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Please advise on best router to add and configuration for house of heavy data users

Discussion in 'Networking' started by nojudge2000, Dec 28, 2014.

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  1. nojudge2000

    nojudge2000 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Hi Guys (and Gals?)

    SUMMARY:
    I want to add a second wireless router to my existing home network. Also I plan to upgrade to a "smart" (internet-connected) TV within the next year so I'm trying to plan ahead. I have a decent-sized house with many THICK walls (no drywall here!). Tech-oriented family of 4.

    Other details:

    1. Existing router is Linksys E3000 and has served well.

    2. Four endusers in house: all technophiles and heavy data users, often simultaneously.
    -- Son connects his self-built gaming monster machine via Ethernet. Hard core gamer thus streaming is critical. Also art student but I'd say his build has accommodated those needs well. :)
    -- Hubby laptop PC and tablet and phone; streaming to tablet is critical, esp. from upper floor bedroom.
    -- Daughter phone and laptop; streams to both, often from upper floor bedroom.
    -- Yours truly mom, (and network admin)... heavy reliance on self-built desktop (Win 8.1), Asus laptop (Win 7), tablet, smartphone (often all simultaneously), streaming, bluetooth(s) (plural?) , whatever else I come up with.

    3. 3 TV's that use the cable modem, but I plan (hope!) to swap one of these in next year to a smart TV (love the Roku I use now, which of course connects to my wonderful e3000 router) The TV to swap is on main floor, front of house.

    4. Wiring: I live in an old house; translate: brick exterior (awesome), very thick plaster walls interior (they don't make em like this anymore, sooo cool), small-ish rooms so lots of walls (gives character), 3 levels: basement (dead places, want to fix), main level (existing router sits there next to son's gaming PC), and 2nd floor (bedrooms - we want to be able to stream media on devices here).

    5. Also note: The E3000 router sits basically in the geographic center of the house, on the main (1st) floor. (approx. 40 ft x 30 ft each floor, top floor a little smaller). I dropped a cable next to the router through the flooring (yeah, took some serious drilling but well worth it) so I could bring it up and connect it to a switch on the first floor of the back side of the house, where I have my office, and thus where I hook up my two computers and printer via LAN. All good. (while I listen to music on my tablet over WiFi). :)

    ******************
    Current frustration is from bedrooms on 2nd floor at front of house, front porch, and basement on front of house side. Can't get consistent I-net connection - inconsistent or none at all (at places in basement, like where I fold my laundry where I desperately need to stream from or be able to get Pandora). Soooo tired of the constant buffering and dropped connections (esp. when hubby and I are wrapped up in our respective Netflix movies or TV shows). (lol.)

    Thinking, best way to add coverage to front of house is to add a second router? Drop a cable through existing hole next to router, bring it to front of house, up through a hole I am prepared to drill to have the router sit in the living room next to where the future smart TV will go. Bedrooms above and porch next to this and basement directly below will benefit from the additional signal.

    -- Do you agree?
    -- New ac network standard -- I understand this is much faster than n, which would be important for the TV (I think) --> should I be going for this, esp. if goal is to have something that I will be happy with for awhile? Is ac "enough better" than n, as I am reading online? to warrant additional cost? (My philosophy has always been, get the tech that's most "out front" as you can afford...)
    -- If so, would you put the new ac standard router as the main one, and move the E3000 to be this secondary router at the front of the house?
    -- Is LAN to LAN (one SSID, different IP's on each router) the way I should go? I want my devices to act like they are on one big network. (I think, unless you talk me out of it.) My one hesitation (any suggestions here) is that I get nervous about my son's gaming and websites he visits, that one of those malevolent people will get past the main router and infect the other devices on my network.
    -- I realize that a smart TV will use only up to the slowest I-net connection; thus, hooking it to the e3000 n router will only give it that speed. Thinking, when that time comes, I could drop another cable from the main (ac) router under flooring and take it directly to the smart TV. Yes?
    --best to get another Linksys router of some sort, or doesn't the brand matter? (although yes it is nice to have the same GUI on both just to make it easier on this lady)..(That WRT AC1900 looks very cool....worth paying for?) Wait til (when?) price comes down? Or am I overdoing it?
    --Any other hints or advice you might have? I'm determined to get out of my life these frustrations of slow and/or intermittent connections and dead spots out of my house, now in early 2015. Especially I want to be mindful of my home business needs (which I am ramping up now in 2015), I-net important to this.

    And a "how to" question -- (I feel dumb asking) --
    When you add the second router, am I right that I need to disable DHCP on it, and also set its IP address as something outside of the existing IP triad (which is 192.168.1.1), say, make it 192.168.1.250 ?
    Dumb question -- in configuring 2nd router (as in above statements), do I connect it to power and a PC via ethernet, make sure I turn off WiFi on my laptop (win 7) where I am configuring it from (so as not to be logging onto primary router)....this is not entirely clear to me in all the google posts I have been reading. In other words, can I connect laptop to router, WiFi off, power to router on, and log onto the 2nd router (if linksys, will have same IP as primary router). I see things that tell me to give it a different IP addres, but they don't supply detail as to how to make sure I'm not changing the main router...?

    Thanks for any and all advice and help. If it were just me, that'd be one thing, but I've got my guys here to keep happy as well, and even if I have to pay more, it's worth having fast stuff that will last awhile since we are sooooo reliant on all this tech stuff (although I do not like being an idiot and buying anything that isn't worth the extra $ in the opinion of techs!)

    Thanks much for your time in reading and posting.. Sorry for long post but I know you guys would be wanting to know the details in order to best help.
    Bonnie in PA (who has learned more about networking that she ever wanted to!!!)
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76,832
    First Name:
    Terry
    Are you concerned about 'ac' vs. 'n' because of file copies (or streaming) on your LAN? Or is your internet access faster than you can handle with 'n' Wi-Fi?

    If you use a SOHO router as wireless access point following is the complete procedure.

    JohnWill's procedure (Aug. 30, 2008) for configuring a secondary router as a switch and, optionally, wireless access point follows.

    Connecting two (or more) SOHO broadband routers together.

    Note: The "primary" router can be an actual router, a software gateway like Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing, or a server connection that has the capability to supply more than one IP address using DHCP server capability. No changes are made to the primary "router" configuration.

    Configure the IP address of the secondary router(s) to be in the same subnet as the primary router, but out of the range of the DHCP server in the primary router. For instance DHCP server addresses 192.168.0.2 through 192.168.0.100, I'd assign the secondary router 192.168.0.254 as it's IP address, 192.168.0.253 for another router, etc.

    Note: Do this first, as you will have to reboot the computer to connect to the router again for the remaining changes.

    Disable the DHCP server in the secondary router.

    Setup the wireless section just the way you would if it was the primary router, channels, encryption, etc.

    Connect from the primary router's LAN port to one of the LAN ports on the secondary router. If there is no uplink port and neither of the routers have auto-sensing ports, use a cross-over cable. [You will not need a cross-over cable if one of the "routers" is a computer.] Leave the WAN port unconnected! [TerryNet Note: assume that all routers made in the last five or six years or more have auto-sensing ports.]

    This procedure bypasses the routing function (NAT layer) and configures the router as a switch (or wireless access point for wireless routers).
     
  3. nojudge2000

    nojudge2000 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Lots of streaming content going on here, so that is a big priority.

    Also, I figure that if I am laying out the $ for a second router (to give me the coverage), maybe I should pay the extra to get ac. I don't want to be frustrated in a couple of years because it turns out the new ac standard is so much better and everyone is moving to that. (Esp. as I have my hopes set on an HDTV.) I'm reading that there is a pretty significant improvement over n...do you agree?

    Also - should I be looking at upgrading the modem (which is now an older one) or does that not really make a difference?

    Thanks so much for all your help.The post you included with the instructions is great and I am keeping that to use.

    Any and all advice, I truly appreciate!
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76,832
    First Name:
    Terry
    What download speed are you supposed to be getting with your ISP service, and what is the modem capable of handling? Personally I'd hold off replacing the modem if there is not yet a problem with it.
     
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