10-07-08 02:47 PM
31 12
tools
  1. StoneRyno's Avatar
    We have a summer home in a sort of condo association kind of thing. The community has free WiFi network we can use. I have a linksys WRT54G wireless router on my home network. Is it possible to configure it to connect to the WiFi network rather than getting the internet from a wire connected to a DSL/cable modem like we do here at home? I'd like to try out accessing the internet while I'm at the summer home but the only WiFi device I have is the router everything else is wired to it. I'd like to avoid buying a WiFi card for my old laptop since this is only a testing senario to see if it is high enough quality to use things like netflix instant watch or whatever. I'm clueless when it comes to wireless networking. And I have limited knowledge on wired networking. i know enough to troubleshoot basic problems and configure basic things but i definitely would not call myself an advanced user in reference to networking. I know many people here are quite knowledgeable on many topics so I figure this is as good a place as any to explain what I will need to do.
    10-02-08 09:12 AM
  2. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    Quit being cheap...get a new laptop

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 09:28 AM
  3. trucky's Avatar
    Look for a device called Ruckus... It will do exactly what you want and is used in metro WiFi installations as the client side device to connect to local WiFi like your association is providing. It then rebroadcasts that signal inside your home just like the WRT54G would do if connected to the internet. Last time I bought these they were about $100 each.
    10-02-08 09:31 AM
  4. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    He doesn't have a wireless card, that won't work trucky...the only way your going to snag that free wifi is if you use a wireless router, and run an ethernet cable from the laptop to the router

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 09:33 AM
  5. trucky's Avatar
    The Ruckus also has Ethernet ports. Most laptop wireless cards have enough power to see and receive the Wifi but rarely are strong enough to transmit back, making them almost useless unless you're sitting darn close to the AP.
    10-02-08 09:36 AM
  6. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    Trucky, I know about ruckus, they make fantastic wireless networking hardware, but in this situation there is no point in getting it. It will act exactly like the router he already has, and it will need to be run over wire as well, so it costs 100 dollars but has no benefit...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 09:47 AM
  7. trucky's Avatar
    The benefit with the Ruckus is that it does act exactly like the WRT54G but with the important addition of a second access point. The WRT54G cannot, in stock mode, connect to the WiFi signal, it has to have CAT5 internet, either broadband, DSL or Ethernet. The Ruckus will use one AP to connect to the outside WiFi and the second AP to rebroadcast that internet connectivity on the inside, using a different SSID OR using a direct CAT5 Ethernet connection to any client device.

    You can go off and slip in something like dd-wrt or Tomatoe and make the Linksys do things you never thought of but for the average person the Ruckus is the simple and easy way to go without getting into complex antenna/receiver setups.
    10-02-08 10:05 AM
  8. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    Bro again, he still would need to run an ethernet cable from the ruckus device to the computer, why waste the money when he already has a wireless router

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 10:21 AM
  9. trucky's Avatar
    I guess I must be totally missing something here. How, exactly, will he use his WRT54G to connect to the association provided wireless internet signal? I've never found the place in the setup that allows you to connect to another SSID...
    10-02-08 10:25 AM
  10. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    He stated he doesn't have a wireless network card, without one it doesn't matter how strong your signal is

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 10:27 AM
  11. trucky's Avatar
    He stated he doesn't have a wireless network card, without one it doesn't matter how strong your signal is
    Exactly! That's why my post #5 will do what the OP wants to do, without a wireless card in his laptop. The Linksys cannot do that. So, A Ruckus with a $5 Ethernet cable to his laptop is one solution that should work.
    10-02-08 10:40 AM
  12. vinnie_dugan's Avatar
    Trucky, that is where your wrong, even with a linksys router you can do it friend...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-02-08 10:54 AM
  13. StoneRyno's Avatar
    Quit being cheap...get a new laptop

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I don't need a laptop. In fact the reason it is an old one is because it has been sitting in its bag for several years now.

    He doesn't have a wireless card, that won't work trucky...the only way your going to snag that free wifi is if you use a wireless router, and run an ethernet cable from the laptop to the router

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Yes this is the point. I have a wireless router so how do I configure it to use the WiFi instead of a wire for access (is uplink or WAN the term I'm looking for?). At home the internet comes into the wireless router from a wire but over there I will need it to come to the wireless router via the WiFi. Perhaps i wasn't describing very well in my post.

    If this is not possible and I need to buy something to be able to do it I'll skip the laptop use completely as I have spare PCs I can take one there. I just figure since this was a trial run to see if the quality of service was good enough for tasks other than viewing web pages and getting email. Right now the reasoning for doing this is for instant watch stuff on netflix. But i could also stream stuff on hulu or do other stuff as well but for now I just wanted to watch the stuff on netflix while I'm there since we are working on the place I will want to sit back and relax indoors when we are done working each day.

    But anyways would a wireless network card on a PC be all I need to use the WiFi service if I can use the wireless router?
    10-02-08 10:55 AM
  14. trucky's Avatar
    A good way to know for sure would be to borrow a neighbor's laptop that has a wireless card and see if the signal strength is strong enough inside your home to connect. Start out close to any window that faces in the direction of the nearest access point, maybe even out on a deck, then work your way back inside and see if you can stay connected. If that works then a desktop with a wireless card should work in the same locations.
    10-02-08 11:01 AM
  15. trucky's Avatar
    Trucky, that is where your wrong, even with a linksys router you can do it friend...
    Please tell me how you can do it. I've only installed a few hundred Linksys, Ruckus, Skypilot, Tropos, Buffalo and other wireless devices in the past few years in metro WiFi environments. I'm sure I've missed something here.
    10-02-08 11:03 AM
  16. StoneRyno's Avatar
    Unfortunately I don't have the liberty of trying anything out right now. I will be leaving to go down there tomorrow evening. i was rather hoping to find out if I can configure my wirreless router to grab the internet from the WiFi access so feed to my laptop to avoid buying stuff to do the trial and taking a PC. I guess right now I'm just plain confused based on what has been said so far. In the words from Clue the movie a definitive answer please is there someone else in the house yer or no. In this case can the router be configured to get the internet access from the WiFi or does it have to have a wire connection to get it like how it is done with DSL and cable modems.

    If it can't then gaining access from a wireless network card is all a matter of signal strength and distance. So even then I might not be able to get access without addition equipment if I don't have a strong enough signal. Have I understood correctly?
    10-02-08 01:44 PM
  17. trucky's Avatar
    Unfortunately I don't have the liberty of trying anything out right now. I will be leaving to go down there tomorrow evening. i was rather hoping to find out if I can configure my wirreless router to grab the internet from the WiFi access so feed to my laptop to avoid buying stuff to do the trial and taking a PC. I guess right now I'm just plain confused based on what has been said so far. In the words from Clue the movie a definitive answer please is there someone else in the house yer or no. In this case can the router be configured to get the internet access from the WiFi or does it have to have a wire connection to get it like how it is done with DSL and cable modems.

    If it can't then gaining access from a wireless network card is all a matter of signal strength and distance. So even then I might not be able to get access without addition equipment if I don't have a strong enough signal. Have I understood correctly?
    Sorry for the confusing thread... The simple answer is no. Your WRT54G will not grab the signal and give you a connection.

    And your understanding of signal strength and distance is correct. Basic Wifi has a usable range of about 300' to 1200', depending on the equipment used and obstructions. If you're lucky and have the Access Point right in front of your house you might get lucky and get a good signal with your laptop and a basic wireless card. Good luck!
    10-02-08 01:50 PM
  18. JustPlainJef's Avatar
    It looks like without custom firmware (a big proposition as you could brick your router) it won't work.

    I only read page 1, but it seems logical that without a bridge, it won't work. The WRT54G can be used as an access point, but it has to be wired. That's what I've got here.

    Re: WRT54G to WRT54G - Wireless Routers - Linksys Community Forums
    10-02-08 02:03 PM
  19. StoneRyno's Avatar
    Well it looks like I may gamble and buy a wireless card for my PC or something. I assume an actual card is prefered to other forms of network adapters? I just hope it works. I would have prefered to take the laptop to test but I don't really want to buy a card for it since I don't use the laptop and probably won't ever need to. Thanks for the help and if anyone else has any recommendations feel free to reply. I won't be leaving until this evening (about 14 or 16 hours from the time of this post).

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-03-08 03:02 AM
  20. JustPlainJef's Avatar
    10-03-08 03:16 AM
  21. trucky's Avatar
    Jef is right... a USB Wireless Adapter with an optional external antenna is the hot ticket. You'd be amazed how much difference even a few inches will make in antenna placement with a marginal signal. Line of sight is always best so if you can place your PC, Laptop or antenna close to or even in a window it might make the difference between yes and no. Touchy stuff, this wireless. Be aware that some cordless phones, mostly older ones, also operate in the same frequency spectrum, and could interfere with your signal.
    10-03-08 06:03 AM
  22. JustPlainJef's Avatar
    Yeah. I had forgotten about that. Wife's laptop had been down for so long... We'd get a phone call, answer it on the cordless, and wireless would be GONE.

    FYI: It's the 2.4 GHz cordless phones. the 900 MHz or the 5.8 GHz won't be a problem. Microwaves can also interfere, but I noticed much less of an issue.
    10-03-08 07:19 AM
  23. sose's Avatar
    what you need to do:

    Install DD-WRT (or tomato) firmware on the WRT54G. (www.dd-wrt.com)

    The dd-wrt firmware will let you use the linksys WRT54G in client mode (or bridge mode also if you want). You can then use the linksys router to act like a Wifi card. It will connect to the condo network and you can connect it to the laptop via regular network cable.
    10-04-08 11:36 AM
  24. StoneRyno's Avatar
    I was talking to my brother about the WiFi and had forgotten he had a laptop with WiFi. So I got him to let me borrow it for the test. I'm at the home using WiFi to post this. Signal strength is listed as good and fluctuates between 3 and 4 bars out of 5. So signal doesn't appear to be an issue. But the speed does bother me. It is dial up speed or worse which doesn't make much sense to me. Shouldn't it be like broadband speeds. They told us 100 people can use the service at the same time. Well there are most certainly not even close to that many people here let alone that many on all at the same time at like midnight or later. I had expected it to be fast but not blazing fast like my DSL connection at home. But I can't even stream 0.2Mbits/sec to watch low quality video with netflix. At home netflix will play them at 3-4Mbits and I always have the whole movie streamed to the pc before I'm half way through the movie at those speeds. I tried to play one here and it started out at about 0.7Mbits and slowed down to about 0.2Mbits. The movie played for just over 10 minutes and stopped because there was no more data streamed to me beyond that and needed to send me more to proceed in playing. It was staying consistently at the 0.2Mbits and was simply not fast enough stream to continue watching the film without pausing every 30 seconds for it to download more. In a nutshell it was not streaming the content as fast as it was playing it. This isn't a problem with netflix but with the connection. Netflix determines quality based on connection speed. But after 10 minutes of playing the speed had slowed down and would not go back up and thus created a unplayable situation. I can only assume at this point that the association got royally hosed by whomever they paid to set up the WiFi, or they didn't get the right service to feed into the WiFi network. So anyways I hope I wasn't too long winded as I thought I would get everyones thoughts here about my experience.
    10-05-08 11:44 PM
  25. JustPlainJef's Avatar
    Well, it could be a number of things. They may have a limit at the speed per connection, they may have a bad DSL signal. The speed limit seems a bit excessive, but maybe they had problems in the past with either someone taking all the bandwidth, or people downloading crap like MP3's and such.

    Go to Speed tests and problem diagnosis tools - dslreports.com and run a speed test. I'd imagine that DSL should be 800 - 1500 Kbps.
    10-06-08 05:03 AM
31 12
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD