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Two routers, one WAP -- just checking

Discussion in 'Networking' started by kcwdad, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. kcwdad

    kcwdad Thread Starter

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    Have read several posts on topic of using two wireless routers for home network instead of repeater/range extender (incl. John Will's SOHO post). I may have an extra complicating factor in that I think I need two DHCP routers, not just 1 router and one WAP.

    My setup/goals: my Motorola cable modem (simple, no router) is in the basement connected to a wireless router (Netgear WGR614) with two computers in my basement home office. Wireless signal from this basement router is supposed to serve upstairs computer and roaming laptop but signal is weak in some spots, non-existent in others. I have one Ethernet cable run from basement to upstairs, and cannot add more wire (it's "baked" into the drywall now). This upstairs Ethernet run connects to a simple hub which connects a couple hardwired devices (a music server and media center). Whew!

    What I think I want to do is to connect a second wireless router upstairs, with its input being an output of my downstairs wireless router. This secondary upstairs router would not only be the wireless "access point" for roaming laptops etc. but also a router (DHCP?) to the locally Ethernet-connected music server and media center. I would turn off the wireless on the downstairs router.

    True, False or Confused?:

    - Aside from slight cost advantage of using a wireless router vs. a repeater ($20-50 cheaper), a repeater (aka range extender) also reduces bandwidth ~50% as it must repeat/rebroadcast each frame.
    - It is possible to use one wireless router (e.g. Netgear WGR614) as a router only (wireless signal turned off), with its input as Ethernet cable from cable modem and one of its outputs going to another wireless router of same/similar type (e.g. Netgear WGR614)
    - If I follow John Will's instructions and turn off DHCP for secondary wireless router, don't I now lose the ability to connect this secondary router (by Ethernet) to my upstairs music server and media center?
    - I've seen suggestion to use high-gain antenna but Netgear WGR614 does not appear to have replaceble antenna.

    So is it possible to do what I am suggesting with equipment I have? Is there an easier solution I'm missing? Am I better off just biting the bandwidth bullet and getting a repeater/range extender? Or do I need a bridge or some other expensive, not-consumer-friendly network setup?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Follow JohnWill's procedure. The purpose of disabling the secondary router's Dhcp server is so that devices connected to its LAN ports or wireless signal will get their IP configuration from the primary router. That, I think, is what you want to do.

    Getting rid of the hub will probably give faster service to the music server and media center, but that shouldn't be a problem. :)
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    This sounds like the exact situation that calls for my configuration. :) I have basically the same configuration, but I don't disable any of the wireless, I use both routers in either end of the house. They're about 90 feet away from each other, and there's too many walls. :)
     
  4. kcwdad

    kcwdad Thread Starter

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    Excellent, this sounds like what I need to do. So if I leave wireless capabilities turned on for both routers, this won't affect bandwidth?

    The hub is just a stopgap since there is no router upstairs near the music and media servers. I was somehow thinking of DHCP as required to connect other devices to the router, but what you explain makes perfect sense (secondary router will work more like a hub + WAP, while primary router downstairs will continue to serve all 4 devices on both routers with IP addressed via DHCP).

    Now comes the fun part: following John's suggestions using NetGear's "documentation" and "tech support".

    Bonus points for an answer to a seemingly simple question: is there a non-electronic (just wires) device to hook one Ethernet cable to another (female/female) to increase cable length? Cable coming out of wall upstairs is too short for optimal router placement. Or does some mystical magic happen with RJ45(?) connector that requires a hub or some other intelligence to simply extend wire? Of course, there is always splicing two cables together with large wads of electrical tape :)

    Thanks, great forum!
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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  6. kcwdad

    kcwdad Thread Starter

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    Thanks for helpful, clear, and patient responses. You guys rock.
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You're welcome. And by the way, most of what I've learned about this networking stuff is from reading posts here by JohnWill and many others.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    And he's a very quick study! :D
     
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