Tag Archives: Wireless Repeater

How To Set Up A Repeater Bridge in DD-WRT

Can’t seem to get a solid wireless connection in your house? Does your signal sometimes drop? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have heard of a wireless repeater. But alas, wireless repeaters don’t come cheap.

Luckily, the most iterations of the DD-WRT firmware offer a solution. This trusty open-source firmware has a feature called a repeater bridge.

With DD-WRT, a wireless bridge connecting two LAN segments is possible using a wireless link. The two segments are on the same subnet, allowing broadcasts to reach all machines. DHCP clients in one segment are able to get their addresses from the DHCP server in the other segment.

Essentially, this means that you can boost and extend your wireless signal with just an old router and DD-WRT!

Difference Between Client Bridge And Repeater Bridge

A standard wireless bridge, or Client Bridge, is designed to connect wired clients to a secondary router as if they were connected to the main router via cable. The secondary clients would share the bandwidth of a wireless connection with the main router. This still allows the connection of clients via cable or wireless to the main router.

The Client Bridge allows only wired clients to connect to the secondary router. In order to allow wireless clients to connect to the secondary router, a Repeater Bridge is necessary.

A Repeater Bridge allows wireless and wired clients to connect to the secondary router. It also allows the secondary device to connect to the main device wirelessly.

How To Set Up A Repeater Bridge On Your DD-WRT Router

To begin, make sure that the main router has a 192.168.1.X subnet and leases a DHCP address in the same pool. The secondary router must be running DD-WRT.

To ensure an easy set up, always click Save and not Apply between steps.

  1. Reset to Factory Defaults on the secondary DD-WRT router. Perform a hard reset if needed.
  2. Hook up the secondary router with an Ethernet cord or just as a wireless client.
  3. Open the address http://192.168.1.1/ in your browser to access the DD-WRT GUI.
  4. Open the Wireless tab and then the Basic Settings tab
    1. Physical Interface 
      1. Wireless Mode: Repeater Bridge
      2. Wireless Network Mode: Same as main router
      3. Wireless Network Name(SSID): Same as main router, including case
      4. Wireless Channel: Auto
      5. Sensitivity Range (ACK Timing): 0
      6. Click Save
    2. Virtual Interfaces: Click Add
      1. Wireless Network Name(SSID): Different SSID than Primary SSID
      2. Click Save
  5. Open the Wireless tab and then the Wireless Security tab
    1. Physical Interface (WPA2-AES is recommended)
      1. Security Mode, WPA Algorithms, Shared Key: Same as main router
    2. Virtual Interfaces
      1. Security Mode, WPA Algorithms, Shared Key: Same as main router
      2. Click Save
  6. Open the Security tab and then the Firewall tab
    1. Uncheck all boxes except Filter Multicast
    2. Disable SPI Firewall
    3. Click Save
  7. Open the Services tab and then Services tab
    1. Disable DNSMasq
    2. Click Save
  8. Open the Setup tab then the Basic Setup tab
    1. WAN Connection Type: Disabled
    2. IP Address: 192.168.1.2
    3. Mask: 255.255.255.0
    4. Gateway: 192.168.1.1 (Same as main router)
    5. DHCP Server: Disable
    6. Local DNS: 192.168.1.1 (Same as main router)
    7. Assign WAN Port to Switch: Use WAN port as another LAN port (Optional)
    8. Click Save
  9. Open the Setup tab and then Advanced Routing tab
    1. Change Mode to Router
    2. Click Save and then APPLY
    3. Wait 30 seconds and then power off the router and power it back on.
      1. Allow router to fully boot up.
  10. Open the address http://192.168.1.2/ to access the router GUI at its new IP address
  11. Check internet connectivity, if it does not work then reboot the router

Interested in purchasing a pre-configured Open Source DD-WRT Router? FlashRouters can help with that.

VIDEO: How to Pick the Right WiFi Channel for Your DD-WRT or Tomato Router

TomatoUSB Advanced Wireless Setup

Advanced Wireless Options – Tomato Router

At FlashRouters, we pride ourselves on offering the finest DD-WRT and Tomato router available, and even though these devices are ready to revolutionize your network right out of the box, we want to make sure our users are getting the most out of them.

One way to boost your router’s performance is to pick the right WiFi channel. If your router’s signal is coming from a crowded channel, you might find that its performance is a bit lackluster, as regular household items like cordless telephones and even microwaves can create WiFi interference.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy video for you, which walks the viewer through the steps of picking the least crowded WiFi channel available to him or her. Using inSSIDer (a free program), you’ll be able to gain greater visibility of the contours of your wireless network and see “the security, signal strength, MAC address, and channel of all access points in your area,” as their site advertises.

Of course, once you’ve selected the right WiFi channel for you, you’ve still got to change your router’s settings, so please stay tuned for this whole video, and learn how to optimize your network’s performance.

 

Like this video? Want to see more like it?

We want to hear what you want to see. Leave a comment below, follow us on Facebook, send us a tweet (@FlashRouters), or check out our brand new YouTube channel!

Your Router Is Not Secure: How FlashRouters Can Help

Keep Your Network Safe From Hackers

Keep Your Network Safe From Hackers

If ever there was a time to impress upon you the urgency of making sure your router and home network are as secure as possible, it is now.

Independent Security Evaluators of Baltimore have released a report indicating that some of the most popular routers are shockingly hackable. If your network is based around off-the-shelf routers like the Linksys WRT310Nv2, Netgear WNDR4700, Belkin N300 and N900, TP-Link WR1043N, or Verizon Actiontec’s, among others, anyone with LAN or WLAN access and nefarious intent can easily make your life miserable.

According to an article recently published by CNET, router hacks are “a small but growing segment of computer security threats.” And while it may be statistically unlikely that you end up the victim of a router hack, the information contained in the average person’s wireless network (credit card numbers, personal documents, e-mails) is worth fiercely protecting.

How Do the Hackers Do It?

Keep Your Network Secure from Hackers

Keep Your Network Secure from Hackers

The ISE (and CNET) pointed to three different methods of hacker attack. They are:

Trivial attacks, the weakest of the three. These attacks are the least successful because they are launched with no credentials and no human interaction. Remote trivial attacks never work, but local trivia attacks (ones launched by someone connected to the network) work about 1/3 of the time.

Unauthenticated attacks, which are only slightly more successful than trivial attacks. They also work about 1/3 of the time during local attacks, but can occasionally work remotely. They’re based around human interaction, such as “following a malicious link or browsing to an unsafe page, but do not require an active session or access to credentials.”

Authenticated attacks, which are the most effective of all. In these cases, the attacker has access to the victim’s credentials, or the victim’s router has never been changed from it’s default credentials (some firmwares simply won’t allow the default usernames to be changed). Authenticated attacks almost always work.

The ISE tested these routers starting with an attack method called “cross-site request forgery”, which sends unauthorized commands from an otherwise trusted website. From there, as the ISE explained in an e-mail to CNET, things get a little more technical:

“After that, our standard attack was to reset the administrative password to a known value, or add a new administrator, and then enable remote management. Only when this was not possible (e.g., some routers require the old password as part of the request to change it) did we try other attacks. Those included: shell command injection, directory traversal to share the root of the filesystem over an Internet-accessible ftp server, exploiting a race condition to upload shell scripts over ftp and then have them execute, enabling additional vulnerable services, and some more.”

Maybe you can parse that into understandable english; maybe not. Either way, the point is that these routers are not safe, and even if your router is not on the list of those tested by the ISE, it’s still worth taking all of the necessary precautions to keep your information and network secure.

How FlashRouters Can Help You

The Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight - Tomato Router

The Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight – Tomato Router

So your router is vulnerably; astoundingly so, even. What can you do?

According to CNET, there are basic steps that everyone should take – practice rudimentary, obvious caution when giving your information on the internet, make sure your router is properly set up – but that will only take you part of the way. Craig Heffner at Tactical Network Solutions offers this tip: “The best thing you can do is open a third-party firmware such as…Tomato.”

And wouldn’t you know it, FlashRouters just happens to offer routers flashed with Tomato firmware; the best available, in fact. Our routers come equipped with this high-quality firmware in order to ensure that A) you don’t end up bricking the router by going through the tricky process of trying to install this firmware and B) your router comes out the box ready to revolutionize your wireless network and stabilize your online security.

Some of our most popular Tomato routers include the Cisco Linksys E4200, which is one of the fastest personal-class routers available, turned into a beast when upgraded with Tomato firmware. Then of course, there’s the Dark Knight, the Asus RT-N66U Tomato FlashRouter, the superhero of our router line, one whose speed, power, and reliability make it the world-class router to beat.

Want more security flaw information and privacy news? Follow us on Twitter (@flashrouters) or like us on Facebook.

 

 

The Difference Between Wireless-N, Wireless-AC and Wireless-AD

Difference Between Wireless G, N, AC

UPDATED 7/17/2018

People generally refer to all Wireless Internet as WiFi but, as with a lot of technical jargon, WiFi as a term is often misused. Are you one of those people constantly asking: Why is my Internet or my WiFi so slow?

Very often, it is not the Internet provider’s fault. Rather, it all comes down to the type of router you are using and the speed it offers.

Table Of Contents

What Are The Different Wireless Standards?

The wireless standard that we know today was created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.

IEEE 802.11 is a wireless networking standard created to keep manufacturers wireless routers and wireless networking devices (PS4, Laptops, Tablets, SmartTVs,  XboxOne, iPhones, Roku) on the same page. These standards include IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ad. So what are these standards and what do they have to do with you?

What is Wireless-G & Wireless-N?

Wireless-G and Wireless-N are terms referring to 802.11g and 802.11n wireless networking standards set by the IEEE.

802.11g was a wireless standard is on its way out from modern usage. It offered speeds of up to 54 Mbps and was quickly adopted due its its upgrade in speed over 802.11b.

For example, most coffee shop hotspot routers run on Wireless-G (54 Mbps) or even Wireless-B (11 Mbps). They are constantly being shared by many people so it can be somewhat slow to connect and actually surf the web.

Wireless-N was created to improve network throughput (maximum speed and transmission capabilities) over the two prior standards—802.11b and 802.11g.

Wireless-N was a significant upgrade from Wireless-G for the following reasons:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rate from 54Mbps to up to 900Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities to 40 Mhz
  • Increased security and improvement of stability and range

While these features may have been an upgrade from Wireless-G, Wireless-N is now being phased out with a new successor. Luckily, new routers and wireless standards will still support Wireless-N and the older wireless standards.

Looking for a router that supports your Wireless-N devices? Check out our Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter!

What is Wireless-AC?

Wireless-AC is the next iteration of the IEEE’s wireless standards. The 802.11ac standard greatly improves nearly every aspect of Wireless-N.

Wireless-AC has increasingly become more formalized and is essentially the minimum for every wireless-capable device. Some improvements include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 5300 Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities of 80 Mhz as well as an optional 160 Mhz channel
  • Additional 5 Ghz frequency band for faster speeds and less wireless clutter

For the best Wireless-AC speeds we recommend the Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter.

What is Wireless-AD?

Wireless-AD is among the newest wireless standards to hit the consumer market. As with any new wireless standard, nearly every aspect has been improved and upgraded. Some of these upgrades include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 7200 Mbps
  • Additional 60 Ghz frequency band
  • High quality 4K movie downloads in mere minutes

However, Wireless-AD is not backward compatible. Simply put, there are few very Wireless-AD compatible devices that support the new 60 Ghz frequency band.

What is Wireless-AD? The Netgear R9000 DD-WRT

Currently, that makes Wireless-AD a great future proofing feature on the routers that support it, such as the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200 DD-WRT FlashRouter. When Wireless-AD becomes adopted as the standard, you will be ready.

Why Should You Upgrade To Wireless-AC?

Hanging onto an older Wireless-G or Wireless-N router means you are sacrificing overall speed and security while actually hindering the wireless capabilities for newer devices.

Using a Wireless-G or Wireless-N router with your iPad may feel like trying to catching a fish with a stick. It may eventually work, but it certainly not the most efficient way to get the job done. This is not an iPhone 6S to iPhone 7 type upgrade where you have a little bit sleeker device and a few new features to play with. When a wireless standard is jumped, you are talking MAJOR wireless connectivity improvements.

Want to see the differences between Wireless AC, Wireless-N and Wireless-G? Well, here’s a quick breakdown for you.

 Wireless-GWireless-NWireless-AC
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Up To Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)

Of course, these ranges are maximum distances in optimal conditions. Most of us don’t live in a world where there are no other wireless interference. Even if you don’t see any other wireless signals in your range, there is still a laundry list of devices that can cost you range, such as cordless phones, baby monitors and even microwaves.

While Wireless-AD is the latest iteration of the standard, getting a premium Wireless-AC router is the best way to ensure compatibility with the best performance.

Here is a handy list of some of our most popular Wireless-AC Routers and their manufacturer speed maximums:

Top FlashRouters By Maximum Speeds

Wireless-AC 1900 Mbps
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 DD-WRT Top Budget Wireless-AC Option
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 2400 Mbps
Asus RT-AC87U DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 2600 Mbps
Netgear R7800 X4S DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 3200 Mbps
Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT – Best Recommended Wireless-AC Router
Netgear x6 R8000 AC3200 DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 5300 Mbps
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT

Wireless-AD 7200 Mbps
Netgear R9000 DD-WRT – Most Powerful DD-WRT Router of 2018

If you are looking to get “faster wifi,” these are the devices you want to buy.

Upgrading these router’s firmware to the powerful DD-WRT firmware platform on all of these routers, as FlashRouters does, allows you more control over the signal while improving signal strength and stability. Many of these routers have excellent hardware but the manufacturer’s firmware actually hinders their abilities.

Buying one of these router with a DD-WRT upgrade  can make a world of difference in their overall performance and create a new bedrock for your networking gateway.

For more DD-WRT Router & VPN Service Provider info, product updates, and specials, follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.

Fixes for Apple Wi-Fi Issues (iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs): Pt. I

Can the iPad Come Out and Play?

Apple users tend to be very attached to their iPads, AppleTVs, iPhones & Macbooks for intuitive, consistent interface. However, their number one complaint is either flaky or absent Wi-Fi when using Apple networking products like the Apple Airport Extreme, Apple Time Capsule, or Airport Express in their network.

Apple devices are meant to work well in their own contained ecosystem but when they enter the real world, they don’t necessarily play well with others. And while you can control this pretty easily at home, it is unlikely that everywhere you go will be using Apple friendly hardware. Fortunately, there are several ways of checking if the issue is fixable. The first thing you should do is check for Wireless Channels & Wireless Signal Interference.

Wireless Signal Interference

You may not know it, but placing your router next to the wrong household appliance could be the cause of your connection problems. Apple lists a large array of possible root causes of signal loss & possible wireless hindrances for iPads, AppleTVs etc that operate on the same band as wireless routers (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) including:

  • Microwave ovens (i.e. Using your microwave oven near your computer).
  • 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz cordless telephones, baby monitors, digital cameras or wireless speakers.
  • Direct Satellite Service (DSS): Coax cable and connectors used with certain types of satellite dishes may cause interference. Check cable damage and obtain newer cables if you suspect RF leakage.
  • External Computer Monitors & LCD displays: Certain displays may emit harmonic interference, especially in the 2.4GHz band between channels 11 and 14. This interference would probably be at its worst if you have a portable computer with the lid closed and an external monitor connected to it. Try changing your access point to use 5 GHz or a lower 2.4 GHz channel.

How to Test for Wireless Interference/Channels

One excellent habit to get into if you are having signal issues and live in a high density area is to use the free tool inSSIDer.

inSSIDer is an intuitive program that allows you to scan and see where all those wireless signals on your Internet Connection options menu are coming from and if they are conflicting with yours. You can also see the strength of your own network in comparison to those around you.

Screenshot-of-the-free-Wi-Fi-Analyzing-Program-inSSIDer

As you can see, there are a lot of wireless signals around me. I live in a highly populated area (in lovely suburban New Jersey) inside a cluster of houses and across the street from a 5 floor apartment building. There are tons of wireless signals and SSIDs, and plenty of interference on all wireless channels. Oftentimes it is hard for me to even find an open channel, so if I am having signal issues, I just try switching them up

The wireless signal transmission options in the US for the 2.4 Ghz standard wireless band are 1, 6, and 11. These signals vary from country to country. Wikipedia has a highly technical page that goes into an in-depth analysis of wireless signals.

Most routers have a wireless channel option of Auto. However, if you leave the router on for an extended period time without rebooting, it may not be constantly checking for the best channel, but rather only checking for the best channel at the time the router loads. This is one of the reasons why rebooting your router seems to magically fix many common issues.

Mobile Wi-FI Scanning Apps & Using Wireless-N Properly

If you want to scan wireless signals, wireless channels and interference on the go, we recommend the excellent and also free WiFi Analyzer app for Android, iPad or iPhone that you can see below.

wifianalyzer-24ghz-vs-5ghz

Sadly, my laptop does not have a 5 GHz WiFi signal but my new Samsung Galaxy III does and you can see the difference in signal clarity. I’m all alone up HERE!

OSGU3 is an ISP router that is in Mixed Wireless Mode to accommodate other WiFi users with older devices in my home that do not have Wireless-N capabilities. If all your devices are on Wireless-N and you do not have to capitulate to the slow Wireless-G speeds, changing your Wireless Network mode from Mixed to N-Only will likely give a signal boost.

Both of the signals on my Simultaneous Dual Band DD-WRT Netgear R7000 are optimized for AC-Only.

With my DD-WRT router, I can also view and tweak the options of each signal and have decided to capitalize on this 5 GHz opening by making this a Wireless-N only signal, thereby allowing it to transmit at its highest capacity.

DDWRT-5Ghz-Wireless-Status

The issue with 5 GHz is that it’s signal distance is not as great. 5 GHz is preferred for streaming unencumbered wireless video at closer distances. If you will be working in a good proximity to your router most of the time with an iPad or later version iPhone but can’t plug in, using a Dual Band router and tweaking its 5 GHz settings may solve the problem. If you are having a poor Netflix experience with you AppleTV or Roku, switching the signal to the 5 GHz band on a DD-WRT router could do the trick.

DD-WRT is a router based firmware upgrade that improves signal stability and performance. It also has many advanced features that don’t usually come with a router such as Repeater/Client Bridge modes, OpenVPN server/client options and a whole lot more. To learn more about upgraded options that come with the DD-WRT firmware upgrade, check out our Intro to DD-WRT.

For more wireless connection tips, check back next week where we will be discussing wireless encryption tips.  You can also follow us on Twitter@flashrouters or like us on Facebook.