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Linksys WRT54G WiFi Repeater

Unleash the Hidden Features Using DD-WRT


Linksys WRT54G router is capable of working in repeater mode with third party firmware like DD-WRT. A WiFi repeater is a device that will connect to another wireless access point and redistribute the signal. Repeaters are typically used to extend the coverage of a network in office buildings, hotels, convention halls, airports and other public spaces.

Repeaters can also be used on a smaller scale to share an internet connection with a neighbor. You can also use a repeater to set up a communal open hotspot and share the connection with a group of neighbors.

Installing DD-WRT

As of June 2007, DD-WRT beta v24 firmware is the only version that works in repeater mode. You can download it here. The download area is a bit confusing. Follow these steps to find the correct firmware:

  1. select "beta"
  2. select "GENERIC BROADCOM"
  3. select "dd-wrt.v24 beta"
  4. select the most current date

This last step will take you to a folder full of different versions of the firmware. You will need one or more files marked as "WRT54G." To determine which one is appropriate for your version of WRT54G you need to consult the wiki. Some of the more recent versions of WRT54G have a RAM issue that can be overcome by installing the smaller "micro" version.

DD-WRT firmware is relatively easy to install and setup. The installation process varies slightly based on the version of the router you have. The older WRT54G models you can buy used on Ebay are better candidates for third party firmware installation.

Linksys has moved away from open source firmware in the new models of WRT54G. However, the current WRT54GL will still accept third party firmware. Not surprisingly, this model costs more than comparable units so stick to the used stuff when you can.

The official DD-WRT page is the best place to get installation instructions. There is some useful information in the wiki. The DD-WRT forum is better than the wiki although both presuppose you have basic networking skills. I had none prior to doing all this and still made it through. You can too.

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