WRT54G WDS with Factory Firmware

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by DeltaHF, May 7, 2008.

  1. DeltaHF

    DeltaHF Addicted to LI Member

    Hello everyone,

    I've been doing quite a bit of research and have become very frustrated with the mixed information that I have found about the "undocumented" WDS features of the WRT54G. As I understand it, WDS was added recently by Linksys to their factory firmware, although they have not advertised or documented this functionality. Most discussion on the internet, however, continues to point users interested in WDS to third-party firmware. Why is this? Is WDS really not a feature provided by Linksys firmware at all? And, if it is provided, what official firmware versions support it for the WRT54G?
  2. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    No stock WRT54xx firmware supports proper WDS. I had a WRT54GS v5 that had lazy WDS enabled in the stock firmware, but lazy WDS is like kissing your sister. Linksys wants to sell other/more devices I guess.

    Routers not having WDS capabilities is not so uncommon. Some routers claim to support WDS, but then it's only unencrypted or with WEP, and that's no good anyway. WDS is found more often in Access Point type devices.

    Third party firmware is nothing to be afraid of. Tomato, Thibor, and others are just the stock Linksys firmware made better.

    The VERSION of your WRT54G is the key. If you have a version of 4 or less, you can load just about any 3rd party firmware. If you have a v5 or higher, you are limited to dd-wrt micro.

    If your G is still new, and it's a v5+, see if you can exchange it for a WRT54GL.
  3. DeltaHF

    DeltaHF Addicted to LI Member

    Thanks for your help, HennieM! :) Speaking of third-party firmware, though, is there any way to accurately determine the serial number or hardware version of a WRT router without looking at the label on the bottom? I am managing a few that aren't exactly convenient to get to, so it would be great if there was a way to access that information remotely. Right now, these routers in question are running the 1.00.9 firmware - I'm not sure if the person in charge of them before me ever upgraded them or not.

    EDIT: Upon doing some investigation of the Linksys firmware release notes, it appears that the 1.00.9 firmware was only ever available on the v5 WRT54G. Is that a safe assumption to make?
  4. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Can't really say about the firmware version vs. hardware version, and I have forgotten what you see in the web interface. I seem to recall that could access a special hidden page to get some info, but I'm not sure. Search this forum for "hidden pages" perhaps.

    My v5.1 used v 1.50.5 when I got it. You could probably try to upgrade your routers via the web interface to the newest of the v5 stock firmware - if it's not a v5, the router won't accept it.

    If you are considering going to 3rd party firmware, I'd say you better get to those routers. You may have to press the reset button or something along the way, especially if it's v5, as that takes a special flashing procedure.
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