I drew a diagram of the set up I would like to have at home. Basically my ISP has locked me out of my primary access point, ever since I switched to fibre and they installed a new router. They say "we do not offer access to the new access points, if you have any issues give us a call [on a "support" line we charge you for using]".

I have a new SmartTV in the other room and I have bought two powerline adapters to get LAN throughput for it, since we will be streaming HD and 4K content (plus, the building is reinforced concrete, so not great for WLAN). Once I paired the powerline adapters, they work fine and I have connected the other end directly to my TV for now.

However, the wi-fi barely reaches the TV room and it's a constant struggle, sometimes it's hard to even queue a youtube clip from my phone to the TV. My idea is to connect the LAN from the powerline to my old but trusty Linksys WRT160Nv3, creating coverage for the other part of my home, and connecting the TV directly to it with LAN once again, for better performance (the powerline adapter, WRT160N and would be both behind the TV).

I have flashed a bios from DD-WRT to it, I forgot which version, but the BIOS says "DD-WRT v24-sp2 (08/12/10) mini -build 14929".

Tthen followed the instructions from here. However, I had to guess some of the settings like "Wireless Network Mode", "Wireless Security" (WPA2 Personal vs Personal mixed, etc), "WPA Algorithms", because I don't know how the first access point is set up, and others like "Channel Width", because the guide does not mention them. For the IPs I used for the gateway and for the local IP, as shown on the diagram (there was no device with the .2 IP at the time, I checked). I also connected the incoming LAN cable (from the powerline) to one of the LAN ports, not the Ethernet (in) port, as I read in the DD-WRT guide.

Following this I restarted the router and it accepted the new settings (the wireless name was the same as the other wifi, there was basically one network from both routers), but there was no internet, when connected to it and I could not ping the first router, when connected to the WRT with a LAN cable.

What should I do? Is this (Repeater Bridge) the easiest way of doing it? I think I read somewhere in the guides in DD-WRT that the client bridge is easier to implement? Can this be done without access to the first router, just with the information I was able to grab from the wi-fi scanner app? I also don't mind calling up the ISP and asking for any details, but I am unsure if they know where to find what I am looking for and whether they are willing to tell me. Alternatively, is there an easier way of doing it, even if I have two networks, e.g. Wifi-1 and Wifi-2? I don't mind that at all.

If the repeater bridge is the right way and the only way, I can give detailed information on how I set up the router, since maybe some of the guide information does not apply to me or I guessed something wrongly.

  • First, ditch DD-WRT, as you're simply making your router insecure by running 10yr old firmware (i.e. lacks all security patches from >2010), instead installing OpenWrt: OpenWrt 19.07-rc2 (2019), 18.06.5 (2018), 17.01.7 (2017). Unfortunately, your router only has 4MB of flash and 32MB of RAM, with no USB port for extroot – JW0914 Jan 3 '20 at 13:35
  • OpenWrt is the most mature opensource firmware that exists AFAIK, and has a wide breadth of wikis to help users, offering a more user-friendly experience than DD-WRT, which lacks robust community involvement, esp. in documentation. Once you've flashed OpenWrt, follow it's Wi-Fi extender / repeater / bridge configuration wiki (first), or the Setting up Wi-Fi repeaters with multiple SSIDs wiki (second) – JW0914 Jan 3 '20 at 13:42
  • @JW0914 Thanks for the info. I will try reflashing with OpenWrt when I have time. It looks like even the 2019 version is supported for my router (linksys-wrt160n-v3-squashfs.bin) with exact size of 4,100KB, so I assume there won't be a problem? – CyberStrength Jan 3 '20 at 16:50
  • I'd recommend flashing the 2017 image first until you know how to recover your device via serial with a USB-TTL cable. OpenWrt 19.07 will work on that router, but likely not from the buildbot image (see 4/32 warning; also in 1st comment's device link). If you like OpenWrt after trying the 2017 image (install Material theme from WebUI), you can compile your own 19.07 firmware image w/ customized settings files built into the image (it's easy due to MenuConfig), & I would also post on the OpenWrt Forum. – JW0914 Jan 3 '20 at 22:48
  • Also, you may have to install LuCI [OpenWrt's WebUI] after flashing the 2017 image and you can find the wiki that walks you through doing so in the Wikis link in my 2nd comment. Without the WebUI, you'll have to manage the settings via SSH, which is a bit intimidating for new users (all settings are stored in what are effectively ini files within /etc/config). The wikis section has a wiki for each configuration file (as I mentioned, OpenWrt has extensive documentation to walk a user through whatever they need). – JW0914 Jan 3 '20 at 22:56

As you are using the EoP (Ethernet over Power) adapters to connect to your main router, you don't need to have the DD-WRT set up as a Wireless Repeater Bridge.

The 'Wireless Repeater Bridge' configuration linked assumes that you want to connect your second router wirelessly to the first one, and have it also act as an access point for other devices. Since you have the EoP setup, and thick walls, that's not what you want.

In Wireless Basic Settings, set the Wireless Mode to AP, use the maximum possible channel widths, and place it on a clear channel.

Remove the virtual AP that was added for a Repeater Bridge configuration.

That should be all, since they are on the same network the main router's DHCP server should start handing out IPs and you should have connectivity.

  • Thanks, this seemed to work for now. However, speed test is measuring 20/20 Mbps Down/Up through the wifi, down from 100/60 that the LAN provides. I could however stream two 4k videos at the same time (TV and laptop), that means I am getting at least 50 Mbps, so I guess the speedtest is not accurate in this case. – CyberStrength Jan 3 '20 at 16:44
  • You can test individual devices bandwidth capabilities with iperf/jperf. You will need a minimum of two computers. – Tim_Stewart Jan 4 '20 at 18:35
  • The speed from Ethernet over Power adapters will be lower than the rating due to protocol overhead. – Yevhen Stasiv Jan 5 '20 at 1:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.