DD-WRT: Routers the Next Generation

I realize it's not a new technology (its on ver. 23), but its one I've recently adopted.  We're planning on doing some re-arranging to put an office in the house, and that means computers in different rooms.  What I need now, I said to myself, is a way of extending my wireless network to another room... preferably with a router on the other end too so I can plug in a non-wireless computer.

The problem: The firmware for my Linksys WRT54G doesn't allow that, at least not easily.

Enter the DD-WRT firmware package to save the day.  This package gives you full "god-mode-like" control over your router's settings, and thus your entire wireless network.  Multiple routers can be placed in the same space to allow a WLAN to be extended to a much greater range (this is the same basic principle as a cellular network).  The principle is referred to as a Wireless Distribution System (WDS), with the individual access points acting as repeaters.

Next week I'll be picking up the second node for my Wireless home network so that I can finally move that other computer upstairs!  🙂

DD-WRT has a ton of other features including the ability to host a hot-spot of your very own.  This is particularly useful for small businesses who may wish to offer wifi connectivity on their premises.  Check out the DD-WRT wiki for a full rundown on what this package can do.

For additional information on tricking out your Linksys WRT54G, check out Aaron Wiess' article "The Open Source WRT54G Story" on wi-fiplanet.com.