Does anyone know if I can use a Trendnet TEW-652BRP as a repeater/access point?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I'm trying to get a better signal to my son's bedroom, and I have this old Trendnet router. It apparently does not support bridge mode, and will not work with dd-wrt (apparently its chipset is too mundane for the authors, based on a few forum posts).



  • I visited the TrendNet web site and yeah, it appears that bridge mode is not part of their stock firmware.

    Some routers always bridge the Wi-Fi to the LAN ports (bridge mode disables the router functionality and adds the WAN port to the bridge.) It might be worth checking to see if your router does this - attach your home LAN Ethernet to a LAN port instead of the WAN port and see if it does what you want. Be sure to disable its DHCP server, since it will likely interfere with the server being used by the rest of your LAN.

    Google was able to find a [URL=http://sourceforge.net/projects/tew652brpv2wcl/]SourceForge project[/URL] for firmware (generated by modifying TrendNet's GPL firmware) that puts it into "client mode". This is where you attach a bunch of hosts to the LAN ports and use the Wi-Fi for the uplink to the rest of your LAN. I don't know if this is equivalent to bridge mode, but it may be another possibility worth considering.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @David_C said:

    I don't know if this is equivalent to bridge mode

    I'm not sure if it's equivalent, but I think the end result is fairly similar (WiFi->LAN)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @David_C said:

    Google was able to find a SourceForge project for firmware (generated by modifying TrendNet's GPL firmware) that puts it into "client mode". This is where you attach a bunch of hosts to the LAN ports and use the Wi-Fi for the uplink to the rest of your LAN. I don't know if this is equivalent to bridge mode, but it may be another possibility worth considering.

    That might work but then I'd have to run a wire across his whole room, and either run it across his bathroom door or up over it, so I could put the second router in the hall.

    I'm not sure if powerline networking would work well. The wiring is probably sound in the apartment, but it's 40 years old or so, and (for example) all the wall plates are loose and the sockets themselves no longer really grip plugs well, etc.



  • @FrostCat said:

    That might work but then I'd have to run a wire across his whole room, and either run it across his bathroom door or up over it, so I could put the second router in the hall.

    How were you originally planning to extend the network (before you discovered that the router didn't support bridge mode)?

    @FrostCat said:

    I'm not sure if powerline networking would work well. The wiring is probably sound in the apartment, but it's 40 years old or so, and (for example) all the wall plates are loose and the sockets themselves no longer really grip plugs well, etc.

    I use powerline networking in my home (I need 3 WAPs to cover my home properly). I use three TP-Link adapters running at 500Mbps. They work well for me, although they occasionally crash, forcing me to unplug/replug the adapter in order to get the network back. If you go this route look for devices that support the HomePlug AV or AV2 spec - these are available at 200, 500, 600, 1000 and 1200 Mbps speeds. Some have built-in WiFi APs as well, which can save the cost of adding routers.

    If your receptacles are old and loose, see if the owner will replace them. It's cheap and easy for him (or a handyman) to do. If the owner won't do it, I would consider doing it myself. But if the owner is reasonable, he should do this, since loose receptacles can be a fire hazard.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @David_C said:

    How were you originally planning to extend the network (before you discovered that the router didn't support bridge mode)?

    I'd like to buy a router with a bigger set of antennae in the hopes that would be "enough". I get 100Mb from TWC, but in my son's room he only gets about 5-10%. He's happy with it because it's enough to let him stream HD Youtube videos (for example), but if you want to install something like Fallout 4, it's faster to cart the computer into the living room, where the router is, and plug it into the router, which is ridiculous.

    Here's the layout:

    Red is the router, blue is his computer. Actually the computer is closer to the bathroom door than where I drew it--basically it's in that corner. It would be less awkward to run awire through the livingroom passthrough into the kitchen and screw the second router to the wall in the hall up by the ceiling. That'd probably give him a good boost in signal.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @David_C said:

    If your receptacles are old and loose, see if the owner will replace them. It's cheap and easy for him (or a handyman) to do. If the owner won't do it, I would consider doing it myself. But if the owner is reasonable, he should do this, since loose receptacles can be a fire hazard.

    I feel reasonably confident I could do it myself. It's an apartment, FWIW, not a house. The management would probably do it if asked.


  • SockDev

    @FrostCat said:

    It's an apartment, FWIW, not a house.

    well there goes my suggestion.

    i would have suggested drilling a hole in the floor next the the baseboard just big enough for a piece of cat5e and running the cable that way (assuming this was a groundfloor and you had an unfinished basement)

    but with an appartment, that plan is a non-starter


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    basement

    Due to the high level of clay in the soil, which translates into significant movement, basically nobody in north Texas has a basement. Would've been a good idea, though, and to some extent modifications are allowed as long as you undo them when you move out or leave them behind. Whoever had my apartment before me replaced the shelves in the pantry with rollout ones, and I am apparently the only person in the entire complex to have them.


  • SockDev

    @FrostCat said:

    Due to the high level of clay in the soil, which translates into significant movement, basically nobody in north Texas has a basement.

    well there goes my other assumption.....



  • @accalia said:

    well there goes my other assumption.....

    There may still be a crawlspace under the floor, which you can pull cables through. Though you may want to sheathe them in something to protect against moisture on the bare ground, and/or fix them to the bottom of the floor.



  • @PleegWat said:

    to protect against moisture

    And rodents. Before you know it they are dowloading Stuart Little 69 on your LAN.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @PleegWat said:

    There may still be a crawlspace under the floor

    Not in this case. Even in houses, for some reason crawlspaces in Dallas are mostly not done--nearly everything is built right on slab.

    "Funny" story--a few years ago a coworker had to have jacks put under his house because of subsidence. The company dug a bunch of ~refrigerator-sized holes in his house, one under his fridge. Then, they temporarily put the fridge back over it. I'm sure y'all know what comes next: for some reason he needed to move the fridge 6 months later and found he had a 6 foot deep hole with a few inches of water in it, under the fridge.



  • Thanks for the description and diagram.

    The best bandwidth will be achieved by running Ethernet cabling, but that is likely to be a problem because of all the circumstances you already posted. If you've got carpeting, you might be able to tuck it in along the baseboard between the carpet and the wall, leaving only a bit of exposed wire near where it connects to the routers (which can be behind a desk.)

    Otherwise, I think powerline is your best approach. Look for something supporting the HomePlug AV or AV2 standard and is at least as fast as your internet service. I've been happy using 500Mbps transceivers. Be sure to configure their encryption, since your power lines are probably shared with your neighbors' units. Most transceivers have very convenient buttons so you can pair them with each other and not have to mess with explicit configuration (often via a proprietary app.)

    Also remember that powerline adapters must plug directly into the wall jacks. Don't attach them to a power strip. Surge suppression and power-filtering circuitry will filter out the data from your power. (Old-style power strips that have no filtering or surge suppression shouldn't be a problem, but they are surprisingly hard to find in stores these days.)

    Given your circumstances, you may not even need to install a WAP in your son's bedroom. You could just run an Ethernet cable from the powerline transceiver to his computer, effectively connecting it directly to the router in the dining room. Or (if he has a few computers), attach an Ethernet switch to it.

    If you decide a WAP is still important, you might still want to its Ethernet ports for non-portable devices that are close enough for a cable to be convenient. This is what I do in my home - there's an Ethernet switch near the cable modem in my office and the desktop devices in that room connect that way. The Wi-Fi is reserved for mobile things like laptops, tablets and phones.



  • @David_C said:

    attach an Ethernet switch

    Or use a HomePlug that has two or more ethernet ports.

    @David_C said:

    If you decide a WAP is still important

    Then get a Homeplug to wireless thingy. Plug it in the mains and it will connect to the main HomePlug near the router and act like an access point.



  • @Luhmann said:

    Or use a HomePlug that has two or more ethernet ports.

    Have you seen adapters with more than two ports? That's the most I've ever seen.
    @Luhmann said:
    Then get a Homeplug to wireless thingy. Plug it in the mains and it will connect to the main HomePlug near the router and act like an access point.

    It is an option, but it wouldn't be my first choice. The last time I went shopping, the highest speed powerline adapters did not include the latest Wi-Fi tech (e.g. 802.11ac) And the brands with good Wi-Fi (like Linksys) only sold HomePlug devices at the 200M speed.

    Although it may cost a bit more, I would recommend buying separate powerline adapters and WAPs, so you can get high speeds on both the powerline and with wireless networks. And when something fails (or otherwise needs to be upgraded) you don't need to throw out the part that isn't broken.



  • @David_C said:

    Have you seen adapters with more than two ports?

    Yes, last year in the Mediamarket. I would Google them if I cared.


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