Can I get a wired (ethernet) connection off a wireless network?
December 2, 2007 6:14 AM   Subscribe

Can I get a wired (ethernet) connection off a wireless network?

I have free access to my landlord's wifi. I also have a couple of devices (most importantly series 1 tivo "hacked" to have an ethernet card inside) that require a wired connection. I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router with DD-WRT firmware installed.

Assume I don't have physical access to the landlord's cable modem/router, though I might be able to finagle it (once or twice) if I ask nicely.

This should be doable, but for some reason I'm not seeing the solution. Can you help out?
posted by TonyRobots to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can do this with a Mac running OS X. Go into the Sharing system preference panel, and say that you want to share your wireless connection via ethernet.

Of course, you don't say if you have a mac running OS X, but you could get an old cheap one for this purpose.
posted by alms at 6:35 AM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: I use WDS to bridge wired networks, but that won't work for you here since you don't control both access points. Would setting up a wireless repeater work for you? I've never tried that one before but it does require DD-WRT v24 release candidate.
posted by dereisbaer at 6:43 AM on December 2, 2007

Response by poster: I don't have any Macs, sadly -- I have an old, old thinkpad that runs linux, a windows XP laptop, and a windows vista desktop.
posted by TonyRobots at 6:45 AM on December 2, 2007

You need no extra hardware if you run any modern OS. I'm assuming you're running XP, so, in XP, it's called Internet Connection Sharing. See here.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:56 AM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: This is easy with any recent (i.e., in the last couple years) DD-WRT. Just put it in client mode and away you go. You'll end up NATing yourself behind your landlord's nat, but that's probably fine. Some of the other non-wds options are problematic because 802.11 only has the provision for one MAC address per wireless node, which can lead to all kinds of strangeness if you try to hang multiple devices off your router in a bridged setup.
posted by rbs at 7:24 AM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: In DD-WRT just change the wireless mode from AP to client, and it will do exactly what you want.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:25 AM on December 2, 2007

You might want to get a wireless ethernet bridge, or a Wifi game adapter. They both allow you to plug an ethernet cable into a wireless adapter.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:45 AM on December 2, 2007

If you want to avoid DD-WRT, get a dedicated wireless Ethernet repeater for each device. They're made for game consoles, but should work with anything. I've seen ones for ~$20.
posted by djb at 7:46 AM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: I do this using a WAP54G (stock firmware). I just run it it AP Client mode. I think the WRT54G can do that too, even without DD-WRT.
posted by Emanuel at 9:04 AM on December 2, 2007

I bought a wireless bridge to handle a similar situation, using almost the same model as blue_beetle linked above. My cable modem and router are in the guestroom/office, and I wanted to link up the consoles and tivo in the living room without having wires strung through the house. The wireless bridge picks up the wireless signal and has 4 ports in the back to plug your tivo etc into. Works great!
posted by Joh at 9:24 AM on December 2, 2007

The product you want is called a "Wireless Ethernet Bridge". It's more or less the same hardware as a wireless router, but it acts a bit differently in bridge mode. As folks above have noted you can take a regular cheap wireless router and flash some third party firmware on it to do the same thing.

Be aware that it doesn't work very well if the wireless isn't reliable. I've had a lot of trouble with an old Slimp3 (Squeezebox) hooked up this way; it seems to not handle the idea that a wired ethernet connection could fail. I also had a lot of trouble until I switched from DHCP to static IP addresses behind the bridge.
posted by Nelson at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2007

I use a Buffalo Technology AirStation Turbo G High Power Wireless Ethernet Converter to serve up wired ethernet to a pair of machines that lack wireless in my living room. Works great; haven't had to reboot this thing in ages.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:44 AM on December 2, 2007

Here are instructions on setting up a wireless bridge from the DD-WRT website. I have a couple of DD-WRT routers in this configuration, because the cable drop is inconveniently located from where my computers should be.
posted by chengjih at 12:43 PM on December 2, 2007

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