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Author Topic: Asus WL-320gE -- Great wireless solution  (Read 7984 times)
RonB
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Posts: 120


« on: February 23, 2010, 03:40:07 pm »

I use my desktop computers in a room far away from my Linksys Wireless router -- so I've always cobbled together wireless adapters to connect to the network. I've been flipping a D-Link G730AP back and forth between computers and it's been getting flakier and flakier -- I've resorted to tapping it to get it to "wake up." I finally decided I had to do something about it -- so I looked on eBay. Somebody's got the Asus WL-320gE on sale for $25. I ordered one and it arrived today.

This is a combination AP, Repeater (Bridge) and Client device. But what sets it apart from the pocket routers (I was going to look at buying a Asus WL-330gE) is that its range is 850 meters, as opposed to my old pocket router's 40 meters. Man does that make a difference. At this point I'm only interested in using it as a client, so I haven't tested the other features.

But, as a client, it works great. Speed is three to four times faster than the D-Link (basically the speed of my cable service) -- and it's steady, not streaky and up and down like the D-Link. But more importantly, the Asus WL-320gE allows you to connect to a wired switch and distribute the Internet to all computers in the room simultaneously. In this room I have a cheap Dynex 4-port switch and I've currently got two computers running on the Internet, both with their own IP addresses. If you go to Newegg, you'll see a couple good reviews mentioning the other features.

What I basically have -- using the Asus as a "client" (or "station" in Asus terms) -- is the equivalent of a hard wire running from my router to this room, without the mess of running a CAT 5 cable. This completely bypasses the issues with wireless adapters on desktops -- and at $25, its cost is just about as cheap as lower end USB adapters.

I have no relationship with the person who sells these (except that I'm now a customer), but here's the eBay link if anyone is interested in one... I think he still has nearly 800 of them.

http://tinyurl.com/ykzjvfd

I meant to add, if you've got any questions feel to write either here or via email.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:30:09 pm by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
sledgehammer
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1426



« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 07:27:00 pm »

RonB,

I ordered one of those Asus WL-320Eg gadgets from, I suspect, the same fellow you got yours.  You mention you are using it as a "client" and that you don't mind questions.  So I have a couple, with, first, a warning that I know VERY little about all this.

I have a VL-6 standard system. I am using a belkin n wireless router, connected to a, I believe, at&t dsl modem.  When the Asus arrived, I connected the wire that came with the Asus to the back of the belkin and plugged that same wire into the Asus. Plugged it in and I can see it in WICD (default unsecured channel 11).  I was thinking of just leaving it there by the belkin and extending the belkin's range with it, sort of like a booster.  However, I can't get on the asus.  It shows in wicd and tries to connect (unencrypted) but does not.  I tried a couple of things but they didn't seem to work.  Can you give me some suggestions?  I am obviously doing something wrong. Do I need to replace the belkin with just a regular, non-wireless, router? The directions seem to say that I should wireup to the belkin and adjust the settings in that, but I fear that if I do, I won't be able to get online as I am doing now, using the belkin wireless.

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retired1af
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Posts: 1267



« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 07:50:12 pm »

If that Asus is anything like my Linksys WRE54G, you'll need to get it talking to the router on the same subnet first, then you should be able to connect into it. It might be easier to get things set up in the clear first, then figure out how to go WPA or WPA2.

The WRE54G was a royal pain in the backside to get setup. Hopefully the Asus isn't as bad.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 07:57:19 pm by retired1af » Logged

ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
sledgehammer
Vectorian
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Posts: 1426



« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 08:13:41 pm »

Thanks,

Not sure what a subnet is.  But, if I recall correctly, setting up the belkin wasn't much of a problem.  I just hooked the wire into my old T42, put the belkin's ip into a browser, and followed the directions to set up the encryption. 

On this Asus WL-320Eg, I am hoping to keep the existing encryption and somehow just boost the signal, so, using the same password, I can be farther away from the wireless when accessing it.
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VL7.0 xfce4 Samsung RF511
retired1af
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1267



« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 08:30:29 pm »

You'll need to log into the Asus to get it set up. Log into the configuration page and you should find an option to turn it into a repeater and then search for available networks. Give the appropriate security information to log into your network and you SHOULD then be able to attach to it from the notebook.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 09:20:02 pm »

I ordered one of those Asus WL-320Eg gadgets from, I suspect, the same fellow you got yours.  You mention you are using it as a "client" and that you don't mind questions.  So I have a couple, with, first, a warning that I know VERY little about all this.

Sorry I haven't been to this particular forum for a while -- it figures I quit coming here about the time you asked these questions. And the Asus instructions are kind of weak, especially the fact they use different terms than most networking equipment manauls.

Quote
I have a VL-6 standard system. I am using a belkin n wireless router, connected to a, I believe, at&t dsl modem.  When the Asus arrived, I connected the wire that came with the Asus to the back of the belkin and plugged that same wire into the Asus. Plugged it in and I can see it in WICD (default unsecured channel 11).  I was thinking of just leaving it there by the belkin and extending the belkin's range with it, sort of like a booster.  However, I can't get on the asus.  It shows in wicd and tries to connect (unencrypted) but does not.  I tried a couple of things but they didn't seem to work.  Can you give me some suggestions?  I am obviously doing something wrong. Do I need to replace the belkin with just a regular, non-wireless, router? The directions seem to say that I should wireup to the belkin and adjust the settings in that, but I fear that if I do, I won't be able to get online as I am doing now, using the belkin wireless.

First observation -- this seems like an odd way to do it. You're basically repeating functions -- and will have a conflict between the Asus (which is setup by default as a Gateway (router)) and the Belkin. A repeater is normally some distance away from the router. But you should be able to do it this way, if (for example) you're using the wired connections on the Belkin router. But you'll have to set up the Asus as a "repeater" or URE. The term Asus uses is "URE."

To do this, you'll need to plug the Asus directly into your computer's LAN port. And then you'll have to set the LAN port to static (instead of DHCP). Choose an IP address in the 192.168.1.x range (not 192.168.1.1 because that's the Asus' default address), and set the netmask to 255.255.255.0. Don't worry about the domain name. Now you should be able to access the Asus setup page by typing 192.168.1.1 into your web browser. The default user name and password are both "admin" (without the quotes). Now you should be able to run easy setup or configure the "URE" (repeater) manually. If there is a conflict with 192.168.1.1, you'll also want to change the Asus' IP Address. (I don't have the screen in front of me, but once in the setup page it should be pretty straightforward.) Once done, unplug the LAN cable. In URE mode, you don't use a LAN cable, it's all wireless.

The only thing I'm not sure about -- since I've never used a repeater -- is what you'll see from your computer when trying to connect. I don't know if you'll see both the Belkin and the Asus or if you'll just see a stronger signal from the Belkin.

If I need to, I'll experiment with mine tomorrow. Let me know how it works out.
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RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2010, 09:23:09 pm »

Not sure what a subnet is.  But, if I recall correctly, setting up the belkin wasn't much of a problem.  I just hooked the wire into my old T42, put the belkin's ip into a browser, and followed the directions to set up the encryption.

If you're not using the Belkin's wired ports, the easiest way to set up the Asus would simply be to replace the Belkin with the Asus. It's pretty much set up to default just the way the Belkin was. If you need the wired ports, however, that won't work.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 09:25:41 pm by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1267



« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 09:29:05 pm »

When I was looking for a repeater, I found only one that didn't need to be hardwired to the router (Linksys/Cisco WRE54G). It was a royal pain in the backside to get set up, but it's a jewel once you have it up and running. Just wish I could tweak the power output a bit, but all in all, a great repeater. Definitely not for the faint of heart or those that aren't up to speed on networking, though.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 09:46:33 pm »

When I was looking for a repeater, I found only one that didn't need to be hardwired to the router (Linksys/Cisco WRE54G). It was a royal pain in the backside to get set up, but it's a jewel once you have it up and running. Just wish I could tweak the power output a bit, but all in all, a great repeater. Definitely not for the faint of heart or those that aren't up to speed on networking, though.

The cool thing about the Asus WL-320gE (as well as its smaller -- less powerful -- pocket version, the WL-330gE) is that it'll work in "Hybrid" mode. I can use it as a wireless repeater while simultaneously using it as a client (adapter) -- and the client will plug into a wired switch, which allows you to distribute addresses that way also. I don't use it as a repeater, just as a client hooked into a wired switch. But you can also use it as a Bridge, a Gateway, an AP and as a stand-alone game adapter. The bad part is that Asus has one of the very worst manuals I've ever read. But at $25 I'm not complaining.
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RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 10:14:27 pm »

Just wish I could tweak the power output a bit, but all in all, a great repeater.

If you need more power, you might want to look at the Asus. It's supposed to have an unobstructed range of 850 meters -- it's power output in g mode is 20dBm.

Just curious, in repeater mode, do you see the repeater or do you see the original router? Or do you see both?
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RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1267



« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 10:19:12 pm »

I can access both, but if you do a trace, it shows only the router and then the modem.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 10:47:40 pm »

I can access both, but if you do a trace, it shows only the router and then the modem.

Thanks, so you just choose the repeater when setting up you computer's wireless connection?

I just logged into the Asus to check on how the URE (repeater) mode is set up and it looks like it should be pretty straightforward -- even manually -- though Easy Setup should also be available. You've got the connection to the router -- and then, if repeater mode is chosen, you've got another wireless configuration page to set up. That makes sense.
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RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
sledgehammer
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1426



« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2010, 11:06:10 pm »

RonB,

Thank you much for the reply.  Vector Linux uses wicd to get connected.  I tried your suggestion and initially got the following error: "Invalid entry in DNS 1 entry."  I checked on vasm>network and found a DNS of 192.168.2.1 and put that in.  Pushed "connect" and it connected! 

However, when I went to the browser, and put in 192.168.1.1 it said it couldn't find it.  I tried 192.168.1 and the little blue "loading" icon (bottom right) showed that it was loading, but would not complete. 

Any suggestions? 
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VL7.0 xfce4 Samsung RF511
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2010, 12:26:51 am »

RonB,

Thank you much for the reply.  Vector Linux uses wicd to get connected.  I tried your suggestion and initially got the following error: "Invalid entry in DNS 1 entry."  I checked on vasm>network and found a DNS of 192.168.2.1 and put that in.  Pushed "connect" and it connected! 

However, when I went to the browser, and put in 192.168.1.1 it said it couldn't find it.  I tried 192.168.1 and the little blue "loading" icon (bottom right) showed that it was loading, but would not complete. 

Any suggestions? 

I'm not sure what Wicd does as far as changing IP addresses, but I made changes through the Menu. From System -> Vector Control Center (password) -> Network -> Netconf. It asked for Network Host name (I just let it enter the default) and then I got to the screen menu for changing the network. I clicked on Static, entered 192.168.1.10 and kept working my way through it. I removed the defaults for everything but IP Address and Netmask. When I was done, I could no longer get on the Internet, but I could log into the Asus. Then, after logging into the Asus and not making changes (mine is already set up) I logged out -- repeated the process above, except I went back to DHCP instead of Static. I think I rebooted to get it to come back up. I'll double check and add to this message in a few minutes.

Okay. I walked through the process again. This time I didn't have to reboot -- I think because I disconnected the Wired Network through Wicd before I made the changes. It should work for you. Be sure the Asus is connected directly to your computer via a LAN cable. 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 12:45:17 am by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
RonB
Vectorite
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 12:42:41 am »

I tried your suggestion and initially got the following error: "Invalid entry in DNS 1 entry." 

I just re-read this. You shouldn't be involved with the DNS settings at all. I'm not sure what the 192.168.2.1 is referring to, but if your ethernet card is not statically set to something in the 192.168.1.x range (I'll just use 192.168.1.9 from here on out) you will *not* be able to log on to the Asus. If the Belkin is still on or somehow connected to the computer or router -- temporarily turn it off and unplug it. There could be a conflict of some kind.

Looks like the 192.168.2.1 is probably your Belkin's default IP Address.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 01:28:52 am by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
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