How to convert your D-Link DIR-615 to a Wireless Repeater Bridge
I hope this post saves you some time. I’ve put almost a day to figure this out.
The reason why I badly needed a wireless bridge was that I recently bought an Optus Home Zone to actually make my cell phone useful at home. The device should be connected to Internet using a wire which is not long enough and you can’t put it close to your wireless modem because it will then convert your ADSL2+ connection to a dial-up one. I also wanted the device out of our bedroom and I absolutely didn’t want to use a 10 meters wire for that.
I searched eBay and bought a D-Link DIR-615 for $17. That’s where the problem begins because initially I thought that I could easily convert the device to a wireless bridge using it’s settings but I found out that it’s not possible out of the f…… box.
I’m not going through each and every detail because I’m sure if you are here then you are smart enough to figure out details however, I will introduce the steps I took plus links to sources. Also, I guess these steps generally will work for other brands and models with little bit of adjustment.
The router I bought is designed to distribute Internet using its four LAN ports and the wireless interface. What I wanted to do was to receive the internet using the wireless interface and distribute it using the LAN ports. So, first I needed to completely get rid of the current router firmware and flush it with another firmware called dd-wrt. Isn’t the name cute? Don’t worry, you’ll fine much cuter things if you keep on reading :-)
You need to find the right firmware for your device, in my case DIR-615. So, I headed to router database and searched for my firmware using “dir-615”. My device’s revision is C2.
Eventually you will download a ddwrt firmware image file which ends like this factory-to-ddwrt-firmware.bin. This is the image you should flush your router with but again not out of the f…… box. If you search forums you probably will come up with a 30/30/30 recommendation/approach. My advise is to forget about that unless you know you need it. It didn’t work for me. Before using the image you should edit the image file and change the id in the file to match your device id. The problem now is that you don’t know your device id but it’s not hard to find out. If you go to your manufacturer’s website and download the original firmware you will find the device id at the end of the file when you edit it with a hex editor. I used NEO.
The image above shows my device’s original firmware on right and the ddwrt on left. Luckily I only had to add the “01” to the beginning of the id.
After you’ve saved the file then it’s time to flush your router with the modified firmware. In my case it was under administration/firmware. You upload the firmware, it starts flushing your device. It takes a while and then the device will reboot. One thing to note is that your original firmware may use 192.168.0.1 ip address for the device where ddwrt uses 192.168.1.1 although I had to change all of them to 10.0.0.x because that’s my home network ip range.
Next time you open your router’s page (http://192.168.1.1) you will see the new ddwrt firmware in command which I found it very powerful and feature rich although, I would like to put an easier DHCP on my wishlist.
Follow the detailed and well described steps here to convert your router to a repeater bridge. The only difference I made was using my own ip range.
At this step the router is a fully functional repeater bridge. I only had to enable DHCP which was a bit more complicated than I was expecting. Anyway, to enable DHCP first you should pay a visit to Setup>Networking on the router and add a Multiple DHCP Server under DHCPD section. I used br0 interface. More details on this can be found here. Then go to Services tab and find and enable DNSMasq. Then add the following to the additional DNSMasq options:
Again, if you have used another bridge or an ip range other that specified you need to modify the code above. Save, Apply Settings, Reboot and vola.
The Optus home zone device is now sitting in the comfort of my leaving room and working well.