Upon the Subject of Networking

I had one problem with my new Dell Ubuntu machine. The place I had to put to was nowhere near my router and cable modem. The cable modem and router are pretty firmly entrenched near my TV. I really didn’t want to touch the cable modem.

Several months ago I had a long running saga where my cable modem stopped working. It took weeks on the phone with Comcast and several techs checking lines outside my house to find the problem in the lines in my neighborhood and fix it. I also dropped Comcast home phone and got a standard cable modem. It works fine now and I don’t touch the cable modem. If I unplugged it or moved it to a different cable jack the magic that keeps it working would escape 🙂

So I had to go wireless. I had an old pre Cisco Linksys USB wireless adapter, circa 2004. After tracking down the drivers for the exact hardware revision of this model I installed ndiswrapper. It turns out I shouldn’t have bothered, my version of the adapter, 2.8, doesn’t work with ndiswrapper. Just for fun I tired to get it to work with Windows XP, no luck there either. So it’s dead and in the trash now.

Time for plan B. I looked on the DD-WRT site and saw that DD-WRT supports wireless bridging. DD-WRT’s client bridge mode allows a router to pick up the signal from a wireless network and pass the network connection along to that router’s wired network ports.

I got a Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N to serve as my primary router. A nice thing about this router is that it ships with DD-WRT. Buffalo adds their logo and changes the colors a bit but other than that it’s the same as the version on the DD-WRT site.

Buffalo Router - Click for larger image.

I set up the Linksys in Client Bridge mode using the DD-WRT instructions.

Linksys Client Bridge - Click for larger image

Now the Dell Ubuntu machine is online using its wired connection and I avoided the fun that is Ubuntu and wireless.

One Reply to “Upon the Subject of Networking”

  1. Ubuntu does OK with most wireless adapters on laptops, but some are wacky and don’t have decent drivers,l which I why I recommend that people go with Ethernet. That ndiswrapper stuff is not for the faint of heart. Your solution, however, is also fairly complicated. It’s lovely in that it shows that there are many ways to solve a problem. Sure, you could have figured out the ndiswrapper stuff, or drilled some holes and pulled some cat5 cable, but you figured out a way to do it without wires, and, lucky for me, pointed out why the whole dd-wrt silliness isn’t, well, quite so silly.

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