Introduction

Fri 02 May 2013

For my wireless router at home, I have a BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Gigabit Wireless Router WZR-300HP. Yes, that’s the actual full product name but I will call it WZR-300HP. WZR-300HP has been working out pretty well. I picked it over others recently to replace my dying Linksys wireless router because it automagically came with DD-WRT already installed. My previous Linksys wireless router (in use for 5 years) at home was reflashed with DD-WRT firmware in 2008. Finding about the DD-WRT firmware was a big revelation to me as it allowed me to do some really interesting stuff with my wireless network at home.

So I installed WZR-300HP as wireless router/gateway in Jan 2013 but left alone the other Linksys wireless router (also flashed with DD-WRT 5 years ago) in my room that was set up as a Client Bridge. And then recently I noticed that Linksys router also started to get flaky. So it was time to get a second WZR-300HP to be used a a Client Bridge.

Here I will explain how to set up the WZR-300HP as a Client Bridge. Source of my tutorial is from here.

Some prerequisites

  1. 2 computers. Easier to work if you have 2 computers side by side. Calling them pc1 and pc2.
  2. pc1 will be connected to the new WZR-300HP you are setting up to be Client Bridge.
  3. pc2 should be connected to your regular home wifi network.
  4. You understand basics of IP address and how to change it on your PC.
  5. You have a DD-WRT wifi router set up in your home, with 192.168.11.1 assigned to it’s LAN IP address.
  6. Ensure 192.168.11.2 is free, as this will be used by the new Client Bridge, WZR-300HP.

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Set IP manually on pc1

  1. Change IP on pc1 from DHCP assigned to manually assigned IP.
  2. Set IP to 192.168.11.5
  3. Set Subnet mask to: 255.255.255.0
  4. Set router to: 192.168.11.1
  5. Set DNS Server: 192.168.11.1

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Initial login into Buffalo Router

  1. Set up WZR-300HP with power and connect an ethernet cable to Port 1.
  2. ‘Router’ selector is set to ‘Auto’. This selector is a physical button in the back.
  3. Connect pc1 to the new WZR-300HP with ethernet cable.
  4. Turn off wireless ethernet in pc1. This is so that the pc1 doesn’t try to connect to the wifi network up in your home.
  5. From pc1, try to browse the internet. You shouldn’t be able to at this point.
  6. On pc1 open a web browser and go to http://192.168.11.1. This is the IP address assigned to WZR-300HP (in the factory) for management purpose.
  7. For username/password Name: admin password: password
  8. In the browser, you will see Setup Assistant complaining about LAN cable not being connected to the Internet port. Since we are not setting this up as a wireless router (aka internet gateway), you won’t use the Set Assistant.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Cancel.
  11. Check ‘Skip Setup Assistant at next login” and click Cancel. + This is important. Without this done, you won’t be able to get back into the management console later on.
  12. Change password to your preference.
  13. Click Done.
  14. Type login ID and password when prompted.
  15. Once you log in, you will see this. Yes you are seeing the password in plain, visible text. An issue but I can live with it.

Buffalo Router initial login

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Basic settings

Main wifi router: Take inventory of Basic Settings

  1. On your pc2, log into your main wifi router (the one that’s connected to your WAN provider like Cable company). You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.1
  2. Go to Setup > Basic Setup
  3. Take inventory of following
    1. Start IP Address:
    2. NTP client:
    3. Time Zone:
    4. Summer Time (DST):

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Client Bridge: Change settings in Setup

  1. Log into the WZR-300HP that you are setting up as the Client Bridge.
  2. Go to Setup > Basic Setup.
  3. WAN Connection Type
    1. Connection Type: Disabled
    2. Click Save. This Save button is at the bottom of the webpage. NOT ‘Apply Settings’.
  4. Optional Settings
    1. Set Router Name to something like: client-bridge01 OR wifi-room.
    2. Click Save.
  5. Router IP
    1. Local IP address to 192.168.11.2 (192.168.11.1 is already assigned to your main wifi router).
    2. Gateway to 192.168.11.1 (yes, this is the IP address assigned to your main wifi router).
    3. Local DNS to 192.168.11.1
    4. Click Save.
  6. Network Address Server Settings (DHCP)
    1. DHCP Type: DHCP Forwarder
    2. DHCP Server: 192.168.11.1
    3. Click Save.
  7. Time Settings
    1. Set the values to match what’s on your main wifi router.
    2. Click Save.
  8. Click Apply Settings. This command actually activates all of the config changes you have been saving.
  9. Next you need to allow accessing the management panel both via http AND https.
    1. Go to Administration > Management
    2. Go to Web Access.
    3. Check both protocols, http AND https.
    4. Click Save
  10. Click Apply Settings. This command actually activates all of the config changes you have been saving.
  11. After a few seconds, refresh the web browser window. You will note it won’t work because the IP of the WZR-300HP has changed from http://192.168.1.1 >> http://192.168.1.2
  12. Browse to http://192.168.1.2 (or https://192.168.1.2).
  13. Provide username/password to log in.
  14. Remember that from now on, you will browse to http://192.168.1.2 to access the admin panel of the Client Bridge device.
  15. Reboot the WZR-300HP by unplugging/plugging in power.
  16. Ready to move onto next step.

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Wireless Security

Main wifi router: Take inventory of Wireless Security

  1. On your pc2, log into your main wifi router (the one that’s connected to your WAN provider like Cable company). You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.1
  2. Go to Wireless > Wireless Security
  3. Take inventory of following:
    1. Security Mode:
    2. WPA Algorithms

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Client Bridge: Change Wireless Security

  1. On your pc1, log into your Client Bridge you are setting up. You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.2
  2. Go to Wireless > Wireless Security
    1. Security Mode: Same as set in the wifi router
    2. WPA Algorithms: Same as set in the wifi router
    3. WPA Shared Key: Same as set in the wifi router
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click Apply Settings.

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Wireless Basic Settings

Main wifi router: Take inventory of Wireless settings

  1. On your pc2, log into your main wifi router (the one that’s connected to your WAN provider like Cable company). You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.1
  2. Go to Wireless > Basic Settings
  3. Take inventory of following:
    1. Wireless Network Mode:
    2. Wireless Channel:
    3. Wireless Network Name (SSID):

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Client Bridge: Change wireless setting

  1. On your pc1, log into your Client Bridge you are setting up. You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.2
  2. Go to Wireless > Basic Settings
    1. Wireless Mode: Client Bridge (Routed)
    2. Click Save.
    3. Default GW Mode: Auto (DHCP)
    4. Click Save.
    5. Wireless Network Mode: Same as set in the wifi router.
    6. Wireless Channel: Same as set in the wifi router.
    7. Wireless Network Name (SSID): Same as set in the wifi router. Capitalization matters.
    8. Click Save
  3. Click Apply Settings
  4. Not done yet. You still need to set up Firewall settings.

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Security

Client Bridge: Change Security, Firewall and Advanced Router mode

  1. On your pc1, log into your Client Bridge you are setting up. You probably can reach it by going to http://192.168.11.2
  2. Go to Security > Firewall
    1. Uncheck everything except but “Filter Multicast”.
    2. SPI Firewall: Disabled
  3. Click Save
  4. Click Apply Settings
  5. Go to Setup > Advanced Routing
    1. Operating Mode: Change to ‘Router’
    2. Click Save.
  6. Click Apply Settings.

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Change IP on pc1 to ‘DHCP assigned'

  1. On pc1, change IP setting to DHCP assigned.
  2. If everything has been set up properly, you will note that pc1 will get a proper IP assigned by the DHCP server running on your home network (usually your main wifi router).
  3. Try surfing the internet. If pc1 doesn’t work for some reason, try rebooting and than browsing.
  4. You should see that pc1 can successfully browse the internet. And this happens while the WiFI is turned OFF on pc1. PC1′s internet connection is via the Ethernet cable connected to your Clint Bridge, which in turn is connected wirelessly to your Wireless Router (the one that’s connected to your Cable Modem or DSL modem).
  5. Try unplugging the newly setup Client Bridge and reboot pc1.
  6. Test browsing the internet from pc1.
  7. Test accessing both http://192.168.11.1 & http://192.168.11.2 from both pc1 and pc2. If your WiFi router/client-bridge devices only allow https, use https://192.168.11.1 etc.

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Ways to use Client Bridge device

You can set up your newly installed Client Bridge device in your room. And then you can connect a printer, desktop PC or any other device that doesn’t have a wifi connection. You can allow these devices to be able to access the internet by simply connecting ethernet cable between them and the new Client Bridge device.

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