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Badger98

@pg.com

[Help Me] DI-524 as Access Point for G Devices

I have been pulling my hair out trying to use an old DI-524 as an access point and switch on my existing home network. I'm getting the feeling I may be looking at this all wrong, and with networking not being my strong suit, I'd really appreciate some advice.

My situation is as follows: I have an "N" router provided by my internet provider. I still have several "G" devices in the house (Wii, old Airport Express, etc.) that I would like to have connected to my network, but not bring the speed of the overall network down to "G" speeds. Thus, my brilliant idea was to configure my old DI-524 as an access point/switch with a different SSID than the "N" router, allowing me to specifically assign my "G" devices to a "G" SSID and "N" devices to an "N" SSID. I need more than 4 ethernet ports in this configuration, so I also planned to use the DI-524 as an ethernet switch.

What has happened so far: I've looked up several tutorials on how to set up routers in general, and the DI-524 specifically, as an access point. Recommendations have varied slightly, some even indicating that the DI-524 may not be usable in such a configuration. Nevertheless, I tried.

I did a factory reset on the DI-524, connected it to my "N" router through one of the LAN ports, and pulled up the config page. I turned off DHCP and UPNP, set a static IP within my primary router's range (haven't tried one outside the range yet), and configured a different SSID than my primary router.

In many ways, this configuration seems to work. I can connect to each SSID separately, get an IP assigned by the primary router, and get to the internet whether connected to my primary router or the DI-524. Here is the issue, though... Devices on the DI-524 cannot be properly "seen" by other devices on the network. Specifically, AirPlay and Home Sharing do not function properly between my Mac, Airport Express (connected to the "G" SSID) and iPhone/iPad. The DI-524 does not seem to be functioning as a pure access point and switch. Visibility to devices connected the DI-524 is "clouded"--even to other devices also connected to the DI-524.

I would really appreciate advice on whether my approach is sound, whether I've made some missteps, and/or whether the hardware I'm using simply isn't capable. If I can't accomplish my goal with the DI-524, I'd really like to know if I should be able to accomplish it with other hardware.

Thanks for your investment of time.


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1


Badger98

@pg.com
Thanks! This seems pretty comprehensive. Some specific questions for the DI-524 come to mind:

-Does the "WAN" page need to be configured with a static IP, subnet mask and other addresses, or is WAN configuration irrelevant in Access Point usage?
-From factory settings, how does one "turn off" the firewall on the DI-524? There are default rules that ostensibly can't be disabled or unchecked
-There are a number of features on the Tools->Misc. page (Block WAN Ping, UPNP, Gaming Mode, VPN Pass-through, Multicast Streams, Dynamic DNS). I know UPNP should be turned off, but should all of them?

Thanks again.


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Badger98
The WAN port is not used in wired AP mode so nothing to configure on the WAN side.

Disable the features that you can find on the DI router all but wireless. All other features and options can be disabled. You don't want the DI router doing anything else besides providing wireless access. The main router will be handling any management processes.


Badger98

@pg.com
Thanks again for the advice.

I've followed every recommendation to no avail. The two routers appear to be talking fine switch-to-switch, but something still isn't working right with the DI-524 as a wireless access point. AirPlay and Home Sharing work fine when I'm connected wirelessly to the DI-524 (where the Mac and Apple TV are connected). However, when I connect wirelessly to my other router, AirPlay and Home sharing can see the devices but not connect to them. Also, AirPlay continues to be able to see but not connect to the AirPort Express, connected wirelessly to the DI-524.

I may be wrong, but I'm beginning to believe this is related to the DI-524 firewall. There doesn't appear to be any way to truly turn this off in the configuration.

I'm going to borrow a Linksys WRT-54 from a colleague to see if this can work with different hardware.


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Badger98
What is your main host router now?

If you connect LAN to LAN between each router and you have disabled all features on the 524, it should be working. Do you get general Internet access to the web if connected to the 524?

Might try enabling uPnP as a test and see what happens.


Badger98

@pg.com
My main host router is the ZTE Router provided by my ISP. I also have UPnP turned off on it, plus QoS turned off as recommended by the ISP.

The routers are connected LAN-to-LAN and DHCP is turned off on the DI-524. All other features that can be turned off are turned off. For example, I deleted all of the default virtual server, applications and filter rules. As stated above, I can find no way to truly turn off the firewall.

I do get access to the web while connected to the DI-524, whether via ethernet or wifi. I'll try enabling UPnP, though everything I've read says to turn that off. Also, I'm borrowing an old Linksys WRT54G next week to see if I can make any progress with a different router.

Thanks again for the advice.


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Badger98
Turning off the Firewall shouldn't made any difference if you can't get it full off since it's tied to the WAN side which isn't used.

If your getting internet then you should be good however there could be some services that may not be supported or not work correctly or something between the Main ISP router and the devices connecting to the 524 may not be supported.

You might try an updated AP later of if you can't get this one going.

Let us know.


PamelaTS

join:2004-04-20
Dallas, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
·Clear Wireless

1 edit
reply to Badger98
Which hardware rev of the DI-524 do you have. The rev C! can be flashed with DI-624 firmware and provides far greater wireless stability

»I *THINK* I just flashed my DI-524 into a DI-624!

I did this with my DI-524 back in the day and it works flawlessly for an old [bg] device. I primarily use it for b service. I on occasion still use an old Palm T|X hey I have a few apps on it that there is just no comparison on Android.


Badger98

@pg.com
UPDATE: Brought in Linksys WRT54G, did the same general steps to turn it into an access point, and it works perfectly. If the DI-524 can be made into an AP, the steps are certainly not straightforward.

I did have the latest firmware on my DI-524 early on in my trials, but didn't try again after doing a factory reset. It's possible this would have made a difference, but frankly, I doubt it.


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Badger98
Well it could be that the 524 just isn't set up internally for AP mode.

I would factory reset the router and just connect up 1 wired PC and follow that link to the Turning a Router in to an AP. It should work. Just remember LAN to LAN connection.


Badger98

@pg.com
Yep, understood. I did all those things. Just could never get it to work. I'll never completely rule out the possibility of user error, but I tried everything I could think of.

If someone has made it happen with a DI-524, would love to hear how they did it. For now, I'm all set with the WRT54G as an AP. Had it going in 20 minutes with no issues. While I understand it should be irrelevant, the fact that it had a radio button to disable the firewall really sticks out in contrast to the DI-524. Otherwise, to your point, maybe the internals just can't do it.

Thanks for the help along the way!


BimmerE38FN

join:2002-09-15
Boise, ID
kudos:1
reply to Badger98
Ok man, at least you tried.

Have fun.


PamelaTS

join:2004-04-20
Dallas, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
·Clear Wireless
reply to BimmerE38FN
said by BimmerE38FN:

Well it could be that the 524 just isn't set up internally for AP mode.

I would factory reset the router and just connect up 1 wired PC and follow that link to the Turning a Router in to an AP. It should work. Just remember LAN to LAN connection.

If you turn off dhcp, and connect any router via lan port-lan port to any other router it will serve as an ap provided wireless isolation isn't on. It is essentially (logically) just a switch with wireless being a part of its function. For it to act in another way would take effort (coding) that dlink I'm sure didn't expend on a device that sold retail for $20 New. If memory serves I think I got mine with a coupon rebate costing me $5. I use mine much as the poster wanted as an ap for b devices so that it does not drag down my n devices. Granted I'm running my di-524 with di-624 firmware because the di-524 firmware was flaky at best.
--
---- Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
---- Albert Einstein

--
TWC [20/2] / Motorola SB6141 / ASUS RT-AC66R (fw 3.0.0.4.374.130) / DAP-1522 (a1) fw 1.40 {1 @ 5ghz bridge mode; 2nd semi-retired}