WRT54GX4 signal problems, bridging question

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by JayLevitt, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. JayLevitt

    JayLevitt LI Guru Member

    I just moved from a single-family house into a hi-rise apartment building, and promptly realized that - doh! - I of course no longer have CAT-5 strung in the walls, and they probably wouldn't be too happy if I did.

    I didn't want to string it all the way around the baseboards, over doorways, etc., so I ran to CompUSA and got a WRT54GX4 router and a WMP54GX PCI card for the desktop. The WRT is behind a Pix-501 firewall, and I already serve (static) DHCP from my Linux box, so I bypassed the WRT's router section, disabled NAT, connected the Pix firewall to one of the "inside" Ethernet switched connectors on the WRT.

    This is working well from a TCP perspective; the WRT is, apparently, bridging between Ethernet and WiFi, and I can ping, ssh, browse, etc. both inside and outside my firewall. (Haven't tried IPSEC yet.) However, I'm definitely having some WiFi issues. Although my signal strength is good (-58dBm), and the link quality meter usually stays fully lit, I'm getting occasional disconnects on my ssh sessions, and sometimes there's some latency on keystrokes.

    The building is full of other networks (29 last count), plus countless cell phones, etc. The antennas are only about 15 feet from each other, one room apart, and I can probably make that 5' line-of-sight if I get clever with Velcro - but moving them 10 feet closer didn't change measured strength from -58dBm.

    I've upgraded the firmware from 1.0.13 to 1.0.15, set the network to G-only, and enabled Adaptive Channel Thingy.
    Is there anything else I can do to reduce interference? What if I swapped the PCI card (which is SRX) for another WRT54GX4 (SRX400), and used that as a second bridge - can they talk to each other that way, or is WiFi a client-server type protocol? Will I have better connectivity?

    Is there any way to monitor the internals of the WRT or the adapter, to see what channels are being added/dropped, percentage and types of errors, etc?

    Jay Levitt
  2. Kenban

    Kenban LI Guru Member

    I think your problems are from the wireless card not the router.

    I had that same card and had a lot of problems with it. Most of them cleared up after I uninstalled the utility that came with it (make sure you change from having the utility control the card over to windows control first) then restart the computer windows will detect the card and this time just point it to the drivers on the CD or if you don't want to pull out the CD just hook the computer up to a wired connection and it can download them off windows update.

    You might also want to return the card. You have the SRX400 router and thats the old plain SRX card. There is going to be a new SRX400 compatable card but its not out yet.
  3. jgutz20

    jgutz20 Network Guru Member

    in an apartment theres is most likely a lot of interference, try changing the channel or using a utility like netsumbler to actually find what wireless channels are being used on the networks around you and then choose accordingly.

    The SRX desktop card should work just fine, if there is a good quality signal i dont think the problem is with the card but probably a setting on the router!
  4. howardp6

    howardp6 Network Guru Member

    The WRT54GX4 does not support bridging or repeating. If ther are so many wireless 802.11G networks, it may be better to have gotten a 802.11A router and wireless NIC. I would download Netstumbler and see how may networks it finds.
  5. JayLevitt

    JayLevitt LI Guru Member

    I think you're right, given that NetStumbler (and Linksys's utility, for that matter) show 20-30 networks. Only one is near my channel (I'm on 1, they're on 2), but again, who knows how many cordless phones, microwaves, etc. are interfering.

    802.11a may be a solution, but it doesn't look like any Linksys products support 802.11a with WPA2... are you aware of any others that do?
  6. howardp6

    howardp6 Network Guru Member

  7. drick

    drick Network Guru Member

    does windows xp pro / media center support wpa2 personal w AES encryption etc. ?

    i am using the linksys wpc54gx4 card, and am having similiar issues.
  8. jgutz20

    jgutz20 Network Guru Member

  9. drick

    drick Network Guru Member

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