Back in 2007 I upgraded my network with 2 Linksys WRT54G-TMO routers I had received free (with a rebate) for signing up for T-Mobile HotSpot @ Home service (seems to be dying a slow death with no devices on the horizon). I have the Linksys routers set up as bridges (upstairs and downstairs) wired to a D-Link DFL-210 router which connects directly to the Verizon FIOS Optical Network Terminal.
One of the remaining low signal spots in my home has been the porch. The signal strength on the porch fluctuates between 10% and 20% with fairly frequent disconnects. I had tried to solve the problem by adding another Linksys WRT54G, and using it as a wireless bridge but the solution never worked consistently so I sold it. This summer I decided to try again, this time with a Linksys WRE54G range expander from eBay. I had not been able to get it to work reliably and narrowed the issue down to a routing problem; the internet traffic was not being funneled to the D-Link router (I could ping all my other devices on my network). I tried entering a static route in the Linksys router to no avail.
I had previously researched the DD-WRT router OS and was impressed with all the available functionality, but at the time the upgrade process was fairly laborious and in some cases required a hardware modification. When I Googled DD-WRT this time, I found some enterprising individual (Thanks Luniz2k1) had come up with a way to flash (no hardware mod required) the WRT54G-TMO router using a two step process. It was also clear that many individuals had posted having success with the WRE54G and DD-WRT. I decided to take the plunge and try it. The upgrade was simple; the key is setting up the two static addresses in TCP/IP settings (192.168.0.1 Linksys default and 192.168.1.1 DD-WRT default), since the only acknowledgement you receive that the upgrade is complete is from a successful ping command.
I don't know why I waited so long, the DD-WRT OS is full featured and makes the Linksys OS look like child's play. I was able to get the WRE54G range expander to work with DD-WRT by adding a static route from the Linksys router (DD-WRT) to my internal subnet using the static LAN interface address. A static route is not required, however route propagation seems slow (it takes about a minute several minutes) or maybe it is just the way Vista handles the gateway route, but this only happens when the WRE54G is on and part of the network. I need to investigate more.