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wireless access point with another WRT54G?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by garretwilson, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. garretwilson

    garretwilson Addicted to LI Member

    My parents have a smaller garage where DSL comes in and a house on the fringes of the signal from the garage. In the garage I placed a brand new Linksys WRT54G2 connected to the DSL. I have an old WRT54GL I'd like to place in the house to serve only as a wireless access point. I've already had them run an Ethernet cable from the garage to the house to connect the two routers.

    I'd like to just use the WRT54GL in the house as a wireless access point running Tomato, but the various options (Access Point, Access Point+WDS, etc.) are confusing. Here are a few questions:

    1. Is it possible to use Tomato 1.2.1 with a WRT54GL as a wireless access point with a wired connection to the primary router?

    2. Do I use the "Access Point" option, turn off DHCP, and assign another address on the same subnet? Is that all there is to it?

    3. What about the WAN port issue? Does Tomato 1.2.1 allow me to turn off WAN and use the WAN port to link the two routers?

    I'm trying to get all of this information before I fly to see my parents again. The last time I was there I tried DD-WRT and ran into some problems. You can read about it on the DD-WRT forum . Here's an overview of what I ran into *using DD-WRT*.

    In my parents' garage I placed a brand new Linksys WRT54G2 connected to the DSL as I ran Ethernet from the WRT54G2 to a WRT54G v.2 in the house on the WAN port assigned to the switch, following the directions at the DD-WRT wireless access point wiki. I also turned off DHCP and assigned the WRT54G to I set both routers to the same SSID, and put them on channels 1 and 11. The WRT54G being used as a WAP on is running DD-WRT v24 RC-7 ( 04/24/08 ) std (SVN revision 9433).

    Using both Windows XP and Windows Vista machines, when I walk from the router to the router for the first time, the computer will switch to the new network but the DNS will for some reason be set to Performing a manual ipconfig /renew makes the computer pull in the real DNS information from the DSL. After that I can walk between networks and the computer will usually switch and keep the correct DNS.

    But even after renewing the IP address at times the computer, even while connected to the router, will spontaneously switch its DNS to Nothing in that router indicates that the DNS should be should be simply falling through to ask the router for DNS information.

    I've tried setting the gateway and DNS addresses on the router to I've changed the operating mode from "gateway" to "router". Nothing seems to fix the problem. Periodically a computer's DNS will change to, requiring me to do an ipconfig /renew. What's the problem here?

    So the last questions are:

    4. Any idea why the computer would keep dropping the DNS info when using DD-WRT?

    5. Think Tomato will be better in this regard?

    I don't want to spend the whole week at my parents trying to get this fixed and working more kinks out, so thanks for any hints ahead of time!

  2. pharma

    pharma Network Guru Member

  3. astehn

    astehn Addicted to LI Member

    I'm no expert, but I just finished setting up a total of 4 WRT54GL routers as access points connected via cat5 cable to an ADSL router. So I'll take a shot at your questions:

    1) You can definitely use Tomato 1.2.1 this way (it's exactly what I'm doing now)

    2) That should be all there is to it. But your WRT54GL serving as an access point should be cabled to your DSL router from LAN port to LAN port (no WAN port involved). Also, make sure that you set the "Default Gateway" on the WRT54GL to the local IP of your DSL router (probably You may also need to use the local IP of your DSL router as one of the DNS servers (in addition to the two your ISP provides). (Tomato allows you to list 3 DNS servers).

    3). So there's no need to bother with the WAN port at all (unless you need a 5th LAN port), in which case, see http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/showthread.php?t=57349 I haven't ever tried this though.

    As for your 4th and 5th questions, I'm not really sure. I tried DD-WRT for a while, but after having problems with it switched to Tomato. I couldn't be happier with Tomato. Though if you're going to flash from DD-WRT, make sure you completely clear the NVRAM from Tomato just to make sure everything is totally purged before configuring. You can do this from "Configuration" under the "Administration" menu. The option to erase everything in NVRAM is in a drop down menu under "Restore default configuration".

    Good luck!
  4. scuba_steve

    scuba_steve LI Guru Member

    I just moved and had the same need.

    I formerly configured my three WRT54GL / Tomato routers as a router/AP and two wireless bridges in my old house, but the new house into which I just moved has structured wiring so I don't need the bridges anymore. That said, the main router is not in a great spot to be the AP so I needed to configure one WRT54GL to be just an AP...not a router..

    astehn pretty much nailed it...but here is my config

    Main router:

    Wan/Internet Type: DHCP
    DHCP Server: checked (on)
    DHCP range: 10 to <= 255 (adjustable, but you need room for at least one more static)
    Wireless Mode: Access Point

    Tomato AP only:

    Wan/Internet Type: disabled
    Default Gateway: (field enabled when you disable Wan/Internet Type)
    DHCP Server: unchecked (off)
    Wireless Mode: Access Point

    The AP-only device gets connected to your wiring via one of the device's LAN (not WAN) ports.

    Things then work great...except any access restrictions defined on the AP-only device will not work. I think that is a Tomato defect in some way. They should probably either work or the "access restriction" section should go away when the router is configured in this manner.

    I may add more APs in the future (big house)...and I would like them all to be the same SSID so I think that I may need to go WDS, but I haven't looked into it yet. Any comments on that config are very welcome.
  5. garretwilson

    garretwilson Addicted to LI Member

    I just wanted to give an update, and thank astehn and others for replying. I set up Tomato as a wireless access point, and it worked fine---no dropped IP addresses. I guess my previous problem was some DD-WRT bug. I'm glad I found Tomato. All the best.

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