Please help me set up my WRT54G as a bridge!

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Good Karma, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Let me start by saying that I'm a novice to networking. I know enough to be dangerous (to myself, not others). I have been wracking my brain trying to read thru different threads in the hopes of figuring out how to set up my WRT54G v1.1 running Tomotao 1.07 as a second router upstairs in my SOHO.

    My first problem is trying to figure out which settings to switch on my WRT54G. My second problem is that even when I try to do the basic first steps (as I understand from other threads) of changing my WRT54G's local router IP is that I can't reconnect it to via to the new IP address I assign to it. This prevents me from any fiddling to even try other steps out [[I know this seems lame but did I forget to mention that I'm a networking newbie?!]]

    I'm getting my DSL through a 2WIRE Wireless Gateway (wireless router with modem) supplied by ATT. It is located in a very useful downstairs location. I am currently running a connection to my upstairs PC via a pair of Netgear XE102's (wall plugged ethernet bridge).

    Here is a breakdown of the network I am trying to set up:

    1st Router (the 2WIRE) = ATT SBC Yahoo DSL -> 2WIRE (on IP, subnet, Gateway, and DHCP range -> 1st XE102.

    2nd Router (the WRT54G) = 2nd XE102 -> WRT54G (currently on IP, subnet, Gateway ? (not sure where to find this setting), and DHCP range -> Upstairs PC.

    With the downstairs 2WIRE acting as the internet wired and wireless router for any work or fun connection needs, I would really, REALLY appreciate a step-by-step walkthru of how to configure settings on my WRT54G so that it can act as; (1) a wired bridge between the upstairs XE102 and my PC, and (2) a wired bridge between the upstairs XE102 and work laptops that wifey and I sometimes want to jack into, (3) a bridge for future media devices like Slingbox, and (4) a bridge for any ad-hoc wireless connects.

    Heck, I would even forego option (4) above [[setting up WRT54G as a wireless bridge]] and just settle for getting the thing to work as a wired bridge for options (1-3) above.

    FYI - I am able to get my upstairs PC connected to the 2WIRE via the XE102's so that part of the equation works. It's just that when I try to add the WRT54G into the equation, I can't bridge across it!

    I figure I am missing several key understandings and steps here. I would really appreciate any and all attention and assistance with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. azeari

    azeari LI Guru Member

    qn: what exactly do u mean by bridge?

    do you:
    1. Want to connect to the internet through the router (be it wired or wireless)
    2. Want the router to ROUTE both parts of the network together
    3. Want the router to BRIDGE both parts of the network together

    Option 1 is the easiest, and Option 3 the hardest.

    Bridging is superior to Routing in that it allows broadcast traffic to transverse the router. Whether or not you require or want that will depend on your needs
  3. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Option 1! Option 1!! Option 1!!! :)

    Sharing internet connection (via wired or wireless, via router 1 or router 2) is my main goal. I would greatly appreciate the help in configuring it for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am not needing to share files via network between the different devices. At least, not at this time, anyways. Not until I can learn more about how to do that kind of stuff. :wink:
  4. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    It is quite easy to do everything you want. On the upstairs WRT, on the basic - network page set WAN/Internet to disabled. Set LAN router IP address to, subnet mask and leave all 3 DNS fields empty. Un-Check DHCP server box. Under wireless set the SSID to the same as downstairs if you want to roam, or different if you want to selectively connect to one or the other. Set the radio channel at least 5 away from the downstairs radio no matter what SSID you use. Set wireless mode to Access Point. Save. Plug the upstairs XE-102 into one of the 4 LAN ports, NOT the WAN port. Connect your wired computers into the 3 remaining LAN ports. Wireless clients attaching to the upstairs router will also get internet. If you need to program the upstairs router, put into the browser bar and hit enter.
  5. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Hi Geetek, thanks for the walkthru steps! I'm away from my setup but can't wait to get back and take a fresh stab at this!!

    Before I get started, I was just curious about one of the steps. Why am I using one of the WRT54G's 1-4 LAN ports when connecting to the upstairs XE102? How does the internet connection carry through the WRT54G to the upstairs PC(s)?

    Most appreciative!!!!!!!!! GK :biggrin:
  6. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    The 4 LAN ports of the wrt and the radio of the wrt are a physical hub that provides connectivity amongst all 4 ports and the radio. The computer part of the router stands between this LAN hub and the WAN port. The computer is a traffic controller that provides IP address control and selective isolation and firewalling from the WAN to the LAN, which is what you need if the router is connected directly to the internet. Since the router downstairs is doing all of the routing, firewalling and traffic control, the router part of the upstairs wrt is as useful as tits on a boar hog, and for this configuration it is left out of the picture.

    Edit - It is a shame that you cannot use your Tomato radio as the primary router. You are missing out on the QOS control, among other things.
  7. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Off-topic: GeeTek, you know the story about the rich man that was about to buy a Rolls Royce. The salesman assured the man that the Rolls will never break down. The man checked the trunk, found a jack and a few tools, and asked what that was for if the Rolls is not supposed to break down. The salesman responded by stating that it serves the same purpose as titties on men - it's just for in-case...

    Sorry guys, I know I'm wasting bandwidth here, but I just couldn't resist.
  8. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Quick question GeeTek, when I change the WRT54G router address (and other settings), do I need to do any unplug/replugging or restarting after hitting save?
  9. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    No, if Tomato needs to resart, it will. Otherwise just wait for 5 or 10 seconds after the yellow progress bar stops after making changes before you start doing too much with it.
  10. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Hi Geetek, - HELP! Part Deux!!

    I followed the instructions step-by-step, plugging the the upstairs PC directly into the WRT54G's LAN port 1 and successfully saving all the prescribed Tomato settings onto the WRT54G, but when I plugged the upstairs XE102 into the WRT54G's LAN port 2.... no internet on the upstairs PC. I don't get it. I avoided the WAN port like you instructed. Am I missing something? Is there some other Tomato setting I need to set on the WRT54G in order to get internet on any of the PC's wired directly into the WRT54G's remaining LAN ports?

    As you can guess, I had to bypass the WRT54G and connect my upstairs PC back directly into the upstairs XE102 in order to regain internet and send this post. Why isn't the internet flowing through the WRT54G to the upstairs computer or laptops directly wired into it?

    Let me know if any particular screenshots are needed to help diagnose and troubleshoot this.


  11. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    Is your computer set for DHCP ? What is the LAN ip of the 2-wire ? Is it ? Is the upstairs WRT still set for LAN IP of ?

    1 - Make sure the DHCP box is not checked in the WRT and the LAN IP address is

    2 - Make sure the LAN IP address of the 2-wire is

    3 - Set the computer to obtain and address automatically (DHCP), keep the wires plugged in the way you have them and power cycle the wrt first and then the PC. Your computer should obtain an IP in the range of from the 2-wire and start working.

    4 - An afterthought, if 1 - 3 does not work, the WRT and the XE-102 may not have auto detect polarity network ports, which may require you to connect them together with a cross over cable. Do you know how to make cables ?
  12. azeari

    azeari LI Guru Member

    oops sry for my absence from this thread.

    Anyway, 4 is interesting. It is my understanding though, that the XE102 only requires crossovers if you're linking it in this manner
    pc - adapter - adapter - pc

    so in this case the crossover shouldn't be needed.

    Anyway i tend to approach this problem slightly differently, going the doubleNAT route (its simpler in my opinion)
    Basically in my config, this is how it'll be:
    Connection Type(Basic) -> DHCP
    Router DHCP server Enabled
    XE-102 Plugged into the WAN port of the WRT
    Computers plugged into the LAN ports of the WRT
    DNS setup to your main router's ip address (this may not always work, depending on your router)
    DNS setup to a public dns server (see ) for more info. use a tier 2 server.
  13. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Some questions before retrying

    Thans again for helping with this!!! :)

    I think so? Where do I go to find that out?

    The 2WIRE's LAN IP is currently set at Does this present a problem?


    I'll double-check this when I plug back into the WRT.

    If I change the LAN IP of the 2WIRE, I need to know what to set the Subnet Mask at, whether to check the Enable DHCP box, and what to set the First & Last DHCP's to. Here's a screenshot of the 2WIRE config page for that.

    Screenshot of 2WIRE config page.jpg

    I will wait to hear back from you on my above questions before retrying anything.

    I'll hold off on this for now.
  14. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Another approach?

    Thanks for the suggested alternate approach, although I must admit I'd need a little more guidance no the steps you recommended such as which machines I'd be changing settings on, where I make those settings changes, and when I'm supposed to save them. Did I forget to mention that I'm a newbie?! :rolleyes:
  15. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    Hold on, let me grab another beer...

    OK, I'm back.

    There are is a lot of stuff you need to learn about different things, being the n00bie you are, but I think you should start with the computer. I'll try to get you going with as few steps as possible and let you expand from there.

    1 - Connect the upstairs computer back to the XE thingy and get the internet working.

    2 - On that computer click on the start button and select the "run" option. Enter cmd into the run box and click OK.

    3 - In the dos window that opens, type the command ipconfig /all (there is a space between ipconfig and the forwared slash) and press enter. The window will scroll a bunch of stuff.

    4 - Right click on the top border of the dos window and select Edit and then Select All. Right click again on the top of the window and select Edit, then Copy. In your reply here, right click and paste the results into the window. This will tell us the IP address and of the 2-wire and the subnet mask and all that good stuff. We could just set our own values and make it work, but I would rather preserve your own settings and help you learn about this stuff by analyzing it.
  16. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    I'm a quick learner!

    First off, have I told you lately how appreciate I am of your efforts. I will make sure to "pay it forward" next chance I get!! :biggrin:

    Here are the results from IPCONFIG /ALL:

    Windows IP Configuration

    Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : GoodKarma
    Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
    Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
    IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . :

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

    Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
    Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NVIDIA nForce MCP Networking Controller
    Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-40-CA-74-EA-33
    Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
    Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
    IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
    DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
    DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, October 15, 2007 10:37:40 PM
    Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:37:40 PM

    Eager for more training Obi-Wan!
  17. azeari

    azeari LI Guru Member

    well usually from here, i'd compare it with the ipconfig /all i'd get when the computer is plugged into the router.

    Stuff like a missing gateway is a sign of ip allotment failure somewhere(this is the most common).

    anyway, as for the alternative setup i was suggesting, basically, this refers to router-side configurations

    Connection Type(Basic) -> DHCP
    Router DHCP server Enabled

    Static DNS : <--- here i picked a server in japan for you. <--- your main router's ip

    Finally, under Advanced -> DHCP / DNS
    Make sure
    Use Internal Caching DNS Forwarder
    Use Received DNS with Static DNS is ticked

    Besides that, the computer's configuration should be the same as before.
    Also, as said before, in this config, the XE-102 is plugged into the WAN port of the router, and the computers are plugged into the LAN port (=

    don't forget to post another copy of the ipconfigs when its connected to the router
  18. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    If you want a bridged connection so you can network upstairs and downstairs computers together you will need to get it working by connecting the xe102 to the wrt by LAN port. With the instructions I gave already there should be nothing else to do. To diagnose for sure where the problem is it would be helpful to set a static IP address in the computer. Use the numbers you posted above and enter those to be your static addresses. Then plug the computer into the LAN of the WRT and be sure you can access the router at If you can then you should be able to ping the downstairs router at If not, you will need a cross over cable for the xe102 to LAN connection on the WRT.
  19. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    IPCONFIG /ALL settings from a pc plugged directly into the 2WIRE

    I plugged a laptop directly into the 2WIRE downstairs and ran "ipconfig /all" and here's what I got...

    Windows IP Configuration
    Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : gklaptop
    Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
    Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
    IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . :

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
    Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
    Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Mobile Connection
    Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-01-6C-EB-11-06
    Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
    Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
    IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
    DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
    DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:15:26 PM
    Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, October 18, 2007 9:15:26 PM

    Does this info help shed any light as to why I'm not able to get internet access when I added the reconfigured WRT54G to the upstairs equation?
  20. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    Well no, that is pretty much the same info as the first readings you took. Do you know how to program a static IP address into your computer ? Do you know what a cross over cable is ? I'm only asking to see how to help you further, I'm not trying to be wise.
  21. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Nope, but maybe I can do some googl'ing on it to find out how!

    Nope. Google anyone?

    No offense taken. I appreciate the help! :)
  22. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

  23. Good Karma

    Good Karma LI Guru Member

    Networking 101 and Options

    Before I go the route of setting the upstairs computer to use the static IP address of the downstairs 2WIRE, I had some fundamental networking questions I think may help me understand what's going on.

    First off, in my current setup (without the WRT54G), the 2WIRE is acting as the modem and router. The 2WIRE also supplies wi-fi connectivity.

    Unless I'm mistaken, in my proposed setup, it appears that I'm intending to just use the WRT54G as a switch. Now, here is where my challenge lies, what is the difference between a router and a switch?

    If my goal is to share the internet connection supplied by the 2WIRE between all computers across my proposed network, can the WRT54G perform that function or do I need a true switching device that has built-in crossover capabilities?

    At this point, I'm tempted to shelve the WRT54G and purchase an econo switching device to plug into the upstairs XE102 (ie. Netgear GS605). That way, I can plug any upstairs computers or laptops into it directly and just rely on the downstairs 2WIRE for any downstairs direct connectivity and wi-fi needs (btw ~ in testing signal strengths, I'm getting excellent bars from all points upstairs to the backyard patio).
  24. GeeTek

    GeeTek Guest

    You are like the kid in a dentist chair who is hollering before the dentist even touches him. When you turn off the DHCP server in the WRT upstairs it is essentially a pure switch (provided you leave the WAN port alone). If you do not wish to use it's wireless radio for extra coverage it is your option. If setting the PC for a static IP address and learning how to use the "Ping" command scares you, remember that you can be back to DHCP (the way it is right now) in about 22.7 seconds. You seem have done a little more reading and a little less doing than is healthy for you.
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