My previous wireless router decided to die on me, one morning last month. I liked to joke that it was the result of too much web-cam streaming action. Incidentally, a friend of mine was doing that with his girlfriend the night before. When I woke up the morning after, the wireless router just refused to start and the diagnostic page showed 100% transmission errors. So, I went out and got myself a brand new wireless router instead.
So, what do I do with the old router?
I decided to turn it into a switch. Although the wireless action was shoddy, it still had 5 good ethernet ports on it. However, before doing that, I decided to flash a new upgraded firmware onto it. During the upgrade, I instructed the router to reset its configuration data to factory defaults. After successfully completing the flash, it started to work, wireless operations inclusive! Mysterious.
So, I have two working wireless routers at home now – both are Buffalo routers running dd-wrt. One is actually just the newer model of the other one, with an upgraded processor from 200MHz to 240MHz. So, I decided to use the second router to extend my network. One would immediately think of using WDS to extend the wireless network but after a quick read, I decided against it and decided to build a wireless bridge instead. What this means is that I can connect any number of ethernet devices to it and have them connect to the rest of my network.
This would be useful as I have a bunch of older machines at home that do not have wireless capabilities. Currently, whenever I need to setup these machines, I pull a long network cable from the server rack into my workbench. That is no longer necessary with my new wireless bridge. I can keep the bridge on my workbench and just run short length cables to my workbench machines. Basically, I have got an over-glorified wireless card that can connect up to 5 other machines through ethernet. This would be useful in so many different ways. I might want to think of ways to re-arrange my home network.