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WTR54G travel router - can't connect wirelessly to WiFi hotspot

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by sjdigital, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    My WTR54G travel router works fine when connected by ethernet cable to an internet connection, i.e. I can connect several devices wirelessly to the router and access the internet. But I have just tried to connect it wirelessly to an hotel WiFi hotspot and find that once the router is connected wirelessly, I can no longer connect to it wirelessly, only by ethernet cable. It seems unable to handle both an incoming wireless connection and an outgoing one, and yet that is exactly what it is apparently designed to do. I have reset the router and started from scratch but to no avail: it will only provide me with an ethernet cable connection to the hotel network and will not let me set up my own wireless network in order to hook up other devices.

    Any ideas what the problem might be?
     
  2. danix71

    danix71 LI Guru Member

    How do you connect to the WiFi hotspot? Bridge or...?
     
  3. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    The WTR54G travel router (not a WRT54G) has the option of connecting to the internet either by cable or by wireless. It's the latter that I am using but when I do so, I can't connect wirelessly to the router itself. If I connect by cable to the internet, then there is no problem connecting wirelessly to the router.
     
  4. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    The travel router is just that, a small form factor router that is easy to travel with. I do not know of any of the wrt routers that have the capability of being a wireless client and simultaneously offers wireless connectivity to lan users.
     
  5. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    It's my understanding that this is one of the main purposes of the travel router, i.e. connecting wirelessly to hotspots and then offering simultaneous wireless connectivity to LAN users. This is what it says on the Linksys product page "You can also create a shared-access bubble attached to a wireless Internet connection to use multiple devices on a single hotspot account in a coffee shop or airport lounge." But mine resolutely refuses to offer wireless connectivity once it's connected wirelessly to the hotspot.
     
  6. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Network Guru Member

    personally I find that VERY hard to believe. to do what you wish, the router must have 2 radios in it, not one like most WRT routers do. I haven't read the documentation or features of it in a long time, but I believe it is working correctly under manfacturers claims. I could be wrong, but it sounds like it's fine. If what you were talking about were the case, I think there'd be a ton more out in production. I know I certainly would like one just for my vehicle.
     
  7. danix71

    danix71 LI Guru Member

  8. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Looking at the website and the manual i dont see anywhere that it says you can do both. It standard linksys wording that leaves alot to be interpreted, but the way that i read it and because of my overall experience i still stand by my initial response that you cannot do both. Now i have never used one of these but i do not know of any wireless devices that you can use as a client to another network and still have wireless lan local functionality. If i had to venture a guess possibly one of the devices that will do multple ssid but that is just a guess.
     
  9. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

  10. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    I know they draw the picture like it can but no where do they explicity say so. Here is the line you are keying on " The wireless connection can be used as a single incoming wireless connection that others can share." Now i agree that it sounds like it but, all this is saying is you can associate the unit with a hotspot and then share, never once does it say how you can share. Well i am certain you can share via wired, and that in itself makes it so its not a lie but it is very misleading. I you have hung around this board for anytime at all you can find where this is the case far more then any of us like. But i do have a suggestion at this point: Toxic did a writeup on the travel router sometime ago, if he still has it around maybe he can do a test and tell you if it works for him.

    Edit: I just read toxics review and it does appear from what he says its reported to do as you are asking, though the review does not to appear that he tested it. Send him a PM and ask him perhaps he could shed some light.
     
  11. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    Thanks. It was on the basis of Toxic's review that I bought the device although I also doubted if he had actually tested it in practice. I have been in touch with the Linksys Live Chat support desk but got cut off as they asked me to reconfigure the router and I was using it (via Ethernet cable) to connect to the internet. But I'll try them again and report back.
     
  12. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    OK, the news is good :) After lengthy consultation with the Linksys Live Chat my WTR54GS now works as its supposed to! I am now connected to my wireless hotspot and have both my laptop and my Nokia E65 phone connected to the internet via the router. This is especially gratifying as the hotspot service provider won't allow WiFi phones to connect - only laptops and PDAs so by using the WTR54GS I can have my VoIP Nokia working just fine. The secret to making it all work seems to be that encryption is limited to WEP 64 bit and I had been trying to use the WPA encryption that I normally use. The help desk couldn't explain why this was, but for hooking up to a hotel hot spot it's perfectly adequate, especially as the WiFi connection itself isn't secure anyway. And just to be sure, I've added MAC address filtering as well!

    So this really is a gem of a device for the traveller and it really does do what it says on the tin!
     
  13. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Well all be, Im glad that i was wrong and its working. I will have to remember this in the future. Just please do not get complacent with security, WEP even with mac filtering is just a good as having no security at all. So keep your machine patched personal firewall as restrictive as possible and make sure you do nothing sharing personal info unless it is over a vpn connection that terminates on your system.
     
  14. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    While I appreciate your concerns over security, if the router is being used to connect to an open hotspot with no security at all, then all I'm really trying to do is stop the guy in the hotel room next door free loading on my expensive WiFi connection! So for all practical purposes as a travel router it seems perfectly adequate to me with WEP and MAC filtering. I still have my personal firewall set as usual so I really doubt if I'm at that much risk doing a bit of internet hopping. Yes, I probably shouldn't be checking my bank account, but the weak link in the chain is the hotel WiFi, not my router. But yes, I can still VPN to my home network if I really need to make that big money transfer to my offshore account!!
     
  15. danix71

    danix71 LI Guru Member

    Good to know...
     
  16. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    Weird, as far as I remember I've had my WTR unit connect to Hotel's AP and share the connection thru WPA-protected WLAN at the same time. I believe there were two revisions on this unit, have you got revision 1 or 2? Maybe revision 2 can't do what revision 1 did due to the memory restrictions?
     
  17. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    @stangri

    Can you check the firmware version of your WTR unit? Mine is a UK model and the firmware is 1.0_20 but interestingly the firmware on the Linksys web site in the US is 1.0_15. I wonder if the US firmware might solve the problem?
     
  18. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    Wow, I didn't even know 1.0_20 exists. You're right I'm on Firmware Version: V1.0_15. When you say you've got a UK version -- does it have UK-type extendable power plug as well?
     
  19. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    No, instead of the US two pin plug that slides out, the European version has a standard "figure of eight" socket into which a regular power cord is plugged. The unit comes with a short (twelve inch or so) power cord but this can obviously be replaced by a longer one if necessary, and of course you can use either a UK or Euro one depending on location.

    So I think I'll try doing a firmware downgrade and see if that fixes the WEP/WPA business. But not until I return home from my current trip as if I brick the router I won't have my VOIP phone or my internet radio to entertain me!
     
  20. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    The US model (at least revision 1 which I have) despite coming with the US plug has the power adapter which is rated for 110-220V, so with a cheap adapter can be used around the world. Just a thought :)

    I'll try to set up my WTR the way described above (neighbor's network is unsecured) and see if it indeed does the WPA on US firmware and post back once my torrents are finished.
     
  21. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    Yep, I can make the WTR connect to the internet thru an open AP and then share it with WPA-protected network. Not sure if it matters, but I have first configured the WTR's Wireless for WPA-personal and then switched the incoming from Wire to Wireless and it worked.
     
  22. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    Interesting! That was the way I had mine configured before trying to connect to the hotel network as I had been using it on a wired cable connection before travelling but once I switched it to incoming wireless I lost contact with it and had to resort to a cable connect between computer and router. And it was only by reverting to WEP that I could make the wireless connection with my computer and my phone.

    I can't find any information as to whether or not the router is voltage specific, i.e. different versions for 110 and 220-240 volts, but I don't think the voltage should matter in relation to the firmware as presumably there's a transformer in the device. But might there be other differences between the UK and US versions I wonder?

    EDIT: Oops, silly me, just looked again at the router and it's marked 100-240 VAC, so voltage shouldn't be an issue.
     
  23. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    I guess I misled you, what I meant when I mentioned the voltage on the US model is that (if you can return or resell your current unit) you can get one from US and use it with a cheap plug adaptor overseas.
     
  24. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    Thanks! I suspect that the US and European routers are identical apart from the power connection. In fact the photos in the instruction manual that came with mine show the US sliding plug! So it seems to be just a matter of the firmware difference. I know there are differences in the availability of WiFi channels - the European one has channels 1 to 13 - but I wonder what other differences there might be. In any event, once I'm back at base after this trip I'll see if I can downgrade the firmware and report my findings. But for the moment it works just fine and I am able to have both my computer and my WiFi phone connected to a hotel system that is supposed to only allow one device to be connected.
     
  25. sjdigital

    sjdigital Network Guru Member

    Linksys Live Help Desk told me this afternoon that the only difference between the two firmwares that they are aware of is the number of channels - 10 in the US and 13 in Europe. They proposed that I make some changes to the advanced wireless settings but I decided to leave things alone for now as I didn't want to screw things up now that they're working. I'll play around with it once I get back to base.
     

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