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Linksys WAG54G (v1) as a repeater using WDS

April 29, 2006
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wag54g_wds.jpgThe flaky WAG54G finally gave up one fine morning. It had been struggling for a few months but that morning the final flat line was there.

Actually, it wasn't a total death but more of a coma. While the ADSL port and the 4 network ports were dead, the wireless functionality was still present and allowed me to connect and do a configuration.

Obviously the device could no longer be used for connecting to the internet nor for any LAN routing and I was about to bin it. Meanwhile it was collecting dust for a few weeks while I was playing with the new Billion BiPAC 7402VGP VOIP router.

What a relief it was to finally use a stable router that did not overheat frequently and did not require consequent restarts every few hours.

I have a spare internet web camera and I was hoping to set it up at the front of the house. Unfortunately there is no WiFi coverage which meant a WiFi repeater would be required and I was not willing to spend additional money to get up that spare internet camera.

Then it hit me that the WiFi-only capable router might just be able to serve as a repeater. Especially since the newest 1.03.0_beta4 firmware supports WDS (Wireless Distribution System).

WDS is used to link multiple wifi routers or access points together to serve as a single wifi access point. In theory a device will connect to the strongest available point. Expect to get only half through put since all traffic needs to be forwarded to the main router. This should not matter at all for internet traffic which is usually slower that the 802.11g connection speed (at 54Mbps).

Configuring the old Linksys router to the new WiFi settings was a hassle because every time a wifi parameter was changed on the router, the wifi settings had to be changed on the laptop as well. The WAG54G also kept clashing with the Billion router until I got the WDS settings right.

One important thing to remember is that a router often has several MAC addresses for the different components. One for the WAN adapter, one for the LAN adapter and one for the WLAN adapter.

You have to use the WLAN MAC address when configuring WDS peers. This took me a while to realize. On the WAG54G, you'll find the correct MAC address in Status > Wireless > MAC Address.

oh, joy



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Comments

  1. Craig Says:

    no gravatar

    Hi, strangely enough I was just thinking exactly the same thing about my own disgraced, dust-gathering WAG54G - give it a chance to redeem itself by extending my WIFI coverage using WDS.

    Any update on your experience with this so far?

    Thanks

    David says:

    Both good and bad.

    The WAG54G now extend the signal to areas that did not have WiFi access before but it is just as unstable as before... requiring a reboot/restart every single day.

  2. nebula_1979 Says:

    no gravatar

    i think that it's a common problem for this device. First lan ports, now adls: all gone. So, it's possible to use as a repeater or not? Regards

    David says:

    Yes, the Linksys WAG54G (v1) can be used as a repeater with the correct firmware (1.03.0_beta4).

  3. Miltos Says:

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    As I can see from http://www-uk.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_CASupport_C2&childpagename=UK%2FLayout&cid=1175234040123&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=4012328551B08&displaypage=download#versiondetail the latest version of firmware is 1.02.1 not (1.03.0_beta4).

    Where can I find the (1.03.0_beta4)?

    David says:

    It was a unofficial beta. I either got it from ftp.linksys.com or some user shared it after receiving it from Linksys support.

    Try to google for it.

  4. Miltos Says:

    no gravatar

    The only firmware that I can find is at http://hosting.passion-partage-france.org/wag54g/firmware/unofficial/ which is ANNEX A and is not compatible with mine and I can't install it.

    Could you give as some links with the latest beta version 1.03.0_beta4?

    Thanks.

  5. Fabrice Says:

    no gravatar

    Hi,

    I would like ou use my WAG54G as a repeater. I have downloaded and installed the latest version of the firmware (1.03.0_beta4). I can see that the WDS is enable on the linksys, bur I can connect to internet or lan with it. Do you have a example of linksys configuration to use as a repeater, i have enables the WDS option, but it's not enough; Thanks for you help.

    David says:

    What other Wifi device are you using in your setup? Is the WAG54G to be a master or slave device?

    Have you entered all the relevant MAC as allowed WDS clients? Often a wifi router will have multiple MACs (adsl, ethernet, wifi) and you have to use the wifi MAC specifically or the device will not be accepted as a WDS client.

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