Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bridging WAP54G and WRT54G2

Let's start off by stating the goal: I have a network in a room off the kitchen where my DSL comes into the house. Downstairs is an XBox 360 connected to the family TV. Rather than run a cable down to the basement, I decided to set up a wireless bridge between the basement and the network upstairs.

Despite the warnings from Linksys to the contrary, you can use WAP54G to bridge to devices besides other WAP54Gs. In my case, I have a WAP54G in the basement bridged to the WRT54G2 upstairs. It's not too hard if you follow these instructions.

First, be very very careful not to follow the instructions provided by Linksys. It's easy to accidentally read them, thinking they'll tell you what you need to do.

Next, hook a cable directly from your PC to the WAP54G. Configure your PC to have a static IP address of (most other addresses on 192.168.1.x will work, too). Open a browser and go to, which is the default address of the WAP54G. You will be asked for a user ID and password, and the Linksys instructions are wrong. Here's what actually works: Use a USER ID of blank, and a password of "admin."

In the Setup tab, click on "AP Mode." Select the radio button next to "Wireless Bridge Remote Wireless Bridge's LAN MAC Addresses." The WAP54G needs the MAC address of the WRT54G2, which is on the underside of the WRT54G2. Enter the MAC address in the first box and click "Save Settings."

At this point, I reconnected my PC to the network, and moved the WAP54G downstairs. I plugged in the WAP54G, connected the XBox 360 to the WAP54G, and everything's good to go. For me, the XBox 360 won't dynamically pick up an address, so it's statically configured to Your mileage may vary.


Anonymous said...

I have the same linksys router and linksys access point. And I'm wondering why you didn't connect the access point up as a wireless repeater? Doesn't it work out exactly the same?

Don Branson said...

Hmm, well, no really compelling reason. I just started down the list of the options that seemed most likely to work. I found an option that worked before really getting to the wireless repeater option.

Anonymous said...

You mention "For me, the XBox 360 won't dynamically pick up an address, so it's statically configured to" Where does the address come from? It seems be just mentioned at the end, like an off handed comment. Is this an xbox setting?

Don Branson said...

Good question. There are some groups of internet addresses that are set aside for use in internal networks. 10.x.x.x is one such group, and that's the group that the bridge is set to recognize. The bridge will offer addresses over DHCP, but, if I remember correctly, the XBox wouldn't pick it up from the bridge. Rather than struggle to figure out why, I just picked one that was in the 10.x.x.x group, and used that. The 5.128.10 part was chosen for no particular reason, except that I probably saw someone else use those numbers. Does that help?

This RFC explains in more detail:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining. Now I hv a general question. If I buy the WAP54G it only serves as an AP. Correct? If I buy a WRT54GL it's a router and therefore more universal. Correct? If so, then AP's are not as popular I wouldnt think. But the AP works as is, no flashing dd-wrt. OTOH, a router can be flashed w dd-wrt and used as a router or a bridge. Am I gettin' it?

Don Branson said...

Well, now you're getting beyond my experience in this area. I have not worked with either the WRT54GL or with dd-wrt, so I can't speak with any authority. What you say makes sense, but I haven't actually done anything with the WRT54GL.

deuber said...

I would like to add to this that the WAP54G cannot be used as a repeater with the WRT54G2. I mistakenly thought that it might work, after reading this blog posting, and it doesn't. So, that would be a compelling reason NOT to use the WAP54G in repeater mode (it doesn't work).

So, if all you need is a wireless bridge for two wired networks, it appears that Don was able to get that to work.

But, if you need wireless range extension, the WAP54G and WRT54G2 are not compatible.

Don't make the same mistake I did.