There may come a time where you have an extra wireless router on your hands (such as the Linksys WRT54GL) that you’re not sure what to do with. One thing that I have recently found useful is to use the router as a wireless adapter to connect to a wireless network.
Using a router as a wireless adapter will not only provide you with wireless connectivity, but will also give you a multiple-port switch to connect your wired devices. This is a great way to allow multiple devices to have network connectivity without needing a wireless network card for each device.
- Start by checking if you router supports a 3rd party firmware. (For this guide, I will be using the free DD-WRT firmware).
- Download and install the firmware according to the instructions for your router model.
- Enter http://192.168.1.1 into your browser and login using the default credentials, which is typically a blank username and the password admin.
- Click Wireless.
- Change Wireless Mode to Client.
- In Wireless Network Name (SSID), enter the name of the wireless network you would like the router to connect to.
- Click Apply Settings.
- Click Wireless Security (If the wireless network you are connecting to doesn’t have security enabled, you can skip this step.)
- Select the corresponding Security Mode and enter the network key and click Apply Settings.
- In the top right corner of the web interface, your router should now get a WAN IP that is provided by the wireless network.
- Click Setup and then select Basic Setup.
- Change the Local IP Address of your router to something other than the default, such as 192.168.5.1. This is done to prevent conflicts with your existing network.
- Enter the Gateway of your wireless network. (You can find your Gateway information under Default Gateway by entering ipconfig in the command prompt on a computer already connected to your wireless network.
- Optional: Click Setup and select Basic Setup. Under WAN Port, check the box to Assign WAN Port to Switch. This will add the WAN port to the 4 port switch, giving you 5 ports to share the wireless connection.
Once the above steps have been completed, your router with DD-WRT firmware will be connected to your wireless network as a client just as if you connected to the same wireless network with a laptop. Any devices that are connected to the 4/5 port switch will now have network connectivity as well.
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