Setting Up Multiple Wireless Points as One Entity

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Lavarinth

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May 28, 2011
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Greetings. Frequent reader, first time poster. I've browsed the forum on and off for some time trying to locate the answer to my troubles, however with most of the threads locked (and not wanting to bump old posts) I figured my best option was to post a new thread in hopes of gathering some more information.

I work in a medium sized business with 50~ employees. We recently decided to allow wireless access for employees, newer computers with internal wifi, and customers. Now, I'm savvy enough to know how to setup a wireless router without using the instructional CD and just accessing it directly via the IP, that's all fine and dandy. However, the range of one singular wireless router hardly covers 20% of the building. And I ran into another issue I'm hoping two have some help in. So here's my two situations:

1: The main network hubs are located in a maintenance room far off in the corner, so setting up a wireless device there was not beneficial. I attempted to set one up via an ethernet port in the middle of the building. This worked without issues, and connected fine, however- The wireless router now has it's own separate set of IPs instead of "being one with the main router/hub." Our default IPs are 192.168.15.***, while this wireless router has created a separate set of IPs with 192.168.1.***. This wouldn't be much of an issue were it not for the fact our server needs to be connected via RDP through some wireless devices. So we cannot type in the typical IP to connect to the server since it's no longer in the same network, this also eliminates printer access. The simple question to all this is if it is possible to have a wireless router connected via a port of the main router still believe it's the same network like hubs do, or does this require a separate wireless device I'm unaware of?

2: The second issue is partially relative to the first. Range. As mentioned, one wireless router is not enough to allow wireless in the entire building. Boosting the signal will still result in weak signals, so the better option would be, at my only knowledge in regards to routers: more wireless routers. So I purchased three wireless routers, however the signal is still spotty. So aside the issues in question #1 to sync all routers together, is there a different device I could purchase or a method to make wireless router's range extended over areas. Like say a wireless router emits a signal, at the weakest point, the signal is boosted in a radius, at the boosted signal's weakest point, it's reboosted with another device, etc. I'm simply unaware as to how this could be done, but figure it exists. As my boss stated: How could airports have multiple access points, they couldn't just purchase these routers over and over and hook them up everywhere like this.

So that about sums up my troubling issues! If anyone around here has any help at all, even to the most basic suggestions, it'd greatly appreciated! In the meantime, I suppose I'll browse the forum and see what else I can find and perhaps finally leave some of my own insight on questions people may have.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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1. Any wireless router can be used as an ethernet switch and WAP as follows.

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!

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

For reference, here's a link to a Typical example config using a Netgear router


2. You can get Repeaters (also called Range Extenders), but since they rebroadcast the signals they receive they slow the network. Also, they seem to often be difficult to get working. Better to use additional WAPs as long as you can run the needed ethernet cables.
 

Lavarinth

Thread Starter
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
10
Terry, many thanks for your help on this. I'll be sure to try this out as soon as possible incase I run into any difficulties.
 
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