Home networking

Ok I feel like I should know this because I am a networking major…I am trying to connect two devices (Xbox360 and a PVR) to the internet. I have a wireless router in another room. How can I connect these devices to the network short of running cables from the router. I need a wireless access point correct? That I can just set up next to the devices and connect it to the wireless network and run ethernet cables from it to the two devices. Is this correct?

That’s one way, yes.


Ok so a wireless router does not need to be plugged into a modem correct? it can connect directly to the wireless router I already have hooked up and then use its ethernet ports to provide internet. Is this the simplicst way of doing it?

Yep, use one wireless router to bridge your assorted media stuff to the other wireless router that actually has an outbound connection. I’ve been doing that for a few years now with two Linksys routers flashed with DD-WRT.

Why do you have to flash them with DD-WRT?

You don’t - DD-WRT has some neat additional features, so many people choose to flash their compatible routers with it. But there’s no need.

So routers are cheap enough now that they have replaced bridges and hubs?

You need an access point that has a “client bridge” mode. At home I have a WRT54gl running DD-wrt for this. The stock linksys firmware doesnt have this feature, or at least it didnt last time I checked.

Associate the linksys (will need ssid, network key, etc) with your existing wireless network and then you can plug your ethernet devices into the rear of the unit. I do this for a slingbox, DVR, and HTPC. Works nicely.

Hmm ok ill have to go update my firmware and see if that option is added and then go to DD-wrt if that doesnt work

So I know they make USB wireless adapters for computers but why not ethernet wireless adapters? I know they would have be be plugged in to a power outlet but buying a whole new router seemes expensive is there no other way

Because the USB one works only because its plugged into a computer. A wireless ethernet adapter needs a cpu, interface, etc. Thats what the wireless access point provides.

You dont need a router, just a WAP. There are cheap WAPs out there that do client bridging.

ok ill probably go the cheap WAP route i just need to make sure it supports client bridging?

The WAP54g does bridging. It only has one port on the rear so you’ll need to buy a little switch for more than one device.


Its not that much cheaper than the router version, but it saves you the headaches of dealing with dd-wrt.

So both devices will only show up as 1 IP address correct?

Nope. Its just a bridge. It will not route or anything. Just think of it as a switch with an invisible wire to your main router. Each of the devices will plug into it. They will then ask DHCP for an address, just like they would if they were plugged into a switch. So if youre DHCP scope is to

DVR will get .10
Xbox will get .11

Why don’t you look at getting some Powerline ethernet adapters - there are a few brands available and probably wont be much more expensive than a wireless bridge/switch combo (get a single adapter for your router end, and a switched adapter at the other). You will generally get better throughput than wireless, too.


I had a couple of WRT54G routers running DD-WRT to provide network connectivity for a couple of old machines that only had wired network ports (one was an old iMac - technically upgradable with an AirPort card, but expensive) - it worked really well.

The latest version of DD-WRT is even easier to configure in client/bridge mode - it’s almost as simple as configuring a new wireless connection on a PC.

I’m probably going to go this route myself. The only drawback is that it’s not cheap. To set up a three-node HomePlug AV system, I’m looking at $200 for two one-port devices and one 4-port device from Linksys’ PLx300 series. The “AV” denotes 200 Mbps speed - in the real world, it should perform identically to 100 meg Ethernet wiring, and be able to carry streaming media.

(It’s amazing. Five years ago, did we even dream about plugging our home entertainment systems into the world? Now, I’ve got three things to plug in - a Blu-Ray player that streams Netflix, an MP3 player and the Dish Network box can be programmed via the Web.)

OTOH, HomePlug is pretty much plug-and-play with nearly no worries about security, no drilling holes through brick walls or crawling through knee-deep fiberglass in the attic to fish cable.

I got lucky, as I was only connecting my internet connection (20Mb) to my firewall/server. I got a special on 100Mb gear which gives me full internet speed where I need it. I had pre-existing net-capped cable to my AV rig. One of these days, I’m going to move to 1Gb ethernet with a homebuilt HiDef AV centre. One day. :wink:


Does this look like a way to go?


It has 4 ports which is a plus because I would have to use a spliter.