Monday, August 8, 2011

Turn a WRT54GL into a Wireless Repeater / Range Extender

Here is a great article by lifehacker walking you step by step through the process of upgrading the Firmware on a Linksys WRT54GL router to the latest iteration of DD-WRT.

I resisted DD-WRT for awhile, thinking it was too complex to setup, so I opted instead for the more user friendly Tomato firmware. I have no complaints with tomato but it does lack wireless repeater functionality.

After reading the Lifehacker article, and following the instructions posted on the DD-WRT website and wiki, I jumped in and upgraded the firmware to the latest 'mini generic' version and everything went very smoothly.

Here are the most important steps in the process:
  1. Buy a Linksys WRT54GL router from Newegg
  2. Be sure to do a 90 second, 3 part, router reset. Hold in the reset button for 30 seconds, then pull the power plug, and continue holding the reset button for another 30 seconds, then plug the power cord back in and keep pressing the reset button for another 30 seconds. Important note: the reset button should be continuously held down for the entire 90 second process.
  3. Log into the router (the PC your on should be directly connected to the router via one of the LAN ports) and upgrade the firmware. Be sure to give the router several minutes to finish the process. It also may be necessary to power cycle the router after the green power light has finished blinking, I also found that I needed to do a "ipconfig /release and /renew" before I could log back into the router.
After the DD-WRT has been successfully installed, follow the directions from Lifehacker regarding configuring the wireless repeater. It is very straight forward and works beautifully for extending wireless in your home.

1 comment:

  1. I've found lifehacker to be a pretty good resource when you are looking for DIY tips. Its been my experience though that over the years some of their articles get a bit moldy as new tech comes out and actually does a better job than their DIY stuff does. I was looking at and they actually suggest that using something other than DD-WRT like Gargoyle could be a good alternative if your old router isn't a well known brand.