Using Wifi bridge for secondary internet connection?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by jdub8, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. jdub8

    jdub8 LI Guru Member

    I'm curious if the hardware in a WRT54GL would support this. Especially if it could route the connection to one of the ethernet ports so that there would be minimal configuration on the desktop end.

    In case it isn't clear I'll try a more visual representation:

    Internet -> Modem -> Wired ethernet connection to the WRT54GL would be internet connection #1.

    Obviously that would be the primary and you could plug several ethernet cables in to use it.

    I'm wondering if you could then use the unused wifi on the WRT54GL to bridge connections to another wifi router which would of course have its own internet connection, then tunnel that second internet connection to one of the ethernet ports on the WRT54GL.

    Is there anything about the hardware in the WRT54GL or other routers that would prevent that from working? Could it work? Provided of course a firmware could support it.
  2. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    Nothing about the hardware prevents it, but OEM router software often prevents it by not supporting what the hardware is capable of.

    Sounds like you are asking for either WDS, which I have been using for years and prefer, or a wireless ethernet bridge (WET). There is a nice post in this forum with info about WDS, WET and client bridge modes. Here is an older article about using HyperWRT Tofu (Tomato precursor) as a WET.

    Main diffierence between the two is WET is wireless bridge between wired clients whereas WDS does that in addition to the routers acting as WAPs (wireless access points).
  3. jdub8

    jdub8 LI Guru Member

    Yup, Thats why I use Tomato. Looking around at some of the mods I think what I'm thinking of is possible, but might require some merging of functionality.

    Those links seem to describe a slightly different behavior than I was thinking. I modified one of the images to show it:


    Of course Router B has to remain a gateway for the wired (black) Ethernet connections and retain all the cool tomato functionality. Whenever I try using my router (router B) as a bridge it turns it from a gateway into a router and kills DHCP functionality. It doesn't seem capable of negotiating 2 internet connections in the manner described.

    Thanks for the reply btw.
  4. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    OK, seems that I misread your original post. In fact I'm still not sure I do, but let me take another stab at it.

    The basic requirements seem to be:
    -Public Internet connection for each router.
    -Support for wired clients on router "B".
    -Router "A" client support not specified
    -Both wireless bridge and tunnel connections between routers specified. Why? I do not think this is possible, see below.
    -Unclear if you need separate subnets with own DHCP. If you do, you are probably out of luck, see below.

    Assuming that you have two pubic Internet IP addresses, the routers connect to the Internet as you describe with "regular Tomato.

    You can also set up a VPN tunnel with Roadkill's Tomato Mod v1.19.1464 with OpenVPN .

    That only leaves the bridge.
    The only Tomato bridge mode that works with the WAN enabled is WDS.
    I -think- that you could set up a WDS bridge between the two for the wireless bridge.
    But pretty sure that with Tomato, by definition WDS routers are on the same subnet.

    I do -not- think you're be able to set up a tunnel but unclear why you're need to. Well, I mean you could probably do it across the Internet between the two with Roadkill's mod, but why?

    As mentioned above, a llimitation of a Tomato WDS configuration would be that both would be on the same subnet. Each router would have to have a separate static LAN IP and each would be a WAN gateway out of the same LAN. DHCP would have to be set up using one or the other as the default gateway.

    I guess set up each router with non-overlapping DHCP spaces with each giving itself as the gateway. Your clients would get a different gateway depending on which DHCP answered first. I know, it's weird, just thinking out loud, :biggrin: .

    Or you could only set up DHCP on one and it would be the default gateway for all DHCP clients. The second gateway could be used on static IP configurations or possibly you could add static routes on the clients and/or routers to use the second router/gateway for selected destinations.

    This is all using functionality available thorugh the Tomato GUI. More may be possible if you're willing to dig in and write some scripts like mstombs did in his Dual dynamic IP Wan for Tomato thread, but you'll have to talk to some of the gurus here about that, it's beyond anytihng I've done or are planning to do anytime soon.

    Again, still not sure I am answering the question you are asking but it's probably closer than the first time at least, :grin:
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