Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Linksys Router - DD-WRT For the Win!
Samsung Galaxy S4 and an ancient Linksys router
You may have found online that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has trouble connecting to some wireless routers, most notably D-Link routers, which Samsung has actually acknowledged. What a select few of you may have also found is that the Galaxy S4 also has issues connecting to older model Linksys WRT54G routers.The Galaxy S4 apparently does not behave well with the WRT54GS using WPA AES encryption (the most secure setup of the last version of WRT54GS v2 firmware). The S4 does work with this router using TKIP, but the Wii does not...hence, I needed a solution, preferably one that did not require buying a new router.
Additionally, if you've managed to keep one of these models up and running since purchase many years ago you might have noticed that Linksys doesn't support the device any more and you're firmware isn't even available for download from Linksys or Cisco.
Such is the case for the Linksys WRT54GS v2 (and likely others). If you're still using one of these routers, read further for one solution to fixing the connection issues this router has with the Samsung Galaxy S4.
*Disclaimer: Below is merely one way to do this process and it worked for me. I make no guarantees that it will work for you and I cannot be held liable if you break or brick your router.
As someone who is familiar enough with technology to be dangerous, but doesn't spend much time in online forums or browsing new tech, I had not even heard of DD-WRT prior to having this problem between the Galaxy S4 and the WRT54GS.
Now, there are numerous 3rd-parties who offer firmware for Linksys routers. DD-WRT is just one of them. DD-WRT is a linux based firmware for Linksys (and other) routers that typically offers interfaces that range from very simple non-technical to highly customizable software with any version usually offering significantly more capability than the OEM firmware.
I simply used the vintage standard firmware and even it has more options than I know what to do with. You can choose for yourself what you'd like to do, but there are several options specifically for the WRT54GS v2.
Download New Firmware, Flash the Router
The first thing you need to do is get the latest firmware for your router. Now, you may be able to skip the first step here, but I did it anyway so as not to brick (aka render completely useless other than a paperweight) the router. You'll end up flashing the router with DD-WRT firmware anyway, but I felt it was good to just follow the procedure outlined by the folks who know what they're doing.
As I mentioned above, Linksys generally does not maintain the firmware for older routers. However, the nice folks over in the DD-WRT forums have provided the firmware necessary for the WRT54GS v2.
You can go to the forum and search for Linksys WRT54GS v2 firmware...or simply follow this link and it will take you there directly: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=641226. This version is actually for v3 but still works for v2 (I did this with my v2 and it worked fine).
Now, fortunately for us, someone has already done this process before and actually documented it quite well with some slight updates which I will discuss. There's no sense in duplicating that effort, so here is the step by step guide on how to flash the router and load the new firmware: http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54GS_v2.0. If you decided to do the first step of flashing with the latest Linksys firmware, the first link on this page for the 4.71.4.001 firmware does not work - which is why I had you go download it above.
Note that this particular set of instructions loads the vintage mini firmware. I actually used the vintage standard firmware, although I'm really not sure of all of the differences between the two - standard sounded good to me.
If you'd like to explore the other versions of firmware you can find your way over to the DD-WRT database (http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database) and search for WRT54GS and select version v2 which will then list all of the firmware versions available.
Read the instructions very carefully! I know of several forum posts and at least one video that instructs you to hard reset (30-30-30) your router. Apparently, this is hit-or-miss, but I did mine without the hard reset and it worked fine - just as these instructions tell you. Others have done the 30-30-30 and bricked their device.
Don't get thrown off if the process doesn't go exactly to the letter of the instructions. For example, I didn't have to enter any passwords until later in the instructions even though it indicated that I would. I pressed on and everything still worked fine.
Feel free to post questions in the comments below or on the DD-WRT forum, both are here to help.
What do you think of DD-WRT?
Hopefully, that all went well. If you followed the instructions and my notes I'm sure it did. Now that you're all setup with the new firmware, take some time to explore the options. I found the DD-WRT firmware to be much more versatile than the Linksys version.
Now you're ready to connect your Galaxy S4, and any other devices you have. You'll note with the new firmware you can now choose a variety of encryption schemes - WPA2 AES is a good choice. This allows me to connect every device on my wireless network in a relatively secure environment. Some suggest that WPA2 causes your router to slow down, but I have not noticed this issue.
Now go enjoy your new router. This upgraded literally turned my decade-old router into a shiny new toy - at least for me. And, I didn't have to spend a dime. Win!