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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Linksys WAPs and DD-WRT firmware

    We have had a planet WAP fail on us (no surprise there), so are looking for a replacement. Our current setup is rather Ad-hoc, with a mixture of planet, dlink and HP WAPs scattered throughout the place (the planets dominate).

    Just wondering what thoughts are on the linksys WAP54G? Misco do it for the less than £45 whereas the HPs are in the £90 region, and we couldn't really justify that.

    Also, what is this DD-WRT I have been reading about? I can understand it seems to be a custom type of firmware, but what benefits does it bring? We are looking for a WAP that is capable of automatically setting the best channel if possible, but I also like the idea of this firmware allowing for proper logging, if I have understood that right.

    Is the linksys WAP above and this firmware a good combination? We're only looking to replace 1 WAP, so maybe if this works well we'll go for more with this setup.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Not a good idea then by the lack of responses?

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    We use the Linksys access points here. The only trouble is our school is made of metal so the radio waves are limited to only a few class rooms. We haven't had any problems with them at all. I havent tried the DD-WRT firmware on the access points. To be honest, i didnt know you could get the DD-WRT software for them

    I am using the DD-WRT software on a Linksys linux os router at home and it works great, ive pumped the xmitt power up a bit to reach to my machine but am thinking about getting another and connecting together via wireless.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    I use DD-WRT with a Linksys WRT54GL, and have dasiy chained them in the past [long time ago - had to get different gear on account of the signal strength between buildings needing to be a bit stronger hehe ].

    What do you want to know about them?

    If your asking can you make a big mesh of them using that firmware, then yes you can. It supports everything on the WRT54GL [bar wireless N tech naturally] as far as i'm aware, as the WRT54G and GS' devices no longer had enough firmware to hold the full firmware and you had to use a cutdown one (at the time I got my GL that is).

    I was so impressed with them that i abandoned my old 'all in one' ADSL router, and switched to a Zyxel ADSL Network Modem / Single Port ADSL Router [running in Bridge Mode] and combined it with a WRT54GL...

    Rock solid connections ever since, and after i replaced them at work to make a stronger links with some purpose made directional Antenna's and AP's, I used them just as wifi access points at work and never had any probs with them really. One was being used as a switch more than it was a AP and held its own just fine

    If you want to know more about them, lemme know

    Cheers
    Nath
    Last edited by tarquel; 22nd January 2009 at 04:27 PM.

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    dgsmith (23rd January 2009)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarquel View Post
    If your asking can you make a big mesh of them using that firmware, then yes you can.
    How do you mean, a mesh? You mean I can plug in a whole bunch of them and they'll sort themselves out, doing their best to avoid conflicts with each other?

    --
    David Hicks

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    How do you mean, a mesh? You mean I can plug in a whole bunch of them and they'll sort themselves out, doing their best to avoid conflicts with each other?
    They will connect to each other as well as clients so that you can push the coverage area out further without needing to run cable to each AP. It does limit the speed but makes it very scaleable in a dynamic situation or one where you can't put in cable.

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_mesh"]Wireless mesh network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Oh and another vote for the WRT54GL version, it is far supperior to the cut down WRT54G.

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    dhicks (22nd January 2009)

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    I use a buffalo Access point at home. I'm using the OpenWrt firmware.
    rock solid. not sure what benefits it would bring in school though.
    theres a list of packages to inspire you here:

    OpenWrt

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    I've noticed we can have a WRT54GL wireless router for the same price as the WAP54G - may we as well just opt for this instead? I can't see us needing the switch or router functionality but it's for the same price, and I assume it'll do the same task we want of the standard WAP - and maybe more?

    We could even opt for a WRT160N which isn't much more than the WRT54GL but futureproofing for N tech (I would sacrifice DD-WRT for wireless N).

    No intentions of setting up a mesh - we're just looking at getting 1 WAP for now; maybe more of them as and when needed!
    Last edited by dgsmith; 22nd January 2009 at 09:49 PM.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Yeah Dave... definately the GL over the G because as I mentioned, the GL has more RAM in it and should you go for WRT or not, its a better unit all round.

    I can't see us needing the switch or router functionality but it's for the same price, and I assume it'll do the same task we want of the standard WAP - and maybe more?
    Sorry... i may have rambled a bit there... i just meant that it works well with all of its functions. And the Wireless range is pretty good (but naturally, everything makes a different to the wireless range as we all know etc hehe).

    And yes, it does what you ask and much much more

    (I would sacrifice DD-WRT for wireless N).
    You can use DD-WRT on a WRT160N also btw I believe Its in the early stages of support but i've read it works and with the Wireless-N also.

    Even if you arent looking to set up a wireless mesh [otherwise known as Wireless Distribution System, and there are probably other types], its worth getting because then at least you have that option later on if you want to extend the wireless range, you get another one and set it up within the range - setting up WDS on both and there you go.

    Obviously, it takes a bit of patience if you havent done it before but i'm not exactly a expert in the field and I managed it so its worth considering as a option down the line...

    But of course, you need the right WAP's in order to achieve it as theres a surprising amount of WAP's out there that dont support it, and its useful to use the same hardware for the sake of sanity if nothing else

    Cheers
    Nath.

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    dgsmith (23rd January 2009)

  13. #10
    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Going off the original topic here, but I am really inclined to just stick a wireless-n router in there if we're going to buy a new one. We'll probably be starting to buy laptops that support the current draft-n standard so I guess we may as well just pay the slight extra?
    Though, if the feed coming in to the wireless point is still only 100mb (taking the linksys wrt160n for example), would that actually increase performance if incoming bandwidth is not increased?

    I must admit I hadn't thought of getting a wireless-n device - is this the correct route to be thinking, or would be be best sticking with wireless-g this time and taking wireless-n when we need it?

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Though, if the feed coming in to the wireless point is still only 100mb (taking the linksys wrt160n for example), would that actually increase performance if incoming bandwidth is not increased?
    Exactly. The only benefits with Wireless-N over G that I can see based on your current feed would be:

    • Increase wireless range (weigh up the cost of the WRT160 vs multiple WRT54GL's]
    • Faster (possibly concurrent) speeds to the WAP itself


    Its worth noting that just having one side of things wireless-n is worth it too i.e. My friend got a tasty laptop recently that has Wireless-N in it. He was able to see about 5 more WAP's that I have never noticed before, presumably they are across the street, and at his house, he is able to pick up his Wireless-G Router that is downstairs with a normal wireless BT phone next to it (usually causes interference) and he was upstairs - up two floors - and was getting 3/4 bars consistantly wherever he was on his floor.

    Big old house too so while theres not much between floors, the walls are thick and not plasterboard type walls, so its quite impressive.

    To me that tells me that just having a wireless-N card attempting to connect to Wireless-G routers is still better than G to G.

    So if you were to get the laptops with N in them, its likely to be an advantage in itself.

    And you're right, they may all connect at 40M+ but it still wont be able to pull more than 100M down from the uplink so its worth considering all that too.

    Hope that made sense logically hehe

    Cheers
    Nath

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSmith View Post
    Though, if the feed coming in to the wireless point is still only 100mb (taking the linksys wrt160n for example), would that actually increase performance if incoming bandwidth is not increased?
    Given the actual throughput achivable through wireless N in a non perfect (3cm away from AP with no encryption) environment you are very unlikely to actually overwhelm the 100mbit wired link that the AP is linked to even with multiple hosts.

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    The only bit of networking kit I've ever managed to kill completely was a LinkSys WAP.... It was also a swine to set up initially. I currently use Belkin WAP's, which have never been any trouble to install.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    The only bit of networking kit I've ever managed to kill completely was a LinkSys WAP.... It was also a swine to set up initially. I currently use Belkin WAP's, which have never been any trouble to install.
    and ironically, both Netgear and Belkin AP's / ADSL routers have caused me problems whereas so far, i've had zero problems when using Linksys ones.

    weird isn't it?

    Nath.

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