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Wireless Router Configuration Example - WRT54G

Lynksys WRT54GA wireless router may perform many tasks depending on your requirements. Many of them support PPTP and L2TP tunnel protocols that may be used with cable internet providers as well as PPPoE, static IP address and server assigned IP address for use on home networks. A wireless router will typically have five ethernet ports, four of them being used as LAN ports for the routers built in switch and the fifth being a WAN or Wide Area Network port. It is really the the presence of the WAN interface that seperates a Wireless Router from an Access Point and understanding the WAN ports purpose is essential to the correct configuration of a Wireless Router. The diagram below this paragraph illustrates a typical use of a Wireless Router.

Wireless Router Network Diagram

A router is a device that determines the destination of a packet of data it receives, selects the best path to that destination and then forwards the data to the next device on this path. For this to take place generally a router will have at least two interfaces (network adaptors) though routers used in ISP's or large businesses may have quite a few more. In the instance of the Linksys WRT54G it has a WAN (Wide Area Network) interface and a LAN (Local Area Network) interface. The WAN interface is a single ethernet port that is usually plugged into a cable or DSL modem. The LAN interface on the WRT54G is really bridged accross the Wireless Access Point and the four port switch that are built into it so it will appear to have the same IP address regardless of whether you are connecting to it via ethernet or wireless, in our example 192.168.2.1

The WAN interface on our example has been statically assigned an IP address of 192.168.1.20, like all of our examples the subnet mask is 255.255.255.0 and the gateway address has been configured as 192.168.1.1 which is an ADSL modem. The router knows that any data destined for the internet should be sent to this adsl modem. Notice that the network used on the WAN interface (192.168.1.XX) is different to the one used on the LAN interface (192.168.2.XX). If they were on the same network the router could not function as it would not be able to tell which interface it should be sending the data to. Our example network has two wireless clients and two ethernet clients with addresses ranging from 192.168.2.100 to 192.168.2.103 that use the router to access the internet via the ADSL modem.


Configuring the WRT54G

The Linksys WRT54G comes with a default LAN IP address of 192.168.1.1 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. The default username is admin and the default password is also admin. There is no encryption or security set and the SSID transmitted is linksys to make the device identifiable as initial configuration is possible via wireless as well as by ethernet. Plug the router into a power outlet. If you are configuring the device via wireless manually configure the IP address on your wireless card to 192.168.1.100 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and join the linksys wireless network. If you are connecting to the access point via ethernet connect it to your computer with an ethernet cable plugged into any of the linksys's ports that are numbered 1-4. Configure the IP address on your local area connection to 192.168.1.100 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. These actions are described in better detail in the tutorials section. We recommend that you initially configure things like access points and routers using an ethernet connection as it avoids the possibility of locking yourself out of the router when you configure the wireless security settings.

WRT54G Login - Click to EnlargeOnce you have connected the WRT54G to your computer its time to login and configure it. Open up a web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or whatever you would normally look at web pages with) on your computer and in the address field type http://192.168.1.1 . If you have configured your network adapter successfully a box will appear on the screen prompting you to enter a username and password. Into this box enter the modems default username of admin and into the password field type in the default password, which is also admin. Both should be entered into the login box in lower case with no spaces.

 

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