How to connect RJ-45/Ethernet only devices to WiFi?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by tinnews, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. tinnews

    tinnews Guest

    Until recently we used a 3G router to connect to the internet from our
    small boat. This provided a 4 port switch which allowed two laptops,
    a printer and a VOIP base station to talk to each other as well as to
    access the internet via the 3G.

    Now we have moved to a marina which provides us with a WiFi connection
    so I want, if possible, to do basically the same as the 3G router did
    but using the WiFi to connect to the internet. (We'll probably keep
    the 3G router set up to provide internet when we're on the move away
    from the marina)

    This doesn't seem to be a common requirement, while lots of routers do
    provide 'bridging' and such it's not well documented and in the main
    seems to sort of peer the WiFi which isn't quite what I want. I want
    something which will run as a client to the marina's WiFi and provide
    only hard-wired ethernet LAN connections, I don't need 'local' WiFi.

    I can find a number of devices which seem to provide a single ethernet
    connection to a WiFi but not a switch which does this. I already have
    some WiFi capable routers which *might* do what I want but the
    documentation is so strongly oriented towards the router being a WiFi
    server that I'm unsure whether they can do what I want.

    What I have are:-
    Speedtouch 716WL router (old, but it might do it)
    Tenda Wireless-N W311-R (this sounds like it can do it, but I need help)
    Solwise 434T 3G router (has WiFi as well)

    All of these have 4 port switches on the LAN side and can thus provide
    all I need on that front.

    Can anyone tell me whether what I have can do what I want, or what I
    need to do what I want? (I could also dedicate an old eeePc 700
    series to the task but everything would have to be done from the
    command line)
    tinnews, Oct 2, 2011
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  2. What you need to check is the wireless configuration options on the
    various devices you have to see if they offer something that sounds like
    Client mode or Access Point Client rather than the usual default of
    Access Point, if it even offers a choice.

    With out this option your router's wireless section can not be made to
    act as a slave device to the marina's transmitter.

    Once you have a box configured in the client mode rather than access
    point mode you the rest of the configuration consists mostly of setting
    it the WAN port to be either DHCP or fixed IP depending on what the
    marina is using. The the rest of the configuration should consist of
    matching the security method and password to match what the marina is using.

    Many newer boxes have the client option but quite a few older devices
    made for consumer use were programed to only act as a wireless server,
    like the marina's unit is configured.

    If you do wind up having to look for some different hardware, used or
    new, I would check the model/revision against the DD-WRT Supported
    Devices list fount at:

    If the box already has the client mode as an option the DD-WRT firmware
    is not needed but it makes sense to get a box that has the choice in
    case you later want to sell the box (good selling point) or use some of
    of the features that firmware offers now or later.

    If the wireless box is on the approved list loading the DD-WRT firmware
    in it will give you the Client mode you need to hook up to the marina's
    signal even if it is not included in the original factory menu of options.
    GlowingBlueMist, Oct 2, 2011
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