linksys E2000 as repeater

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philkhor
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 16:21    Post subject: linksys E2000 as repeater Reply with quote
Despite (or perhaps because of) scouring the web for weeks, trying out different forums, getting resellers' advice, and reading this forum for a week, I am still uncertain as to what is the best solution for what I need. At the moment I have a Linksys WRT54G in my office, serving both wired & wireless computers & printers. 25m away is my house and both buildings have thick stone walls. I can get a wireless connection in the house if I sit in a window with line of sight to the Linksys (also in a window). There is a cat 5 cable between the two buildings, connecting a NAS in the house to the LAN; the wired signal is not great, either because of a connection mid-way in the cable or because it might be suffering from some other defect.
I am thinking of using two Linksys E2000 units to give me both full & wide coverage on the WLAN in both buildings (with draft n) but also to give me Ethernet ports at both ends (some wireless repeaters don’t have Ethernet ports). I am also hoping that the gigabit switch capability will boost the wired signal. Questions:
1.Do I understand correctly that the E2000 can be used both as a wireless bridge and a wired bridge, thus giving me the ability to try it in both modes to see which I prefer?
2.I cannot see anything in the E2k manual that tells me I can use it as a bridge, so I presume I must install DD-WRT firmware on the secondary unit. Do I also need to install DD-WRT on the primary unit? If not actually needed, would I get better functionality with DD-WRT on both units?
3.One of the attractions of the E2k is the large number of positive reviews that say how easy it is to set up. Will this apply even with DD-WRT installed?
4.I see that the E1000 is fully supported now – what about the E2000?
5.Is there a better solution that I have yet to find? (I dread asking since it will only give a headache when I get yet another alternative!)
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Pied Piper
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 18:59    Post subject: Re: linksys E2000 as repeater Reply with quote
philkhor wrote:

1.Do I understand correctly that the E2000 can be used both as a wireless bridge and a wired bridge, thus giving me the ability to try it in both modes to see which I prefer?
2.I cannot see anything in the E2k manual that tells me I can use it as a bridge, so I presume I must install DD-WRT firmware on the secondary unit. Do I also need to install DD-WRT on the primary unit? If not actually needed, would I get better functionality with DD-WRT on both units?
3.One of the attractions of the E2k is the large number of positive reviews that say how easy it is to set up. Will this apply even with DD-WRT installed?
4.I see that the E1000 is fully supported now – what about the E2000?
5.Is there a better solution that I have yet to find? (I dread asking since it will only give a headache when I get yet another alternative!)


1. Yes. And a wired bridge is better, more reliable, and doesn't need dd-wrt
2. Yes, you need dd-wrt on the secondary and you don't need it on the primary with a repeater bridge. Might be slightly easier to configure with dd-wrt on both, but I would try keeping stock firmware on first. K26 is sometimes not that stable.
3. No. You will lose the firmware and all setup options in the stock router when you put dd-wrt on it.
4. E2000 was "supported" before the e1000 was.
5. WDS? See the wiki on linking routers. (You will likely need dd-wrt on both routers for WDS unless the stock firmware supports wds.)
philkhor
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 19:11    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you that's very helpful. WDS? I came across it of course but can't work out how it differs from a wireless bridge (and nothing I can find on the web tells me either!). What advantages over either a wired or wireless bridge?
Pied Piper
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 19:16    Post subject: Reply with quote
Repeater bridge connects by ssid, requiring unique ssids at each end. Only one router needs dd-wrt. WDS connects by mac address allowing one ssid to be used in both routers, and both routers need dd-wrt in most cases.

Wired will always be superior presuming a wire that is functional. See the wiki on linking routers.
Phonism
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 19:18    Post subject: Reply with quote
Check out the wiki for Linking Routers, it gives you an idea what the different bridges are all about. Myself I have a Client Bridge over the 5GHz for my PS3 on the second floor.
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philkhor
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:33    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you both. I had looked at the "linking routers" wiki but I must be a bit slow - I still don't get it with WDS. Is the only advantage that you only need one SSID? And how is this an advantage in everyday WLAN? Incidentally, can the two units be connected by cable in WDS?
As I am completely new to DD-WRT - is it one piece of firmware that I would download for the E2000 whatever use I am going to put it to (router, client, host etc)? Is it the same firmware for type of set up too (WDS, repeater bridge)?
How would I go about reverting back to Cisco firmware if (unlikely I know!) I don't like something?
Pied Piper
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 13:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
Looking at things coarsely, the only difference between wds and repeater bridge is how you set them up and that you only end up with one ssid with wds and two with repeater bridge. They are different ways of getting routers connected wirelessly. There are other advantages to wds that likely won't effect you such as transparent macs, but you do need wds on both routers and the chipset must be the same type (they would be with your setup).

I suggest that for now if you are creating a wireless connection between the routers, you just try repeater bridge.

WDS is a wireless connection. Wired connections are Wireless Access points. You can set that up with any router even with stock firmware. It is a much faster and more stable connection. Use that method if you have cable already.
philkhor
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
many thanks - that's nice & clear. I'll let you know how I get on (assuming I don't brick everything and lose my internet...!)
philkhor
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 15:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm almost there. I've set up the primary E2000 with the Cisco firmware and it's fine - no appreciable improvement on signal strength over the WRT54G. I've flashed the second E2000 with dd-wrt.v24-14853_NEWD-2_K2.6_std_usb_ftp-e2000.bin and have it working wirelessly. I can connect to it and have internet access whichever router I connect to. The step 13. SET YOUR COMPUTER BACK TO AUTO IP AND AUTO DNS was important! (from http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Repeater_Bridge)
However I am now stuck. I am trying to connect the two devices with a cat 5 cable. Whether I connect into one of the LAN sockets or the WAN socket, I get the same result. The corresponding light flashes quickly & continuously and I cannot get into the web gui. I cannot see any difference between the set up for a wireless access point and a repeater bridge – or have I missed something?
philkhor
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 15:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
BTW: I couldn't see anything in either the gui or the handbook that says I can use the E2000 as a WAP...Have I missed that too?
philkhor
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 17:34    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sorry - one more question: the Cisco firmware allows the set up of a guest internet connection. Is it possible to do the same with DD WRT?
buddee
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 17:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
The guide for setting it up as a WAP is in my signature under linking routers, and yes you can setup a guest AP by creating a virtual access point, info also in the wiki.
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philkhor
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 18:14    Post subject: Reply with quote
yep, I looked at that and followed every instruction and my set up was already what is described. That's why I am asking what's different? What have I missed?

Thanks for the pointer on Virtual AP - I'll have a go at that!
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