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Thread: Setting Up Wireless Repeater Bridge When Running Cable is not an Option

  1. #1
    moja Guest

    Setting Up Wireless Repeater Bridge When Running Cable is not an Option

    Well, I installed a new network in my house. Every room has a Cat5e run to it, except the living room downstairs. Unable to easily run a wire to this room, and loving to tinker with home networking solutions, I set up a wireless repeater bridge to connect to my Netgear WNDR3700 upstairs (nice router, btw). My WNDR3700 is running OpenWrt Backfire 10.03.1-rc5, and I used an old Linksys WRT160N v1 running dd-wrt v24-sp2 vpn (build 14896) as the wireless bridge. Here is an excert of the steps I used as taken from the DD-WRT website:

    Broadcom Instructions

    To enable bridge mode between two routers, the primary router must be in AP mode (default) with DHCP Server enabled. The secondary router running DD-WRT v24 will be configured as the Repeater Bridge.
    • Restore Factory Defaults on Secondary (DD-WRT) Router
    • Do a proper HARD 30-30-30 Reset on the router.
    • Set your computer to a static IP of
    • Connect to the secondary router via wired or wireless client keeping in mind the dd-wrt default settings for dhcp pool and ssid

    Open the Wireless -> Basic Settings tab

    Physical Interface Section
    • Wireless Mode : Repeater Bridge
    • Wireless Network Mode : Must Match Primary Router
    • Wireless Network Name(SSID) : Must Match Primary Router - Make sure you spell this correctly
    • Wireless Channel : Must Match Primary Router (This will disappear once you put it in RB mode, and isn't needed)
    • Wireless SSID Broadcast : Enable
    • Network Configuration : Bridged
    • Save

    Virtual Interfaces Section
    • Add
    • Wireless Network Name(SSID) : Different from Primary Router
    • [NOTE] - You CAN try using the same SSID but it usually will not work properly. Many have had random disconnects and/or no connection if the SSID's are the same. If using the same ssid doesn't work for you, use a different ssid from the primary router
    • Wireless SSID Broadcast : Enable
    • AP Isolation : Disable
    • Network Configuration : Bridged
    • Save

    Open the Wireless -> Wireless Security tab

    Physical Interface Section
    • Security Mode : Must Match Primary Router and DD-wrt only works reliably with WEP or WPA2-AES
    • WPA Algorithms : Must Match Primary Router
    • WPA Shared Key : Must Match Primary Router
    • Key Renewal Interval (in seconds) : Leave default

    Virtual Interfaces Section (note if you don't see this section your firmware should be atleast v24-sp2)
    • Security Mode : Must Match Physical Interface
    • WPA Algorithms : Must Match Physical Interface
    • WPA Shared Key : Must Match Physical Interface
    • Key Renewal Interval (in seconds) : Leave default
    • Save

    Open the Setup -> Basic Setup tab
    • Connection Type will be: Disabled
    • Set STP for Disabled (Enabled sometimes can cause connection problems) redhawk
    • IP Address : (Assuming Primary Router IP is
    • Mask :
    • Gateway: (again assuming Primary Router IP is
    • DHCP Server: Disable
    • Local DNS: (if IP of Primary Router is
    • Assign WAN Port to Switch : Optionally enable this to use the WAN port as another LAN port.
    • Save

    Open Setup -> Advanced Routing tab
    • Set Operating mode to "Router"
    • Save

    Open Services
    • Disable Dnsmasq
    • Save

    Open the Security -> Firewall tab
    • Uncheck all boxes...except Filter Multicast
    • Disable SPI firewall
    • APPLY Settings

    Reboot the router.
    Once you have it working, go to the wireless security tab, and set the same type of security AND key for both the primary and the repeater ssids and hit apply.


    With all this I was able to connect my TV, PS3 and 360 to the Linksys bridge, which connect wirelessly to the main Netgear WNDR3700 upstairs just as if I was running a wire all the way upstairs. I did a test with LAN SpeedTest and using wireless n I was getting about 45 mbps each way (read and write), which is almost as fast as a wired 100 mbit connection (minus overhead). Here is the link for the full instructions:

    One thing to point out is that you are sacrificing half the bandwidth of the repeater to make the connection, since it has to play messenger both ways (like half duplex). It seems complicated, but if you read through the directions slowly and familiarize yourself with navigating DD-WRTs web gui (which if pretty user-friendly) it really is quite simple.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Thanks for sharing the guide moja and +Rep!

  3. #3
    OGroteKoning Guest
    Yeah - thanks for the info. Please post pics of your setup (or diagrams)

  4. #4
    moja Guest
    Here are a couple of quick pics of my setup. I took a picture of the back of the router to show I haven't connected an uplink anywhere.

    Later today I can take screenshots of the bridge's configuration pages.

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