Configure Cisco Linksys WRT54G2 V1 wireless router to work with ADSL modem

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I had purchased a Cisco Linksys WRT54G2 V1 router nearly two years ago. I gave up trying to set up the wifi router with my DSL modem then, and it has been accumulating dust in my attic ever since. Recently, I tried setting it up again, and presto, this time it worked! Below is a walkthrough, along with problems you may encounter and possible solutions. If you have any doubts or questions, leave them in comments below and I’ll try to help.

The WRT54G2 V1 router that I have is popular, and supports custom firmware like DD-WRT and Tomato well. Sadly, newer versions of this seems to have reduced hardware capabilities, and therefore no support for DD WRT. The reason is the greatly reduced RAM in the router.

You can try the Linksys setup wizard software. If it does not work, follow the steps below to configure the router manually.

Setup Linksys router with cable connection

Connect the modem to your computer directly. Ensure that your net connection is working, by opening any page in a browser.

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Alternatively, enter ping google.com
You should get a response of packets sent = 4 received = 4.

If not, your internet is not working properly. Get that fixed first.

Now, connect a cable between your computer and any of the four LAN ports on the router. Check that the respective port number lights up on the top of the router.

Now, connect a cable between your ADSL modem and the “Internet” port of the router. Check that the corresponding light for net also comes on.

Now that the connections between router, modem and computer are set up and tested, we need to tweak the settings from router administration page. Go to http://192.168.1.1 in a browser. When prompted for username and password, leave username blank and type password as admin.

You will be led to a Linksys Setup page.

From the drop down menu on the page, select “Automatic Configuration DHCP”. Hit “Save Settings”.

Back on the admin page, click Mac Address Clone. Hit enable and click “Clone Your Mac-Address Clone”. Click “Save Settings” button.

Now, go to “Status” page, and look for IP address. It will have some value other than 0.0.0.0. If so, you are connected to the internet.

Wifi configuration on Linksys router

Here, you can set up wifi, with necessary encryption etc.

Click “Wireless” tab.

Under Basic Wireless Settings, select the following:

Wireless Network Mode: Mixed

Wireless Network Name(SSID): any name you want to give your wifi network. You see this when searching for wifi on any device.

Wireless Channel: Leave this on the default option, which is 6.
Wireless SSID Broadcast: Leave it enabled.

Hit “Save Settings”.

Configuring wireless security (encryption) – WPA2 or WEP

You can set up encryption on this page. It is advised to use WPA2 Personal, as it is the strongest. Avoid leaving it off (Disabled) or WEP, as they are easy to break in. Enter an 8 character password. Note it down – you will need to enter it in every device you connect to.

Finishing up:
Find out whether yours is a DSL line in bridge mode, or NAT mode.

Open a command prompt (type cmd in Start menu). Type the command ipconfig

If you see IPv4 Address as 192.x.x.x, 172.x.x.x, 10.x.x.x, then you have it in NAT mode. If you see any other address, it is in bridge mode. NAT mode is found on always-on internet connections, while bridge mode is used in connections where you have to connect manually with username / password combo.

If yours is in bridge mode, go to the router admin page, and change internet connection type to PPPOE. Enter the Username and password you use to connect your modem to the network. Hit Save settings.

If your connection is in NAT mode, go to router admin page. Under Network > Router IP, change local IP to 192.168.2.1

From now, you should use this IP to access the router admin page.

Common problems and solutions

Below are a few problems that cause your connection to not work even after following all steps above, and steps to solve them. I can understand how frustrating they are, as it happened to me when setting up my own router!

Problem: You have a NAT mode connection, and you followed all the steps above. Torrents work for you, but browsing does not.
Try ping 4.2.2.1 in command prompt. If you get four replies, then this is an issue with a DNS server. To fix it, go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections. Right Click on Local Area Connection, then hit properties. Switch to Network Tab. Select TCP/IP IPv4 and hit properties. In the window that comes up, select “Use the following DNS server address”. Enter 4.2.2.1 and 4.2.2.2 as the DNS addresses. Hit OK.

Problem: ping 4.2.2.1 does not work.
If you get the “Request Timed Out” error, this could be an issue with your antivirus or firewall. Try disabling them temporarily to see if this is the case.

Problem: You get an IP address, but are still unable to access internet.
Try power-cycling the modem and router to fix this.

To do so, first turn off the power to the router then to the modem. Wait for 30 seconds.
Now, turn on modem, wait for a few seconds.
Next, turn on router and wait a few seconds. You should now see the “data” LED light up on the modem.
You should be online now.

This was a long tutorial, but I hope someone finds this useful. I had to poke around a lot to get this right, as most other tutorials online only advise you to set up using the setup wizard, or directly go to the router admin page, neither of which worked.