Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wireless Client (Bridge)

If you go into a TV-store these days you'll recognize that most of the newer models are equipped with some sort of "Smart-TV" facility. To use this feature you'll need to connect it to the internet which is possible via LAN or WLAN. The latter in my case was only possible by buying an original WLAN-adapter costing more than 50€.

Unfortunately at my home there is no possibility to use the LAN without restructuring the whole house and the adapter despite the high price is not really an option because it would be the third device (TV, Receiver, Apple-TV) in that furniture that would be wireless connected.

The possible solutions that came in my mind where two (three if opening the walls for new cables would be an option ;-)
Despite that powerline would be a very simple option without polluting the air with more electromagnetic waves it has some drawbacks. It depends highly on an uninterrupted connection between the sender and receiver, it is limited by the capabilities of the power line and its components are still very expensive.

The wireless bridge instead bundles all the different wireless connections into one and shares it through the wireless ports which is supported by most of the cheapest routers. Therefore it was the favorite choice to solve my problem.

After some investigation I found out that for example the "TP-Link TL-WR841N" can be configured as a wireless bridge and it was available below 35€

The advantage of this router is that it is compatible with "DD-WRT" which is an open source linux based operating system for routers, switches and so on. So after a short functioning test with the original firmware I just flashed it with this one (I think this change is reversible, but I'm not 100% sure)

The settings to change are described best in this article, so I'm not going to repeat them.

The whole setup took less than half an hour and is doable even for beginners, so unleash you router

UPDATE:
Actually the problem with this configuration is, that the devices in room2 do not see the devices in room1 and vice versa. This can be fixed with static routes.
And the real client bridge is not possible yet with this router

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