Using Netgear WGT624v3 as a Wireless Bridge

I love repurposing old equipment to save buying expensive new gear. One of the things that has always bugged me is why on earth wireless bridges cost so much, when wireless routers are so cheaply available?

If you have ethernet-enabled equipment you want to connect to your wireless network (e.g. games consoles, Slingboxes, DVR’s etc), a better option than buying a dedicated wireless bridge (or “wireless gaming adapter”) for a premium price is to buy a cheap router or access point that can be configured to operate as a wireless bridge.

(Another benefit is that dedicated adapters often only support a single ethernet device; a reconfigured router may support many!)

This was the option I took when I wanted to get my original-flavour Xbox hooked up to the internet. I started out with a D-Link DWL900AP+ many years ago, but that was only a wireless ‘b’ device and therefore no good for video streaming. When I found out that the Netgear WGT624v3 could be configured as a wireless bridge, I jumped at the chance to get one.

It took some time to get working – hey, nothing ever comes easily where computers are concerned, does it? But eventually, I had the 624 up and running in client mode, providing my Xbox with a wireless connection!

I had, however, been unable to get wireless bridge mode working. I gave up on it in the end, since client mode served my needs. It had one slight issue – if left idle the 624 would eventually lose the connection, and require rebooting. This wasn’t really a problem for me – I only ever required the connection when streaming to my Xbox, so I would just switch the 624 on when I wanted to use it, and leave it off most of the time.

That was fine until I acquired a Slingbox, anyway. The idea of mobile TV on my iPhone, with full control of my DVR, was something I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, the 624 in client mode just couldn’t cope, for the following reasons:

1. Even with the Slingbox staying online, the 624 would still eventually lose connection to the network. That makes client mode useless for a device that requires a constant connection.

2. With the Slingbox online, my Xbox couldn’t get a connection, and vice versa. It turns out that in client mode, only a single device can be served by the 624.

So, it became obvious that if I was to achieve my aim, I was going to have to revisit the 624 configuration process and get bridge mode working. From my previous research, I knew it was possible – I had seen posts by several people who were successfully connecting multiple devices to their 624’s. I had to figure out why bridge mode wasn’t working for me.

Trawling through the thread on the Netgear forums once again, I eventually stumbled upon a post that put me on the right track. Previously, the anecdotal evidence had been that the command set remoteWbr APS_MAC_ADDRESS was required; however, any attempt to apply this command failed, with an “invalid parameter” error. cameo91’s post correctly gave the command as add remoteWbr APS_MAC_ADDRESS instead. Following the directions from cameo91’s post, the WGT624 accepted the input happily!

The next step was to get my router (a Netgear DG834G) talking to the 624 in WDS mode. Fortunately, I knew this was possible – I had seen on the Netgear forums that recent revisions of the DG834G firmware had added WDS support. I also found this guide which confirmed that my router would function as I required it to in WDS mode, along with instructions on how to enable it.

Now I have it all set up, the Xbox and Slingbox both happily coexist attached to the 624 simultaneously. Also, I haven’t seen it drop the connection yet – it seems bridge mode may be more reliable than client mode, which is a positive reason for using it even if you’re not connecting more than one device to the 624.

I thought it might be useful to others who wanted to get their WGT624’s up and running in bridge mode if I made a few notes on the process. Since BeatJunkie’s original tutorial is fairly well written and organised in numbered sections, I’ve decided to make some easily referred to annotations rather than reproduce the whole thing.

Section 3: If you’ve been through this process before with the WGT624 (e.g. had it running in client mode), you may well have turned off DHCP in its settings. If you then have trouble establishing a connection to the WGT624 on subsequent reconfiguration attempts, there are a few possible solutions you can try.

If you disconnect your PC from your router, you will have problems as your IP settings will be lost, and you won’t be able to connect directly to anything. So directly connecting your PC to the 624 via LAN cable may not be an option, unless you have two network ports, or can connect to your router wirelessly (do you have a USB wireless adapter lying around? This worked for me).

Connecting the 624 to the router via LAN cable may also work.

The tutorial states that the 624 must be connected via LAN cable – however, on my final attempt at configuring bridge mode, I could not connect via cable for love nor money. I tried all the methods which had worked for me previously with no success. Finally, I decided to try it via wireless, just for the sake of it – and to my surprise, it worked! So, be prepared to try everything – and don’t give up if it appears hopeless.

Section 4: I believe you need to turn off DHCP on the WGT624 as well as entering the SSID and encryption settings. You don’t want two devices trying to provide IP addresses for your network – the router should be doing all that.

Section 14: I’m not sure if the set remoteAP command is still required, but it doesn’t seem to hurt. After that, enter add remoteWbr APS_MAC_ADDRESS in the same manner.

Section 15: Instead of set oper sta, enter set oper wbr. Following that, you must also enter set WDS enable.

Note: a couple of useful commands you can type are help (which lists all the commands you can enter) and get config (which lists the current configuration – although for some reason, get config and get WDS report different statuses for the WDS setting.)

Now you’re done with setting up the WGT624, you just have to enable WDS on your router. Obviously this will very by model and manufacturer. If your router doesn’t support WDS, check to see if there is a firmware update that adds it. I will provide some notes on enabling WDS support on the DG834G.

Firstly, check if you already have the option – login to your DG834G, and look down the left hand side for an Advanced Wireless Settings section. (I’ve been burned before when upgrading firmware just to have the latest version, and finding key features broken by the “update” – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is my motto now!) If you don’t have Advanced Wireless Settings, you’re going to have to upgrade.

Head over to Netgear’s site, and find the downloads section for your model (I won’t link to it as there are different versions of the DG834G, and if I linked you to the wrong one it could be disastrous!). Download the latest firmware, unzip it (if necessary) and follow the instructions on Netgear’s site for upgrading the firmware.

After the DG834G finishes upgrading itself, log out of the router configuration page. I spent AGES hunting for the Advanced Wireless Settings section… it doesn’t show up unless you refresh the admin panel. Colour me embarrassed. When you log back in, you should see the Advanced Wireless Settings section, so click on it.

Select Enable Wireless Bridging and Repeating, then Repeater with Wireless Client Association. Enter the MAC address of your WGT624 in the table, then apply the settings. Note: if your settings vanish and are not saved, reboot the router then try again – although it supposedly reboots after the firmware upgrade, I found I had to reboot it again before the WDS settings page worked!

Once you’ve done this, your WGT624 and anything connected to it should appear in the Attached Devices section of your DG834G. You’re done!

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17 Responses to “Using Netgear WGT624v3 as a Wireless Bridge”

  1. petescrap Says:

    Followup: the guide I referred to on wireless repeating with the DG834G notes that “Repeating the signal halves the bandwidth available on your WLAN – not a problem if you’re just downloading stuff from the internet as your ADSL is unlikely to be faster than your WLAN – but worth noting if you transfer a lot of files between machines over your WLAN.”

    I think this is true – I’ve run a few speed tests on my iPhone, and it’s getting around 650kbps download speed, versus double that on 3G!! I first noticed something was up when streaming media from the internet worked better over 3G than it did over my wireless network :p

    This isn’t a massive problem for me, but it’s worth noting.

  2. Alex Says:

    Okay, I guess it’s just me but I’m having serious issues with making my wgt624v3 a bridge.

    I have the configuration tool and the telnetenable.exe file

    If it isn’t too much trouble and since you seem to be versed in this, could you write a VERY detailed tutorial for those of us who aren’t up to par with the lingo?

    I’m using a Netgear WNR2000 router that I would like the WGT624v3 to be a client bridge for so I can hook up my xbox360 and satellite box directly to.

    Any help at this point would greatly be beneficial…

    • petescrap Says:

      Hmm, not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll try my best…

      I’m not planning on writing my own tutorial, as BeatJunkie’s original one is actually pretty decent (by internet standards!). If you follow it carefully enough, along with my additional notes, it should work fine. Here are a couple of things I’ve thought of which might help you, though:

      1. I suggest you try and get the WGT624v3 into client mode first. Forget about making it a bridge for now, just get client mode working. That will get you more confident with the process, as well as ensuring it will actually work, and getting all the initial setup like WEP etc. correct. Of course, in client mode you will only be able to connect ONE device at a time, and you may well find it is pretty flaky and needs power-cycling every so often, so…

      2. After you have got client mode working, you are going to have to ditch the configuration tool and get your hands dirty to get it into bridge mode. The configuration tool WILL NOT work for getting it into bridge mode (unless BeatJunkie updated it, and I haven’t seen any evidence that he’s still following this subject for years). The reason is that the wrong commands are built into the tool; as I described in my original post, you need to use add remoteWbr and not set remoteWbr, which is how the configuration tool will try to do it.

      3. Even if you get it into bridge mode, it won’t talk to your WNR2000 unless that supports WDS (and has it enabled), so you’ll have to find out how to do that. Since they’re both Netgear products, your chances of success are pretty good (as long as the WNR2000 supports WDS).

      Good luck, and feel free to come back for more advice – though it might be an idea to use the thread on the Netgear forums too.

  3. hugsalot Says:

    I’m trying to do exactly the same thing but it just does NOT work. I can’t understand the broken English of Beatjunkie guide. It SEEMS to make sense but nothing is working. He’s even made a Tool to do this stuff automatically.. but nope.. no luck!

    Also what should I expect when client mode is on? How do i even know it’s connecting to my router or not? Will my PC suddenly have net access, or is there something else I need to do with my PC after enabling it?

    It’s not a matter of understanding the “lingo” it’s a matter of what some people take as obvious thing to do while the rest of us are totally oblivious towards. Have you ever done tech support with someone who doesn’t “automatically” know to hit ENTER after typing a command, or “double click” and icon? I feel like I’m like that person, missing what others take for granted and seem automatic to everyone “in the know.”

    • petescrap Says:

      Hi, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond: I’m having to do this on my iPhone!

      First off, can you confirm the version of your WGT624 – anything but a V3 and I doubt I can help, sorry!

      Second, what’s the router you’re trying to connect it to?

      Third, what exactly have you tried so far.

      I would try to get client mode working first, it’s easier – you can use the tool to do it. If you can get that working, then move on to getting bridge mode working.

  4. hugsalot Says:

    I’m using a WGT624 v2, trying to connect to a Linksys WRT54G flashed with Tomato firmware as the AP.

    I can use the WGT624 as the AP, and use the WRT54G as a bridge, but my Xbox 360 has issues with the WGT624 for whatever stupid reason. I think WGT624 uPnP is just screwed up. It can connect to XboxLive well enough but it just craps out in about 5 mins, and i have to power-cycle the 360 for everything for it to reconnect, but then it just drops out again in 5 mins. All other devices work fine.

    Anyway I’ve abandoned the WGT624 out right since it’s complete crap. And I’ve acquired another Linksys WRT54G on eBay to be used as a bridge. Good old WRT54G routers are so reliable and customizable.

  5. BeatJunkie Says:

    Hi,

    I just stumbled across your site, while checking my server statistics ;)

    When you say you got an improved command sequence for the bridge mode, you could create a command file for my tool and just publish it.
    I’ve created this custom command-sequence option with full intend for exactly that use-case ;)

    People could just load your command config into their tool and things will go much easier (for everybody).

    At the time I created the tool, I could only create command-sequences that worked for me. And as you said it correctly – unfortunately they vary from version to version of the firmware.

    regards,
    BeatJunkie

    ps: is my English really THAT “broken”? I thougth it was at least understandable. :(

    • petescrap Says:

      Wow, hi BeatJunkie! Thanks for your input – I didn’t know your tool could be modified like that, that’s really useful.

      Don’t ever worry about your English – it’s far better than most of the native English speakers on the Internet!!

    • riccardo Says:

      Hallo BeatJunkie!

      Zuerst mal vielen Dank für dein Tutorial! Leider habe ich trotzdem noch ein Problem.
      Bei mir hat an sich alles gut funktioniert aber, ich bekomme am AP Router folgende Meldung in den Logs:

      [WLAN access rejected: incorrect security] from MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 22:13:28

      Die MAC Adresse ist die vom WGT624.

      Ich hab WPE ein und ausgeschalten, 64 und 128 bit Verschlüsselung probiert, immer auf beiden Routern die gleichen Einstellungen, kein Erfolg.
      Ich hab sogar am AP (WNR1000v2) die MAC Adresse explizit frei geschalten mit folgendem Ergebnis:

      [WLAN access allowed] from MAC: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:38
      [WLAN access rejected: incorrect security] from MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:38
      [WLAN access allowed] from MAC: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:31
      [WLAN access rejected: incorrect security] from MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:31
      [WLAN access allowed] from MAC: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:24
      [WLAN access rejected: incorrect security] from MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:24
      [WLAN access allowed] from MAC: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:17
      [WLAN access rejected: incorrect security] from MAC address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Saturday, August 14,2010 20:53:17

      Verbindung hab ich keine, der WGT624 wird auch nicht als verbundenes Ger√§t angezeigt….

      Irgendeine Idee?

      Vielen Dank im voraus!

      LG
      Riccardo

  6. aberr Says:

    Hey! So I stumbled upon your website!! I’m not sure if this is applicable to what I would to do but I’m going to try to explain it.

    So I have a WGT624v3 AND v4, but I’ve been doing everything on the v3. And currently my main router is a WGR614v4, which I can change to the WGT624v4, if I need WDS.

    I have a desktop computer that doesn’t have a wireless card and instead of buying a card I want to put one of these routers to use — I cannot string a 30ft cord across my living room floor to give my desktop internet access. I want to be able to plug my router into a wall (the power adapter), plug an ethernet cord into a LAN port and plug the other end of the ethernet cord into my computer.

    Is this possible? (and if so, am I in the right place?)

    I did everything from BeatJunkie’s website, but no dice — I wasn’t able to get it to work. Like everything is pretty much identical to his guide, but I still cannot connect. I should also mention that I plan on keeping my webserver on the desktop with help from DynamicDNS and whatnot.

    Please help!! :D

    • petescrap Says:

      It’s certainly possible – it’s working for me! I don’t know if BeatJunkie will see your response, and all I can suggest is running through the procedure over again… I had to do it a number of times before I cracked it.

  7. octav Says:

    Hi Pete, I am struggling with my wgt624v3 and a
    easybox802WDS capable router. I am able to get my wgt624v3 as
    repeater in wds console from easybox but I am not able to get any
    Ip addresses for the clients connecting to my repeater. Any ideea?
    thanks, octav

  8. Rosalia @ Netgear Warehouse Says:

    Hello, just browsing for information for my Netgear
    website. Lots of information out there. Not quite what I was
    looking for, but very nice site. Have a good day.

  9. Robert Says:

    Hello! My English is no good, but i hope you understand.
    I have two Wgt624 v3, one is main router on my network, and the other is in wireless client mode, thanx to you and BeatJunkie :-) But i need it to serve more than one computer (2 or 3 old Mac computers coenected to it), i understand that I have to follow this guide to get it in to bridge mode, but do I have to change something on my wgt624 main router? It is not hacked (original).

    And why Can’t I just chose “bridge mode” whit the Telnet program, insted of client mode?

    Please help :-)

  10. Murilo Peixoto Says:

    Hi there. Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your experience. I actually could make it work. However, it does not repeat the wifi signal (so it does not extend it). The WGT624 comunicate with the AP (which is a WPR824v3) in the bridge mode. I can get internet connection through the LAN RJ45 port on the (remote) bridged WGT624, but it doesn’t broadcast (or repeat) the wifi signal. Do you have any clue? Thanks in advance!

  11. secret Says:

    ok… so how do you reverse this?

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