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Converting a Linksys WRT54G/GS Into An Ethernet Bridge

There's no need to spend $90 for a wireless ethernet bridge (or wireless gaming adapter). Get a Linksys WRT54G router and convert it to an ethernet bridge (with four ports):

  1. Make sure it is a version that can be loaded with a third-party firmware. For a list of compatible serial numbers, look here. Notice that the ones starting with "CDFB" cannot be loaded with third-party firmware.

  2. Get Tofu's latest modified HyperWRT firmware for the WRT54G at linksysinfo.org (you must be registered to use the download section).

  3. Flash the new firmware using Linksys' TFTP utility (you can also use the web-based utility in the router, but the TFTP utility is safer).

  4. In the router's setup, go to Wireless.

  5. Change the Wireless Mode to "WET" (Wireless Ethernet Bridge).

  6. For the SSID, enter the name of the AP you'll be connecting to.

  7. Go to Administration, and click the "Reboot" button.

  8. After the router reboots, go to the Setup page.

  9. Set the router IP to something within your other router's subnet (such as 192.168.1.2). Your other router won't be able to assign an IP to this interface. UPDATE: According to Thibor, the developer of the firmware for the WRT54GS, wireless performance may be improved by setting this IP to something not within your other router's subnet. For example, if your main router's IP is 192.168.1.1, set your "bridge" to an IP of something such as 10.0.0.1. Once the router is set to bridge mode, there is not much need to access its setup page. If you ever need to do so, plug a computer directly into it, and set the computer to a static IP of 10.0.0.2, for example.

  10. Disable DHCP (devices connected to the WRT54G, such as your TiVo, will get their IPs from your main router).

  11. If you use wireless security (WET, WPA, etc.), set the WRT54G to match the main router's settings in the "Wireless Security" tab.

If you can't find an older WRT54G, (version 4 and earlier), you could always get a WRT54GS instead, though it's a little more expensive. If you use a GS, replace every reference to "Tofu" above with "Thibor" (same web site, Linksys Info). If you use a WRT54GS, look at the bottom of the box. If the serial number begins with "CGN7," it won't work, as it uses the same chipset and OS as the WRT54G version 5. Note that you can flash a WRT54G to make it WRT54GS, though you must load DD-WRT on it first: look here. If you don't have any Linksys gear with "SpeedBooster," there's no point in flashing a G to a GS.

A WRT54GL is also an option, as it is basically a WRT54G version 4 (use Tofu for this router).

Wal-Mart has the WRT54G for $49.97 now, but I got mine at RadioShack for a little more (but it also had a rebate). A guy in the store actually checked out the serial numbers while I was on the phone with him (Wal-Mart only had version 5 routers).

Note that I actually had my TiVo working with an old Hawking 802.11b USB adapter, but it turned out to be way too slow (6.2 software doesn't support 802.11g adapters).

It seems that the ZyXEL Prestige P-330W can be purchased for under $50, and it supports ethernet bridge mode out of the box.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-25 of 28 | Latest Comment | 1 2 Next »

May 27, 2006 3:40 PM

I successfully re-flashed my WRT54G v2 and configured it to bridge mode as the article states. I am using a second WRT54G v5 as my primary router.

I connected my Philips DSR7000 Series 2 DTiVo to the bridge via an FA-120, but was unable to see the DTiVo on my network. I have the DTiVo IP configured as 192.168.1.151, which is well outside the DHCP range (ends at 125).

Without the bridge, I am able to use the wireless USB NetGear MA111 v1 successfully -- the DTiVo shows up on the network at the expected address.

I wanted to check the bridge to see if it was properly configured, but I have apparently forgotten (doh!) which static IP address I assigned to the bridge. I thought I had assigned a static IP address of 192.168.1.2, but can't seem to get it to show up on my network.

I have tried connecting a PC directly to the bridge, but to no avail.

Please tell me there's some way I can talk to the bridge (other than trying every possible IP address), and that I haven't turned it into a brick.

UPDATE: This question was answered on the bulletin board.

 

June 1, 2006 3:55 AM

UPDATE:

Tofu no longer develops firmware for the WRT54G/GL, but Thibor now does. His firmwares can be found here.

TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

June 2, 2006 5:31 PM

I have found another option for a wireless bridge: the D-Link DWL-G730AP. It also functions as a router or access point. I have seen it for around $40 on the internet.

TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

August 23, 2006 4:03 PM

Worked like a charm! Thanks for the great article.

October 1, 2006 7:47 PM

When you say "convert it to an ethernet bridge (with four ports)" Do you mean that I can have multiple devices connected to it? Right now, I have a Tivo and a SlingBox and I have a cheap ViewSonic device that I am using for a wireless bridge. I've been swapping cables when I want to pull video off of the Tivo. It would be nice to have them both available on my wireless network. I have downloaded and upgraded my WRT54G to the Thibor firmware. I was thinking of purchases a new Linksys router for my AP if I can hook up both devices. Thanks.

October 10, 2006 12:30 AM

Yes, you can connect multiple devices to it.

TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

December 5, 2006 3:20 PM

You can use the v5 & v6 WRT54G boxes as wireless bridges. Use the DD-WRT MICRO firmware (http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/index....) , follow thier instructions to the 'T' and you will be fine. There are a lot of warnings about 'bricking' these routers when using open source firmware, I have done 3 with no problems. Like I said read the intructions thoroughly, then get'er done! The newly flashed 54G is rock solid, its been running as a bridge for about 2 months and no reboots, no downtime so far. Its configurable beyond belief. I have mine attached to my DTivo's around the house and they all talk to a DLINK DI-624 I am using as my main router/access point. You can also use the DD-WRT firmware to implement an ip tables firewall on the 54G.

December 21, 2006 4:22 PM

Well- I had a spare 54GS, but the application is "flaky"- I spent $26 (-$10 rebate) on a netgear 5port switch from Amazon- I'll hang that switch off my Netgear bridge (the old 1port) and have the fix for 16 bucks.

April 9, 2007 10:50 PM

jcorbin121 said: You can use the v5 & v6 WRT54G boxes as wireless bridges. Use the DD-WRT MICRO firmware (http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/index....) , follow thier instructions to the 'T' and you will be fine. There are a lot of warnings about 'bricking' these routers when using open source firmware, I have done 3 with no problems. Like I said read the intructions thoroughly, then get'er done! The newly flashed 54G is rock solid, its been running as a bridge for about 2 months and no reboots, no downtime so far. Its configurable beyond belief. I have mine attached to my DTivo's around the house and they all talk to a DLINK DI-624 I am using as my main router/access point. You can also use the DD-WRT firmware to implement an ip tables firewall on the 54G.

 

As there is no apparent "WET" setting after you do the firmware upgrade (unless I'm missing it) what setting do you use?  Ad hoc?

 

 

May 18, 2007 9:46 AM

UPDATE 2:

The creator of "tofu" nows makes the "Tomato" firmware.

TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

December 9, 2007 1:53 PM

Thank you very much for this article, but i have a question is there any way that i can improve the security connection between all my WIFI connection, im currently using WEP Within all my connection but i feel naked, since before using my WRT54GS i was using WPA2-PSK TKIP+AES with automatic key rotation through Mcafee system, i did try to use this type of inscription but for some reason the WRT54GS won't connect to my netgear WNP824, in less word im looking for a highes wireless protections can anyone please help me out or point me in a direction where i will find this. Thank you

August 16, 2008 3:44 PM updated: August 16, 2008 3:46 PM

Thanks very much for this article.

We signed up for AT&T U-Verse (well, my wife did without consulting me), and they had to set up the router in a different room than our office since they didn't have a coax line they needed into that office (we'd been on DSL previously). The office has a small Ethernet network with a printer, and machines that are wired, so that was a big concern since we couldn't print or get some machines on the net, and we really didn't want to go running Ethernet across the house.

I converted my old (rock solid v3.1) WRT54G running Thibor into a wireless bridge and it works with the 2wire router that they gave us perfectly.

September 17, 2008 6:13 PM

i did as you said but i can not get accsses to the setup menu to change the security settings how do i do that after the ip on the router has been changed? please help! thank you

September 17, 2008 7:22 PM

Well after messing around with the ip i got into the set up page and finshed the set up. but now i can't the router to connect to the internet? my dvr says it sees the network but can't connect the internet! i'm stumped, please help!

March 26, 2009 7:09 PM

What exactly is an Ethernet Bridge used for ?

View unverified member's comment - posted by demo

View unverified member's comment - posted by raheem

View unverified member's comment - posted by raheem

July 30, 2009 3:41 AM

Thanks, I followed these steps to configure mine using a different firmware (Sveasoft) and it worked a treat. Been wanting to do this for ages. Using the 10.0.0.x range works very well indeed. It's now linked up to my BT Homehub 2.0 perfectly.

View unverified member's comment - posted by raheem

August 30, 2009 9:36 PM

I have a wrtsl54gs with serial number starting with CJK00F will this work too?

View unverified member's comment - posted by wildwifi

March 13, 2010 9:17 AM

I have tried the above directions and those on another DD-WRT but have had no luck getting my laptop to get a valid IP address from the router configured as bridge.
On the Wireless Security menu there are four places to post the WEP key: should I just use Key 1?
This is the only inconsistency I find from following the directions carefully.
BTW I have set the device's IP to 10.0.01 to avoid conflicts with the main wireless router.

October 2, 2010 3:54 PM

My recent Linksys RMA Dept. experience has left me sour with all Cisco products that I own, and sadly I own 2 WET54G's.
http://shetoldme.com/Technology/wireless-ethernet-wrt54g-bridge
They have lost a customer that believes in product loyalty when the product line is worthy, but the SOP routine when you have a broken unit is the nightmare not worth reliving.
To abridge, I sent my original broken unit to LINKSYS and they sent me in return a broken quality assured replacement. OK, another RMA and apologies, repackage & repeat step 1. A full month after this began I receive an old unit with a broken antenna. Another RMA dance & apology SOP routine (forced to use a credit card to cross-ship, no exceptions!) and I receive (drum-roll please) my ORIGINAL unit repaired. A month of aggravation and I'm done with LINKSYS.

November 14, 2010 4:13 PM

Hey thanks for this info! I my linksys bridge is now up and running. Mahalo!

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-25 of 28 | Latest Comment | 1 2 Next »

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