Some background: I live in an extremely wifi-busy area (after 5min of scanning inSSIDer shows ~40-50 APs). The way my apartment is laid out and wired is that wifi signal from/to my WRT54GL (with upgraded antennas) running Tomato firmware can hardly reach from the bedroom to the living room. All the surrounding interference is not making things better. Apartment layout and signal map

My current setup is located near the top left corner of the bedroom:

cable modem -> Netgear WNR3500L -> WRT54G(for wifi) -> other devices

WNR3500L must remain running stock firmware and act as a gateway because it's running FCC monitoring module.

I tried using WNR3500L for wifi, but its results were worse than with WRT54G.

I can move WRT54G into the kitchen, which sits in between living and bedroom. However, I'm not sure if Netgear WNR3500L running stock firmware can somehow connect to Tomato to extend its range. Unfortunately, I can't run Ethernet cables into the kitchen. To better understand my apartment layout, here's its layout:

  • Random issue- your microwave, in said kitchen, will F with your signal when used, guaranteed. – Solemnity Jan 24 '13 at 5:48
  • @Solemnity yes, but problems exist even when microwave is off. – Mxx Jan 24 '13 at 7:29
  • This answer of mine might be useful; otherwise you will need cable connection. – harrymc Jan 27 '13 at 8:36
  • Are you allowed to install Tomato on the WNR3500L? – Stefan Seidel Feb 1 '13 at 9:45
  • @StefanSeidel, no. It must continue running stock firmware until SamKnows will provide their monitoring module for other firmware. – Mxx Feb 1 '13 at 14:18

Have you tried setting your WRT as a repeater bridge? It may be dicey though since you have stock on the netgear, but it may work.


  • Considering I'm not running ddwrt, and repeater bridge requires 2 ddwrt routers, I have not tried that. – Mxx Feb 1 '13 at 4:48
  • Tomato is limited, I would suggest switching to ddwrt as suggested above. You don't need 2 ddwrt routers to use bridge mode. I know because I use this setup at home. I have 1 router in my house that runs stock firmware and a second one outside in my garage that s ddwrt. The second router connects to the first one and rebroadcasts my wifi to my garage. – BroScience Feb 1 '13 at 14:42

You need to survey the other APs, find the channel with the least use (ie, 11?). Use NetStumbler or the like.

At this point of the game, WRT54GL is no longer thashit despite what you have cut into that black-and-blue coolness for torrent-heaven chip-cooling.

Find whatever dual-band 802.11n goodness that is Tomato/DD-WRT -happy and go with it.

You need a new router, and possibly using aluminum-foil/can tricks with your antenna if the router is near the side of your house with the major confluence of signal.

  • I already surveyed my area, hence reference to inSSIDer. CH11 is the best to use here. Thank you, however your answer that does address the question at hand. – Mxx Jan 24 '13 at 7:32

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