Using dd-wrt to convert a Linksys router

Using dd-wrt to convert a Linksys router

When I got my MiFi device to replace my satellite modem, I had to figure out a way to share the internet signal with the other computers on my home network. At first I thought I could just use the UBS connection on the MiFi and then use the desktop computer as a gateway for the other computers. Well, I never could get the USB modem software to run on my old XP computer.

I then thought I would just buy a wireless USB device to plug into the desktop. However the cost of these at Wal-Mart was more than I wanted to pay. I started to order one from Tiger Direct but then I found a different solution.

I found that I could convert my router that I no longer needed into a device by running it in “Client Mode.” Unfortunately my Linksys router did not support client mode.

A few more Google searches revealed that I could replace the firmware with some from and make it run like I needed it to.

At first I was scared from the dire warnings that I could easily convert my router into a paper weight if I did not carefully follow the instructions. But I eventually decided to give it a try.

I found my router listed in the wiki and printed out the instructions. I downloaded the appropriate files. I then reset the router just like in the instructions. I actually used a stopwatch to make sure I held the button down for the correct amount of time.

Holding the button down while disconnecting and reconnecting the power was the hardest part of the job for me. Well that and the waiting five minutes between changes near the end of the procedure. If I had not used a stopwatch I am sure I would not have waited long enough. I got very impatient, but I read where not waiting was the most common error people make in installing the software, so I waited it out.

The instructions were very easy to follow. I just checked off each step along the way. Everything worked like it was supposed to and my Clint mode ran first time. The router automatically syncs up with the MiFi whenever I turn it on. It runs in secure access mode so I don’t have to worry about my neighbors using up my bandwidth.

See for more info on the router modification.

Goodbye Hughesnet; hello Verizon MiFI

Goodbye Hughesnet; hello Verizon MiFI

While there are a lot of great things about living in the country like letting the dog run free and having 4×4 trails in the back yard, having access to high speed internet is not among them.

I am about a mile from the end of the Charter cable run and several miles from the nearest DSL capable phone line. For years the only option I had was Directway. Directway eventually evolved into Hughesnet.

The satellite internet seemed really cool at first. Connection speeds were much faster than dial up. And it was also more reliable. It was always on and I never had to worry about busy signals when trying to connect the modem. The savings of dropping AOL and the extra phone line pretty much paid for the Satellite service at first.

However over the years the price went up and the service went down. First they added download limits. And they did not tell anyone, they just secretly started limited speeds if you went over a certain amount. It took some folks in a broadband forum to figure it out and write a program so you could monitor your download sand not go over the limit and be penalized for going over.

In the past few months, the system has become virtually unusable as the connection speeds during peak use times are unbearably slow. The system works fine during the day and late at night; but from 4pm to 10 pm it is useless.

I reluctantly tested the Verizon 3g connection at our house. Cell phone coverage is pretty good there but not perfect. I suspected the data transfer would be spotty at best. However, I was surprised at the speed of two different devices I tested. They worked great and got better signal than my phone.

So, I finally cancelled the Hughesnet service and got the Verizon MiFi 3g. 4g had just come out but it was much more expensive for the device so I decided to just get the 3g.

The box arrived by FedEx and was very easy to set up. All I had to do was connect using the wireless card in my laptop computer. I have not run any actual speed tests but the feel is much faster. I can actually play Car Town on Facebook. That was next to impossible on the satellite.

The trouble came about when I tried to connect it to the desktop computer. The USB connection simply refused to install. I saw in some forums that others were having similar issues using XP like I was. I decided to just stop fighting it and use a wireless connection for the desk top as well.

The trouble was, I needed a wireless device for the desktop. See the next post for how I modified my Linksys router to connect to the MiFi.