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WRE54G Finally Working With WPA

WRE54GThe Linksys WRE54G is one of the most retarded pieces of equipment I’ve ever owned. The web interface is buggy and the documentation is as clear as mud. Oh yeah, and it didn’t support WPA out of the box (at least when I bought it a few years ago).

Anyway, I have an occasion where the repeater is necessary. My wife’s computer, which now must use WiFi, was having problems connecting to the access point at the other end of the house. Time to dig this thing out of whatever box I had it shoved in and get it to work.

For those of you whom have never tried using a WiFi repeater, the basic idea is that the repeater uses the exact same settings as your master WiFi router. The repeaters talk to the routers using something called Wireless Distribution System (WDS). WDS ensures data is communicated between the master WiFi router and the repeaters.

However, configuring this isn’t exactly easy. I had to get into chat with some dude at Linksys to get this working. Apparently, my method of clone all the settings, including the security settings, was not going to work. Mostly because the web interface on the WRE54G didn’t allow the SSID and IP address information to be changed once security was enabled.

Essentially, you have to set all this up without security (WEP or WPA) enabled. This means getting the SSID, IP address, and channel to match on both the router and WRE54G. Then enable the security settings in the WRE54G, which must either be WEP or WPA-PSK. Save it. Then enable security in the WiFi router again. Save it.

Now my wife is getting a nice, strong WiFi signal down in her office. It will probably help me as I roam around the house with my various Nokia phones, which all say my SSID has 2 access points. ;)

It’s possible that the later versions of this hardware have better documentation and WPA support in the box. If you’ve used one of the v2 or v3 WRE54G’s, leave your feedback in the comments.


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