WRT54G-UK: does it work with ADSL USB modems?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by gianni76, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    I am about to buy a Linksys WRT54G-UK (as per descrition here:

    I wish to use this to share a broadband connection between a PC and two laptops at home. I have chosen this router mainly for the possibility to boost the power up, as I have rather difficult propagation conditions and long distance.

    But, just before buying it, I read on a different site:
    something alarming.

    They say:
    "Note: This product does not contain a modem and is not compatible with USB modems"

    I have an ADSL USB modem (Speedtouch USB). Is their warning plain wrong, or is it a real problem?
  2. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    you need an Adsl modem that has a ethernet connection. (RJ45) how were you going to connect the modem to the router otherwise?
  3. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    I have an Ethernet PCI card on the PC. I was planning to connect the WRT54G-UK to the PC via this Ethernet card. I though all the rest of the sharing was task of the router itself.

    Isn't it so?
  4. t4thfavor

    t4thfavor Network Guru Member

    ok for one that wont work because the pc has the internet ip and not the router so it will not know where the internet is.
    you can get it to work but it is a hastle
    go up on ebay and buy a cheap modem from someone it will be a lot easier.
  5. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    If I understand correctly you say that the best networking option would be:

    PC with a Ethernet card
    PC Ethernet card connected to the one of the 4 port switch of the WRT54G
    WRT54G hooked onto Ethernet modem via a short RJ45 cable

    Ethernet modem connected to the outside telephone line.
    But howwould this happen? Do they have also a line in port?

    Which modem would you reccomend at http://www.ebuyer.com?
  6. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    I had second thoughts abotu this issue, and investigated further.
    It appears that someoneelse has already doen what I asked and it is really simple via ICS (http://linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1395&highlight=ics).

    There are also other reasons why I do not see reasons to go and buy an Ethernet modem:
    - stability. My main PC/server is pretty stable in its configuration. The current USB modem works perfectly for days and days. Having to risk with a different configuration is not that clever.
    - security. The router will not be (directly) accessible outside and will not be subject to exploits or faults. Of course the modem itself will be, but this is already the case with a single PC, so no increased risk there.
    - power. An Ethernet modem would require an external power adaptor and plug. The current configuration simply draws power via USB and is much easier to manage.

    the only drawback of this 'bridge' configuration is that the ICS must be on when I connect from the laptop, which means that the PC must be on as well. This can be solved via the wake-on-lan function of the main PC.

    Basically the WRT54G will simply act as a switch+wireless router on a local lan.

    Is there anything wrong with this approach?
  7. howardp6

    howardp6 Network Guru Member

    If you have a USB ADSL modem, Draytek had a USB wired router. The Linksys routers only have an Ethernet connector for the WAN. It was a wired router with a USB WAN connector is was A Vigor 2200USB , you may be able to still get it from some dealers. You can use ICS as you already discovered, but requires that PC to always be on.
  8. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    Thanks, I really need a wireless router and have chosen the Linksys for the potential to increase its power up.

    Having a gateway computer connected to the Internet and use that to deliver all internet connectivity is in my view a good idea for the reasons I mentioned above. I will test it in practise in a few days!
  9. shaynes250

    shaynes250 Network Guru Member

    Re: WRT54G-UK

    The quote is correct, at least for a WRT54G sold here in the U.S. You'll need a modem with Enternet connectivity.

    By the by: I suspect the only difference between your proposed router and mine is the power cube: yours is designed for 240 V, mine 120 V.

    - Sean Haynes
  10. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    perhaps you have not read the other posts in the thread.

    After a bit of research it become apparent that the quote mentioned from the shop is false. In fact the router WRT54G can work also with USB modems (no need for any Ethernet modem).

    This can be achieved in a bridge/gateway configuration, where the main PC is connected to the Internet via its normal USB modem, while the router is connected to an Ethernet port on this PC (an Ethernet PCI card only costs few pounds) and shares with other computers on the LAN the Internet information via ICS.

    Of course, this model might be less flexible than one with the router immediately connected toan Ethernet modem, but is an easy upgrade for a system already working and optimised.
  11. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Ahhh.... but technically speaking you haven't connected the modem directly to the WRT54G :D No one would refer to that as "being compatible".

    1) The WRT54G does not have a USB port, so strictly speaking it cannot connect to USB modems, so the shop was correct.

    2) You could configure it to work with a host computer using ICS as quoted earlier (you have analysed the pros and cons quite correctly too) - it should work fine but the USB modem is not attached to the WRT54G, it's attached to the host. That's an entirely different network setup.
  12. gianni76

    gianni76 Network Guru Member

    the configuration via the ICS sharing I described above worked perfectly for many months. No problems with it.

    Now I am thinking to add to my network a couple of webcams (not sure yet if normal or IP webcams).

    What would you suggest to do?
    Is it best to buy an Ethernet modem and change the network configuration I have now, or can I still use ICS somehow also with the webcams connected to the router?

    At present I have a PC (connected on its own to Internet via a USB modem) an then a WRT54G connected to the Ethernet port of the PC (one laptop shares this connection via ICS and a 802.11g card).
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