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UberPenguin

How to connect 2 wireless routers

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Ok so it sounds like a bit of a noob question but how do I connect 2 wireless routers to create one network? I am actually out of ideas.

 

The problem is that in this house there is only one phone point and it's upstairs. Most of the computers are downstairs connected to a tl-wr1043nd gigabit/wireless n router and the modem is upstairs connected to a dlink dir-300 wireless g router. How do I make them both connect or bridge the conection wirelessly?

 

I am also thinking of replacing the modem and upstairs router (dir-300) with a tplink wireless n router.

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Lucky for you the TP-link can do WDS/repeater mode.

This should allow it to connect to the D-Link and forward the connection to the downstairs computers.

Read page 35 and 36 of the manual and following the instructions. You will also most likely have to disable DHCP, NAT and UPNP on the TP-Link or it will conflict with the D-Link. Also most likely need to set the TP-Link to an IP address in the same range as the DLinks (do all this before enabling WDS).

 

By default this appears to be in the 192.168.0.1~254 range. The TP-Link uses the 192.168.1.1~254 so it's IP should be changed to an IP in the Dlinks range but one that does not conflict with an in use IP. Anything between 192.68.0.200 to 192.168.0.254 should be safe.

Tip I always set my main routers DHCP server range to as few as I need plus some spares. EG set the DLink DHCP server to only use 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.50.

 

However WDS/Wireless repeat is not ideal as it halves your wireless speed.

In order of preference I would

1) Run an ethernet cable from the D-Link to the TP-Link and set the TP-Link up as a dumb switch and wireless AP (disable DHCP, NAT and UPNP) and connect one of the ethernet ports (not the WAN port) to the cable to the D-Link.

2)Use Ethernet over Power to connect the two and set up the TP-Link as 1)

3) Use wireless WDS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Distribution_System

If WDS is the only way to do it I would remove the Dlink and modem (assuming you are not on cable) and replace both with a TP-Link wireless modem to reduce the number of LAN devices, but that's just me.

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Thanks for the informative reply. If I was to get a wireless modem say a Td-w8960n purely for the purpose of accessing the Internet, I would have to connect them ( the tp link tl wr1043nd and the new modem) WDS. And all transmitions going from wired-wifi or vice versa would have their bandwidth halved (150 megabit theoritical maximum?) but wired to wired would be fine and so would wireless to wireless. Because the current setup is a 2 computers for gaming downstairs on wired gigabit and a htpc upstairs wireless G and a couple iPhones and laptops. I would like as much bandwidth to the wirelessly connected pc and iPhones and to have at least 150mb over the wireless for media streaming. Laptops have wireless n and the htpc will soon get it.

 

I was going to replace the router soon anyway because it has been during slowly for a while now but is there any advantage to having a new wireless n modem other than having more bandwidth to half?

 

I can't run wires because it's a rental and I can't drill holes everywhere and there is only one phone point and it's upstairs.

 

Is there no way to make the wireless modem just an object on the network (like another computer) and use the gigabit/wireless n router to serve the wifi range for the rest of the house and wired Ethernet downstairs.

Edited by UberPenguin

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Thanks for the informative reply. If I was to get a wireless modem say a Td-w8960n purely for the purpose of accessing the Internet, I would have to connect them ( the tp link tl wr1043nd and the new modem) WDS. And all transmitions going from wired-wifi or vice versa would have their bandwidth halved (150 megabit theoritical maximum?) but wired to wired would be fine and so would wireless to wireless. Because the current setup is a 2 computers for gaming downstairs on wired gigabit and a htpc upstairs wireless G and a couple iPhones and laptops. I would like as much bandwidth to the wirelessly connected pc and iPhones and to have at least 150mb over the wireless for media streaming. Laptops have wireless n and the htpc will soon get it.

 

I was going to replace the router soon anyway because it has been during slowly for a while now but is there any advantage to having a new wireless n modem other than having more bandwidth to half?

 

I can't run wires because it's a rental and I can't drill holes everywhere and there is only one phone point and it's upstairs.

Ok with an WDS setup the effective bandwidth between the two devices is halved, can't fix that it is a matter of physics.

 

Before buying a new modem just try setting up the existing TP-Link with it's inbuilt WDS and see if it connects.

Yes you can daisy chain routers and wireless access points but the more complex you make it the more likely you are to have problems.

 

Ok given you are looking at "2 computers for gaming downstairs on wired gigabit and a htpc upstairs wireless G and a couple iPhones and laptops" and can't run an ethernet cable I would do it the following way.

First a new modem router upstairs, say the TD-W8960N or a Billion 7800N (the billion is better IMO as it has Gigabit LAN ports).

 

Then get two ethernet over power devices like these (do not get confused with power over ethernet, different thing altogether).

often called HomePlug or Powerline networking

http://www.tp-link.com/products/productDet...pmodel=TL-PA201

You need two of them or the kit which is a pair.

http://www.tp-link.com/products/productDet...el=TL-PA201+KIT

 

http://www.staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/search...A201&spos=1

Other brands like Netgear are around.

 

Explained here

http://www.vitocassisi.com/archives/790

These turn your existing house electrical wiring in to a network and setup is fairly easy, just read Vito's article.

 

Ok so you have your EoP devices and new modem.

Set up the modem as per normal and just leave the wireless side doing it's normal thing (just remember to put WPA or WPA2 encryption on it with a decent random key).

 

Plug on EoP in to a powerpoint next to the modem (do not go through a surge protector) and connect a LAN cable from a modem ethernet port to the port on the EoP device.

Downstairs plug the other EoP device in and connect a LAN cable from it to a wireless access point or router in AP mode (no routing etc), or you could just use a switch and run ethernet to the two downstairs PCs (my preference for gaming as wireless introduces to many issues with ping and throughout for online gaming).

I would also fit a wireless N card to the HTPC to improve it's streaming performance or run an ethernet cable from the HTPC to the modem (best solution) or use a third EoP device to connect the HTPC to the LAN. I find even wireless N is problematic with HD media, especially if anything else is using the wireless LAN.

 

Why I say

router in AP mode (no routing etc)

is that having a second router on the LAN in routing mode means your PCs downstairs would be double natted, a really really good way to cause network issues.

 

Some routers have the option to put them in AP or switch mode, but if not you set it up by logging in to the router, giving it a suitable fixed IP on the LAN, then turn off DHCP, firewall port forwarding and NAT, set up the wireless stuff including security, then hook the LAN cable from the other device (in this case the second EoP) to a LAN port on the router not the WAN port.

The router then becomes transparent on the network and all routing etc will be handled by the modem/router upstairs.

 

If you want wireless roaming then set the upstairs modem router to one channel and the downstairs router AP to another channel, but give them both the same SSID, security and password. then devices can be moved around the house and will connect to the strongest signal, hopping seamlessly between the two wireless points as needed.

 

Is there no way to make the wireless modem just an object on the network (like another computer) and use the gigabit/wireless n router to serve the wifi range for the rest of the house and wired Ethernet downstairs.

Sort of.

You need to disable wireless on the modem then set the modem to bridge mode. This makes it a dumb arse modem that only does the actual connection.

The modem manual should tell you how to do this.

Then you move the TP-Link wireless N router upstairs connect the TP-Links WAN port to a LAN port on the modem and configure the ADSL connection details in the TP-Link router (see your TP-Link manual) So the TP-Link tells the modem how to connect to the internet.

This removes the dlink dir-300 from the network altogether.

If wireless reception downstairs is an issue fit high gain omni directional antennas to the TP-Link and high gain directional antennas on short fly leads to get them away from the PC cases to the wireless nics in the downstairs PCs. Also angling the TPlink antennas off vertical will help as the signal is radiated at right angles to the long axis on the stick antennas in a sort of doughnut shape. If the downstairs PCs use USb wireless nics then use shortish USB extension lead to get the nic away from the PC cases. Metal PC cases make great signal blockers.

Edited by aliali

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1 new modem and a lot of fiddling later and I've got it working. I think I can live without the expense of Ethernet over power just for now (everywhere I can find them locally costs about $160) but the idea really intrigues me. Thanks for all the help I had to change some of the specifics but you put me in the right direction.

 

Thanks again.

 

You wouldn't happen to know of a program that tested bandwidth? Just so I could see what I am getting.

Edited by UberPenguin

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Ah good stuff Uber and I bet I know one problem you had. Every damn manufacturer seems to call the settings for WDS something different and seem to have slightly different ways of doing things. Bloody annoying.

LAN bandwidth test? I just transfer a file from one PC to another and see what speeds I get.

There is a few listed here you could try

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measuring_net...h_test_software

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EDIT: Wow I really need to read threads more thoroughly before I post. Anyway, if you were to decide to go the EOP route, Officeworks price matching MSY will get you a good pair of adapters for about $109, so maybe that's not as much as you thought?

 

Another option worth looking into is Ethernet over Power. Basically have one of the ports on router 1 wired up to a power socket adapter, then transmit to another adapter somewhere going into the uplink port of router 2.

 

Apparently the EOP adapters have come a long way over the last few years, but your mileage may still vary. Get Officeworks to price match MSY on these and use their returns policy if they don't work out.

Edited by Voightkampff

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I run a set of those NP201AV's myself. Much better than bridging wireless access points.

They run a pretty standard 4ms response from one end to the other, much smaller than that of wireless.

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Sorry about the bump in the thread but after getting it to work I am now experiencing other strange issues.

 

1. Most importantly to fix, I get random dropouts (which as I am currently playing assassins creed brother hood, multiplayer disconnects if it loses connection) which reconnect at random intervals - between 1 min and 5. I have actually traced this back to the bridge dropping (whenever it happens I can ping the local router and access its webpage but I cant do the same to the modem) out but I can’t tell why.

 

2. The downstairs internet connection has wildly varying download speeds. I don’t know if this is out internet connection but I have never seen one of those "speed tests" (I really don’t think they are accurate) drop below 9mb and go all the way up to 19mb which theoretically should mean between aprox 900k/s and 1.9Mb/s downloads (depending on quality of connection to the other server etc) but usually it is sitting at around 500k from steam and 180k/s from websites but I did download Dragon Age 2 at 1.9Mb/s from steam. So maybe the wireless bridge is having an effect on this too?

 

3. I'd really like to run both wireless networks under the same ssid but whenever I do that the bridge wont work.

 

So frankly I’m thinking of going the Ethernet over power route as it just seems more stable.

 

EDIT: Just scrolled up the page and found some replies I hadn’t seen - the only ones I could find at office works were this one http://www.officeworks.com.au/retail/produ...pters/INDLK3070 which seems better as it’s promising "up to 200mbps" and the other seems to be an older version promising only 85mbps. I assume that the "up to" would be limited by the quality of the power line and the amount of devices plugged in? (I realize that my modem can only support 100mbps but I'd like to get all 100mbps reliably). I just checked MSY and their price for these adapters is $9999.00.

 

EDIT 2: Ok so they were just keeping them in a different location there are the Netcomm NP201AV are they any better than the other ones I linked? MSY is asking $115 which I would consider considerably cheaper than the $177 that Offoce Works are asking. Do I need to print out the page to get them to pricematch?

 

 

@viremia where did you get yours?

Edited by UberPenguin

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RE 1) Possibly poor signal between the two devices.

As one router is upstairs and one downstairs tilt your antennas so the long axis is at 90 degrees to the other router. Wireless propagates out at 90 degrees to the long axis in a rough doughnut shape so there is significant signal loss above and below an omni directional

On this image

Posted Image the antenna would be sticking up through the middle of the doughnut along the z axis.

Or you could try some range extender type omni directional antennas, but you have to start looking at costs and it will get to a point where EoP is cheaper and even getting a cat 5e cable run could end up cheaper.

Could also try some home made reflectors on the existing antennas to turn them in to directional antennas. Plenty of articles on the net about this.

 

RE 2)Wireless bridge should not be having any effect on the connection itself and the only way I can think of that the bridge would effect actual download speeds is it is the router is so underpowered that it is having issues running the bridge and LAN routing at the same time.

However if your wireless bridge is not working perfectly as you mentioned in 1) then the problem is not "internet speeds" it is the wireless LAN speeds that are causing the slow downs.

 

RE 3) You need more sophisticated devices to do this I think. EG the wireless APs I use have the options to do standard AP (Access point), AP Bridge Point to point (Access point to access point only), Station Ad-Hoc, Station Infrastructure, AP Bridge Point to multi-point (One AP to many APs), AP bridge-WDS and Universal repeater.

As my setup is point to point too my brothers house and my mothers house is just a standard wifi card in the PC with an external directional antenna, the AP on my house is in AP bridge-WDS mode so it does the bridge to my brothers house and provides a standard wireless access point for my mothers PC or any other wireless capable devices I want to hook up. On my units there is no ssid for the bridge part as MAC addresses are used to associate the APs in bridge mode. At my brothers the unit is in AP Bridge Point to point as his PC hooks up to it via Ethernet only.

Can all get very complicated and took me quite a while to get my head around it all. :P

 

RE Edit)

Have a read of http://www.vitocassisi.com/archives/790 for some info, but yes speed of EoP depends on a lot of factors and no you would be extremely lucky to get anywhere near the 200Mbps theoretical maximum.

 

RE Edit 2) Doubt Officeworks will price match MSY unless the two stores are in the same suburb.

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Officeworks will match MSY or CPL, provided there's one nearby. If you're in Melbourne, I actually bought a pair of NP201AVs at the QV officworks last week and got them to match CPL. $109.55 all up. They checked on the internet and printed out a price list for me to take to the cashier.

 

WRT performance, I get 80Mbps (10 MB/s) under ideal conditions - i.e. two outlets in the same room. That drops off to about 56Mbps (7 MB/s) after a 12m or so hop through some pretty ancient wiring. Going the full length of the house, maybe 25-30m I get about 24Mbps (3 MB/s). Your mileage may vary.

 

Basically, it's nowhere near the rated speeds, and it's definitely not as good as wired ethernet, but it's nice and stable and a lot less painful than bridged repeater mode.

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Sorry I havent posted back in the past couple of days I havent had time to do anything but I am grateful for the input from you guys- at the moment I'm running cat 5 out of a window and down the house (I probably can't keep this setup long term its rather unsightly and there is the women of the house issue) but so far internet and download speeds have upped a lot and it hasn't had any dropouts (I'm getting about 2.2Mb/s download from steam reliably) and web pages are loading noticeably faster. Ping as of last night across the wireless bridge was between 40 and 789 ms before it dropped out. If this fixes all issues and there aren't any other issues then EoP looks like it'll be the way to go.

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at the moment I'm running cat 5 out of a window and down the house (I probably can't keep this setup long term its rather unsightly and there is the women of the house issue)

Then you have a good argument to get ethernet installed properly IMO.

Tell her it is either as is or pay to get it run properly by a licenced cabler.

:P

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