Installing WifiBuilder AP


Welcome to the WifiBuilder Series of 802.11 Wireless Network Diagnostic Tools...


WifiBuilder is the industry's first diagnostic and production access point (AP) and the latest innovation from Nuts About Nets, LLC -- a leader in Wi-Fi diagnostic tools.  The WifiBuilder AP runs a customized version of Linux that supports diagnostic applications that are run from your Windows desktop or laptop machine and which are used for installing, troubleshooting and monitoring 802.11 wireless networks.  Until now Wi-Fi diagnostic tools have come in the form of handheld, PC-based USB or PCMCIA, or luggable RF analyzers.  WifiBuilder is different -- it goes straight to the source.  It uses a high-end, dual-band, 802.11N access point for data collection and provides a view into your local RF environment that no other tool can provide.  Data collected by the WifiBuilder AP is used by our diagnostic software to troubleshoot performance problems and configure access points for optimal bandwidth and channel usage.  The same WifiBuilder AP that is used for troubleshooting problems and performing diagnostics can also be used as your production AP for normal 802.11 network connectivity.


Figaro is a configuration tool for the WifiBuilder AP that allows you to easily change the local and WAN IP addresses, SSID, channel and security settings when using the WifiBuilder AP in production mode.




This Installation Guide provides basic instructions for installing the WifiBuilder diagnostic AP along with Figaro -- a utility for configuring the WifiBuilder AP.


System Requirements for Installing and Configuring WifiBuilder

PC running Windows XP Professional (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit)

Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.0 (or later)

An available LAN port for connecting your PC to the WifiBuilder AP via ethernet cable.  If your PC has only a single LAN adapter then a second adapter can easily be added using a USB-to-ethernet adapter.


Hardware Components

WifiBuilder diagnostic access point (e.g. Cisco / Linksys Model No. WRT400N) with custom Linux image supplied by Nuts About Nets, LLC.


Preliminaries

You will need administrative privileges in order to configure the network interface that connects to the WifiBuilder AP. Please login to an account on your computer that includes 'Administrator' rights before proceeding with the installation.



Step 1. Connect the WifiBuilder AP To Your Windows PC

There is more than one way to connect the WifiBuilder AP to a PC.  The description that follows is the one we recommend when using WifiBuilder as a standalone diagnostic tool.  It presumes your PC has two LAN adapters -- one for normal Internet connectivity and the other used for direct attachment to the WifiBuilder AP.  Furthermore, the LAN adapter used to connect WifiBuilder should be configured to use a different subnet than the one for normal Internet connectivity -- otherwise applications might be confused as to which adapter to use for normal network activity.  In this simplest configuration the WifiBuilder AP is connected directly to a PC (i.e. is not connected to a network) and uses its own subnet.


                     Standalone Diagnostic Tool

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Using a Cat5 ethernet cable connect the WifiBuilder AP to a LAN adapter on your PC.  The ethernet cable should be attached to one of the 4 RJ-45 ports on the back of the WifiBuilder AP labeled 'Ethernet' (and NOT the port labeled 'Internet').  If your PC does not have an available LAN port then you can also use the 'USB to 10/100 Mbps Adapter' (optional accessory) that may have shipped with WifiBuilder and which provides an additional LAN port (and network interface).  The default IP address (192.168.1.2) for the WifiBuilder AP will likely be on a different subnet than the network adapter used for your normal Internet connection, so it requires its own network interface.  Also, we'll be configuring the local interface (the one connected to WifiBuilder) to use a static IP address.



Step 2. Configure the Local Network Interface To Use A Static IP Address

The description that follows uses Windows XP, but the procedure is very similar for Vista and Windows 7, too.



From the 'Start' button launch the Network Connections wizard by running 'ncpa.cpl'.



Select the network interface that is connected to the WifiBuilder AP, right-click and select 'Properties'.



Under the 'General' tab, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties.



This opens the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box.  Under the General tab, select 'Use the following IP address' and enter the following values:

IP Address:                192.168.1.16

Subnet Mask:                255.255.255.0

Default gateway:        192.168.1.2

You can leave the other fields blank.  When done, click 'OK' to close each dialog box.

NOTE: The Default gateway is the IP address of the WifiBuilder AP.



From the command line run 'ipconfig /all' to confirm that your changes have been applied.



And, finally, from the command line confirm that you can ping the WifiBuilder AP using the IP address for the Default Gateway.





Copyright 2010, Nuts About Nets, LLC