Is it possible to extend a LAN wirelessly, to the wired ports of Router 2, into another building?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Cide, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Cide

    Cide Addicted to LI Member

    (Yes, yes I realized the fact that it's in another building doesn't matter that much, Because in all reality the building is one foot away, Its just about a foot of concrete in between.)

    Anyway guys,
    I'm trying to do something Nifty, I've already posted about it on the HardForum, But while I was in class today I did some reading and it looks like someone here in this very forum, Today; is having the same, or a very simular issue to me. I will repost what I made on HardForum to save time, But for technical reference, Everything I've done and tried is relative to the information in this other afformentioned thread:

    Here is a copy paste of HardForum's post:
    Greetings fellow friends,

    I recently moved next door to my new IT job. Quite literally, its an old neighborhood with many commercial complexes, and some old houses from the 40's. My company bought the property on both sides of our building incase the future requires expansion and for now I am living there! Woot, no more drives to work!

    Our CTO said it's fine if I use the 30MB Fiber Optic broadband for my own personal use at home, However he is not willing to allow me to run CAT Cable to my house. I installed a Wireless Router (WRT54G) using Tomato 1.25 underneath a desk nearest to my Basement Bedroom Window, and am able to receive excellent wireless connectivity VIA Notebooks and other devices throughout my house.

    However, My desktop computer does not have a wireless card and I do not plan to put on in due to resource conflicts, and I do not like what Wireless Interferance does ocasionally.
    I thought it would be best to goto the store last night to buy another router, this one was a WRT54GL and I flashed it to Tomato 1.25 immediatly.

    I attempted to use Access Point + WDS mode as highlighted in this readme (How to use WDS?)
    I run a private network using PFSENSE on 10.8.20.* ranges, and there is DHCP. When I connect wirelessly to the router under the desk I receive a 10.8 Address via DHCP which is carried from our primary network/routers to the Wireless Router, And then to me. PS: I have plugged the LAN of my Office LAN to Port 1 on Router #1, Should I be using the WAN Port instead? What should the WAN Settings be? How do I simply carry my Office LAN into my home, we have a very nice office network here and I would love to sit on it like a big cave man.

    However, what I want to do is be able to physically place the second wireless router in my window and optimize antenna Placement to allow myself to physically plug in CAT5 cable and receive the internet/network signals across the 2 wireless points, and into my house.

    When I do broadband speed test through wireless I get 20+MB so I am not concerned so much about loss, I just need to get this signal in my house.
    Using the instructions i found in the FAQ and my own fooling around I was not able to get it to work. I would get DHCP or even be able to assign my own addresses to my PC, But no LAN or WAN connectivity, In fact, I couldnt even ping the first router while connected to the second router in my room. However: The routers show up in eachothers Device List and WDS does work because my notebook connectivity went from Midrange to Full Bars (Excellent) and this was in the basement of my home!

    I am not sure what I am doing wrong,
    But I hope someone here will be of help to me.
    I would really appreciate this because understanding where I went wrong in this matter will further my network knowledge and skillset by a good margin!

    (I was thinking last night it could be something related to Configuration, I have WAN established as DHCP but the first router never negitiates an address, but the wireless clients connected to it gain pass-through lan addresses assigned by our primary network host.)

    Is it even possible to do what I want to do here with these devices?
    Is there a better way of going about what I want?

    Perhaps buying a N+ Router and a high end card and just dealing with adding new hardware to my PC would be better than running across 2 routers?

    What am I missing here? NAT Configurations, hostname configuration? Etc?

    Other things I have thought of: Do I need to add a route to my computer, or PFsense in order to accomidate this? Is this a physical limitation I have reached?
  2. Cide

    Cide Addicted to LI Member

    A couple people I have talked to said that I need to use DD-WRT to do this, But I am pretty sure Tomato can do this?

    I am going to install wireshark and see what kind of ARP or other traffic is going on, perhaps it will help troubleshoot where my problem is... I think its just not receiving the Gateway Server and it just keeps sending and hits a wall, thats why there is no Received traffic.
    Tons of sent though.
    Basically: What settings should I have on Router 2 then? Wireless Client mode, or Wireless Bridge Mode... I thought originally what I was looking for was AP Mode + WDS, but I think thats just for wireless.
    One would think Wireless Bridge Mode... And of course: DHCP turned off, The router IP assigned to something in the 10.8.20*range
    And the primary router the same 10.8.20 range
    Rite now I think they are running on their own 192.168 networks
    Maybe thats why its not talking to the statusfirm network
    But I dont get why Wireless still works
    Wireless is fine.. negotiates DHCP with statusfirm network
  3. gawd0wns

    gawd0wns Network Guru Member

    So this is my understanding of your situation. You have a router (router # 1) acting as an Access Point for your wireless clients, and it is connected to an office server which hosts your internet connection, and DHCP. And you want one wired computer connected to router # 2, and you want to link this machine wirelessly to router #1?

    It sounds like a Wireless Ethernet Bridge configuration may be the solution for you. First, disable WDS mode, keep router #1 in Access Point mode. Yes, the cable connecting your office LAN to router # 1 should be in the WAN port of router # 1, and the connection type in Basic --> Network should remain as DHCP. Further down on that page, uncheck "DHCP server" to turn it off on router #1. I wrote a quick and easy howto on how to configure Wireless Ethernet Bridge mode on your router #2:

    You will have to enter the IP address of your office server in the box "Default Gateway" in the Wireless Ethernet Bridge settings of router # 2.
  4. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    Here is what I got from your posts on the existing setup and goals, correct anything I get wrong. Numbers/Letters are just for easy reference in discussion.
    1) You have a WRT54G running Tomato 1.25 under a company desk (nearest to your Basement Bedroom WindoW) that is broadcasting wireless into your house to your wireless devices such as notebooks.
    2) Your home desktop is not wireless and not planned to be
    3) You just bought a WRT54GL for home and flashed it to Tomato 1.25.
    4) You say that you run a private network using PFSENSE (on a company PC?) on 10.8.20.* ranges, and there is DHCP. This is on the statusfirm network I take it.
    5) When you connect wirelessly to the router under the desk I receive a 10.8 Address via DHCP which is carried from our primary network/routers to the Wireless Router, And then to you.
    6) You want to do is be able to physically place the second wireless router in my window and optimize antenna Placement to allow myself to physically plug in CAT5 cable and receive the internet/network signals across the 2 wireless points, and into my house.
    A) Can you allocate a static non-DHCP IP address on the statusfirm network or do you have to use a DHCP assigned address? I ask this as some of the approaches to configuring a bridge depend on a static IP or maybe two, not certain off hand.
    B) I take it that you wish the WRT54GL to support both wired clients and also act as an access point in your house for wireless clients? I ask this because there are ways to set this up that only support wired clients on the home WRT54GL but I don't think this is what you want.
    C) Sounds like ideally you don't want any NATing, but to be on the same subnet as the statusfirm 10.8.20.* (and are there any other scopes?) network? How big is the DHCP pool(s?), is it big enough to support both the business and you?

    Of course any approaches are likely to get nailed in a PCI audit so hopefully that's not a requirement. There is a post by GeeTek where he describes how the different Tomato wireless modes actually work, and some other interesting links, good reading I thought. The DD-WRT WIKI has some articles on various ways of linking routers, some would also apply, at least in theory, to Tomato. I also found some useful tutorials over at Wi-Fi Planet before so you might want to search around over there.

    To late to think about it any more tonight but seems likely you can find the right approach with the equipment you have.
  5. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    IF you want the router in your house to provide both wired and wireless AP functionality, then I'm actually thinking maybe WDS or a repeater bridge (which would require dd-wrt). Have a look at the DD-WRT WIKI Repeating Mode Comparisons page, maybe you'll be able to determine which one works for you.
  6. bokh

    bokh Network Guru Member

    Repeater bridge

    Is this still true? I just dropped Tomato :cry: in favour of DD-WRT because I was in need of a situation like this: - and take a look at that reference image to. That's what I need ATM.

    The DD-WRT does what it needs to, but IF Tomato (or a mod I'm yet unaware of) can do it, I won't hesitate to go back.
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