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Wireless Network Deployment Model

Discussion in 'Networking' started by James Crosso, Apr 5, 2009.

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  1. James Crosso

    James Crosso Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
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    Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am attempting to setup a new wireless network model in my home, and am looking for some advice on the proper hardware I need.

    I currently have a laptop which I use to connect wirelessly to my network. I previously used a wired-router to connect directly to a cable modem, and would then have all my network devices (Storage, media, etc.) connected to the wired router. I would use a Airport Express to create a wireless signal from this network and connect to my laptop. Worked fine.

    In my new home, I'd like to keep a router in my room, which is not where my modem has been installed. What I am looking to do is connect all the above hardware to a separate LAN. I have been looking into using a wireless bridge/access point for this.

    In checking out these options, I'm a little confused. Bridges and Access Point are expensive; why are they so expensive when they do less than a router? Also, it is very important the access point can connect to the network wirelessly. I do not want to run wires all over my home, so would like a device that can join a wireless network and connect to my router. I will buy a new router if I have to (one with wireless support) if it has a bridge/repeater/access point mode. Is there a specific feature I should be looking for?

    Today, I cannot use the internet and access my personal network devices without changing my network connection from my laptop. This is irritating, as I can't do things such as backup or listen to music while surfing the net. I am looking for a device that can bridge these networks wirelessly, and am also looking for something extremely inexpensive. Can I accomplish this?

    Thanks again for your help,
    James
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Truthfully, I think a wireless bridge is a bad idea. If you try to do file sharing over a wireless link, you better have patience, because it'll be pretty slow! The best topology is to have all the wireless access points hard wired to the network.
     
  3. James Crosso

    James Crosso Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
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    Thanks for writing me back!

    Honestly, the entire thing confuses me. Routers, Access Points, Bridges. . . they are all very similar and it feels like there is a lot of overlap in their functionality. What is the precise piece of hardware I'm looking for?
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Well, if you want to extend the range of your wireless network to have better coverage, my advice is to use a WAP (or a second router configured as one since it's cheaper). You'll need wired connections between the two wireless devices if you expect decent file sharing performance.


    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
     
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