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Router update advice (wireless bridge)

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Powerlines2000, Apr 10, 2016.

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  1. Powerlines2000

    Powerlines2000 Thread Starter

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    Hi all

    So my current setup is:

    Virgin media modem in modem mode
    2x Linksys WRT54GL with Wireless bridge using DD-WRT (1x in back bedroom, 1x in lounge)
    2x laptops (wireless), 3x mobiles connected.

    But i have recently upgraded to a 100mbps connection and the good old Linksys are just not cutting it anymore, So i am after a replacement system. I am currently looking at ASUS RT-N66U N900 but as this is a fairly pricey router i am trying to work out if this will cut it on its own or if i need to bridge again.

    ASUS RT-N66U N900 decent enough on its own?
    Different or better router for similar price?
    If im bridging can any one suggest a cheaper option?

    Cheers in advance for any advice.
     
  2. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522

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  3. Powerlines2000

    Powerlines2000 Thread Starter

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    Many thanks for that, unfortunately sold out on Newegg UK (approx $140).

    Cheapest in uk works out about $120 so not totaly budget breaking but just wanted advice before i splash the cash ;)
     
  4. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I've spoken numerous times about coverage versus capacity design in wireless networks. Here is my latest response to this constant question:

    https://forums.techguy.org/threads/need-new-router.1169343/

    Everyone needs to start thinking about the use of multiple access points versus trying to use a single AP (or wireless router) to cover as big an area as possible.

    The reason why your setup with wireless bridging wasn't performing so well with you is due to the setup of your wireless bridge. Those Linksys wireless routers only have a single 2.4 GHz radio. When you wireless bridge two APs on the same frequency as what you're using to provide wireless client connectivity, your performance suffers immensely as the radio can only deal with doing transmit or receive duties; it can't do both at the same time. Just imagine what happens when a wireless client is trying to talk out to the Internet. The wireless client sends a transmission to AP1. This locks out all other transmissions from other wireless clients connected to that AP. AP1 then needs to transmit the data over the wireless bridge connection to AP2. While this happens, no device associated with AP1 or AP2 can communicate to their respective associated APs. AP2 then drops the data over the wire to the Internet. On the return communication, all of this is done in reverse. As you can see this is highly inefficient and causes extreme latency on the network as multiple devices are either locked up in dealing with network transmission or they're being told to wait before transmitting.

    The proper way to do a wireless bridge is to use a dual radio capable AP/wireless router. The radio of choice is the 5GHz frequency. The reason why 5GHz is preferred is due to the higher availability of channels to avoid any interference issues with neighboring wireless networks. 2.4GHz is just too crowded and only has 3 non overlapping channels to select from. This is reduced when you're using channel bonding techniques to increase your throughput. Going to 40 MHz would only give you one alternate channel to use to avoid interference on at least one of the two channels you're currently using. Going to 80 Mhz means no channels are available. With 5GHz and more channels being available, you start off with 24 channels versus 3 with 2.4. When you go to 40 MHz, you have 11 available channels for 5 GHz. And going to 80 MHz, you have 5 available channels.

    You need to check to see if you can use those Asus wireless routers to bridge across the 5GHz frequency and then use 2.4 GHz at the ends to service wireless clients. This topology is the only acceptable method to do wireless bridging properly. There are times you must use the same frequency for both the wireless bridge/backbone and wireless client connectivity. But these use cases should always be avoided at all causes if other options are available.
     
    bassfisher6522 likes this.
  5. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522

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    Hey zx10guy.....I would love to see a chart on how to connect and actually set that up as I would be very interested in setting something like that up in my house...2 floors.
     
  6. Powerlines2000

    Powerlines2000 Thread Starter

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    Thanks zx10guy definitely somthing worth exploring.

    Is this what you mean?
    "The RT-N66U supports up to three wireless networks over the 2.4 GHz band and three over the 5 GHz band"

    The issue i am having at the moment though is not with the wireless bridge, this still performs flawlessly and gives the speed i would expect (because of the above reasons i suspect ;). The issue i have currently is that the WR-54GL routers dont have the ability (due to their age) to deal with a 100mbps speed LAN connection so the maximum i get is around the 50mbps.

    It looks like the RT-N66U should do what i need.
     
  7. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Not sure what you mean by chart. But you can position one AP where you don't have wireless access and no wired connectivity. You just have to power the AP. Many APs support using a wall wart/power brick. Those that don't you can just use an inline PoE injector. The other end would have the AP which does have wired connectivity. This AP is usually referred to as a wired gateway. I've set this up before. You have to have the AP you're deploying as the end point of a wireless mesh connected via an Ethernet connection first to configure it. Once you have the AP configured, you won't have to use a wired connection anymore.
     
  8. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    No. The quote reference is talking about SSIDs. The sentence you quoted from my post is in reference to making sure the AP has the ability to first do a wireless bridge (mesh). Then you have to see if you can select which radio (2.4 or 5) you would use as your wireless back haul/backbone. As I stated in my post, having the ability to designate the 5 GHz radio to be the back haul is extremely important.

    With regards to the overall routing performance, you need to either see if anyone has done a load test on the router or you can just try it and see if it performs. Just because a router has a 100 Mb or 1 Gig Ethernet port for its WAN port doesn't mean the router will forward packets at that speed. When you add in a firewall and other functions the router is doing, you'll quickly find the router is not going to be doing line rate. I used to work with Cisco ASA firewalls which 1 GigE ports. The best some of these firewalls could do with the firewall turned on is around 400 Mbps. I had a SonicWall TZ215W for my edge firewall. The best it could do was around 50 Mbps when I turned everything on such as the deep packet inspection engine and the UTM/IPS/IDS features. I recently replaced the TZ215W with SonicWall's 6th generation firewall TZ400W. I can now achieve 100 Mbps routed through the device. And the TZ400W is a $1000 firewall.
     
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