October 15, 2006

Linksys WRT54GL Installation and Setup Fun

Last night I finally tackled installing and setting up my new Linksys WRT54GL. I've been wanting to access the Internet with my laptop from anywhere in my house and now it is finally a reality. It took a little bit to get working, though.

My current setup consists of an Asante FLC3004 router that I have my computer and laptop hooked up to. I wanted to keep the Asante as my main router, especially since it allows me to put my Samsung ML-1430 laser printer (which is only parallel and USB) on the network - I got this working fine in Linux, but have not been able to get this working in OS X.

Looking through the WRT54GL's manual, it talks about changing the main router's IP address so there isn't a conflict. Asante's default IP address didn't conflict with the IP listed in the manual, so I left it alone. The manual also seemed to suggest that I should plug the WRT54GL into one of the ports of my main router and have the other side plug into the WAN/Internet port of the WRT54GL. This didn't work for me at all and showed another problem - while the WRT54GL has a default IP address, the Asante would assign it a different IP address.

I saw no way to change the IP address that the Asante would assign to that port and I was absolutely stumped at how I could access the WRT54GL's setup and change it's IP address to match that of the IP address the Asante gives it. The idea finally came to me to have my laptop connected to the WRT54GL, which then allowed me to get into the setup and change the default IP address.

Now, instead of the long time of trying to connect to the WRT54GL from my main computer, I got an automatic unable to connect message. I finally found the answer to this on Asante's support forum that had a post of someone trying to do the same thing as me. The solution: instead of plugging into the WAN/Internet port of the WRT54GL, plug it into one of it's other ports. After thinking about it for a while, it made complete sense: the WRT54GL would view my attempts to connect to it from the desktop as an attempt to connect to it from the Internet as opposed to the LAN.

I was able to connect to the setup from my desktop after that, setting up the security and fun things like that. Now came the real test: could my laptop connect wirelessly? It did so without a hitch. I've got an excellent signal everywhere in my house, including downstairs (while my router is upstairs). I definitely look forward to having fun with this.
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