[Home Network] How to: wireless bridge to 3801HGV (Linksys dd-wr
Problem: I have 5 computers in the back office. Since U-Verse requires the 3801HGV portal to be adjacent to the HD DVR, the house was wired to the entertainment center in the front of the house. I have wireless available but that is not a good solution especially when there is a lot of data moving from machine to machine.
My solution: A Cisco E3000 with dd-wrt configured as a client bridge, working as a single client router to the front of the house. All of the computers in the back are hard-line connected to the E3000 router, where dd-wrt has logged itself into the uverse portal as a WPA2 Personal client using 3801HGV credentials.
dd-wrt is configured for DHCP Passthough so all the backoffice IP's are assigned and maintained by the 3801. dd-wrt's firewall may be on or off depending on needs, since the whole network is already behind the 3801HDV firewall. This consolidates DHCP allocation to just one location: the U-Verse portal, and there is no extra natting or messing around required.
The Client Bridge is effectively a radio-frequency wire to the 3800HGV portal, shared by any hardline connection to the linksys e3000. Instead of having five clients all negotiating for space on the wireless bandwidth, there is only one client (dd-wrt) sharing a 58mbit channel among 5 computers.
Dd-wrt and the E3000 are not serving or accepting wireless clients. 100% of the E3000's wireless activity is dedicated to the the client bridge.
Importantly, the local computers are now hardline connections up to 1 gigabit and need no wireless bandwidth at all when talking to each other.
For simplicity I configured dd-wrt to have a fixed IP on the 3800HGV. This isn't strictly necessary but it makes it easy to find the E3000 for administering dd-wrt. This has to be set on both devices so that they agree on dd-wrt's IP at the 3800HGV. Since the 3800HGV is .254, I chose the traditional .1 for dd-wrt.
On the back office side, expanding the hardline network is as easy as adding a switch; the 58 mbit pipe to your internet gateway is has plenty of room. WAN speed will choke long before the wi-fi.
By not having the dd-wrt firewall on, I can share any kind of servers or programs on either side of the wireless link without having to do any heroic configuration. We're all just one big happy family.
You can turn the firewall on without harm but it may isolate devices or inhibit contact between services on opposite sides of the client bridge wireless trunk. It doesn't really serve any purpose though.