Connecting a WEP device to a WPA net via a second router

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by DMcCunney, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. DMcCunney

    DMcCunney LI Guru Member

    I'm trying to do something, and I'm not sure it's possible.

    I have a tiny home network, with a desktop and a laptop, both running WinXP Pro SP2, connecting to a Linksys WRT54G v2 router with the latest stock firmware. The Linksys is in Gateway mode, connecting to a cable modem. The desktop connects via CAT5 cable. The laptop uses built-in WiFi.

    I have a third device I would like to add: a PalmOS PDA with a SanDisk WiFi SD card. The PDA can do a network hotsync over WiFi (much faster than serial or USB connections) surf the net, and access the PC or remote servers using Palm implementations of SSH and VNC.

    The problem is that the PDA only supports WEP. It can't do WPA. WEP may be marginally better than no security as all, but it's not what I'd call secure. I don't want to make the entire network WEP for the benefit of the PDA.

    I also have a Belkin F5D7230-4 Wireless router. My thought was to use the Linksys in Gateway mode, connecting to the cable modem. The desktop and laptop would authenticate to it using WPA.

    The Belkin would connect to the Linksys in router mode.

    The PDA would authenticate to the Belkin using WEP. In addition, I'd use MAC address filtering on the Belkin, so the PDA was the only thing that could connect to it. The Belkin would have a separate, non-broadcast SSID. If possible (and I'm not sure it is) I'd assign a static IP to the PDA and turn off DHCP on the Belkin.

    The Belkin would forward PDA traffic through the Linksys so the PDA could reach the Internet and connect to the desktop machine. I'd set port forwarding on both Belkin and Linksys as required.

    I already have shares on the desktop and laptop locked down fairly solidly as to what can connect with the firewall enabled in the Linksys, and software firewalls on the PCs (Sygate Personal Firewall, if it matters).

    Does this sound like a workable approach, or am I missing something obvious? (The latter would not surprise me.)

    If it is workable, what recommendations would folks make for settings on the Linksys and Belkin to set this up? (Note: I'm also looking at third-party firmware for the Linksys, with dd-wrt the current leading candidate. I'm assuming anything I can do under the stock firmware should work under replacement firmware, too.)


    Thanks in advance.
  2. frenchy2k1

    frenchy2k1 LI Guru Member

    Seems like a workable solution. Dont forget to use different channels if possible for the 2 wireless networks.
  3. DMcCunney

    DMcCunney LI Guru Member

    Nice to know it seems workable. So noted on the seperate wireless channels. I should be able to do that.

    Right now, I'm working on getting the Linksys to communicate with the Belkin at all. Again, I can't get them to talk, whether I connect via CAT5 patch cable or Wireless. (They sit side by side, and I have a 1' patch cable to cross connect them.) Probably missing something basic and will bang my head against the desk when I figure it out.

    I also upgraded to Tomato 1.07 firmware on the Linksys, and thus far, I'm impressed.

    Thanks for the response. Essentially, I want the rest of the world to connect to the Linksys using WPA2 security, but the Belkin to connect as a trusted peer, with traffic to/from it transparently passed through.
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