how i configured my router to work as a bridge

30 April, 2008

I have successfully reconfigured my wireless router to act as a wireless bridge! In my new apartment complex, the internet that we pay for every month is only available in wireless form (which is actually speed limited to 11Mbps 😦 ). However, I use a desktop for which I do not have a wireless card, but I do have a wireless router (which I won’t need to be using while I’m living here because there is already a wireless network setup). So, I am using my wireless router as a NIC for my desktop PC (running XP Pro SP2).

I have a Netgear WGT624(V3) router. I actually found this great tutorial last night on how to successfully complete this setup, but there were a few things that weren’t really clear in the writeup, and it took some tinkering for me to actually get it to work. So here is my adapted version of what Beatjunkie presents on his site.

1. Do a hard reset on the router

2. Disable wireless SID broadcast (but leave the radio enabled)

3. Set the SSID to match exactly the name of the network you are connecting to
* Beatjunkie says you need to match the channel, but I couldn’t figure out what channel the network I am connecting to was broadcasting on, so I just left it on the default (11)

4. Set the subnet to match exactly the subnet of the network (in my case it was 255.255.252.0)

5. Set the security to match
* Actually I’m not sure if it has to match exactly – the network I’m connecting to is unsecured, so I just turned security off. However, Beatjunkie says that it will only work with WEP (ie not WPA), so that’s a tip…

* Don’t turn off DHCP yet…

6. Using a laptop with a wireless card, use “arp -a” from the command prompt to find the MAC address of the network I will be connecting to (in my case it was the first in the list (10.0.104.1)).

7. Use Beatjunkie’s tool to configure the router to work as a client (he explains it more on his site, but in brief, the ‘client’ mode is basically a virtual bridge, and he has had better luck with that, and that is what ended up working for me too).
– Download the tool here
– You will also need to download telnetEnable.exe (which he links to on his site)
– Run the tool in expert mode
– Use 192.168.1.1 as the IP address of the router (that you will be using as a bridge), and put in its MAC address (on the bottom of the router) (top left of the screen)
– In your command schedule, use the following commands:

wla
set oper sta
set remoteWbr [MAC] (use the MAC address you found earlier with the laptop)
..
save
reboot

– Execute telnetEnable.exe, then run your command schedule

8. Control Panel > Network Connections > Local Area Connection > Properties > Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), change the DNS server. Manually input the address of the server (from the network you will be connecting to). This can be found on the laptop by entering “ipconfig /all” from the command prompt.

9. Go back into your router configuration web interface (192.168.1.1), and disable DHCP.

10. You may have to release and renew your IP on your desktop (from command prompt enter “ipconfig /release” then “ipconfig /renew”), but it should then work!

These are the steps that I took to get my Netgear WGT624 to work as a wireless bridge so I could use it to connect to an existing wireless network and get internet on my desktop! I couldn’t have done it without the tutorial mentioned earlier, but I also needed to implement the other steps that I have included here to get it to work.

EDIT:
I tried using this router (now bridge) on Windows Server 2003, and I couldn’t get network access.  While I didn’t go through the whole process, I plugged in the server to the already configured (and working) bridge, and it wouldn’t get an IP address. I went into my network settings, added the DNS server, and it still wouldn’t get an IP address.  I repaired the connection, rebooted, did everything I could think of (short of reconfiguring the whole router), and it still wouldn’t work.  I even tried manually configuring the IP address (which sort of worked – it gave me that IP, and connected to the right subnet, etc., but it still never could get internet).

I also tried hooking up a machine running Windows Vista (Ultimate), and after a few seconds I had internet access.  I didn’t even need to manually enter the DNS server – it just worked.

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9 Responses to “how i configured my router to work as a bridge”

  1. Ace Chandra Says:

    I appreciate the post tutorial.. However, I am still having trouble getting this thing to work.. I’ve done all of the steps and I got the Netgear WGT624(V3) to go into AP(client mode). After I turn off DHCP i get a little lost on what to do. Any help is highly appreciated!

  2. Matt Says:

    Must you disable DHCP on the bridge router? I want to send out IP addresses to more than one computer.

  3. rgisraelsen Says:

    Ace and Matt – sorry I’m not responding sooner. I actually migrated the site to postmidnight.gregisraelsen.com, so I haven’t checked on this one in a while. Thanks for the comments tho!

    Ace – I had to go through the steps a few times myself. The order turned out to be very important for me, so I kept having to do hard resets on the router. So step 8 is for adjusting some settings within Windows – that turned out to be the key for me. Once you disable DHCP on the router, you just need to renew your ip address (start>run>cmd, then type “ipconfig /release” (press enter), then type “ipconfig /renew” (press enter), and it should work. If not, then maybe one of the other steps didn’t work properly. The hard thing is that I found that once I disabled DHCP, if I didn’t do all the steps exactly right, I had to start over… 😐

    Matt – You have to disable DHCP on the router because you are no longer using it as a router, you are using it as a bridge. IE, it is merely passing along information from the switch that is assigning addresses (the DHCP server), not assigning addresses itself, so you have to disable DHCP

  4. jon Says:

    This plus the original from beatjunkie worked fine for me, thanks !

    Didn’t use the gui tool, I do find the telnet connection buggy and if I didn’t enter the cmds in quickly the sessions would hang for a minute or disconnect and then had to power cycle the unit re-issue the telenetenable to get back in. it may be my unit as it was having issues and is why I replaced it. Now I can use for a bridge for the XBox until I get around to running a cable.

    On Step5 – YES your WEP keys MUST match else they won’t talk to each other.

    On my WGT624 Version 1 it does note have the remoteWbr. The original cmds worked for me:

    telnet to router
    wla
    set remoteAP 00:1D:7E:F0:A1:15 (use the MAC address of your AP router of course)
    set oper sta
    ..
    save
    power off/on

    2 Other handy commands in the wla section are :
    get config — Display Current AP Configuration
    get operationMode — Display Operation Mode

    For your server – it’s possible your ISP is filtering out servers from hooking up.

  5. Matt Richards Says:

    Hi. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Any reason why Im getting this error?
    [set remoteWbr 00:18:4D:00:53:ED sent] set remoteWbr 00:18:4D:00:53:ED
    Invalid parameter: remotewbr 00:18:4D:00:53:ED


  6. You rock. World needs more souls like you.


  7. my wireless router at home overheated when i used p2p heavily for 24 hours for the next 25 days ..

  8. Water Filter Says:

    wireless routers are very necessary nowadays because we do not want so many wires running around the home ~””


  9. […] how i configured my router to work as a bridge « post midnightI appreciate the post tutorial.. However, I am still having trouble getting this thing to work.. I’ve done all of the steps and I got the Netgear WGT624(V3) to go into AP(client mode). After I turn off DHCP i get a little lost on what to do. […]


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