Sunday, May 3, 2009

Setting up a Network Receiver with a Linksys WRTG54G2 Router and DD-WRT Firmware

Ok, here is the problem: I have two places in my house where I need wired connections but I'm unwilling to run wires across the house.  In one end of the house I have several desktops including a server; I want these wired.  On the other end of the house, I have an XBox 360, a slingbox, a potential desktop, and a few other devices.  I definitely didn't want to spend upwards of $100 on a wireless device for the XBox alone so I decided to buy a new wireless/wired router for about $49.  I chose the Linksys WRTG54G2 after reading a lot of reviews and because I have an old Linksys WRTG54 so I was already familiar with the software. 

Now to set up the new wireless router as a receiver and to use the hard-wired connections to still get online.  I used Windows XP and Internet Explorer 7 for everything.  

What you need to download:
  • The tftp client (this linksys one is very easy to use)
  • The new firmware called DD-WRT (micro for WRTG54G2)
  • VxWorksPrep
  • VxWorksKiller
  • README (instructions to flash the new router)
Now you want to set a static IP on your Windows machine.  The README will ask you to set your Windows machine up with a static ip.  To do this, do the following:
  1. Open your network connections from the control panel.  
  2. Open the properties for your LAN connection.  
  3. Scroll down to the TCP/IP row and open the properties for that.
  4. Select the option to set the IP as static and enter the following
IP Address: 192.168.1.10  (Can be anything that your main router has not assigned as DHCP addresses)
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1
Preferred DNS Server: 192.168.1.1

Now plug the Windows machine directly into the router (any one of the 4 ports) and go to the router's admin page (192.168.1.1).  The username and password will be admin/admin if the router is new.  Next you want to reset the factory defaults on the new router Administrator->Factory Defaults.

The router is now ready to be flashed with the new firmware.  NOTE: Read the README *very* carefully because it is easy to BRICK your new router!

Once you have successfully put the new firmware on the new router, it's time to set all of the old and new router settings.  This website is invaluable if you're new to networking.

That's it.  My sticking points were finding where to download everything (which is why I included it here) and realizing that my wireless SSID was not the same as the router name.

Good luck!

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