There are several articles and lots of confusion on this topic out there. Here is what worked for me.
First, let’s clarify terms.
You can set up the WGT624v3 in several modes:
Client: basically just an external network card for a device. Apparently limited to one device. This is the mode documented here.
Bridge: allows connecting multiple wired devices to the WGT624v3.
Bridge + WDS: additionally enable the Wireless Distribution Service to allow wireless devices to connect to the WGT624v3 (acts as a repeater).
This article deals only with the second and third options.
My WGT624v3 has Firmware version V2.0.26_1.0.1NA installed. I’ll be connecting to a Linksys E2000 running Tomato Firmware v1.28.4407 MIPSR2-Toastman-VLAN-RT K26 VPN.
Prepare the WGT624v3 via the GUI
Use the normal Netgear web interface to prepare the WGT624v3:
- Set the wireless SSID and channel to match the channel on your main access point.
- Turn off wireless encryption during setup. Later you can enable WEP 128-bit. (Sorry, WPA-PSK [TKIP] and WPA2-PSK [AES] don’t work; I tried.)
- Under LAN IP Setup, set the IP address of the WGT624v3 to an unused IP in the subnet of the main router. If the main router is on 192.168.1.1, offering DHCP in the range .2 to .50, you might set the WGT624v3 IP to 192.168.1.100.
- Still under LAN IP Setup, uncheck Use Router as a DHCP Server. The main router (or a computer on that router’s network) will be responsible for providing DHCP services for the entire network.
Caution Once you disable DHCP on the WGT624v3, if you want to connect to the WGT624v3 before the rest of the setup is complete, you’ll need to manually set your computer’s IP address to another address in the same subnet, e.g. 192.168.1.200.
Connect to the WGT624v3 via Telnet
You’ll need the MAC address of your WGT624v3. It’s printed on the bottom of the unit.
By default the WGT624v3 does not accept Telnet connections. To connect via Telnet, download TelnetEnable.exe from one of the links in Beatjunkie’s article. You’ll run this from the command line. (I created a .bat file so I could run it repeatedly.) The syntax is as follows:
C:\[path]\telnetEnable.exe IP_ADDRESS MAC_ADDRESS Gearguy Geardog
So for example (type this all one one line):
C:\Users\MyName\Desktop\telnetEnable.exe 192.168.1.100 00184D123456 Gearguy
Note Do not use your own router username and password. Use Gearguy and Geardog.
Open a command prompt and run the batch file. You’ll get a message from TelnetEnable if something doesn’t work. If it does work, it just drops you back to the command line, and the WGT624v3 is waiting for a Telnet connection.
Windows 7 doesn’t include a Telnet client, but I’ve found Putty to be a great alternative. Just be sure you select Telnet so it can connect:
After connecting, you’ll get a Login prompt. Log in as Gearguy with the password Geardog.
- You have to run TelnetEnable every time you want to connect via Telnet.
- The WGT624v3 seems to drop the connection after a minute or two of inactivity. I found that I sometimes had to power cycle the router before I could reconnect via Telnet.
Working in the WGT624v3 Command Mode
Finally, in Putty, you have a small command prompt:
help if you want to see some options.
wla to get into the wireless setup submenu. Type
help again. Note that there are tons of
get commands to retrieve current status of various options. For example, try
.. (two dots) to exit the wireless setup submenu. You’re back at the main menu. This is where you will type
Finally, the Actual Configuration
With that brief orientation, here are the commands to actually set up bridge mode. You will need the MAC address of your main router:
wla set remoteAp [Main Router MAC Address] add remoteWbr [Main Router MAC Address] set oper wbr set wds enable .. save reboot
Seems almost too easy. Hope I didn’t forget anything!
To WDS or Not to WDS
I definitely want to use my main Linksys E2000 for wireless connections, so Tomato’s settings must include Access Point mode. To allow the WGT624v3 to connect in bridge mode, I found that Tomato must be set to Access Point + WDS mode. (I also entered the MAC address of the WGT624v3 into Tomato’s list of WDS devices.)
However, enabling WDS mode on the WGT624v3 is optional. If you don’t want the WGT624v3 to act as a repeater, you can skip the
set wds enable command above. Or if you already enabled it, to display the WDS status and then disable WDS, after establishing the Telnet connection:
wla get wds set wds disable .. save reboot
Now go back in to the main router and the WGT624v3 web interface and enable 128-bit WEP encryption. As mentioned above, I could not get WPA-PSK [TKIP] or WPA2-PSK [AES] to work, at least not with WDS enabled. There is an explanation for this here. I believe Tomato would support WPA encryption with WDS, but not the old WGT624v3.
There’s a gotcha if you’re using Tomato with multiple VLANs and you want your WDS connection established on something other than VLAN 1. See the next article, Configure a WDS Bridge on a Tomato Guest VLAN.