Verizon MiFi, wireless client mode, and AP mode

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Jedis, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member


    I have a Verizon MiFi. This is what I am trying to do. So far I am stuck at Step 2. Any suggestions to get this working? Basically, I want the WRT54G to handle the network, DHCP, etc, and just have the MiFi provide the internet.
    1. Configure MiFi to share internet but not act as DHCP server.
      1. This currently works.
    2. Configure Linksys WRT54G in Wireless Client mode.
      1. Should receive internet via Verizon MiFi
      2. Not working
      3. Can access the Verizon MiFi at and Wireless client at
      4. Cannot ping external IP addresses nor access the internet
        1. ping

          Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:
          Request timed out.
          Reply from Destination net unreachable.
          Reply from Destination net unreachable.
          Reply from Destination net unreachable.
    3. Configure Linksys WRT54G in AP mode
      1. Connected via ethernet to Wireless Client bridge router (use LAN/WAN port?)
    MiFi configuration
    • Verizon MiFi 4620L
    • Network Name: TestA
    • Wireless Mode: 802.11g
    • Channel: 11
    • Security: WPA2 Personal/PSK (AES)
    • Password: test123
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet:
    • Hostname: MiFi
    • DHCP Server: Disabled
    WRT54G in Wireless Client mode
    • Enable Wireless: Yes
    • Wireless Mode: Wireless Client
    • Wireless Network Mode: G Only
    • SSID: TestA
    • Security: WPA2 Personal AES
    • Password: test123
    • WAN / Internet Type:
      • Type: Static
      • IP Address:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • Gateway:
      • MTU: Default
      • Bridge WAN port to primary LAN (br0): Enabled
        • have tried Disabled, too
    • LAN:
      • IP Address:
      • Subnet:
      • DHCP: Enabled
      • IP Range:
      • Static DNS:
        • Have tried,,
    WRT54G in AP mode
    • Will be a separate SSID that all wireless clients connect to
    • SSID: TestB
    • Have not setup yet
  2. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    Why disable DHCP on the wireless WAN of the router? You want the WAN to be treated just like any other wireless client and be assigned an IP from the MiFi network! Keep the MiFi DHCP server running.
  3. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I don't want the MiFi handing out IP addresses. Verizon has it capped at 10 connections.

    That's why I assigned the wireless client a static IP and made it do DHCP. My PC is plugged into the wireless client via Ethernet for testing.
  4. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    But if you're connected in client mode, the only DHCP lease that's going to be handed out belongs to the WAN of your router. IOW, there's only one anyway. Once you start playing w/ a static configuration, you open the door to misconfiguration. The MiFi device might not even accept connections unless it has a known DHCP lease! Again, in client mode there's only one connection to the MiFI device; WAN -> MiFi. All your clients are behind the router (i.e., NAT'd) and should be getting a local network configuration from the router's DHCP server.
  5. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I don't think you understand what I'm trying to do?

    The MiFi is solely to furnish the internet to a WRT54G. There should not be any clients connecting to it directly. The way the wireless client and wireless Ethernet bridge modes work is they connect to the ssid broadcast by the mifi and share the internet to other devices. More than one dhcp server is problematic. The wireless client is handing out addresses to clients. I cannot have the mifi handing out addresses. Hence why I need the wireless client wrt54g functioning, so then I can connect that to another wrt54g running in AP mode that serves the internet via a different ssid.
  6. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    Wait a second. You initially said the WRT54G is in "client mode". Now you're saying it's in wireless ethernet bridge mode. Those are vastly different configurations.

    Client mode creates a wireless "router" between the WRT54G and the remote AP of the MiFi. IOW, it's exactly as if you have connected the wired WAN to the MiFi except it's over wireless. Your clients behind the router using client mode are on their own, isolated network.

    In contrast, wireless ethernet bridge places clients of the WRT54G on the same network as the MiFi. So yes, if you used wireless ethernet bridge mode, I could understand the problem. But again, you initially said “client mode” (which is not bridged, it’s routed). They are very different modes!

    So I understand what you’re saying, but it seems to me you’re not appreciating the difference between these modes.
  7. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I appreciate your responses. I was explaining the differences to you. I think you are confusing yourself ;)

    Please reread my first post. I'm stuck on step 2 and am not at step 3 yet. I will be using a combination of a wireless client and Ethernet bridge to complete this project.
  8. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    You have three devices. The MiFi is offering an AP and connects its wireless clients to the internet. You also have two WRT54G routers. The first is configured in “client mode” (your words, not mine). The second is configured as an AP because obviously you lost that AP on the first router when you configured it as a wireless client for the MiFi AP.

    Right so far?

    The first router (when configured in “client mode) is a router! All it does is establish the wireless client of that router as a “virtual” WAN. The relationship between that router and the Mifi is ***exactly*** the same as if you had run a wire between the wired WAN of that router and a LAN port (if it had one) on the Mifi device. As such, you configure the first router exactly as if you were connected over wire from the WAN to the LAN off the MiFi. There’s no differences, at all. You keep the WAN configured w/ DHCP (and you don’t bridge it to the LAN). You define a new network on that router that’s different from the network of the MiFi. You enable the DHCP server of that router too.

    A router configured in “client mode” is sometimes called a WISP (wireless ISP) router precisely because it is acting as a router, but over wireless.

    What you’re doing (erroneously) is treating the first router as if it was (or should be) bridged to the MiFi, which it is not. Clients behind the first router are being “routed” over the virtual (wireless) WAN of that router (w/ NAT) and over to the MiFi device. Hence, there’s never more than one wifi connection between that router and the MiFi device.

    Nothing else is going to make sense if the above is not understood.

    I understand why you’re stuck at step two; you keep mucking w/ the default DHCP configuration of the WAN on the first router. Leave it alone! Leave it set to DHCP. Stop trying to bridge the WAN and LAN, setup a static IP, and all the rest of it. It’s not necessary. That’s why you’re messing it up.

    The second router is connected LAN to LAN to the first router. And because it is, it’s the second router that needs its DHCP server disabled because it’s only acting as an AP for the network of the first router. If the second router’s DHCP server was enabled, it would conflict w/ the DHCP server of the first router.

    So I understand completely what you’re trying to do. But the situation will remain hopeless if you don’t understand the implications of using client mode. I’ve tried several times, but apparently it’s just not sinking in for some reason. I don’t know what else to add at this point.
  9. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    My apologies. I was misunderstanding from the beginning when you were saying to enable DHCP on the WAN. I glossed over the WAN part and was thinking LAN.

    I have Router one configured and if I connect to it, I can access the internet.

    The problem now lies with Router two.

    I have DHCP on the LAN enabled on Router one. DHCP for Router two is disabled. I have Router two connected via LAN to a LAN port on Router one. I cannot access the internet. Router two sits at trying to get a WAN dhcp address and never gets one. If I plug Router one's ethernet cord into the WAN port on Router two, it does get a WAN DHCP lease, however the internet doesn't work.

    How should I proceed from here?

    Also, it would be nice to be able to access the MiFi, router one, and router two from the wifi on router two. I think I need to setup some routes for that to work though. Viewing data usage and the 4G signal strength is valuable info to have!

    Thanks so much for your help, thus far. It is greatly appreciated!
  10. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    The WAN of the second router is irrelevant to this configuration. The second router is only acting as an AP. So disable the WAN port. Once you do, an option will appear on the Setup page allowing you to reassign it to the LAN (it's optional, but it only makes sense to do so).

    As long as the second router has its DHCP server disabled, and the WAN is disabled, and it's connected LAN to LAN to the first router, it should work.

    As far as accessing the MiFi and router one from router two, if this is setup as directed, you should be able to do so.

    P.S. Be sure to give the second router a static LAN IP on the same network as router one.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  11. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member


    I cannot seem to access the internet from router two. Do I need to set something else as the default gateway on Router two?

    Router One:

    DHCP: Enabled
    IP Address:

    DHCP: Enabled
    IP Address:

    Wireless Mode: Wireless Client
    SSID: TestA

    Router Two:

    WAN: Disabled
    Bridge WAN port to LAN: Enabled

    DHCP: Disabled
    IP Address:
    Default Gateway:

    Wireless Mode: Access Point
    SSID: TestB
  12. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    It appears DNS isn't working on Router two, but I'm not sure if that's the only issue.
  13. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I think I have it resolved...

    Gateway on Router Two is set to Router One at, which is what I had it at originally.

    I did some Googling and in the Routing tab on Router Two, I changed the mode from Gateway to Router. That seems to have rectified things!

    Thanks again for your help! It's been much appreciated!
  14. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

  15. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    After all of that, the throughput is horrible. The MiFi's connection changes throughout the day, but I'm consistently getting 0.2-1.5Mbps on router two. It seems to work, just very slowly. If I connect directly to the MiFi, I will get speeds 5-10x faster.
  16. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    I would expect it to have some performance degradation, but nothing like that. Just doesn't seem right.

    You need to try and isolate the culprit. Try turning off the second router, disconnecting it from the first router, and just see what kind of performance you get from a wired device on the first router. Then try adding back the second router but keeping it's AP off, and try a wired client from there. Finally, enable the second router's AP and try a wireless client.

    IOW, be methodical about it.
  17. cloneman

    cloneman Addicted to LI Member

    Stupid Question, does the MiFi have a USB Modem mode? If you get a router that has a USB port, some tomato builds have support for USB 3G cards...

    this would seem like a more logical solution that trying to use a router in Client mode.
  18. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I have the Verizon MiFi 4620L, which does support USB tethering... but it looks like the Cradlepoint routers do not support tethering to this MiFi using that method.
  19. Jedis

    Jedis LI Guru Member

    I purchased a Pepwave Surf SOHO router, which can do USB tethering to the 4620L.

    I'll be back to revisit this topic, but will probably be using wireless ethernet bridge mode to bridge to the Pepwave.

    Thanks for the suggestion, cloneman!
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