DD-WRT wireless repeater

WRT rides again

The Linksys WRT54G has always been one of my favorite hacking targets. It’s a wireless 802.11b/g router that originally ran Linux as its OS. Later in life this was switched to non-open VxWorks. Linksys continued to produce a Linux compatible version of the router called the WRT54GL. I believe the one pictured above was originally a Fon purchased during the transition. When I first started playing with the WRT, it was to steal internet in a new apartment while I waited for my actual connection to be installed. I was using it in client bridge mode which means it would connect via WiFi to the remote access point and serve the connection to anything on the wired ports (one of which was another WRT).

I recently dug the router out because a friend is in a similar situation. I installed the latest version of DD-WRT and discovered that it has learned a new trick. In addition to ‘client’ and ‘client bridge’ mode—bridge means the connection isn’t NAT’d—DD-WRT now has ‘repeater’ and ‘repeater bridge’ mode. The router will attach to the access point of your choice and then rebroadcast the signal as the SSID of your choosing. You do this by setting up a virtual wireless interface. I followed these instructions for setting up a universal wireless repeater. The only problem I ran into was connecting to my Airport Extreme which uses WPA2… and AES (not TKIP) by default. It has been very hard to verify that fact though. Once I figured that out, it worked just as expected. I haven’t tested it outside of my apartment yet. Next up is putting DD-WRT on a new-in-box La Fonera; it’s slightly more involved than uploading new firmware to a web interface. I’ve done it before, but it’s just no fun.

3 Responses to “DD-WRT wireless repeater”

  1. honkerdown says:

    I did the same thing this summer with a WTR54GS.

    While the house was “up in the air”, I mounted my DSL router and D-Link DIR-615 wireless router in a Rubbermaid tub on our power pole about 25′ up.

    I then set up the WTR54GS in repeater bridge mode across our place at the camper. I could make a bridge with the original firmware, but it did not support encrypting the bridge, thus the reason for trying DD-WRT.

  2. […] my repeater post, I mentioned that I had a La Fonera I was planning on flashing next. Fon routers can be tricky; […]

  3. Routing NOOB says:

    I’m completely new to the routing world and I’m wondering if you might be able to help me. I’m trying to set up my Linksys WRT54GS as a repeater. I’ve installed DD-WRT V24-SP2 std. The original access point is encrypted with WPA which I have set up in the Wireless- Wireless Security area of my DD-wrt settings.

    The Access Point ip is 10.0.0.1 and my repeater ip is 10.0.0.19. I’ve followed the instructions for setting up a repeater put out by dd-WRT. My computer is able to access the repeater router, however, I cannot get it to access the internet. I’d love to get some help!

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