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Configuring the D-Link DWL-G730AP


I recently got a D-Link travel router for travel use.  Here is a picture:



This router has three modes:  AP, Wireless Client, and Router. 

AP Mode:
Since I wanted it to act as my AP while on travel, I tried this mode.  It turns out that the AP mode does not do NAT at all.  It is actually more like a wireless switch.  It gives the router WLAN,  LAN (which is really kind of the WAN, since there is only one Ethernet port), and the wireless client (as in laptop) the same IP subnet.  Basically, my router was 192.168.0.1, my travel router was 192.168.0.30, and my wireless client was 192.168.0.101.   Since this provided no security at all, I rarely use this mode.  The only time I've actually used this mode is during Christmas, when I set up a network for the Christmas Tree.  I'll plug the lights into an iBoot device, which has a on/off switch that is accessible over Ethernet.  I'll set this up in AP mode so I'm on the same stand-alone Class C network, and log in with my iPhone and turn the lights on/off. 

Router Mode:
Unlike the AP mode, where D-Link recommends you configure via the Ethernet port, NOT wirelessly, you HAVE to configure the Router Mode wirelessly.  Strange, but true.  The LAN port in this case IS a WAN port, and only a WAN port.  You can't configure the router via the Ethernet cable.  This is the mode I use when I go to a hotel that has wired Internet. 

Client Mode:  This is a NAT'd mode, where I plug the router into the Ethernet jack of my laptop, and connect to a WiFi hotspot.  This is  used when I need NAT protection at an unsecure WiFi point.   This mode has a few "features" that sound more like bugs to me.  First, when you plug in a laptop to the ethernet port, you'd expect a DHCP address--it's the other way around.  The router expects an address from the WAN port, so you have to hard-code an address in your laptop (192.168.0.x... anything but 192.168.0.30).  Next, the wireless side tries to connect to the 'dlink' SSID, even if it isn't around.    So the process is,
1) if you were using Router or AP mode, reset the router to nuke those settings.  
2) set a static IP on your laptop to the 192.168.0.x range.  Leaving the gateway 0.0.0.0 is fine.
3) Log into the router and do a site survey to find the SSID you want to connect to, and connect to it.  
4)  Change the router password (or you can use the wizzard to do steps 3&4)
5)  You'll be connected.

The router handles WPA2 just fine.  The good thing is that even though the router asks for a passphrase, you can put in your hex WPA key there, and it still works fine with linux.   I configured it just like my home router, with the exception of passwords, so that I can just plug it in, and be on line without having to change a bunch of stuff (IP addresses, SSID, keys, etc).   It seems to work well so far.  At first I hated the thing because the configuration is not straightforward, but once I realized the AP and Router strangities mentioned above, it is something I'm fairly happy with. 

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