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Router as Access Point?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by psweig, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Mar 7, 2009 #1 of 24
    psweig

    psweig Hall Of Fame

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    Does anyone know if I can use an old Linksys router (wrt54gs) as an access point? I don't want to run another ethernet cable 50 feet into my living room from my computer room. I have everything wired and I want it that way. :D
     
  2. Mar 7, 2009 #2 of 24
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Just turn off it's DHCP server and don't plug anything into it's WAN port. Configure wireless the same as any other wireless you may have in the home. Same SSID, encryption, etc. I plugged mine into a laptop first and assigned it a static LAN IP, to make it easy to find to re-configure, if I every need to. My main router is .1, I made this one .2.

    I'm using an old WRT54G exactly that way. /steve
     
  3. Mar 7, 2009 #3 of 24
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    There is nothing wrong with doing this, but keep in mind that using a router (or technically a firewall) as an access point inside a network that has a different router/firewall can sometimes cause unexpected results.

    You may find that you can pass traffic one way but that it doesn't work in the other direction. The best access point is one that can be set up as an access point with no firewall. Basically you won't really know until you try it.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2009 #4 of 24
    psweig

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    Thanks Steve and Doug, if Steve is using one this way, I'm going to at least try it.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2009 #5 of 24
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong, but the router firewall only comes into play when there's traffic from the WAN port, which there won't be, in this case. I've been using routers as WAPs for years, with no issues. /steve
     
  6. Mar 7, 2009 #6 of 24
    Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    That is correct.

    If anything on most you can turn off the firewall function (though it really wont make a difference). DHCP tells the computers what router is the gateway, thus other things should be directed to the gateway (like UPnP) and not any other wireless routers that have DHCP turned off and are connected via the LAN ports.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2009 #7 of 24
    psweig

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    Yes, I read somewhere that you can turn the firewall off or put it into kamikaze mode and let everything through. :)
     
  8. Mar 7, 2009 #8 of 24
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Actualy what we're saying is doesn't make any difference if the Linksys firewall is on or off for devices connected to the LAN ports on the router, which is what you'd be "virtually" using wirelessly.

    And I'm sure you know this, but be sure to connect the main router to one of the Linkysys physical LAN ports, not the WAN port. :) /steve
     
  9. Mar 7, 2009 #9 of 24
    deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    The firewall function on most home routers running behind DSL and Cable modems is redundant and unnecessary anyway. Firewall function is built into the modems, which are most cases now, routers as well.
     
  10. djrobx

    djrobx Godfather

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    That would only be true if you used the WAN port. The LAN ports and wireless functions are virtually always bridged together by default, just like any dedicated access point. If configured per Steve's instructions, the firewall/NAT router aspect never comes into play because nothing on the network tries to route out through its gateway address.

    If you have a WRT54G with DD-WRT or other third party firmware installed you can also use the router in "client mode" and use it as a wireless transceiver also. Some routers have client mode as a stock feature too. I have a few ZyXEL routers that perform that function nicely.
     
  11. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Very untrue. A modem is a modem. A router/modem is both. Almost all people using cable internet with no voice services will have a straight modem. That should have a firewall behind it, whether software on a machine that's directly connected or hardware on a home router.
     
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Outside of some of the cable company VOIP routers, I have yet to see any provider offer a combined modem/router by default. They are available to be sure, but I certainly wouldn't want one.

    Firewalling at the router level typically consists of NAT and the ability to recognize and not respond to ping flooding. This is usually pretty effective, but it doesn't prevent tunneling.
     
  13. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Most DSL providers modems are modem/routers that do NAT and DHCP.

    In fact, many now are providing modem/router/wireless AP converged devices like the 2wire gateways.
     
  14. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Grentz knows the score.
    Most cable "modems" also use NAT to mask the internal IP from the external one.
    Even though they only dole out one internal IP, they're still masking you from the net (that means firewall).

    Simple test:
    Connect your "modem" directly to a PC.
    Open a command prompt and type ipconfig /all
    Note the IP address.

    The go here http://www.whatsmyip.org and note that IP address

    If they're different, then you have NAT (Network Address Translation), and that's really about all you need.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The order of the day seems to be different where I wander. Note that I'm talking about just broadband Internet access; not services involving VOIP or "triple plays".

    Comcast uses Motorola SURFboards.

    Qworst (Qwest) uses standalone modems for both their DSL and fiber products.

    Verizon uses standalone modems for DSL.

    Covad uses standlone modems.

    PacTel(AT&T) uses standalone modems.


    Comcast offers a combined solution for big, big money per month as do some of the other providers, but they are the exception, not the norm.


    Everyone's mileage usually varies.
     
  16. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    My grandfather's Verizon DSL in Brooklyn is actually a one-port Actiontec modem/router. It's about the only one I've seen. My father's on Sprint/Embarq DSL and has a straight modem.

    Other than combined VOIP/Internet cable services, the only 1-port non-DSL devices I've ever seen are modems.
     
  17. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    Betcha he doesn't.
    It's probably a Zyxel 645M, unless he took the free upgrade and got the 660.
    Even those use NAT, and they can be setup for routing function.
    And once again, say it with me, NAT = firewall.
     
  18. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I actually do have a straight modem (and I will betcha on that one ;) ) .. but I'm a good boy and have a firewall on the other side of the DSL modem and then my network. I'm still NAT'd as well, but I have a more beefy firewall than the normal off the shelf variety.
     
  19. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Hrm, interesting. Around here Quest, Verizon, and Embarq all have, even in the most basic service form of DSL, modem/router combos. I have to work with a lot of them as I am a small business consultant.

    For providers, it usually removes a lot of headaches having a modem/router device as it allows a bit of security, plus the modem/router device will connect to the provider and establish the connection instead of relying on the customers PC to make the connection through the modem (which can sometimes be tricky and require additional software vs. the customer machine picking up a DHCP address from the modem/router device).

    This one I can say for almost certain as my local city and my relatives in a completely different state all have embarq, Embarq had used the Zyxel 645M (or variants such as the 645R) for years, and now is on the 660. Both of which are modem/routers. They also offer a 2wire converged device for a premium price that has wireless built in too (I know for a fact that qwest and verizon offer the same 2wire wireless device for a premium on their services as well).

    Personally I use a Dlink DSL Modem only that connects to a pfsense box (firewall/router). But I bought that on my own as I was getting sick of the Zyxel 660 with some of the more advanced configs I was trying to setup.
     
  20. deltafowler

    deltafowler Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    I think the crux of this discussion gets down to how little of an understanding people have of what a router or firewall really are, by definition.

    I blame Linksys for this. :D
     

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