SMC2804WBRP-G or Sweex LC000070 useable?

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Paul, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    We need to connect a group of PC's to a free-to-use local WiFi Hotspot. This
    is the setup:

    WWW-[Hotspot] path...ant.[my w'less router]- wired to local PC's

    The radio link is not the problem, the signal is quite strong. I just don't
    know how to make the my router connect to the public hotspot and distribute
    internet access to the local computers. I already have 2 wireless broadband
    routers, a SMC2804WBRP-G and a Sweex LC000070. From an earlier post I
    understand I need a Bridge and in the manuals of neither of the two can I
    find any reference they can be used as such. Is there some way I could still
    use this equipment, load different firmware perhaps?

    If not, what is the best way to go, what else would I need? Any cheap

    Paul, Sep 8, 2005
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  2. Paul

    Steve Berry Guest

    Hi Paul,

    Came across your post whilst Googling "Sweex" for something else - thought
    I'd try and do my Good Samaritan deed for the day.
    I can't speak for your SMC2804WBRP-G but with the Sweex LC000070 ( with the
    default firmware R1.97d7a ) you can definetly do it.
    I've got that setup at home - two Sweex LC000070's one acting as a WDS
    (Wireless Distribution Service) bridge to the external router attached to
    the Cable Modem. I had to buy two because the transmission strength of the
    Sweex is abysmal - paradoxically at home that's actually good - stops the
    neigbours accessing it.
    Anyhowz, I digress. I'll get to your issue but FYI the Sweex LC000070
    interface is almost identical to a USR 8003 and Sweex (previously inexq)
    won't release
    their source code to the routers (running Linux - embedded probably) even
    though they are under the GPL. Draw your own conclusions from that. Somewhat
    Anywayz, to your problem - basically ere's how the scenario applied to me -
    take the bits applicable to you.

    Client PCs ( x however many you have ) <----> Internal Router (Bridge)
    <----> External Router <----> Cable Modem

    Long onto the Internal Router - by default
    1-Click the Basic\Wireless link.
    2-Click the "WDS Setting" button.
    3-Select "Enable" for "Wireless Bridging"
    4-Enter the MAC address of the router you want to bridge to ( be aware on
    some LC000070s the wrong mac address is stamped on the bottom of them
    this is true for both of mine ) You can verify what mac addresses you should
    be entering by downloading NetStunbler and running that on the clients.
    The MAC addresses it reports are the ones you need. Click Save/reboot the
    5-From the Basic\Wireless screen click the "MAC Address Control" button.
    6-Disable Connection/Association/MAC Address control ( initially anyway -
    you can re-enable them later after hopefully getting the basic connection to
    work ).
    8-From the "Basic\DHCP Server" menu make sure you disable DHCP - that's
    important - won't work otherwise.
    7-Set up the remote AP in a simlar fashion ( obviously you'll need to
    consult it's docs ) but make sure DHCP is enabled on this one

    You obviously may have further issues to deal with ( for me having two
    identical routers made it a little easier ).
    You may also find Googling "Wireless Distribution Service" helps - most of
    the big name routers already have this functionalitry and life being life
    the little
    guys (Sweex in this case) have nicked the functionality.


    Rgds, S

    Steve Berry, Sep 9, 2005
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  3. Paul

    Steve Berry Guest

    Sorry - one point I should have mentioned.
    I may be wrong but AFAIK, WDS works with same manufacturer access points.
    If the remote device is not a Sweex you *may* be out of luck.

    Steve Berry, Sep 9, 2005
  4. Paul

    Paul Guest


    Thanks a LOT for your help; I have enough information for now I suppose,
    I'll just try and see how I go. Is it really nescessary to know the remote
    AP info and change settings in it? This might be a problem as it is in
    someone's house who hasn't a clue about it, it is managed remotely by the
    local wireless club and they are very understaffed and not too keen to spend
    time sorting out 'problems' from non-standard users...

    I'd think my set would just connect to the remote like any wireless card in
    a laptop, then internally change it for distribution to the connected PC.
    Remember I don not need to connect those wirelessly. One of our members also
    said something about having a 'server' for our event; could we just connect
    that wirelessly to the remote AP and somehow hitch the other machines to
    that server? Would that alleviate the problem?

    Paul, Sep 9, 2005
  5. Paul

    Steve Berry Guest


    As far as the Sweex goes yes you do need to know the remote AP MAC address
    (and the local one for that matter).
    Think about the security implications - imagine two wireless routers/APs
    setup to allow WDS.
    If you didn't have to specify which MACs can connect than theoretically any
    wireless client ( of whatever type - Router/PC etc.. ) could connect ( Joe
    Bloggs from down the street for instance driving past in his van with his
    laptop on the dashboard for example )..
    Whilst that's a WDS feature I'd actually like to see (allow the user to
    choose it if they want) the LC000070 doesn't support it (yet).
    I suspect if you worked this one back up to the IETF level (standards body)
    that's a deliberate/conscious
    decision with security issues in mind. If anyone else reading this uses WDS
    in a fashion where they don't have to specify MAC addresses, I'd like to
    I'd also like to know what routers support this.
    As for your scenario, I'm still not sure you'll actually be able to use WDS
    bearing in mind the routers are probably from different manufacturers
    (something I've never tried). You'll be taking a chance. How can you be sure
    one Vendor's implementation of WDS will be compatible enough with another
    Vendor's without testing it ?
    It's not your machines that's the point here ( or how they're connected to
    your local router - wireless/ethernet that doesn't matter ), it's how WDS
    functions - a very specific standard with very specific features
    As far as your server query goes - that's just a straight-forward connecting
    a box to a router issue - if the server wireless NIC can "see" the router
    and the router is setup to allow access you should have no problems - you
    could then use NAT/ICS on the server for example (both Windows-(through
    ICS/NAT/RRAS)/UNIX variants (Linux blah..blah..) support this) to allow your
    local clients to connect through the server box. You've got quite a bit of
    Additionally if you try to go down the WDS route, you'll have additional
    issues to worry about
    like finding out the SSID/Channel ID of the remote AP, making sure your
    local SSID is unique and your Channel ID matches the Channel ID
    being used by the remote AP, whether you're going to use encryption etc....
    If you'd like my opinion, for your scenario, I'd ditch the WDS approach and
    go with the server/wireless NIC approach instead.
    Reason ? WDS primarily works best where you are in control of both ends of
    the connection - local & remote. If you don't have access to either
    end it can be more trouble than it's worth.



    Steve Berry, Sep 9, 2005
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