Using a Linksys WMB54G as a wireless bridge for your Xbox

Background

I have been meaning to post about this for a while, and since I have talked to a few interested people lately, I think now is a good time. One of the biggest downsides to getting an Xbox over some other modern systems is that it does not come with built-in wireless. This is fine, since I think most people have their router next to their television or, at the very least, are able to drop in an ethernet port. But, as you can imagine from the title of this post, I do not fall into either of these groups. I did a little research, and found good news: there is a wireless card for the Xbox. WIN! And then, I realized that the price tag on this little encapsulation of 1999 technology was $80! ULTRA FAIL!

Now I am not a notoriously cheap person, but I do have a small problem with this ridiculous price tag for what is undoubtably a cheap chip beneath the surface. So I set out to find a alternative; but not just any alternative, I wanted the cheapest alternative possible.

The obvious option is a wireless bridge. These tiny devices connect to your wireless router as a client and then bridge the connection to an ethernet port into which you can plug any device. And the good news is that these things only cost about $50. Getting warmer, but not quite there yet. After a little searching, I found yet another device. Linksys WMB54G “music bridge.” This thing is great. It is cheap (about $30 from the Amazon vendor that I got it from), and it can function as a wireless bridge. However, when I got it I realized that setup is a little difficult, particularly if you aren’t interested in running their P.O.S. setup program that will only run on windows.

Instructions

All you’ll need to get this running is any computer and the contents of from the box. Don’t be afraid to try anything, if you end up screwing up your device so you cannot communicate with it, just hit the reset button and start over.

  1. First, unbox everything and plug in the WMB54G. Plug the ethernet cable into the adapter and directly into the ethernet port on your computer.
  2. While it boots (it is slower than hell), open up the wireless settings on your computer and change your ethernet connection settings to “Static” and assign the following IP addresses:
    IP Address: 192.168.1.120
     Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
     Router ("gateway" on Windows): 192.168.1.100

    You don’t need to worry about any DNS settings since we aren’t going to need an external connection during setup.

  3. Open your favorite browser and navigate to 192.168.1.210. This will bring up the web configuration utility for the bridge.
  4. Don’t do anything with the LAN settings at this point. Use the “search” button to find your wireless network information, and enter your wireless key. I had trouble getting it to work with WEP for some reason (shoot be an email if it works for you and I will update this post). Once I changed my network over to WPA it worked great. Also, don’t get confused if you see “PSK” for security type - they mean WPA.
  5. Once your wireless information is all entered correctly, click “Apply” at the bottom. Go get yourself a cold one while it reboots - you are almost done.
  6. Next, you are going to want to set a custom password for the admin utility. Do this in the “Password” tab (pat on the back if you guessed that), and then click “Apply” to save. You will need to re-authenticate once the device reboots if you change the password.
  7. Once it has rebooted, you can enter your LAN information. For 99% of you, leave it as “Automatic Configuration - DHCP.” If you have a manually configured network enter your settings. Click “Apply,” and wait again while it reboots.
  8. Once it is rebooted, you will just want to test that everything is working. Change your ethernet settings on your computer back to their original settings (and disable your wireless adapter if you have one) and test that the connection works. You should be able to access the internet just like usual. If your computer cannot connect, neither will your Xbox be able to connect. Note: you may need to refresh or “repair” your network connection on your computer so it can get a new IP address.

One last note: if your router supports Static DHCP, I would recommend making an entry for the MAC address of the WMB54G so you can easily access the admin in the future (it is printed on the bottom). If your router does not support this, you will need to log in to the router and try to figure out what address has been assigned to the WMB54G if you ever want to edit the settings again.

Hope that this helps some people! Let me know if there is anything on here that I can clarify!