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Old Configuration:

  • A 2 Wire 2701HG-B DSL MODEM/Router Upstairs
    • Wired into 2 PCs upstairs
    • WiFi to a PC Downstairs.

I killed the DSL service and got U-verse, but that added a new Modem/WiFi downstairs. I still have the 2Wire upstairs, but it has no phone connection.

Question:

Can I use the 2Wire to "Receive" and "distribute" the WiFi signal from downstairs?

I don't see how to turn off the DSL MODEM. If I put in the ID and Password for the WiFi router downstairs into the 2Wire upstairs, will it "Login" or will it conflict? Are there special settings for the PCs to access the U-Verse router through the 2Wire?

Basically, I want to know if the upstairs 2Wire can receive the U-verse signal and convert it to wired signal for the 2 upstairs PCs.

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What are you trying to accomplish exactly? Are you trying to use the 2Wire as a bridge to bridge wired clients to the new wireless network? Or are you trying to use it as a repeater to extend the wireless range? Or what? –  David Schwartz Mar 4 '12 at 3:51
    
I want the 2 PCs upstairs to "share" the 2Wire somehow and communicate with the new WiFi Router downstairs. I want to avoid buying 2 USB WiFi adapters, and I'm hoping the radio in the 2Wire wold be superior.... I think that means I want to use it as a bridge, but I don't know the terminology well enough to say. –  Robert Farley Mar 4 '12 at 5:09
    
The terminology is a little bit funky for non-professionals when it comes to what you want to do, but yes I think you're looking for the word bridge. Wireless to wired bridge. I edited the question a bit and clarified it into layman's terms. –  Raystafarian Mar 4 '12 at 13:34
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1 Answer

In order to use a WiFi as a proper bridge, the AP has to be specifically configured with the MAC of the bridge and the bridge has to be configured with the MAC of the AP, and both ends (the AP and the bridge) have to support WDS.

Alternatively, you can buy a cheap WiFi router that can run DD-WRT or OpenWRT. DD-WRT and OpenWRT support "client bridge" mode, which doesn't require any special configuration in the access point. It's not a true bridge though, actually being somewhere between a bridge and a router. For most configurations, though, it "just works". The exception would be if you're doing something unusual like trying to forward something other than IP traffic for the subnet the bridge knows about -- such as non-IP traffic or traffic from another subnet trying to share the broadcast domain.

Unfortunately, there really is no good way to do this other than to use all equipment that supports WDS, and even then, it really helps if the equipment can run alternative firmware such as Tomato or OpenWRT. Officially, WDS is not supported with WPA2 or 802.11n, and having to give those up to use WDS is painful.

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