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How I Turned my Linksys WRT54G Router into a Client

Posted on July 2, 2008 at 9:42 am


The other day I was putting together a computer for my 2.75 year old son (he loves video games, and I desperately wanted sole ownership of my computer again). I decided to put it in our bedroom, hooked up to our 42″ Sony Trinitron for all of his Super Mario extravaganzas. While putting it together, I realized that I didn’t have any extra wireless network cards lying around – but I figured it wouldn’t matter, its just for Jonas’s games and he won’t need to be surfin the web, etc. Just in case, I put in a regular old wired network card.

After the install, I decided I should figure out a way to get his computer online, for updates and such… but I still didn’t have any wireless network cards lying around… but I did have an old WRT54G Wireless Router that had been collecting dust for a few months.. surely I could use this, somehow!

So after a little Googling, I stumbled upon project called DD-WRT (http://www.dd-wrt.com). Originally intended as “just a modification of the original Linksys Firmware for supporting simple Radius Authentication”, the project took on a new life and it’s author “decided to add some more small tools and fancy things, just for fun”. WW-DRT is a firmware replacement for many common routers, adding a plethora tools and features that make life (and networking) easier.

After searching on their site through their hardware compatibility list, I find my router (WRT54G v2.0) and following their recommendations (and after reading other peoples’ experiences and success stories on google), I decided to install the “Vintage Mini” version of their firmware. After downloading, installation was a snap!

First I hooked up the router, plugged it in, and ran an ethernet cable from the computer to an empty port on the back of the router. Then I opened up firefox, and pointed it to the router’s default IP address ( Once there, I navigated my way to the “Upgrade Firmware” screen, selected my newly downloaded firmware, and off it went. After about a minute, I was running my new firmware. Awesome. After a little more googling, I was able to log in to the administrative screen (login: root, pw: admin – assuming the router was using its default login/pw on my particular router).

Now, setting it up as a client. I followed a quick 4 step process I found online, and it worked like a charm. I’ll paraphrase the important parts here – but just in case, here’s a direct link to the instructions: (http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Client_Mode_Wireless).

Note: In case it’s not obvious – When ROUTER is referenced, it refers to the router you are trying to connect to, and when CLIENT is referenced, it refers to the router you are trying to use as a client.

That’s it! I was actually able to skip step 4, because everything worked beautifully for me, but I threw it in there just in case. After that, my computer was instantly connected to the network, and I was online. The entire process took all of 5 minutes, was extremely painless, and had me surfing the web in no time.

If something went wrong, see the aforementioned link:

Good luck!

~ digifuzz.


Written by

John is a web-developer by day, dashing, handsome, and death-defying super-hero by night. Based out of Silver Spring, MD, he does his best to make things do things other than the things they were supposed to on a daily basis, in the process, making the world a better place.

There are 10 comments.

Comment by K

Sounds like you are having more fun with this than Jonas!! C’mon, dad, let him have a turn!! 🙂

JUL16 2008 07:38:00
Comment by Alexwebmaster

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MAR03 2009 03:11:00
Comment by Plasticbrain

Thanks for that setup guide – it worked fist time… amazing!

MAY24 2010 20:31:00

Hi there, just stopped by doing some research for my Linksys site. Can’t believe the amount of information out there. Not what I was looking for, but interesting page. Have a nice day.

NOV02 2010 18:54:00
Comment by router ip

Good article, but it doesn’t seem to make use of my router ip address, any hints?

FEB14 2011 14:59:00
Comment by Bren

God damn good article.. Thank you so much. I wired my 2 routers now. Thank you!

MAY16 2011 07:45:00
Comment by Bob Hitt

Interesting web page that I found when I googled “WRT54GS as client”. I believe I’m wanting to do something similar to this. My big question is: when the router is set in the “client” mode, can it work like a wireless adapter. In this case I mean, can the computer to which it is connected easily do a search for available wireless networks, and connect to the networks? I suspect it is not that easy, and likely more like my Linksys WAP54G Access Point. I can use the AP as a client, but I have to log into it using it’s IP address, and then go to it’s “Client” section, then selecting the “Site Survey” tab.

JUL25 2011 05:53:00
Comment by Stevens Miller

Thanks! I got this working almost right away. It’s really great when someone like you takes the time to help the rest of us with free advice like this.

JUL25 2011 17:59:00
Comment by Dorthy Tyrell

Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

JUN22 2012 03:23:00
Comment by Anthony

thank you for setting this up. i was looking for somthing and wasnt sure and then got into clients n such and found this for my upstairs Linksyswrt300N router to connect succesfully to our AirPort Extreme Router.

i had it half connected bc it was showing under my airport app on my ipod but wasnt succesful to the net right, so i reset the router and followed u and no time i got throu other than connected to the Extreme bbut the net as well.

Thanks again.

i was gettn our upstairs router connected for our Bue Ray Live player that has Netflix and all that in my parrents room. I’ve been doing it by as a repeater. lol. this is alot better. 😀

JUN29 2012 14:38:00

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