Please help me hook all my media components to my wireless network.
December 30, 2007 10:20 AM   Subscribe

How do I hook all my media/game components to my wireless network through one wireless router? Instead of buying a wireless adapter for each device (Tivo/ Xbox/ Xbox 360/ PS2) I want to buy a wireless router that I can plug each device into and then wirelessly “bridge” the router to a wireless Actiontec modem provided by Qwest DSL in the other room. Is this possible? How do I make a “bridge?” -Thanks
posted by thewalrusispaul to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't understand, why do you need a wireless router if you are going to plug game components into it? Also the only game module that supports wireless networking that I know of is the PSP slim. Wouldn't it be cheaper (and easier) to buy a ethernet switch or hub?
posted by Student of Man at 10:30 AM on December 30, 2007

Agreed. Wouldn't it just be easier to buy a 6-port router, plug its uplink into the DSL modem's ethernet jack and plug the devices into the router?
posted by Nelsormensch at 10:38 AM on December 30, 2007

OK, sounds like you have all your components in one room, you want to plug them all into a router which will receive a wireless signal sent from another room, right?

I think all you need is one wireless receiver, like maybe the one for the Xbox. Instead of plugging the "out" cable to the Xbox, plug it into the "in" port of a multi-port router. Then connect your devices to the router.
posted by The Deej at 10:39 AM on December 30, 2007

I think the request is for a wireless hub of sorts—wired components plug into wireless device, wireless device connects to wireless DSL modem. The cable being eliminated isn't the one between each device and the router, it's the one between the router and the modem.
posted by chrominance at 10:39 AM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: chrominance is correct. The components are in one room and the DSL modem is in another room (about 50 feet away).

And I think this breeds another question... How do I set up the receiver as suggested by The Deej (as seen in posting above) because it won't be hooked into anything I can use to configure it with?
posted by thewalrusispaul at 10:50 AM on December 30, 2007

It should show up on your xbox to configure it.
posted by The Deej at 10:52 AM on December 30, 2007

Best answer: Yes you can do this. Easiest/best way IMO would be to get a router that you can install the DD-WRT aftermarket firmware on, like a Linksys WRT-54GL (the trailing "L" is important!) or one of the compatible Buffalo models.

You can set DD-WRT to "wireless bridge" mode and it will connect as a client to your WLAN (it will even use WPA, which a lot of cheap 'game adapters' have trouble with) and then you can plug all your devices into its Ethernet ports. You can either have the DD-WRT device hand out IP addresses, or you can have it just act as a bridge and let your main router handle address assignments. In either case, you can plug as many Ethernet devices in to it as you like (using routers/switches/hubs) and it will work fine.

All in all a pretty slick product. You will, however, need to have a computer connected to it via Ethernet to perform the initial configuration.

It may be possible with some 'game adapters' (basically single-port WLAN to Ethernet bridges) to connect an Ethernet switch up to the wired side, and then connect multiple devices ... but I don't think this will work with all/most of them, because some are designed to only bridge a single device.

DD-WRT strikes me as the tool for the job here.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:57 AM on December 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

The xbox wireless adapter is a USB device now, so you wont get much mileage out of it now. The best option is to get a Linksys WRT-54GL (from here it is $61). It has a 4 port 100 base t switch built in, which will cover all your current devices listed.

You will then want to upgrade its firwmare to DD-WRT which is a free open source implementation of the routing system. Besides having neat and fancy options to it, it makes joining the router to another wireless network easy (and you can configure it just to bridge, not to do routing). Guides on how to upgrade here and their guide on how to set it up in bridge mode is here (somewhat geeky guide on how). Pretty much you upgrade the firmware with the latest version from the dd-wrt folks.

To configure it (or any bridge/switch solution), just plug your computer into one of its 100base/t ports, configure it to get its internet connection from your existing wireless internet connection. Once you get internet that way, just poweroff the device, and set it up in your av cabinet with all your gaming gear.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2007

The xbox wireless adapter is a USB device now

Nope, I linked to old-style ethernet version.
posted by The Deej at 11:08 AM on December 30, 2007

dd-wrt will do this and so will any wireless ap/router that supports bridging like the wap54g, no need to change the firmware on that one.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2007

I use a Linksys wireless bridge to do exactly this. Mine is old enough that the model number is irrelevant, but I think the wap54G is the newer equivalent.
posted by Joh at 11:49 AM on December 30, 2007

I concur with those who suggest DD-WRT. I set up the same sort of networking system at my house because my bro and one of our roomies who are right next to each other don't have wireless cards and the only good spot for setting up the router is in my room. So, procure a Linskys WRT-54GL or similar wireless router with enough spots for all your game systems and follow the directions for setting up a wireless bridge on the DD-WRT wiki...
posted by pontouf at 12:27 PM on December 30, 2007

I got a cheap linksys WET54G and plugged it into a cheaper generic 5-port switch; this did the trick just fine.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:22 PM on December 30, 2007

I have an ASUS WL-330 Pocket Access Point, which will do the wireless bridging half of what you want (and a bunch of other stuff). Then you just add any old hub/switch (I have a tiny little 5-port switch, but I can't remember the brand).

Only trick, you have to turn off the MAC address cloning in the Asus if you're bridging more than one device.
posted by krisjohn at 6:56 PM on December 30, 2007

A belated note of thanks to Kadin2048 - you just saved me from blowing $130 on a crappy one-port 'wireless gaming bridge'. $60 for WRT + DD-WRT = awesomeness.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:45 PM on May 7, 2008

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