Wireless Bridges are a Scam

  2007-12-18


Disclaimer: I am not a hardware guy. The days when I enjoyed cracking open a computer case and poking around are long since past. These days if I can’t fix something via keyboard, I want no part of it.

Unfortunately, for a client I needed to extend a LAN from Building A across 30 feet of asphalt to Building B. Time to don my Net Admin hat to install a nice straightforward WiFi bridge.

Despite already owning a Linksys WRT54G series router, I decided to just pickup 2 Linksys WET54G wireless bridges (version 3.1). The bridges are actually more expensive than routers. But that just means they’re better suited for their simple task, right? Wrong…

The 2 WET54Gs have been nothing but trouble for me. Their web interface sometimes redirects to the hardcoded IP address. They drop their connection and require resetting a lot. They just don’t work reliably.

So I flashed the WRT54G with Tomato firmware to replace one of the WET54Gs, and so far things are working much better.

If I’ve never mentioned it before: I love Tomato firmware. I’ve been using it at home for ages and never have to reset it. The features are outstanding (QoS with ACK Prioritization is a lifesaver when working over SSH).

From now on anytime I need a WiFi router, access point, or bridge, I’m going to buy a WRT54G and put Tomato on it. Its cheaper than buying specialized Access Points or Bridges and has lots more features.

Did I mention Tomato generates sexy real-time graphs in SVG? Have a screenshot:

Tomato Firmware Bandwidth Graph