This stuff is just way too cool. I am building an arcade cabinet that I plan to have completed by the end of summer. The parts for the PC that will run the software for this cabinet will be here on Monday. The issue is that the space I currently have to build this system is nowhere close to my router, and fishing up a cable through the walls up to the second floor is a no-go. I also didn't want to spend the money to get a wi-fi card for the desktop system and have another piece of hardware that could potentially fail and also require drivers, settings, etc.
I will need to have this PC be connected to the internet and my other computer on the network so I can install Windows updates (Using Windows 7-64bit Professional), get drivers, and transfer files from my laptop to the new system. I don't have the room to do this in the room that my laptop is in, so I would need to repeatedly go up and downstairs in order to transfer files via a USB flash drive. A real pain the butt. Plus, I still wouldn't be able to access the internet unless I brought the built PC downstairs and hardwired it into my router. A total pain and not something I'd easily be able to do considering I'm still recovering from my shoulder surgery earlier this month.
Looking around the house, I had an old Linksys WRT54GS, version 7.0, router lying around. I wondered if I could use this to act as a wireless bridge. Checking online, this is a no-go as Linksys would rather have you pay over $100 to get their dedicated wireless bridge which is simply a wireless router with different firmware.
It was at this point that I discovered this WW-DRT firmware. This has apparently been around for a good long while now, and has won court cases filed against them as the courts deemed it 100% perfeclty legal to install your own firmware on hardware you have purchased. (In a sense, it's perfeclty legal to put custom firmware on your PS3/PS4, but in the same regard it's also perfectly legal for Sony to ban you from any online gaming or playing any games on your system if you do so. Linksys, or any other router manufacturer, can't do anything to you if you put this DD-WRT firmware on your router).
With this firmware, it opens up virtually all possible features of the hardware. It is a bit confusing on how to do this, and you can completely brick your router and make it useless. Since this is an older router that I wasn't using anymore, bricking it was no concern of mine. Thankfully, the complete erasure of the OEM firmware and installation of the DD-WRT firmware went without a hitch. After spending the time to install the custom firmware, I turned off the wireless card in my laptop and put an ethernet cable from the laptop to the newly flashed Linksys router. I was able to easily login the newly flashed router and see the amazing new features now present on the router that weren't implemented by Linksys. Having previously opened up instructions on how to set this up as a client bridge, I followed the instructions step-by-step and soon saw the internet access icon on my laptop. I was at that point able to login to both the Linksys router that was hardwired into my laptop, AND the main router that dishes out the wireless signal. This means that the client bridge setup was successful.
Now, when my new PC parts come in on Monday, and I have everthing built, I'll be able to plug my new computer into the newly flashed router and be able to connect to my laptop downstairs and the internet connection provided by my main router. The best part is that this is all completey free. If you have an old router lying around, I highly suggest looking into this DD-WRT custom firmware to breath new life into the old router. With it, you can do countless things such as setting up a wireless extender which will extend the range of your current wireless router, connect it to a device/PC that doesn't have a wi-fi card in it and turn it into a wireless device (like I just did), and countless other things.
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