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Westell 327W Range

Discussion in 'Networking' started by MartySi, Sep 23, 2008.

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  1. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    I'm starting this thread, since after browsing out here, all the related threads have been closed.

    I have Bellsouth DSL with a Westell 327W DSL Modem/Wireless Router. I recently moved my office in my house, and now I'm having range troubles and getting a signal at in many places in the house.

    Moving the router (and even putting it up higher) is not an option for me.

    So, my questions are as follows:

    1) Does anyone know of a wireless range expander that will work with this modem. I know that the Linksys range expander will not work.

    2) Can I easily take this modem/router and only have it operate as a modem and attach a new wireless router (with range expander) to my system?

    What pitfalls should I be looking for.... now, I'm just an average guy and don't know a lot about subnets, and chaining routers together, so if you give me a suggestion, pretend that you're talking to a five year old.

    3) Any other suggestions as to how to boost the range of this signal -- I don't see a way to replace the antennas on this router, so that doesn't seem to be an option.

    4) SHould I contact Bell South and see if they'll just send me a modem and get my own router?

    Thanks for any help you can give this "dummy" :rolleyes:
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Well, since you should start a new thread for a new issue, you're doing the right thing! :D



    I'd consider connecting a secondary wireless router to this one that has better range, and you can also position it in a more central location if possible.


    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. 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
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    A better router will definitely expand the signal. I have the 327 wireless access point here and long ago added a router to increase the signal. The better one you get, the better the signal.
    Using my Linksys Wrt350n, I can get my signal 2 blocks away. Using the 327 in my home, I struggle to get a decent signal on the first floor.
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5706824
     
  4. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    John, as a first time poster out here, I'm duly impressed with how quickly the response came. I do have a question, however, given what you suggested.

    If I turn off DHCP on the secondary router, how will wireless devices on the opposite end of the house get their IP addresses. Since I'm putting that router somewhere more central (I'll have to figure out how to wire that up -- maybe use the wireline ethernet adaptors) would it not be that secondary router that's provided the signal for the other wireless devices to connect through?

    I don't know if I'm making myself clear. Hopefully you understand my question. One of the main reasons I need to do this is for our Tmobile Hot Spot service... our phones run off of WiFi and since I moved the office, we just can't get signals at the other end of the house.

    Thanks!
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You are also turning off the NAT layer of the router. Connecting devices will all be serviced by the primary router. Trust me, this works, I have three routers here, and the two secondary routers are wired and configured exactly that way. :D
     
  6. 192.168.1.0

    192.168.1.0

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    maybe you should call Tmobile and their tech support might be able to help you with your problem....or move your wifi router but not your office. Try putting it in the spot u had it in before you moved the office
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. :)
     
  8. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    THey'll just tell me to buy their router, like they did when I first signed up.
     
  9. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    Thanks Rich... I was thinking Wireless N. I did talk to AT&T DSL and they're going to send me a DSL modem (without the router).

    Now, how much further distance do you think I can get with the Wireless N router that you're suggesting.
     
  10. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    John, thanks again... as I said in my response to Rich, AT&T DSL is sending me a DSL modem (without the router). I'm going to pick up a Wireless N tomorrow and try your setup before their modem shows up.

    ON another note, do you have any idea how much more range can I expect from Wireless N versus this Westell that I have now?
     
  11. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    It isn't the wireless N necessarily that will give you the range it is the quality of the router ( this router has a signal booster) and like I said the one I listed carries my signal 2 blocks verses the 327W barely makes it from the second floor to the first.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Also, you can position the router in a more central location. In addition, with a decent router, you can add external hi-gain antennas to further increase the range.
     
  13. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    THanks to everyone.... I'll keep you posted as I work through this!
     
  14. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    One more question for you guys about security...

    I'm going to install the secondary router later this afternoon. My primary router is set up for WEP protection and all my wired and wireless devices know and log on to that router.

    What do I do with the security settings for the secondary router? Should it be open? Should it be the same as the primary router?

    If it's not the same, what do I do to the settings of the devices that currently connect to the primary router via WiFi (I assume that wired devices will not go through the secondary router).

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  15. MartySi

    MartySi Thread Starter

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    Hey, it's the favorite pain in the butt again with another stupid question about this double router thing.

    When I picked up the "secondary" router this morning, the guys at Best Buy suggested that I simply use the Westell 327 as a modem and not a router. Just connect the new router to the old one, set it up with security etc. and see if that provided the signal that I needed....

    For some reason, I just don't trust the Geek Squad, so I thought I'd post it out here and see if you guys agree with that. It would make my installation a lot quicker and easier.

    So, should I give it a try?
     
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