BEFW11S4 as Access Point

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by foxy41, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. foxy41

    foxy41 Guest

    I'm attempting to set up my BEFW11S4 as an access point (bridging to my WRT54G router). I've read the advice and methods for setting up a WRT54G as an AP, can a BEFW11S4 be used as an AP and are the setting similar. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry for the noob post.
  2. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    I think we need to define some terms so we're on the same page... (Please note these are very basic definitions and slightly lacking as such)

    Access Point (AP) - Allows wireless clients to connect (associate) with it facilitating communication between the wireless clients and giving them access to a wired network. It has a single wired network port.

    Wireless Router - An access point with one or more LAN ports plus a WAN/Internet port. Traffic betwen the LAN & WAN ports is routed/NAT'd/firewalled/ etc.

    Wireless Bridge - Allows wired network devices to communicate with a wireless network. Wireless clients can NOT ususally connect to a wireless bridge!! (The bridge is essentially emmulating a wireless client itself! This is also why custom firmware for the WRT usually calls wireless bridging features "Client Mode")

    Wireless Repeater - Allows wireless clients to connect (associate) with it like an AP does but can also communicate with another wirless device such as an AP or Wireless Router assuming that device also supports repeating.

    Notice the key difference between the Wireless Bridge & Wireless Repeater: The bridge can usually connect to ANY wireless network but can't accept connections from wireless clients. A wireless repeater can accept connections from wireless clients but can only communicate with other repeaters.

    To make things more interesting & confusing, if the repeater has wired network ports then it can function similar to a bridge in the sense that it will allow wired devices that are connect to it to communicate with a wireless network IF the AP/Router on the other end also supports repeating.

    WDS - The Wireless Distribution System - a vaguely defined repeating standard specified by 802.11 and probably the most commonly used technology in "range extension" products. It is partially included in a decent number of Wireless Routers & APs.

    For example the V2.02.2 firmware from Linksys for the WRT54G included partial WDS support. There was no configuration options for the WDS features, they just hard coded it to allow connections from other WDS compatible devices (such as the WAP54G) that could explicitly specify the WRT as a repeating partner. (This is known as Lazy-WDS when any other WDS device can specify you as a repeating partner.)

    With all that in mind lets get back to your question. :p

    Assuming you want to extend the range of your network for wireless clients using the BEFW11S4, you have to rule out bridging or client mode on the BEFW11S4.

    That leaves two options.

    1. Any wireless router can be used as an access point by simply connecting the router to your network using a LAN port instead of the WAN/Internet port. (You'll also want to disable the DHCP server on the wireless router.)

    Therefore the easiest way to use a BEFW11S4 to extend your wireless network would be to simply run a network cable from a LAN port on your WRT54G and connect it to a LAN port on the BEFW11S4. To facilitate transparent roaming you'd want to set both devices with the same SSID & security settings. (It would also be wise to set them to different channels of either 1, 6, or 11.)

    2. If you don't want to run a cable between the routers then you must look into wireless repeating. Custom firmware like DD-WRT gives you great control of the WDS options on a WRT54G and it sounds like Lazy-WDS may have been added to the BEFW11S4 in a recent firmware update!! here
    (Notice the change log posted towards the bottom of the 1st page. I didn't actually read the whole 8 pages to see if anybody got it working so let us know how it goes if you give it a shot!)

    Good luck. :)

    Edit: I skimmed through the thread after posting here and noticed a LOT of complaints about the router locking up with the new firmware so unfortunately you may be stuck with running a cable... :|
  3. windsurfer

    windsurfer Network Guru Member

    The BEFW11S4 is not one of Linksys's better products. It has problems and you can read all about them if you Google the model number.

    I have spent hours trying to get it to connect to a WRT54G, where the WRT54G is running in Client Mode. I have tried about 8 different versions of software and so far I have found none that work.

    Just to prove that I knew what I was doing, I connected a very old WAP11 to the BEFW11S4 ports and then turned off its wireless. The WAP11 connected imediately to the WRT54G running in Client Mode. I then switched back and it would not work. I have no idea why this is so but it DOES NOT WORK.

    My real goal was to connect to another WRT54G so I finally just gave up as this was only for testing anyway. When I took my Client Mode WRT54G out to the field site I again went through several versions of software and I found the DD-WRT worked better than any of the others in Client Mode.

    The BEFW11S4 will connect to a lot of other Client Mode devices. I have connected the following: Orinoco Gold, Netgear MA111 V1, Netgear MA111 V2, Netgear WG111 V2, Centrino, Toshiba M205 tablet, and Dell TrueMobile 1150.

    If you have a setup where you need to connect a Client Mode WRT54G to a BEFW11S4 in AP mode, do yourself a favor and purchase a second WRT54G.

  4. 4Access

    4Access Network Guru Member

    And there was a new version of DD-WRT released just earlier today!! :dancing:

    Not to nitpick, and I'm sure windsurfer meant the same thing, but for the sake of clarity I believe it was the client mode devices that connected to the BEFW11S4, not the other way around.
  5. p4ndaz

    p4ndaz Guest

    >I have spent hours trying to get it to connect to a WRT54G, where the >WRT54G is running in Client Mode. I have tried about 8 different >versions of software and so far I have found none that work.

    I have tried before to connect WRT54G client mode and it indeed able to connect to BEFW11S4 in a simple way. But only in client mode, not repeater/WDS yet. Perhaps I should try to upgrade BEFW11S4 FW with the latest one.
  6. windsurfer

    windsurfer Network Guru Member


    Please tell me what version of software you are running on your WRT54G?

    WDS mode is does not do much for me so a simple connection would be just fine.


  7. tdave00

    tdave00 Network Guru Member

    I can confirm that I was also able to get a wrt54g to connect to a befw11s4 in client mode. I flashed the wrt with dd-wrt v.22 pre4. It took me a while, but I remembered reading a post here about client mode (that you had to put the wrt on a different subnet). As soon as I did that it was up and running. I haven't tried lazy wds yet. That is what I would really like to get going. I set it up for my sister to "borrow a cup" of internet and I am not sure if the befw11s4 has the current firmware to allow lazy wds. Will give an update if I get it going.
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