Tomato as a switch?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by mcf57, May 25, 2009.

  1. mcf57

    mcf57 Addicted to LI Member

    I have a Linksys WRT54G wouter that is version3 and appears to be compatible with Tomato. Therefore, I'm gonna give it a shot and install it. From what I could gather, it seems pretty straight forward for upgrading the firmware. Just download the needed files and do it through the Admin tab and upgrade firmware, right? Is it really this simple?

    Also, I currently use my Linksys WRT54G as a wireless access point and 4 port switch instead of the normal router function. Its then basically connected to a NETGEAR router that serves as the DCHP server. After installing Tomato, I'm assuming this can still be done, correct? As before, would I simply turn off the DHCP within Tomato and assign it a static IP address?

    I thought I saw too how the new Tomato v1.24 will turn my Linksys's WAN port into a LAN port, right? Therefore giving me a 5 port switch.

    Finally, if for some reason, I am not into the Tomato firmware (which I doubt from what I have heard), is there any way of going back to the original Linksys firmware? Would it just be a matter of downloading the appropriate firmware from Linksys and upgrade as before?
  2. nvtweak

    nvtweak LI Guru Member

    You got it.

    To use the router as a switch, simply plug something into it.

    It is recommended to disable DHCP as you say, and that can be done easily as well.

    You can change the WAN port into a LAN port if you want. In versions 1.24 and higher, that option appears in the user interface after you set WAN to disabled (versions prior to 1.24 you needed to enter commands manually).

    If you want to go back to Linksys firmware, it can be flashed from the user interface (Tomato is based on Linksys code after all). Keep in mind that it's best to reset the router to defaults before and after flash.
  3. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    So, actually you will be using Tomato WRT54G just as an AP, wired to a Netgear router which is running DHCP, and presumably NAT also? So you aren't actually using Tomato for anything?

    I think you would get better performance, and learn much more, if you set the Netgear into bridged mode, and let the WRT54G do everything. Just my thoughts...
  4. mcf57

    mcf57 Addicted to LI Member

    Well, that is a thought and something to condsider. The reason I was just using the NETGEAR router as my main router and device for DHCP was cause that I assumed it had a greater wireless range. Its a WPN824 & considered one of their RangeMax wireless routers.

    I was thinking the Tomato WRT54G would be used as both an AP and a 4 (or five) port switch. When you say bridge mode for the Netgear, is this basically referring to making it a basic switch like I did with my current Linksys WRT54G? If so, I can see what you are referring to and I might just do that. In other words, swap them for their functions.
  5. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    OK, the Netgear would do nothing else except act as the modem connecting to your ISP - (you didn't say what you use - ADSL, Cable, etc). I'm assuming you use ADSL.

    I don't know the Netgear but assume like most routers it has limited facilities, like poor QOS, low connection numbers limit, etc. which Tomato excels at. The Netgear would connect to the ISP and just pass the ISP's connection through to your 54G running tomato. Then you get to use all of Tomato's facilities. You could presumably still use the Netgear with it's Mimo wireless, as an AP. There's a lot of help on the forum, you can use the search (use advanced search) to find more info.
  6. mcf57

    mcf57 Addicted to LI Member

    I have Comcast cable internet. I guess I can still have the RangeMax wireless features of the Netgear too, but let the Tomato WRT54G handle most of the other complex stuff, correct? I am starting to see your point and might just make the Tomato WRT54G my main router.

    Let me ask this too. Since I have Comcast cable internet service, does the router that has DHCP control (currently a Netgear WPN824) have to be RIGHT after the cable modem itself? This is how I am set up at the moment. Or can the DHCP router be anywhere within a network & several devices down the line from my cable modem? Its hard to explain, but I have gotten about 4 rooms in my house hard wired and have them all networked together with various hardware (Trendnet 8 port switch, NETGEAR router, Linksys WRT54G switch/AP & another Netgear converted router).

    Here is what I was thinking. I'd rather keep the NETGEAR Rangemax router on the main floor for its wireless access. Then put the Tomato WRT54G in a networked basement location. But it would be about 3 devices down the network line from the cable modem & hopefully could still be used as the main router while down there. Or is this what you are essentially referring to in your last post?
  7. bripab007

    bripab007 Network Guru Member

    The DHCP can be handed out anywhere on the network, but, again, you should let Tomato do this.

    FYI, I'm running Tomato as my main router/firewall/DHCP/QOS/etc., and have a D-Link DIR-655 router that is only acting as an 802.11n Wi-Fi AP/switch.
  8. mcf57

    mcf57 Addicted to LI Member

    One last question. One of the main reasons I am interested in the Tomato firmware is that I have read it has a bandwidth meter. I am with Comcast and they have implemented a 250GB monthly cap. Although, not sure they are really enforcing it since they don't supply the user with any way of checking usgeage online. I say this cause I think I went over twice and never heard any complaints from them.

    Anyway, I currently am using a small free piece of software called "NetMeter" to measure my usage, but its installed only on my one main PC. It works great, but doesn't really give me an accurate account of bandwidth useage across my WHOLE network. Just that one PC. I would like to know how much I use throughout the network since I have other devices (TiVo, laptop, kids PC, Xbox and Netflix streaming) and this is where the tomato firmware would really come in handy. I'm assuming that no matter where I place the Tomato WRT54G router (as stated above), it will measure the bandwidth usage activity across the ENTIRE network, correct? Or will it just measure what is hooked up to the Tomato WRT54G?
  9. SoftCoder

    SoftCoder Addicted to LI Member

  10. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I don't have cable so others are better suited to advise than me. Tomato will take control of everything passing from your network to the ISP (WAN). So you can apply QOS rules, limit speed, monitor bandwidth, whatever. The router can't process or monitor anything that isn't passing through it. And by the way, Tomato natively does have daily, weekly, monthly bandwidth use totals.
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