I have a room in my house that I cannot (is too difficult to) directly run ethernet cable to. I have devices that must be in that room that have an ethernet NIC but no wireless card. WiFi is accessible in the room and I need devices connected to the network to have at least 100 Mb/s.

I would like to buy a product that allows me to connect an access point to the wireless network and bridge the connection from the wireless network to the ethernet ports. Is this possible with inexpensive wireless routers? I keep seeing ads for Wireless Access Points and Wireless bridges around the internet. Which do I need?

I see from other questions that I need two devices that support WDS. What sort of product is required here? Would one router flashed with DD-WRT work? If so what technology would I need to enable?


  • Just get a router that DD-WRT supports. This question is off-topic here because it is a shopping recommendation, so it is likely to be closed unless it is reworded somehow. – cutrightjm Dec 1 '12 at 23:26
  • Reworded question. Thanks! What would I need to do in DD-WRT to get this to work? – JSK NS Dec 1 '12 at 23:34

You cannot bridge to a WiFi client connection. This is why WDS must be enabled in both WiFi endpoints.

You have two choices:

  1. Get a router that's WDS capable and enable WDS on both ends.

  2. Fake it with things like "client bridging" which is a form of NAT. Note that client bridging breaks for protocols other than IP and also breaks when there's more than one subnet sharing the broadcast domain.

Unfortunately, WiFi is just enough like Ethernet that people think they provide the same behavior. They do not. In particular, an access point will not send traffic to a client unless the destination hardware address belongs to that client. That is, an access point will not bridge to a client connection.

I would suggest using WDS and making sure both routers run open source firmware. Vendor firmware typically has bizarre limitations such as disabling 802.11n when WDS is enabled.

  • Please explain what WDS is... – einpoklum Aug 8 '14 at 18:28

Can you use powerline networking, or is that not possible/permitted in this setup? If so, that will allow you to use the Ethernet card in the machine(s) in the room directly instead of going to a Wireless AP/bridge.


Here is an old SE answer of mine that says exactly how to do this, using a Linksys Wifi AP/Router that has the Tomato firmware installed (you'll have to find separate instructions for Tomato'ing your router that): Tomato router: Bridge to Ethernet LAN, Devices access via Wireless

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.