Linksys WAG54G (v1) as a repeater using WDS

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