Client Mode

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Wiki Path: DD-WRT Wiki Main / Tutorials / Linking Routers / Client Mode


[edit] Introduction

This mode is NOT for WIRED connections between two routers, like an Access Point. It is a wireless connection between two routers only. A Client Mode router connects to a wireless Access Point (usually the primary gateway router). It uses its wireless connection as the WAN interface, and shares the internet connection only to the LAN ports. It is not seen as an access point nor accepts wireless connections by client devices

The AP is not required to be running DD-WRT firmware. The primary router and secondary (DD-WRT client mode) router must be on separate subnets, and NAT is used between them. Thus, when port forwarding is needed it must be configured at both routers — not just on the main (host) router.

A Client Mode router uses its own DHCP server for IP Address, Gateway, and DNS server to connected devices. To have computers connected to both routers (main and secondary) and co-exist in the same subnet, set up DD-WRT as a Client Bridge, Repeater Bridge or use WDS. Further explanation of bridging modes is at Linking Routers.

[edit] Client Mode Setup

The Router/AP that you are trying to connect to is the primary router. The Router you are configuring is the client router. You don't need to worry about the primary router as long as you set your client LAN IP address to a different subnet. What this means is, if the primary router has an IP of 192.168.A.x, you need to set the client router to an IP of 192.168.B.x. Most primary routers will be at, or So, when you are configuring your client router, set it to 192.168.2.x.

With that in mind, here is how to configure it (all on the secondary router):

  1. Download a recommended build. DO NOT USE SP1! Check the forum for your model's chipset
  2. Do a HARD reset on your router.
  3. Connect a cable from your computer to the LAN port on your router.
  4. Set your computer to a static IP address (e.g.
  5. Open a web browser and connect to to view the DD-WRT GUI.
  6. Set a username and password, if not asked for this, do a proper reset
  7. Go to Wireless->Wireless Security and enter the Security Mode and other information same as Primary
  8. Hit SAVE (not apply)
  9. Go to the Wireless->Basic Settings and change the Wireless Mode to "Client"
  10. Set the Wireless Network Name (SSID) to exactly match the primary router. Check spelling and case! #*If multiple routers broadcast the same SSID, to connect to a specific one (i.e. the primary router, instead of the repeater), enable MAC Filtering on the Wireless Tab, and add the MAC Address of the correct Access Point. #*MAC Address can be found on the "Site Survey" page, linked from the Wireless tab in Status
  11. (Optional) If available, in Wireless tab (or under Advanced), set (or disable) the Ack Timing in meters
  12. Hit SAVE (not apply)
  13. NEXT go to Setup->Basic Setup and change Connection Type to "Automatic Configuration - DHCP"
    • If the client router is externally managed (e.g. in a college dorm), go to Setup->Basic Setup, set the WAN port protocol as needed for the AP (usually Static, DHCP, or PPPoE). This is the setting that is bonded to the Wifi interface. Fill in with info provided by your ISP if this AP is externally managed.
    • This is what a computer (wired or wireless) connected to the ROUTER would use to gain access to the network, not to be confused with the settings required to gain access to the WAN by the ROUTER.
    • The device should be in GATEWAY mode (not ROUTER), otherwise Masquerade/NAT does not happen.
  14. In Network Setup set the Local IP Address to a different subnet from the Primary (e.g.
  15. Set your gateway to the IP address of your client router e.g.
  16. (Optional) Set Static DNS servers in the Network Address Server Settings section if your WAN type does not provide them or you want to use different ones than the AP provides.
  17. (Recommended) Change your Time Zone and DST to match where you are.
  18. (Optional) Set a "Server IP/Name" in Time Setting section for NTP (blank uses a hidden default server)
  19. Hit SAVE (not Apply)
  20. (Optional) In Security->Firewall, disable SPI Firewall if security between AP & Client is not needed
  21. Hit Apply, then set the computer back to auto IP and DNS if needed (replug the LAN cable if not working)
  22. The Client router should connect to the AP within a minute, otherwise unplug the router for 30 sec
  23. Once connected and working, configure as needed (e.g. Virtual Interface for wireless connection)

[edit] Troubleshooting

If the preceding instructions do not work, it is usually an encryption or password problem. Disable encryption on the primary router and retry the setup. Using proper encryption and the correct case-sensitive password is key. Do a reset and start over. Note: WPA2-AES (aka CCMP) is required for 802.11N (and newer) devices.

[edit] Links