I wish to repurpose a wireless router to serve as a wireless access point behind a wired router (serving as gateway to WAN) so that I don't have to buy more hardware and recapture value on prior equipment investment.

As far as I know, I should set up a DHCP reservation for the wireless router's WAN interface, configure the WAN interface to use DHCP for itself, turn off the DHCP service for its LAN interfaces, and disable NAT as well. Based on NAT being disabled, I have both sides of the wireless router on the same subnet (192.168.0/24). The gateway router is and the wireless router is

Right now, pings do not flow through the wireless router into the rest of the lan, however. Furthermore, DHCP does not reach the wireless clients and they must use static interface configuration at the moment. What else must I do, or what have I done wrong?

closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Ward, Bryan, Scott Pack, TheCleaner Jul 24 '13 at 14:36

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For a typical low-end router a procedure like this works.

  • Setup wifi as needed. Please set it with at least WPA.
  • Disable DHCP on the wireless router
  • Connect a cable from one of the LAN-side interfaces of the wireless router to your switch.
  • Do not connect or configure the WAN side of the wireless router at all. If the wan side must be configured use an address/subnet that is not used on your network.

By connecting a LAN port of the router to your LAN you are just using the 'router' as a bridge and not using the routing features at all.

  • 1
    +1 -- What you really want here is a wireless bridge -- The documentation for your router probably explains how to set it up to act as a bridge, but Zoredache's instructions work for pretty much every consumer router I've seen. – voretaq7 Jun 23 '10 at 19:47
  • Please setup the wireless without encryption. Google Maps and I would like to be able to snarf on your connection. – jscott Jun 23 '10 at 20:18
  • Sorry, I prefer that my connections go snarf-free. – bwerks Jun 24 '10 at 22:03
  • +1 just for the WPA comment – Fahad Sadah Sep 19 '10 at 13:24
  • You could give the "access point" a static IP outside of the DHCP pool so that you can access it later on with ease. – Mikael Dúi Bolinder Aug 14 at 17:31

In addition to what Zoredache said, you may want to consider security implications of such a setup. I would recommend placing your wireless connection in a DMZ zone or to consider it as a WAN zone rather than a LAN zone. This is just for security purposes in case somebody manages to break your wireless encryption or if your wifi router decides to randomly reset itself one day to factory defaults and you end up with an open hole into your private LAN. Worst things have been known to happen.

  • Ooh, actually I have a currently-unused WAN2 interface that can be configured as a DMZ; I may try this. Nice idea! – bwerks Jun 24 '10 at 22:05

Why not have the gateway routers LAN side IP be referenced by the WIFI routers's gateway? WIFI and clients under gateway router use same DNS as provided by service provider. WIFI router has DHCP enableed. Gateway router as well, but reserve a space for WIFI router static IP.


I have a Linux box acting as my wired router. The Linux box runs DNS and DHCP. My DNS server handles a few local addresses and recurses the rest to OpenDNS.

Before I did this, it had 2 NICs. One was connected to the cable modem and got it's IP from the that. The other was connected to my wired LAN switch and assigned

I then purchased a WRT160N for wireless access. Here is what I did:

  • Added third NIC to linux box
  • Made sure NIC was recognized and configured properly.
  • Assigned this NIC
  • Temporarily connected another PC to WRT160N to get into management interface
  • Disabled DHCP on WRT160N, UPnP, and all firewall functions (the linux box handles that)
  • Under "Basic Setup", I set the "Internet IP address" of the WRT160N to Set its "Default Gateway" to
  • Connected a cat5 cable to one of the four wired ports on the back of the WRT160N to my third NIC.
  • Configured WPA2-PSK on the WRT160N
  • Configured my DHCP server to also listen on and hand out IPs to anything asking over that
  • Configured my DNS server to listen on
  • Modified my iptables configuration to allow forwarding to/from the third NIC.
  • Connected WRT160 to third NIC on linux box. Success!
  • So that I could log on to the management interface without reconnecting to a PC (it won't let you select a management IP that's on the same subnet as it's "Internet IP"), I connected the WAN port to one of the switch ports on the WRT160N. Sounds silly as hell, but I can now go to and access all management functions.

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