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#368823 - 08/05/2017 01:31 Client mode AC router
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Greetings, folks!

I'm feeling hopeful today after seeing that France is sane. Could this turn into good news for a stupid gadget that I'm having trouble finding? I hope so!

I need to connect one or two devices to my wireless router, and these devices don't have wireless. So I'm looking for a product that will do that. Initially, I bought one of these, and it seemed like a winner, but when I started the setup process for client mode it couldn't see ANY networks at all. So that one went back.

Then I tried this, and when I got into the administration for it I found there were no settings for client mode, and then found a single Netgear forum post where someone from the company said it didn't support client mode. Well, somebody should fix the part of the Amazon listing that specifically mentions client mode. So that one is going back tomorrow.

I don't want to return another device and I'm hoping that third time is a charm. One of the problems I'm having is that I can't find a standard term for what I'm looking for. I always used to call this a "wireless bridge," but just because that's what the Linksys device was called when I bought it in 2004 or whenever to connect an old desktop to an 802.11b network. What would you folks say is the more common or accurate term? Client mode? Bridge mode? I'm most certainly not looking for a repeater. I just need to plug in wired devices and make them wireless. It could be one device but more would be better.

Thanks! And Vive la France!
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Matt

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#368824 - 08/05/2017 02:41 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
K447
addict

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 584
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Dignan
...
I need to connect one or two devices to my wireless router, and these devices don't have wireless.

... I just need to plug in wired devices and make them wireless. It could be one device but more would be better...
In the past I have used an Apple Airport Express for just this function. I suspect the full size Apple Airport routers can also be configured this way.

One nice thing about the Apple WiFi router devices is that you configure them using an app, not via a browser to an IP address. Once you get the hang of using the app, much quicker than futzing with IP addresses that disappear each time the thing reboots itself.

A similar device category is WISP, some of which also have an Ethernet port. I use a WISP device to share hotel WiFi (which is restricted to a single device IP) with multiple in-room devices. I think it can also link the on-board Ethernet port to the WiFi host.


Edited by K447 (08/05/2017 02:43)

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#368825 - 08/05/2017 03:43 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
"client bridge" is probably the right term.... well what I'd use at least.

Something with DD-WRT/Tomato or similar should have no problem doing it too.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368826 - 08/05/2017 03:46 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368827 - 08/05/2017 13:21 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Shonky]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: K447
In the past I have used an Apple Airport Express for just this function.

I actually like the web UI because it doesn't require installing software anywhere. It's one of the things I don't like about my Google Wifi products.

The other problem is that the Airport Express is 802.11n, and I need ac. I'm definitely not going to drop $200 on whatever device I end up getting, so the Extreme is out.

Originally Posted By: Shonky
"client bridge" is probably the right term.... well what I'd use at least.

I've seen that used too, but I've also seen most of these terms used for other setups. There's a lot of confusion...

Quote:
Something with DD-WRT/Tomato or similar should have no problem doing it too.

Good point. I'd rather not mess with DD-WRT, but I will if I have to.

Originally Posted By: Shonky

That's a good example of the confusion I've had. It looks like that router has three modes:

AP - just a regular router

WDS - not the kind of WDS I'm familiar with. I thought WDS always described a repeater, which rebroadcasts the signal from the main router and consequently halves the bandwidth to the devices connected to the repeater. But according to that manual, WDS is what I want, where it connects to the main router wirelessly but disables the wireless broadcast.

Hybrid - basically what I thought WDS was as described above.

The terminology is all over the place and it's maddening.

I'll consider that one, but $110 is still a little more than I'm hoping to pay for this.
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Matt

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#368828 - 08/05/2017 13:47 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
I decided to go with this. I like that it's purpose-built, and while Western Digital isn't exactly a trusted name in networking, I've used their products for things like this before. Sometime around 2010 I used their powerline products and was very impressed with them. Hopefully this will be a similar case.

Thanks for the help, folks. I'll let you know if the third time's a charm, or if I end up sending yet another product back (the reviews don't give me a ton of confidence). I wonder how many things Amazon will take back before they start complaining...
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Matt

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#368829 - 08/05/2017 13:57 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Haha! I just found an Amazon listing for the Linksys bridge I mentioned using back in the early '00s. I really hope that nobody would buy one of these.

It supports "up to 128-bit WEP encryption!" Wow!
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Matt

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#368830 - 08/05/2017 14:07 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5677
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I bought one of those to try any get Rio Receivers onto wifi. Sadly the Ethernet chipset on the Receivers never did get on with them.
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#368831 - 08/05/2017 15:27 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: andy]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: andy
I bought one of those to try any get Rio Receivers onto wifi. Sadly the Ethernet chipset on the Receivers never did get on with them.

Did you try it with any other devices?
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Matt

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#368832 - 08/05/2017 15:53 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5677
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Yes, I have used it with other devices, it worked ok. I have no idea whether I've still got it or not (could well be lurking in a box somewhere).
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#368833 - 08/05/2017 19:04 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: andy]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: andy
Yes, I have used it with other devices, it worked ok. I have no idea whether I've still got it or not (could well be lurking in a box somewhere).

Ok, I'll take that as an endorsement (if not a ringing one)...I guess laugh

The main purpose for this will be to stream media to my Tivo Mini, which requires either a wired connection or coax (using moca). This requirement is understandable, given the amount of data it's using, but I figure that 802.11ac, which wasn't around when the Mini was released, should have enough bandwidth to handle HD video. I don't have coax or ethernet to the place where the Mini will be going in my new office space, hence the need for this bridge. I also figured it would be good when I have a client's desktop in for a tuneup and it doesn't have wifi in it.
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Matt

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#368835 - 09/05/2017 05:42 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2646
Loc: Manteca, California
Don't think these are available anymore. But I have one connected to a bedroom Dtv dvr to give it a connection. Seems to just do what is needed. Once setup I've not had to mess with it.
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Glenn

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#368837 - 09/05/2017 23:43 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
N would probably be fast enough, but I'd like to go with ac if possible. I just got the WD device today but haven't had a chance to set it up.
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Matt

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#368839 - 10/05/2017 05:53 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
*sigh* ...

I'm really frustrated at this point. The WD product is also a no-go, and I've figured out why it and the TrendNet device didn't work.

Antiquated radios.

Both devices were completely unable to see the SSID of my wireless network. I found this puzzling, of course, but chalked the problem with the TrendNet device up to a malfunctioning device because it couldn't see ANY radios.

But I tried setting up the WD bridge tonight and it too couldn't see my SSID, though it could see a very weak SSID from one of my neighbors. I believe that the TrendNet didn't see it because that was a much smaller device with a weaker radio.

After much searching online, it looks like several people have complained about the radio in the WD My Net AC being outdated and unable to connect to the higher channels on the 5GHz range. Apparently if your router isn't broadcasting in the 36-40 range, it's invisible. A quick check with WiFi Analyzer shows that my Google WiFi and OnHub are broadcasting on channel 149, with no way of changing it.

Ugh.

So the search is on for an even narrower product category than I was looking for already. I may have to switch to routers running DD-WRT after all.

This sucks. The WD device would have been perfect.
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Matt

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#368840 - 10/05/2017 12:08 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1350
Loc: MA but Irish born
Can you not put a Google Wifi puck at that location? Let it do the meshing and just plug into the LAN port? Or am I missing something?

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#368841 - 10/05/2017 17:58 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Phoenix42]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: Phoenix42
Can you not put a Google Wifi puck at that location? Let it do the meshing and just plug into the LAN port? Or am I missing something?

Nope.

The main reason is that the Google WiFi puck is being used as my primary router, connected to the feed from the FIOS ONT box outside. This location will be very close to that spot, but not able to run a cable to it. My old OnHub is two floors away covering the other part of the house. Moving it nearby would be silly. I also don't want to use wireless mesh when I can have all my APs wired.
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Matt

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#368842 - 10/05/2017 19:24 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
This sucks. The WD device would have been perfect.


My prior experience with this class of device has convinced me that the next time I have to do this, I'll add simply add DD-WRT to an old router to get the job done.

Originally I bought one of those kinds of devices and it seemed to work, but my entire network had intermittent flaky troubles which all went away as soon as I ripped the thing back out again.
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Tony Fabris

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#368843 - 10/05/2017 19:53 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Quote:
This sucks. The WD device would have been perfect.


My prior experience with this class of device has convinced me that the next time I have to do this, I'll add simply add DD-WRT to an old router to get the job done.

Originally I bought one of those kinds of devices and it seemed to work, but my entire network had intermittent flaky troubles which all went away as soon as I ripped the thing back out again.

I think you're right, Tony. Even then, it's difficult to check DD-WRT compatability beforehand. For example, my favorite inexpensive AC routers are TP-Link's Archer C5 or C9. The C5 can sometimes be found at Microcenter for $59. DD-WRT's router lookup tool doesn't show the C5, but the wiki kinda hints that it's supported? Maybe? There's the DD-WRT I know and love, creating confusion...
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Matt

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#368844 - 11/05/2017 17:38 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
DD-WRT is a nightmare for documentation these days -- and I don't mean just setting-by-setting style of documentation, but also "does it work on xxxx router?"

If you want something more straightforward, I can highly recommend "Merlin" firmware for ASUS routers. There's a very simple compatibility list, and it has "media bridge" mode which is what would be appropriate here as a "client bridge."


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#368845 - 12/05/2017 00:02 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Asus appear to have the media bridge feature in stock firmware generally.


Edited by Shonky (12/05/2017 00:02)
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368846 - 12/05/2017 04:32 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Thanks, Mark and Christian. It looks like I'll be trying the Asus router next. I'll start with the stock firmware and go from there.

I just hooked up the TP-Link Archer C5, but it doesn't have any sort of "media bridge" or "client bridge" mode. So then I looked around to see if any of the firmware replacements supported it, and HEY! no they don't. Looks like they supported v1.2 but apparently they switched to a Broadcom chip in my V2 product, and there's something about licensing blah blah it's not going to work.

I'll keep this one to sell to a client but now I need my FOURTH device. This is just insane. I keep thinking about how I had a wireless bridge over ten years ago. I guess that in this day and age where everything is wireless already, it's a much smaller market.
_________________________
Matt

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#368847 - 15/05/2017 12:54 Re: Client mode AC router [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
I've thrown in the towel. I've looked at my new office space again and I have a way to get a wired connection to it, going under a staircase and through my furnace room. Wired is better anyway, so I guess I have my happy ending. I'll just put a switch at my desk and hook up as many wired devices as I want.
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Matt

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