What: How to configure an
inexpensive TL-WR340GD or TL-WR-642G or TL-WR1043ND (the D
stands for Detachable
antenna) wireless router (manufactured by TP-LINK) to become a
wireless WiFi Access Point. Other models of TP-LINK wireless
routers may be similarly configured. You can do similar
configuration with Linksys WRT54G.
Why: Typically if you have a wireless router in the home or office (just behind a cabled modem or DSL modem, see this diagram), the wireless router should be configured as a router (factory default configuration). However, you may want to add a secondary wireless device to expand your WiFi wireless coverage (see this diagram), it is much better to configure the secondary wireless device as an "Access Point" instead of a "router behind a router". Reasons: all your internal computers and peripherals (network printers, NAS servers, etc) are now on the same IP network so they can share resources and communicate with each other as if they were connected byCAT-5 wiring and switches.
Why not use the "bridge mode" that is natively available in TL-WR340G or WR-642G? Because the bridge mode available in TP-LINK only supports WEP encryption. The master key in WEP can be recovered very easily using popular BackTrack software. In this tutorial, you can configure your wireless network to use much safer WPA2/PSK encryption scheme. For WPA2, you still need a strong (non-dictionary word) password consists of letters, numbers and special characters to prevent dictionary attacks.
A primary wireless (or non-wireless) router, see this diagram; and a CAT-5 cable run between the primary and secondary devices, see this diagram.
Find your local area network IP address range - on a networked PCs, pop a "cmd" screen and
For Windows XP, type (case sensitive) ipconfig | find "Address" to get an idea of what it might be.
For Windows 7, type (case sensitive) ipconfig | find "IPv4" to get an idea of what it might be.
Make sure the TP-Link TL-WR340G
or TL-WR-642G is reset to factory default state. To do a
factory reset, push and hold a pin in the reset
hole, then power up, continue to hold the pin pushed
in for 10 seconds. Remove the pin. Consult your wireless
router's manual on how to do a factory reset.
suggestion: since you are configuring the WR-340G or
WR-642G to be an Access Point, the WAN port (blue port)
will not be used, plug it with tape to avoid confusion and
Connect a CAT-5 cable from a laptop to one of the LAN ports (yellow port) on WR-340G or WR-642G. See this diagram. Reboot the laptop.On the laptop, invoke a web browser: http://192.168.1.1/ user name is admin, password is admin
Go to DHCP Settings, select "Disable DHCP Server". See this diagram. Click Save.
Go to Network Settings, select "LAN", change the "IP Address" to an un-occupied static IP address in your local area network (e.g. 10.5.1.7). Your LAN IP address range is likely to be different than 10.5.1.xx, it is determined or influenced by your primary router's DHCP settings. See this diagram. Click Save. Once you click Save, the WR-340G will reboot itself and your laptop will loose connection to the WR-340G
Reconfigure your system as follows:
Connect a live CAT-5 cable from your primary router (or LAN switch or hub) to the LAN port (yellow port) of the secondary Access Point (i.e., the WR-340G or WR-642G). See this diagram.
Reconnect the laptop to your normal LAN, or reconnect the laptop to the primary wireless router Access Point. See this diagram. Reboot the laptop if necessary.
Invoke a web browser:
(your IP address is likely different than
You now regain connection to
your WR-340G or WR-642G, do the remaining steps, for
You now have added a fully functional Wireless Access Point to your local area network !
Note: for omni antenna (aka rubber duck antenna), the increase in signal is in the "horizontal direction", another word, on the same floor. Basically these antenna refocus the energy and concentrate them in the horizontal direction (assuming the tip of the rubber duck is oriented upwards). High gain omni will reduce radiation energy to the upper and lower floors, but will increase radiation energy on the same floor. Antennae do not create energy, they just redirect and refocus energy.
In the above configuration, the
WAN is constantly trying to obtain an IP address adding
unnecessary load on the CPU. Configure the WAN to use
"static IP" to reduce this annoyance:
© 2013 Nicholas Fong
Last revised: April 18, 2013