Update 11/6/2017: Here is a guide on the best VPN for DD-WRT routers. Worth checking out if you want to add even more great features to your open source router firmware.
The best VPNs for DD-WRT routers and how to set up OpenVPN on DD-WRT
In my living room are two devices that require internet and of course, both don’t have wifi. My DirecTV DVR and Bluray player. I decided to figure out a way to bridge my wireless network into the living room from my office where my Apple Airport Extreme router is. Before I made the incredibly wise decision to purchase my airport extreme, I had a Linksys WRT310N v2. It was a piece of shit, plain and simple. Connections dropped all the time, wireless would cut out, internet would, router would crash. I wasn’t the only one facing issues with this router, there are a lot of reports online with similar problems. The Linksys went back into a box and in my closet, replaced by the airport extreme. Now, four months later, I dug my WRT310N back out of the closet to see if I could use it as a bridge.
The OS running on the router (routers are computers by the way, they have processors, memory, and an operating system) that Linksys built didn’t include any bridging. Probably because they sell devices specifically for wireless bridging. What is wireless bridging? Wireless bridging allows you to connect one wireless router to another wirelessly, then use that device to connect to the internet. That means the router in my office sends a wireless signal to the router now in my living room, the router in the living room gives internet to the DVR and Bluray player through ethernet cables.
Internet –> Airport Extreme Router –> “NO WIRE to” Linksys WRT310N –> Bluray + DVR
This can be done with any wireless router to any other wireless router, but my guide is for an Airport Extreme and WRT310N v2.
1. Setup the Airport Extreme. This needs to be setup so that we can be sure all the wireless settings match on both routers. This is important to create the bridge between the two networks. Keep in mind that each router creates its own network. The airport extreme has a network it is already sharing with other devices and the Linksys router will create a new one. To get them to talk to each other you need to create this bridge.
2. Open the Airport Extreme Utility and click on manual setup. Now click on wireless. Change your settings to the following.
Radio Mode: 802.11a/n – 802.11b/g
Radio Channel: Manual
Click on Edit and change the 2.4GHz channel to “11”
Wireless Security: WPA2 Personal
Make sure you know your wireless password.
Click on update and then wait for your airport to reboot.
3. Now you need some new firmware for the Linksys router. We’re going to be using DD-WRT, custom firmware built for Linksys routers to unleash their full potential.
4. Each step below is VERY important, make sure to perform each one as instructed. This comes from a post on the DD-WRT forums.
Converting a Virgin 310nV2 to DDWRT:
1. While on, push and hold down the reset button continuously for 30 seconds, unplug the power while continuing to hold for another 30 seconds, then plug back in while continuing to hold reset button for a final 30 seconds. (90 second button hold-down time)
*This is called the 30/30/30 reset, it can be used on almost any router to reset to factory defaults.
2. Go to http://192.168.1.1 from a computer, and instead of the normal linksys control panel you’ll see a “management” window with 2 options, to upload a new firmware and reset the NVRAM. Click on ‘Reset NVRAM’ to reset NVRAM. Wait a few seconds, then unplug the router for several seconds, then plug back in.
*To be honest, I never did this step. I just did the 30/30/30 reset. So don’t worry if you don’t get this screen, just make sure you do the 30/30/30 reset properly, that is the most important step.
3. Go to http://192.168.1.1 again, and this time use login ‘admin’ and password ‘admin’ to login.
*If admin and admin don’t work to login then your 30/30/30 reset failed. If you never changed your default user name and password, shame on you.
4. *This step is best performed on a PC using Internet Explorer. I don’t know why, the upload just works better. I ran into issues with Firefox and Safari on my Macbook. On the firmware update tab (found under administration), select (download the file and save it to your desktop) ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/02-03-10-r13832/broadcom_K26/dd-wrt.v24-13832_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_wrt310nv2.bin and hit upload. After the upload completes, wait 3 minutes to let the router ‘settle down’ after the ‘upgrade successful’ message.
5. Now unplug your router for a minute, then plug back in. Go to http://192.168.1.1 and you should see DDWRT’s control panel, don’t touch anything yet. Wait about 2 mins before heading to step 6.
6. Repeat Step #1 (30-30-30 Hard Reset).
7. Go to http://192.168.1.1 and you’ll once again see the Linksys management screen. This time hit ‘Erase NVRAM’, unplug and plug back in your router. (Don’t skip this step!)
8. Your done! Finally go to http://192.168.1.1 and enter the username and password you wish to use.
*I used admin for the user name.
5. Now follow the steps in this guide to setup the router to bridge with your Airport Extreme.
Skip anything to do with virtual interfaces, this isn’t necessary since we are just creating a bridge. If you really want to, you can run through those steps and you should be able to connect wireless devices to this router as well; using it as an extender of your existing wireless network. But if you are just going to connect devices through cat5 (ethernet) cables then it isn’t necessary and adds more complication to the setup. Remember KISS.
When you get to step 7 in the guide use these settings instead.
Local IP Address: 10.0.1.2
The reason we are using these settings is because this is what the airport extreme is using. Remember that once you apply all these settings you will need to connect to http://10.0.1.2 for the web interface. Below are some additional screenshots of the settings.
After the settings are applied give the router 3 minutes to calm down. Technically it sounds silly but it does help. After 3 minutes, unplug the router, let is sit another 60 seconds, then plug it back in. Connect a computer or laptop with an ethernet cable and test the connection by trying to get to the internet. If you use a laptop, make sure to disable your wireless connection.
Once everything is tested and working move the router into your living room and connect any network devices. Like Playstations, Xboxes, DVR’s, and Bluray players.