How to make a router work like a wireless card?
January 10, 2008 7:03 AM   Subscribe

I need to make a linkys WRT-54G router act like a wireless card.

I have a nice little network setup in the bedroom of my apartment with a belkin router. I use static IPs for my laptop and desktop that I have on it and I have about 4TB of disk space on external drives that are attached to the two computers that hold my movies, tv shows, etc.

I want to set up one of my spare (read: old) computers in my living room attached to my TV, and have it be on my network so that I can watch movies and TV shows that are on my desktop in my room on the desktop in the living room on my nice TV. I have a spare WRT-54G router that works just fine, and I want to see if there's a way to hook it up to the wireless network I'm projecting from the belkin router. (It's got WPA enabled, if that matters.) I don't want to spend the money on a USB wireless card (I just started two small businesses and quit my job, so saving money is paramount) and I don't want an awful cable going all over the floor from one room to another.

I'm good with computers and networks so whatever instructions you all have, I'll be able to figure them out, but this problem stumps me from step one. Do I go into the linksys router and connect it to the belkin somehow? I installed DDWRT on it once before, and I have no problem or issue with flashing the firmware to whatever will get the job done. Thanks in advance!
posted by omnipotentq to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: WRT-54G

check which model is yours and if it is a good one, you want to make it into a BRIDGE.
posted by raildr at 7:10 AM on January 10, 2008

Response by poster: D'oh. I should have known that. Clearly I didn't get enough sleep last night.

Thanks, raildr!
posted by omnipotentq at 7:18 AM on January 10, 2008

Yes you want to install DD-WRT. It has an operating mode called "Wireless Bridge." I can't remember what tab it's on, but it's not that hard to set up. I think it's on one of the first screens. That's what you want. It'll act as a client to your WLAN and then you plug your computers into it via Ethernet.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:20 AM on January 10, 2008

raildr has it... 3rd-party firmware is the way to go, if you have a model that supports it. The WRT-54G is famous with hobbyists. A google search turns up lots of helpful links.

Failing that, you might be to trade the extra router for a USB wireless adapter on craigslist.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:31 AM on January 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the extra details, Kadin2048 and qxntpqbbbqxl! I remember mucking about in DD-WRT once before, but it's been so long that I can't recall the details. I do remember that the 54G is an awesome router, and I'm glad that I'll finally be able to put it to good use!
posted by omnipotentq at 8:04 AM on January 10, 2008

DD-WRT all the way.
posted by unSane at 9:28 AM on January 10, 2008

I did this in DD-WRT. Check your serial # against their lists to see which firmware you want. They've purposely shrunk the available space on the normal linksys WRT54G in stores, so the mini version is probably what you want.
posted by yerfatma at 9:37 AM on January 10, 2008

You mentioned that you installed DD-WRT on it once before, so I really don't think that you need to go through the checking-serial-numbers rigmarole.

Once you get it installed, here's the official documentation on how to set it up in Bridge Mode. The instructions assume you're bridging two routers together, but you can just as easily use one as a bridge to a fixed/existing AP. And here is an even more specific, although unofficial, howto.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:56 AM on January 10, 2008

Nice, I'm actually using a WRT54GL as a base to build an ECG for a project and it'll connect through wifi to a server so this is just what I was looking for.
posted by sirsteven at 12:02 AM on January 11, 2008

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