A linksys wireless access point, or linksys wireless router can be setup as a wireless bridge between two or more locations.  Although it is not recommended to use the linksys wireless router as a wireless bridge, it is possible.  In the following explanation, we use a pair of Linksys WAP54G to create a wireless bridge, and show you how to setup the wireless bridge.

Begin by placing the AP’s in the same room, and connect the FIRST Linksys wireless access point to your switch or PC.

By default, the WAP54G comes with a default IP address of 192.168.1.245.  Username is left blank, and password is admin.  Configure your managing computer to use a static IP address to the same subnet as the 192.168.1.xx to initially configure the unit.  If you are not familiar with changing the IP address on your computer, please use the included CD to configure the AP.  The CD will allow you to follow their instructions on setting up your new access point.

Note:  Both Linksys WAP54G’s must be configured with different IP addresses in order to communicate.  For example 192.168.1.246, and 192.168.1.247.

After you have changed the IP address of the WAP54G, login to the access point via any web browser.  The setup screen will now appear.  The default channel is 6, and the SSID is Linksys.  Change the SSID to something unique.  The Channel and SSID must be typed the same on both WAP54G’s in order for them to communicate.  Non-interfering channels are 1, 6 and 11.  For troubleshooting purposes later on, if you find that you have a lot of access points in the area, and they are broadcasting on a common channel, try changing the channel for better operation.  Remember to Save all changes.

Next, under the AP MODE tab, change the mode, from AP mode to Wireless Bridge.  On the underside of each Linksys device, you will see a MAC address in the format of xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx. Copy this address down, as this address will go into the other Linksys radio.  You want to place the MAC address of each AP in the opposite AP setup page.  This is what will enable the two radios to communicate with each other.

Next look for the tab that says ADVANCED WIRELESS.  Here you want to find ANTENNA SELECTION.  By default the WAP54G is set to diversity mode, which means it is using both antenna ports.  Change this setting to RIGHT, which is the right antenna when looking at the unit from the front.  This setting will force all the power from the AP to the right antenna port, giving you the most power to the external antenna.  The WAP54G has about 32mW of transmit power.   Save all changes.

Note: When connecting your external antenna to the right antenna port, please be sure to leave the stock antenna connected to the left antenna port.

Your first Access Point is configured.  Repeat the steps above to configure your second LInksys WAP54G as a wireless bridge.          

Once all of your AP’s are configured, it is recommended that you test the connectivity between the Access Points in the same room or location, to make sure that they are indeed communicating.  This will save time later, when you will mount the AP’s in their respective locations.

When you are ready to install the WAP54G’s in their respective locations, remove the factory antenna on the right side and connect the coax cable to that port.  On the other port, leave the stock antenna connected. 

Mount the antennas in their desired locations, usually outside on the roof or side of the building.  Make sure it is pointed in the direction of the opposing location.  Depending on what antenna you purchased, it has either a 15 degree, 30 degree, or 50 degree coverage pattern.  So make sure the other building is within that coverage area.  When creating a Linksys wireless bridge, it is important that your antennas have clear, unobstructed line of sight between each other, to maintain a solid, reliable connection.  If you have any obstructions in the way, it is recommended to upgrade to a more powerful wireless bridge radio link.

Note:  It is not recommended to mount the antenna directly to a metal building.  This will cause a reflection of the wireless signal and cause a drop in your wireless signal strength.  Use an antenna mast to raise the antenna at least 5ft. away from the building.

Test connectivity between the WAP54G’s by opening up a MSDOS window.  Type “PING” and the IP address of the remote WAP54G.  For example, “ping –t 192.168.1.246”.  If you get a “reply”, you have connectivity.  If you get a “request timed out”, then you need to troubleshoot the aiming of your antennas, or turn off Windows Firewall.