT series routers is that the firmware is open source. You really should check out the community that has developed around these routers and the amazing stuff that is being done. I wouldn't hesitate in a decision to buy another one of these routers.
posted by purephase at 9:11 AM on July 25, 2006

Make sure you have an older version of the WRT54g because version 5 can't use the hacked firmwares. dd-wrt is probably the way to go after you sort that out.
posted by robofunk at 9:26 AM on July 25, 2006

Best answer: Yeah, mkultra -- chances are that if you just bought the WRT54G, it's a version 5 or higher (look on the bottom label), so you won't be able to easily install an aftermarket firmware on it. (Note that there are folks that've worked out how to get DD-WRT onto those routers -- it doesn't look as trivial as upgrading the older routers, but YMMV.)

A few questions:

- do any of the devices that you want to have static IP addresses support you going in and setting the address manually? The DHCP server of the WRT54G will only give out addresses in a small range; you can always manually assign IP addresses outside this range to those devices.
- is your Vonage phone adapter the Linksys one that also has a few ethernet ports for LAN devices? If so, then don't fret about QOS, just swap the phone adapter and WRT54G locations so that the phone adapter sits between your cable/DSL model and the WRT54G. Then it'll, by default, handle the QOS stuff for you.
posted by delfuego at 9:43 AM on July 25, 2006

Further to the WRT54G V5 issue: it's using a proprietary OS (VxWorks) and has half the RAM of previous versions. If you're looking to install alternate firmware, go with the WRT54GL, which will continue to use Linux.
posted by bachelor#3 at 10:00 AM on July 25, 2006

Response by poster: I sucked it up and ordered the WRT54GL from Amazon, which will come in plenty of time to take the current WRT54G back to "we'll take anything back" Staples. But, thanks for the note delfuego- I didn't realize you could assign IP's outside the DHCP range.
posted by mkultra at 10:10 AM on July 25, 2006

Another DD-WRT user here, and good call on replacing your router with a WRT54GL.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:50 AM on July 25, 2006

As an update, DD-WRT is great firmware and I used it quite a bit throughout the last two years, but stability is not one of it's primary selling features (unless that aspect has improved drastically over the last 6 months or so since initial v24 builds were made available).

HyperWRT will work with the GL series routers. I should have mentioned that the G5+ G-series moved away from the open source route that the earlier models had pioneered.
posted by purephase at 11:10 AM on July 25, 2006

I've just upgraded to the HyperWRT and so far it seems very much to be worth the minimal effort.
posted by tiamat at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2006

It is basic functionality, but unfortunately it has never been present in Linksys firmware and I don't see it changing in the foreseeable future.

I have a very old linksys wireless router, so maybe this is out of date, but all I've ever had to do to assign a static IP to a computer was just to set it in that computer, and make sure it isn't in the dhcp range. Nothing to do on the router end.
posted by advil at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2006

You can assign static addresses on the workstations (even within the DHCP range if you're so inclined) and they will work fine. We were talking about statically assigning IP addresses to specific machines so that the DHCP server (on the router) always assigns the same workstations the same addresses.
posted by purephase at 11:59 AM on July 25, 2006

Correct; any adresses that are not within the router's DHCP server's assigned range can be put on other statically addressed devices on the network, and everything will Just Work.
posted by baylink at 1:14 PM on July 25, 2006

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