Solved Wireless router as a wireless adapter?

December 30, 2010 at 12:34:15
Specs: Windows 7
This is probably going to sound like a dumb question, but is it possible to use a wireless router as a wireless adapter? I moved into an apartment that offers wifi internet, but I don't have a USB wireless adapter for my PC. I do, however, have a wireless router (specifically, a Westell 7501), and being the cheap college student that I am, I'd like to avoid buying a new adapter if I could somehow get my router to function as one.

Thanks


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✔ Best Answer
January 10, 2011 at 13:00:25
LieBot

I tested, and am successfully using a solution to this problem. It starts with installing the DD-WRT 3rd-party firmware on a common wireless router, as suggested above by ace_omega. However, for my purposes, I configured my router as a client rather than a bridge or repeater.

Unfortunately, for you, I don't believe you will be able to install DD-WRT on your Westell 7501 router. The good news is that there are a great many routers that are compatible with DD-WRT and you should be able to find one selling (on eBay for example) for pocket change.

Here's what you need to do:

1 - Get yourself a router that appears on the following list:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

2 - Avoid any that appear on this page:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

3 - Read this:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

4 - Go to DD-WRT's download page, and enter your router model in the white box.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/...

5 - Download the DD-WRT firmware that has been approved for your device.

6 - Read the installation instructions that are specific to your device.

7 - Install DD-WRT. Reset router.

8 - Open the DD-WRT control panel in your browser (192.168.1.1).

9 - Within DD-WRT, go to "Status" > "Wireless."

10 - Click on "Site Survey."

11 - Click "Join" next to the wireless access point to which you wish to connect.

12 - When you see the message saying that you have successfully joined the network, click "Continue."

13 - The screen will automatically take you to "Wireless" > "Basic Settings" where you will see that DD-WRT has changed your wireless mode to "Client" and set your SSID to the same as the access point you have elected to join. Click "Apply Settings" to confirm these changes.

14 - Watch the information presented in the top-right of the DD-WRT control panel. Within a minute or so, a "WAN IP" should appear indicating that your router has successfully connected.

15 - You should now be able to connect through your router by plugging into one of its LAN ports.

paulsep

I conducted my testing at a friend's apartment so I could look at things from the perspective of his router as well. I was able to successfully connect to his router by setting my router in bridge mode. I did not, however, need to make any sort of configuration changes to his router to enable successfully bridging to it. (In post #3 of this thread, you said that one needs to configure both sides to enable bridging.) My friend reset his router to factory defaults before we started just to be sure there was nothing that might confuse things.

While I was using bridging mode, all of my requests were forwarded on to the upstream router (as you said they would in post #6 of this thread). For example, my PC showed up on the upstream router's list of DHCP leases. Bridging should work for LieBot if he is only looking to connect one machine, or if the apartment complex in which he lives does not limit the number of connections (which is probably the case). However, it would not have worked for me as I was looking for a way to connect multiple machines through one upstream connection. Hence my need to use 'client' mode instead.

Curt R

One reason I conducted my testing at a friends's apartment was so that I could be sure that I was not at any point allowing my wireless router to present itself as an access point anywhere on University grounds. After configuring my router as a client, I confirmed that it did not present itself as an access point, nor did it in any way effect the ability of people to connect to the upstream router using a variety of WiFi-enabled devices. After extensive testing, I am very certain that use of my client-configured router will not cause any problems for any of my University neighbors. But, thanks for your input !



#1
December 30, 2010 at 13:01:59
Even cheap college students have to spend money sometime. If they don't they eventually become cheap old men. Buy yourself a present. Think of it that way.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
December 30, 2010 at 13:21:17
True, I think a Wireless Gaming Adapter (WGA) will run you around $50.00 but if you are doing what I suspect (War Driving *wink wink*) then you can some times root your router with an Open WRT linux server which will allow you to turn your router into a Wireless Bridge which will give you what you want. Some more expensive routers come with this option built in. Check the configuration pages to see if it supports wireless bridge mode. If not here are some router roots you can look at.

http://www.google.com/search?client...

Personally I like dd-Wrt, I bricked too many routers with White Russian and I like GUIs I can not lie.

As always, when you are flashing hardware always know there is a chance you can brick them (bake them as useful as a brick) and warranties will not cover rooting.


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#3
December 30, 2010 at 14:28:29
@ace_omega

for wireless bridging, you need to configure both sides, the providing router and the own router.
So I think, it's not possible for LieBot, to do this.

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


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Related Solutions

#4
December 30, 2010 at 15:18:30
Check this out...

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to...

Wireless Bridges are basically Switches with with a Wireless Access Point (WAP) attached to them. Only thing you need to configure is the WEP/WPA Key and SSID.

Not saying that it will probably not work any how because not all routers support rooting like this.


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#5
December 31, 2010 at 13:48:39
I have a similar issue. In live in University dorms that provide Wi-Fi as the only network connectivity (no Ethernet jacks). I want to run a small network behind a router. Unfortunately, the powers that be in the Univ. are suspicious of students running networks, or for that matter, any devices they cannot see with their monitoring tools. The simple thing for me to do would be to attach to the University's access point with my wireless router operating as a wireless bridge, but naturally won't be able to do this if it requires any configuration on their end. Does setting up a wireless router as a wireless bridge require any configuration on the access point to which the wireless bridge attaches?

Also, I need to make sure that my wireless router appears as a regular wireless client. If it looks to them like a wireless router, they will make me take it out. Along these same lines, I need to make sure that my wireless router does not appear to anyone else as an access point. If someone automatically attaches to my wireless router using their iPhone or something, and has problems reaching the Internet, they will call the University's networking dept., which will investigate, etc...


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#6
January 1, 2011 at 04:01:51
The wireless router has to be configured to use repeater mode.
In repeater mode, the router acts as an ordinary client.
Every wireless client computer connects to the main wireless network over you router.
Every client computer connected be wire to the router, gets forwarded to the main router, when surfing the internet.

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


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#7
January 1, 2011 at 06:10:51
LieBot

but I don't have a USB wireless adapter for my PC. I do, however, have a wireless router

How did you connect to your wireless router previously? A wireless adapter doesn't have to be a USB adapter you know (Thank God because even if I was interested in using wireless, you couldn't give me a crappy USB adapter). If your PC has a wireless NIC then that should work just fine to connect to the WLAN.

OpenSource

If I were you, I'd stop what you're doing right now and give it a rest. If you've already talked to the IT people at the university and been told "no" then do NOT try to bypass their security.

If you do, you risk being expelled and charged criminally.

I work in the networking department in a university and a part of my job is to look for people like you who are trying to bypass our security. If you persist you will be caught.

What Paul doesn't know, and you don't either, is that in an enterprise wireless network like the one you have, they have "rogue scanning" capabilities built into their wireless equipment. Not to mention the fact that the whole WLAN is documented. Any wireless device that starts broadcasting within range of their equipment that isn't registered with their controller and documented, is a "rogue" and will be blocked and an alert sent to whoever is monitoring. Once they receive the alert, it's a simple thing to find the rogue. If it's in your room guess who gets kicked out the front door of the university (no refunds, no money back and you can never return) and into the waiting hands of the police.

If I were you, I'd check into getting my own highspeed connection. If you have a telephone in your dorm, you should be able to get ADSL if it's available in your area. Check university policy, is that allowed? If it is, and you can get it, do that.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#8
January 1, 2011 at 11:41:38
paulsep

The wireless router has to be configured to use repeater mode. In repeater mode, the router acts as an ordinary client.

Thanks for your help. Do you mean that I would want to set up my wireless router as a repeater rather than a bridge? Won't others be able to attach to my wireless router if it is set up as a repeater? Just to be clear, I don't want to connect to my wireless router wirelessly; I want to be able to connect to my wireless router via wired connections using the provided LAN ports.

Every client computer connected by wire to the router, gets forwarded to the main router, when surfing the internet.

That's what I'm trying to avoid. Basically, I'd like for my wireless router to serve as though it was a router with a wireless adapter (rather than a wireless access point). I'd like for the router to look to the wireless transceiver, rather than the WAN port, for uplink. This way I will be able to benefit from all of the device's built-in funtions (e.g. NAT, DHCP, firewall, etc...). Unless I'm mistaken, this is what the OP is looking to do as well.

Curt R

If I lived in a different dormitory complex all I would need to do is plug a wired (not wireless) router into the provided wall jack, as many of my fellow students have done, and I'd be good. As I understand it, our school's networking dept. is principally concerned because their support model anticipates that when someone calls them for help they will be able to see that person's device in order that they might better assist them with their issue. As I don't intend to call the school's networking dept. for help with any of my equipment there will be no need for them to see my equipment.

Until fairly recently, broadband ISPs used to frown upon their customers having routers partly for this same reason. They knew people would call them when they couldn't connect to the Internet, and didn't want to be put in the position of having to diagnose a problem behind someone's router or firewall. Also, they were hoping they could force their customers to pay extra for additional addresses. I seem to recall reading several years ago that these policies began to soften as a result of customers winning several court cases on the matter. Now, broadband ISPs regularly offer free WiFi routers as part of the package to get people to sign with them.

Any wireless device that starts broadcasting within range of their equipment that isn't registered with their controller and documented, is a "rogue" and will be blocked and an alert sent to whoever is monitoring.

That's exactly why I'm asking about this here before trying it. As far as the networking people at my school are concerned, I want for my wireless router to behave as though it was a laptop, iPhone, or whatever. I certainly don't want for my router to become an access point. I don't want for anyone else to connect through my router, as that could potentially cause them problems, and I don't want for that to happen.

The way I look at it, beyond my connection to my school's network, it shouldn't be any of their concern whether I'm running my various services all on one machine, as most people do, or spread out over several machines. Provided that I don't inadvertently cause anyone else any problems I don't see why they would care.

If I were you, I'd check into getting my own highspeed connection.

Already looked into that. They tell me their phone system is incompatible and naturally they won't allow for an outside vendor run anything to their buildings. So, not an option.


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#9
January 1, 2011 at 14:01:56
So you simply have to connect the WAN connector or your router to the wall plug and configure it, configure the connection type for WAN (login name and password, if needed), configure to get dynamic ip address from the network of the university. That's it.
In the router, there is an option for cloning the workstations MAC address to the WAN interface of your router. Enable this, if needed.

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


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#10
January 1, 2011 at 14:49:51
paulsep

Thanks again...

I would already have done exactly what you have said, except I can't do the part about plugging into the wall jack - because there isn't one. In my dorms (newer construction), the University has installed only WiFi - no network jacks to plug into. As I understand it, it is their intention to eventually disable the jacks in the older dorms and install WiFi there as well, so eventually everyone here will be faced with the same problem.

I'm hoping to be able to configure my router to use the wireless transceiver for the uplink connection (rather than the wired WAN port). I would then connect to it via the several wired LAN ports rather than wirelessly.

I've never before used a WiFi router as a bridge, repeater, or in a mesh network, for that matter, and want to be sure that I configure it in a way that will not cause it to present itself as an access point to which anyone might attach.


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#11
January 1, 2011 at 15:14:24
To avoid, that everyone can connect to it, simply use MAC address filters.

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


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#12
January 2, 2011 at 06:00:47
paulsep
...simply use MAC address filters.

I suppose I could set MAC address filters allowing in only the signal from the school's wireless transceiver. If I did this, however, won't other peoples' Wi-Fi devices encounter problems when they attempt to connect through my wireless device and are denied entry? If so, this is the very sort of thing I'm looking to avoid.


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#13
January 2, 2011 at 06:28:33
I one is trying to connect to your wireless router, he/she can't, right.
You can't manage it in another way.
The only way to go arround this is, to get your own internet line from an ISP, as mentioned above.

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


Report •

#14
January 10, 2011 at 13:00:25
✔ Best Answer
LieBot

I tested, and am successfully using a solution to this problem. It starts with installing the DD-WRT 3rd-party firmware on a common wireless router, as suggested above by ace_omega. However, for my purposes, I configured my router as a client rather than a bridge or repeater.

Unfortunately, for you, I don't believe you will be able to install DD-WRT on your Westell 7501 router. The good news is that there are a great many routers that are compatible with DD-WRT and you should be able to find one selling (on eBay for example) for pocket change.

Here's what you need to do:

1 - Get yourself a router that appears on the following list:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

2 - Avoid any that appear on this page:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

3 - Read this:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.ph...

4 - Go to DD-WRT's download page, and enter your router model in the white box.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/...

5 - Download the DD-WRT firmware that has been approved for your device.

6 - Read the installation instructions that are specific to your device.

7 - Install DD-WRT. Reset router.

8 - Open the DD-WRT control panel in your browser (192.168.1.1).

9 - Within DD-WRT, go to "Status" > "Wireless."

10 - Click on "Site Survey."

11 - Click "Join" next to the wireless access point to which you wish to connect.

12 - When you see the message saying that you have successfully joined the network, click "Continue."

13 - The screen will automatically take you to "Wireless" > "Basic Settings" where you will see that DD-WRT has changed your wireless mode to "Client" and set your SSID to the same as the access point you have elected to join. Click "Apply Settings" to confirm these changes.

14 - Watch the information presented in the top-right of the DD-WRT control panel. Within a minute or so, a "WAN IP" should appear indicating that your router has successfully connected.

15 - You should now be able to connect through your router by plugging into one of its LAN ports.

paulsep

I conducted my testing at a friend's apartment so I could look at things from the perspective of his router as well. I was able to successfully connect to his router by setting my router in bridge mode. I did not, however, need to make any sort of configuration changes to his router to enable successfully bridging to it. (In post #3 of this thread, you said that one needs to configure both sides to enable bridging.) My friend reset his router to factory defaults before we started just to be sure there was nothing that might confuse things.

While I was using bridging mode, all of my requests were forwarded on to the upstream router (as you said they would in post #6 of this thread). For example, my PC showed up on the upstream router's list of DHCP leases. Bridging should work for LieBot if he is only looking to connect one machine, or if the apartment complex in which he lives does not limit the number of connections (which is probably the case). However, it would not have worked for me as I was looking for a way to connect multiple machines through one upstream connection. Hence my need to use 'client' mode instead.

Curt R

One reason I conducted my testing at a friends's apartment was so that I could be sure that I was not at any point allowing my wireless router to present itself as an access point anywhere on University grounds. After configuring my router as a client, I confirmed that it did not present itself as an access point, nor did it in any way effect the ability of people to connect to the upstream router using a variety of WiFi-enabled devices. After extensive testing, I am very certain that use of my client-configured router will not cause any problems for any of my University neighbors. But, thanks for your input !


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