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Thread: "Ethernet bridge" and "Station" ???

  1. #1

    "Ethernet bridge" and "Station" ???

    I am not sure that I understand the terms "ethernet bridge" and "station" as used by Asus. I looked at everything in this site, and I read the manual (really), but I was still confused. Finally, the manual for my old Linksys access point helped me to my limited understanding. Can someone tell me if the following is correct. If it is, it might be helpful to other newcomers.


    The Linksys AP has a mode called "access point client", and I think that this is essentially the same as the Asus "station" mode. The access point client wirelessly seeks to connect to a particular remote access point.


    The Linksys AP has a mode called "wireless bridge", and I think that this is essentially the same as the Asus "ethernet bridge" mode. Its classic use is to create a bridge between two networks. Imagine two WL-500gx's each with a wired LAN attached. WL-500gx One is set up to search for WL-500gx Two as in the above station mode and vice versa. That is, it is a symmetric relationship between two access point clients which seek each other.

    So far, then, it seems that the Asus ethernet bridge and station modes are essentially the same, at least as far as each individual WL-500gx is concerned. Indeed, that is why several people have said here that we can use either the ethernet bridge mode or the station mode when we are trying to make the WL-500gx function as an access point client. There may be differences between these two modes---there are in the Linksys AP---but they do not affect the use of a WL-500gx as a client.


    This also confused me, but here is my current view, and it might even be correct. Suppose that everything is on the same subnet (say, 192.168.1.x) and that the WL-500gx is in station mode.

    The station has to specify the remote access point to which it wants to connect, and it also has to establish its own IP address on the subnet. The former is done with the SSID and MAC address of the remote access point. I am not sure that both are needed; however, if they are, it is not a bad idea. In any event, the input of these two specifications is confusing. I sort things out by mental relabeling: wherever it says "WAN" I think "Desired remote access point", and in place of "Home Gateway" I think "Access Point Client" (but only in station mode). The input of the IP address of the client is not a problem: input it where it asks for the LAN address, in my case

    That's it. I hope that you will correct my errors, clarify where clarification is needed, and add things that I have left out. For example, I have said nothing about DHCP and gateways.

  2. #2

    Angry A beautiful theory destroyed by ugly facts.

    Well I thought that I was getting the client mode under control, but I was wrong. In particular, using the public interface I was able to get the client mode functioning partially. Things worked fine outside of my LAN, but pinging inside the LAN and trying to open the ASUS page from across the wireless bridge did not work. There must be 2-to-the-N ways to try, and I tried many of them. Finally, I gave up.

    I executed the following well publicized commands

    wl ap 0
    wl wet 1
    wl scan
    wl scanresults
    wl join falcon11 (falcon11 = my ssid)

    and everything worked perfectly.

    When I executed

    brctl showmacs br0

    it all made sense.

  3. #3

    Lightbulb The bridge needs to know the gateway address.

    When I connect my laptop through an ethernet cable to the WL500gx acting as a wireless access point client everything works perfectly. My laptop has access to the entire web as well as the LAN. The access to the web is through a Linksys wireless access point connected to a Linksys router which is acting as a gateway (with appropriate forwarding). Although the address of this gateway was not in the WL500gx, it was in the laptop.

    However, I am using the wl500gx with a webcam to create a wireless surveillance camera (wireless security camera); that is, my laptop will not normally be connected to the wl500gx. To be able to access this wireless surveillance camera from the web I had to tell the wl500gx the address of the gateway.

    I telnetet to the wl500gx and executed the following command:

    route add default gw

    Then executing the command route I could see that the gateway address had been added to the routing table.

    Afterwards everything did work perfectly.

    I am a bit embarrassed that I did not realize that the gateway address was necessary. Indeed, if I plug a wireless access card into my laptop it needs to be given the gateway address, and the wl500gx-webcam combination needs this address too.

  4. #4

    I will eventually have to "flash" it.

    All you grizzled WL500g(x) veterans know the following, but we fresh-faced new recruits just have not yet figured out many well know things.

    All the changes that I presented in my previous messages disappear when I turn off the wl500gx, and I have to re-enter them each time I reboot. This can be avoided if I "flash" the changes. Let me explain.

    There are two pertinent pieces of hardware in the wl500gx: the flash memory (4MB) and the random access memory (RAM) (32MB). Each has a section of the address space. Anything in RAM is lost when the wl500gx is turned off, and this is where my changes are at the moment. Anything in the flash memory remains (unless explicitly changed). This means that all the wl500gx's software has to fit into the flash memory and be loaded into the RAM when the wl500gx boots. Although the flash memory is just about full (I think), there is room for storing some added information, for example, the things that I entered into RAM to create a wireless surveillance camera. I just have to run some commands to store them in flash memory. I am not going to do so yet because I am going to do some other things first that will also have to be flashed. I want to flash everything at the end (when I know better what is going on).

    In particular, I want to install Palantir 2.6, and this will involve adding more flash memory in the form of a USB memory stick. Palantir is too big (if I understand correctly) to fit into the existing flash memory. After boot it will be loaded from the USB memory stick into RAM, and RAM is big enough to handle it.

    Just one final remark: The nvram is often referred to on this site. It is just a part of the flash memory, indeed a small part. You can look at its contents with

    nvram show | more

    Click "space" to show new pages. At first I thought that nvram and flash memory were the same. Oh well, that's part of the fun of this toy.

    Needless to say, I welcome any corrections or clarifications from you veterans.

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