HOW-TO: Connect your Linksys WRT54G network to the internet wirelessly

Eliot 1

Got friendly neighbors that want to share their broadband connection with you? Even if they don't want to, you can still use "client mode" to share a single wireless internet connection with your entire home network. You also get the added bonus of a firewall between your network and the private network you're connecting to. This tutorial shows you how to upgrade your Linksys WRT54G to a third-party firmware and then enable client mode.

We?ll be installing the Sveasoft Alchemy firmware. The Linksys WRT54G is based on GPL?d code which means Linksys had to release the routers source code when the router was manufactured. Many groups have been modifying this code to create third-party firmwares with enhanced features like client mode.

Setting this up is pretty easy: First you need to head over to and download the firmware. After you unzip the file you can upgrade the router using the method built into the Linksys firmware. Once that is done you just need to set the SSID of the ?host? router you want to connect to and set the ip address of the ?client? router to one that doesn?t conflict.

Watch the flash tutorial to get all of the details.

This method works really well if you want to connect your wired network safely to a possibly unfriendly network. If you just want to extend your own network with a wireless bridge you won?t need the firewall.

Using client mode forces the wireless side of the ?client? to act as a bridge with the ?host?; you will no longer be able to connect to the ?client? router using your wireless devices. If you want the router to act as a wireless repeater you can use WDS, which is supported by the Alchemy firmware. You will need a ?host? router that also supports WDS: another WRT54G, an Apple Airport Express or Extreme will work fine. Apple has an article about setting up WDS on an Airport.

If you?re looking for a really flexible firmware you can install openWRT by following HOW-TO: WRT Client Mode over at hackaday, but that?s only recomended for masochistic dedicated hackers.