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I already have an existing wireless network. How can I connect an additional access point wirelessly to that network so that the new access point can provide a wired connection to other devices on the network?


Background:

My wife's family gave us a Samsung Blu-ray player as a gift. It has Netflix, Pandora, and other services built-in, provided you can establish an internet connection.

It can only accept a standard Cat5 ethernet connection (the BD-P1600 model allows for an optional propietary wireless adapter, but ours is the BD-P1590, so this option is not available).

In lieu of running Cat5 cable all over our home, I'd like to be able to set up a wireless access point to connect to our existing wireless network and then serve as a hub for wired connections. Can a standard consumer router (such as the Linksys WRT54G) be set up for this purpose or do I need a different device?

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+1 just for having a question with the question overview laid out first, then details later. –  RJFalconer Jan 2 '10 at 0:36
    
true, yet it didn't stop me from NOT reading it thoroughly and answering in a rather nonsensical way :) –  Molly7244 Jan 2 '10 at 0:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

the wrt54g- and many other routers will work in client mode IF you have third party firmware - such as dd-wrt which mostly works on the GL and older builds.My suggestion is pick a router firmware distro such as openwrt or ddwrt, look at its feature list, then pick a router they support- since not every router will do what you want.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I may try to do that with the WRT54G that I have. Can you recommend any links that reference the specific functionality that we are discussiong? –  Ben McCormack Jan 1 '10 at 22:32
    
you want use a WRT54G to get Netflix (HD video) content to your bluray player? good luck with that. try 5 GHz Wireless-N instead. –  Molly7244 Jan 1 '10 at 23:45
    
Personally, I don't care at this point if I get HD content from Netflix. I've been watching SD content from my laptop (connected to the TV) which is connected wirelessly to this exact router. It works just fine. I'm just happy to have a device that I don't have to set-up every time I want to watch Netflix. –  Ben McCormack Jan 2 '10 at 0:05
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as for links and tutorials, check my answer here (once you use the WRT54G in repeater mode with DD-WRT it should also work with a wired connection): superuser.com/questions/89759/… –  Molly7244 Jan 2 '10 at 0:15
    
@Ben, DD-WRT calls it "Client Bridge" mode and it's AKA "wireless bridge", dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge. It's much easier to get it working without any type of security or MAC filtering and then add it back piece by piece. –  hyperslug Jan 2 '10 at 6:08

The 3rd party firmware wrt54g The Journeyman Geek mentions is "Tomato firmware".

You can download it here, and read more about features on the wiki page.
(Features: "Wireless modes: access point (AP), wireless client station (STA)... wireless repeating")

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tomato is one 3rd-party firmware, but journeyman mentioned DD-WRT and OpenWRT, which are two others. tomato is based on HyperWRT (yet another). –  quack quixote Jan 2 '10 at 1:02
    
Ah, my bad, skim-reading answers ftl. I'd still recommend tomato, as it's the only one I've used, and it's pretty great. –  RJFalconer Jan 2 '10 at 1:33
    
tomato hasn't been updated in a while. I use ddwrt mostly, though the lack of IPV6 is annoying –  Journeyman Geek Jan 2 '10 at 6:19

Well, to start, I would advise Cat5 over Wireless any day if you are talking about a permanent point to point connection.... That aside...

Most standard consumer routers should be up to this. You basically need to set up WDS or whatever your router calls it, this should allow you to join it as a client to the other router and then disable DHCP as clients will be getting their requests from the primary router.

Doing this sort of thing is MUCH easier if you have routers from the same manufacturer.... If you don't, then try buying an actual access point instead of a router as they are designed for this sort of thing and usually have pre-configured profiles that make it very easy.

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I agree that most standard consumer routers should work with this, but I'd like to be sure :-). Do you know of any dedicated access points like you mentioned in your post? –  Ben McCormack Jan 1 '10 at 21:53
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I disagree that most standard routers support wireless-client mode. It's only in the last year (few years?) that that's started to become popular. Netgear RangeMax series doesn't, most linksys don't, and the Linksys WRT34G needs 3rd party firmware as mentioned above. –  RJFalconer Jan 2 '10 at 0:39

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