Extend a wireless network using a wireless link between two wireless routers

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DocB767

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I've recently upgraded my internet provider to BT and received a BT Home Hub 3 as the new wireless router. Previous to this I was using a wireless Belkin G + MIMO ADSL router (model number F5D9630-4).

There are places in the house where the wireless signal is very poor. Connecting to the internet using either of these routers is difficult in these spots. However, since the Belkin is now spare, I've been thinking about trying to use it as a low cost repeater (i.e. free) to extend the wireless range in the house.

There are several good articles that I've found on this site which address the connection of two routers together (e.g. John Will's article on connecting two SOHO routers is a good example), but they rely on an ethernet connection between the two routers. I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me if there is a way to establish a wireless link between the two routers to extend the range of the current wireless network.

Cheers everyone, and thanks in advance.
 

TerryNet

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You can use a router as a repeater (range extender) or wireless bridge (AP client) if it includes those features or if you can find third party (e.g., DD-WRT) firmware for it. I have never heard of a modem/router combo being used in these ways.
 
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From what I see in the User Manual, the Belkin can be used as a bridge only, but not a repeater.
http://cache-www.belkin.com/support/dl/p75125uk_f5d9630uk4a.pdf

There are some modem/routers that can be used that way.
I have a Netgear DG834G v.4 that can be used as a bridge and repeater. I am using it right now as a bridge to a Belkin router that is conneted to an Arris modem. The wireless USB adapter on this PC died and I didn't want to buy a new one.
I have the repeater mode turned off as the Belkin gives good coverage in the house, but the repeater does work, just slow.
 

DocB767

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Hi TerryNet!

I looked for DD-WRT solution but didn't see this particular Belkin router mentioned. There were several other Belkin routers on the list, some with numbers pretty close to my model number, but I'm not sure if they would work. I just had a thought, however. I've also got a D-link router that may work. I can't remember what model it is just yet, but I'll research that.

Thanks for the input. I'll update this post with whatever I find out.
 

DocB767

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Hi dlsayremn!

I saw that in the manual as well. I'm not sure right now if I tried to set it up like a bridge or not. I have played around with it a bit, however. I'll look at this a little later.

I thought that when you had it set up as a bridge you then had to connect to it with an ethernet cable. In other words, the Belkin would wirelessly bridge to the BT Home Hub, but you would then have to use an ethernet cable to connect whatever device you were going to use to the Belkin.

What I'm trying to achieve (if it is possible) is that where ever you are in the house with a wireless device (e.g. iPhone or portable computer), you could connect to the strongest wireless router signal. If that router was the Belkin, then the Belkin would wirelessly connect to the BT Home Hub to access the internet. I think that the Belkin would not actually be set up as a router in this scenario. That's why I called it a repeater, although I'm not sure if that is the right term.

I'll do some more studying about using the Belkin as a bridge and see what I find out. Thanks!
 

TerryNet

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Repeater is the right term.

While the Belkin user manual talks about "wireless bridge" I'm pretty sure it is talking about setting the Belkin to accept WAPs acting as wireless bridges or repeaters; not a way to set the Belkin to act as a wireless bridge.
 

DocB767

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Okay. I have the manual on my computer here, but no time to study it right now. And I'm not at home, so I can't play around with the router. Maybe I'd be able to swap things around and use the Belkin as the main router and the new BT Home Hub as the repeater or bridge. I haven't had time to look at that yet.
 
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From what I see in the manual and the experience with my Belkin, TerryNet is right. The F5D9630-4 can be used as a base unit for a bridged connection, but not as a remote unit.

You are correct also, even if it could be used as a remote, anything connected would need to be by ethernet as it doesn't have wireless repeater capability.
 
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You could just get an old Linksys WRT54G router and put DD-WRT on that. Should be a pretty cheap solution to get what you want.
 

DocB767

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Thanks for that. I may end up doing that. I've written to Belkin to see what they say, but I haven't heard anything yet. The Belkin model number doesn't show up on the DD-WRT web site, so I don't think I can go that route with it. I'll post anything else I find out.
 
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