DD-WRT Repeater Bridge with Two SSID Using AnchorFree Wireless

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
Last Updated:
Sunday, April 05th, 2009

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I have two Linksys WRT54GL wireless routers setup at the house running DD-WRT, with one running as the main internet / wireless router and the other is used for extending the wireless signal by using WDS. I've never been very pleased with the performance of the WDS and I've read that WDS isn't the most efficient way to go... DD-WRT v24 was recently released and with it came a much more stable way of repeating the wireless signal through a repeater bridge function of the router. This allows the secondary router to repeat the signal of the main router and keep everything all on the same subnet. Sure, there are wireless repeaters out on the market I could pick up, but I'll explain why I would rather use the two Linksys routers with DD-WRT v24 here shortly.

One of the new features of the DD-WRT v24 firmware is a HotSpot Revenue generator called: AnchorFree. This posts an ad generated in a frame at the top of the browser window, through AnchorFree's network of advertisers. When someone clicks on the ad, the person hosting the router gets a little chunk of change from the click.

Ok, so I decided I wanted to setup my two routers in the following scenario:

Two SSID's:

  • The first being an encrypted 'private' network that only I would be able to access so I don't have to see the ads
  • The second setup to be wide open for anyone to use, running the AnchorFree Ads

Also, I wanted the above scenario to be setup using the Repeater Bridge function of the wireless routers so I could extend my wireless footprint but only extend the free wireless SSID.

So, Here is a tutorial on how to accomplish this setup, assuming both routers are flashed with the DD-WRT v24 Final.

NOTE: VERY Important! Do NOT click Apply Settings Until told to do so and ONLY on the Administration tab! (Don't ask me, that's just the way it is...)

1. Hard reset BOTH routers.
- Hold the reset button on the back of the WRT54GL for 5-15 seconds or until the power light begins blinking.
- Wait 30 seconds or so until the power light stops blinking. (It will go through a series of blinks, solid, blink, solid, blink then finally stay solid)

2. Connect to the first router on

3. Go to the Wireless Tab -> Basic Settings and set the following:
- Wireless Mode: AP
- Wireless Network Mode: Mixed
- Wireless Network Name (SSID): (type your private SSID)
- Wireless Channel: (Optional, I use 6)
- Wireless SSID Broadcast: Enable [or] Disable (Optional)
- Sensitivity Range (ACK Timing): 2000 (Default)
- Network Configuration: Bridged

Click SAVE

(Normally we might want to setup the security for the SSID, however I recommend waiting until the repeater is setup before adding any security)

4. Go to the Services Tab -> My Ad Network
- Enable AnchorFree
- Fill out the Email to receive revenue reports
- Use different SSID: Enable -> AnchorFree WiFi (Or, type the SSID you want to use)
- Address Information (Optional, but might be required to receive payments...?)
- Country: (Choose your Country)
- Category: (Choose a category that best matches your hotspot use)
- Publish this hotspot on the free WiFi map: (Optional. Must have address info filled out if enabled)

Click SAVE


If you go back to the wireless -> basic setup tab, you will notice that a virtual SSID has been automatically created with it's own IP Subnet of

5. Go to the Administration -> Management tab and click Apply Settings

6. Connect to the second router on (Easiest to disconnect the first router...)

7. Go to the Setup tab and set the following:
- STP: Disable
- Local IP Address: (Set to an IP on the same IP Scope the AnchorFree SSID from the first router. Be sure to use anything BUT which is reserved for the virtual SSID interface on the first router. I used
- Subnet:
- Gateway:
- Local DNS:

Click SAVE

8. Go to the Wireless -> Basic Settings
- For the physical interface, set the following:
- Wireless Mode: Repeater Bridge
- Wireless Network Mode: Mixed (Or same as first router)
- Wireless Network Name (SSID): AnchorFree WiFi (Or, Same as the first router's AnchorFree SSID / Virtual Wireless SSID)
- Sensitivity Range (ACK Timing): 2000 (Or same as first router)
- Network Configuration: Bridged

Click SAVE

- Under 'Virtual Interfaces' click Add
- Set the following settings:
- Wireless Network Name (SSID): (Either use the same as above, AnchorFree WiFi or choose a completely different SSID name. Using the same makes it nice for roaming but more difficult for troubleshooting if something goes wrong.)
- Wireless SSID Broadcast: Enable
- AP Isolation: Disabled
- Network Configuration: Bridged

Click SAVE

9. Go to the Security -> Firewall Tab
- Uncheck all of the boxes
- Set the SPI Firewall to: Disable

Click SAVE

10. Go to the Administration -> Management tab and click Apply Settings


At this point, test and make sure that the second router / repeater is able to connect to the AnchorFree SSID and pull a DHCP based IP. (The second router MUST have the local IP set to the scope in order for DHCP to work. Spent at least 1.5 hrs trying to figure that one out...)

If everything is all hunky-dory and you can connect up, you should be good to go ahead and start setting up the security of the two routers.

I start with the first router, then make sure I mirror it on the second. Keep in mind that you only need to do it to the Physical Interfaces if you want to keep the AnchorFree / Virtual interfaces wide open.

One drawback is that the two networks are NOT on separate vlans, which means the subnet can talk to the subnet and vice versa. (Not a very "secure" situation...)

Once the security / encryption is all setup, you should be good to start adding your custom settings to the first router such as Port Forwarding, QOS, Passwords, etc.

If you have a better way of doing it or come up with a problem / solution I didn't mention, feel free to post a comment and share!

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I just ran across this article, and I'm glad it's a few months old.
I'm looking at doing exactly the same thing, but I wanted to know what your usage looks like? how many clients can your second (ad-supported) wifi network handle, reasonably? and if you don't mind, how much revenue does your router generate?

Well, to be honest with you... I set the whole AnchorFree up between my house and a neighbors house. I told them I would supply them with internet for $20 / month. (instead of the full price of $40 from cox) I never really pursued them for money, nor did they pay me. At one point, I put a DD-WRT enabled WRT54GL at their house to boost the signal to the basement. I finally decided one day to try out the anchorfree and set the whole thing up as a free network.

I don't recall off hand if I ever got any clicks or not, but I didn't have enough volume to really see if it would be worth-while or not.

If I had access to a public place like a coffee shop where I could get the volume, I would probably see about editing the code in such a manner that the ads would always display google ads, or yahoo ads or something along those lines instead of the anchorfree ads (Their website is kind of rinky-dink). (I also dunno if google would let someone add their ads on a router like that or not, per their terms of service... A person would have to look into it)

As far as the number of clients on the "ad router", I would assume that on a WRT54GL, it "should" be able to handle without a problem. I have a WRT54gl at a local coffee shop that I frequent and it runs pretty solid with about 15 - 20 or so clients without a problem. I HIGHLY recommend going into the "Restrictions" area and setting up a policy to catch all P2P protocols. Otherwise, the CPU on the router will max out with the load of clients + IP connections getting on torrents, limewire etc which causes the physical connection to the internet to go to crap. (For clarification, I don't have anchorfree setup on it. I don't maintain the network there, I just donated the router because their original Belkin was junk and I frequent the place too much to have crappy internet... hehe!)

so how much is it about for 1000 views of ads?
and how do they pay you? thank you