You can use an OpenWRT router or access point
to connect WiFi enabled devices to a router, which only has wired Ethernet. For this to work, I am assuming you already have an access point or router running OpenWRT, in this case version 12.09, Attitude Adjustment
Log into your router, using the LuCi frontend, and go to the Network/Interfaces tab:
There you should see your LAN device. Edit it to have an appropriate IP address from your local subnet. Most often your network will be 192.168.0.0 and your existing router will have the IP 192.168.1.1. But your mileage may vary…
Lets put in a static IP address, so we can find our router in case something goes wrong. Also make sure to set the netmask (in this case 255.255.255.0), gateway and DNS server (both probably should point to your router, 192.168.1.1).
Now go to the Physical Settings tab. Here, it’s important to check “Bridge interfaces” and to select both the ethernet adapter, most likely eth0, and the wireless network. One of the ethernet devices will say “wan”, if your are using a router instead of an access point for this. You don’t want that device.
Hit “Save & Apply” when you are ready. And be sure to have the de-bricking guide
ready, if something goes wrong…
I strongly discourage the usage of rt2800 based WiFi dongles with the Raspberry Pi. For some weeks I have been debugging why my Raspberry Pi freezes and crashes all the time. And it turns out that it is the WiFi dongle. I was using an Edimax EW-7711UTn, but the chip is also being used in other devices. There seems to be a bug report for the Raspbian kernel, and I have spent quite some time on the Raspberry forum at Stackexchange. Currently, I hooked up the Raspberry Pi via Ethernet directly to my router. This works fine, but the router is upstairs, while the Raspberry is supposed to be downstairs, connected to my stereo. So this is only a stopgap measure until I have found a WiFi dongle that does not crash the Pi. Hints are welcome.
Update: I now switched to a TP-Link TL-WN725N with a RTL8188CUS chip. This adapter is much smaller (no external antenna) and surprisingly also quite a bit faster. I achieve ~1.9 MByte/sec sustained point to point datarates via SMB. So far no crashes or other problems. I will continue testing, but it looks much better than with the Ralink chip.
Update 2: Almost four months into testing the RTL8188CUS based WiFi dongle and it runs absolutely fine. I have uptimes of almost a month without any problems. After that the Pi degrades due to some of the daemons leaking or memory fragmentation. But I think this is bearable!