Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Access point inquiry

Access point inquiry
Thread Tools
abbaZaba
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2008, 08:42 PM
 
I have two wireless routers and I'd like to use one on each floor in my house.

The current setup is each one has it's own SSID.

is there anyway I can set them up so that each can have the same SSID and I don't have to go to my Airport menu and switch when I move around the house? can I set them to both have the same SSID and put them on a different channel? same channel?

the main router (the workhorse) is Linksys so I'm aware I'd have to mess around with the IP address settings on the netgear since by default the netgear uses 192.168.0.1 and linksys uses 192.168.1.1

one is a basic netgear wireless router and the other is a basic linksys wireless router. I'm aware that different vendors don't always work well together but I'm willing to get my hands dirty trying to get it to work.
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2008, 09:28 PM
 
Yes, if they support WDS (or are the same brand and support some other WDS-like-but-proprietary protocol, like Apple's Airports do); low end routers typically don't support WDS and since you have different brands it's unlikely they'll work together.

Why do you need seperate wifi access points for just two floors? Do either of the ones you own support better external antennas?
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2008, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Why do you need seperate wifi access points for just two floors? Do either of the ones you own support better external antennas?
I have these wireless routers lying around and I thought it'd be worthwhile to mess around with them and see what I could do.

the linksys router is a BEFW11S4 and supports dual antennae. what is the range on these? the linksys may very well be enough to cover both floors. (the netgear I have is a POS. it's got shitty reception for some reason.)
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 4, 2008, 02:12 AM
 
It's worth a try using just one, but I do experience occasional disconnects on my second floor when connected to my downstairs router.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 4, 2008, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
the linksys router is a BEFW11S4 and supports dual antennae. what is the range on these?
Having dual antennas doesn't necessarily mean they're replaceable; you'll have to look in the manual. I'd buy a 802.11g router if you have issues with speed at range and your computers are g capable.
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 4, 2008, 09:43 PM
 
However the fact it has dual antennae makes it more suitable for a two story setup since I can position the antennae to maximize signal distribution...
     
mduell
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 5, 2008, 12:40 AM
 
Are you aware that the coverage zone is a donut around the axis of the antenna? There's almost no signal where you "point" it.
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 5, 2008, 06:11 AM
 
yes I am aware. thus when I tilt one and keep one pointed to the sky it'll help with the coverage on the second floor.
     
ghporter
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 5, 2008, 11:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
I have these wireless routers lying around and I thought it'd be worthwhile to mess around with them and see what I could do.

the linksys router is a BEFW11S4 and supports dual antennae. what is the range on these? the linksys may very well be enough to cover both floors. (the netgear I have is a POS. it's got shitty reception for some reason.)
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Having dual antennas doesn't necessarily mean they're replaceable; you'll have to look in the manual. I'd buy a 802.11g router if you have issues with speed at range and your computers are g capable.
Your BEFW11S4 is really an old model, and it only supports "B" WiFi speeds. I'd do some research, say at LinksysInfo.org to find a model and version of "G" router/access point that has removable antennas. Note that some versions of the usually stellar WRT54G are poo (generally version 5 and later) because Linksys has changed to a newer, less capable processor AND OS. And just for wireless coverage, you don't need another router; if it's available, a simple access point could be your best bet, depending on price, of course. Be careful in what you choose.

There are higher-gain antennas for Linksys and other brands, and if you're handy you can also build even higher-gain and/or directional antennas, which can give you better coverage.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 5, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
wow I didn't even check to see if it supported G. I just assumed it did. guess this netgear is actually better than the linksys. I wonder why my Touch gets such terrible reception even when it's right next to the netgear...
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2008, 08:42 AM
 
If I am understanding you correctly, you have ethernet on both floors right? If so you then you do NOT need WDS, and you CAN name the network with the same SSID. Any reasonable quality cheap wireless routers should do. (Having both 802.11g would be preferred though obviously.)

1) Connect them both to the ethernet network.

2) Set one up as the main router. Turn on DHCP allocation for that one.
Set the other one up as purely an access point. Turn OFF DHCP allocation for that one. That essentially turns it into a dumb access point.

3) Make sure they both have different IPs that you can remember.

4) Put the main router on channel 1. Put the secondary router on channel 6 or 11. (802.11g has three independent non-overlapping channels, namely 1, 6, and 11.)

5) Give them the same SSID.

6) Give them the same encryption password. WPA is preferred, since the iPhone and iPod touch seem to have problems with WEP with certain hardware.

BTW, that's EXACTLY what I did.

I have 3 routers in this house (soon to be four) simply because I didn't want to deal with WDS (which reportedly often can be flaky). (I didn't have ethernet everywhere so I bridged everything with powerline networking.)

I have my main router in my home office. It serves all the IP addresses for the network. The other two routers have been turned into access points by turning off their DHCP serving capability. I went with wireless routers because cheap wireless routers actually cost less than simple access points. Plus they have extra ports for wired devices too.

I tried buying a new antenna but it didn't help at all. The problem is the receiving devices may be too weak anyway. My Cubes and my iPhone 3G (like your iPod touch) simply aren't strong enough to deal with weak signals even with a new big antenna. Now that I have multiple access points, I don't have to worry about flaky weak connections. Instead, I get full strength wireless access everywhere I want it.

P.S. I'm using the 2wire 2700HG-B as my main router. It is a combo DSL modem and 802.11g router. I am using two Trendnet TEW-432BRP wireless routers as access points/switches. None of this hardware supports WDS. The Trendnet is not a favourite amongst geeks, but I much prefer it, because it's extremely easy to configure, and the browser access is very reliable. Also, I already had one and was comfortable with it so I figured I'd may as well just stick with the same model considering it was very inexpensive and it worked well in such a setup.
( Last edited by Eug; Aug 6, 2008 at 09:09 AM. )
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2008, 10:32 AM
 
Here is the topology of my non-WDS wireless network:



* Click to enlarge.
( Last edited by Eug; Aug 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM. )
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2008, 04:14 PM
 
wow thanks for going so indepth, but there is one snag: in addition to these two cheap wireless routers, the MAIN router that is used to wire the whole house is a Linksys BEFSR81 (has an 8port switch)

Originally Posted by Eug View Post
2) Set one up as the main router. Turn on DHCP allocation for that one.
Set the other one up as purely an access point. Turn OFF DHCP allocation for that one. That essentially turns it into a dumb access point.
if I turn on DHCP for one of the wireless routers, won't this interfere with the BEFSR81 since it is handling the DHCP?
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2008, 04:47 PM
 
Sorry, I didn't realize you had an extra router in there. So in your case you would turn off DHCP allocation for all of your wireless routers, and you would let the BEFSR81 do all the work.

(In my setup, my main router happens to be both a DSL modem and a wireless router.)
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2008, 09:56 PM
 
that is how I have it setup currently. however, the netgear's IP is 192.168.0.1 and every time I changed it to the 192.168.1.x range it stops responding. I must be setting something incorrectly but I can't for the life of me figure it out.
     
ghporter
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 09:25 AM
 
You'll have to change the Netgear's IP so that it is part of the same subnet (192.168.1.x) as the rest of the network, then set it to BRIDGE mode and restart it. You don't mention which Netgear unit you have, so I can't give you specific instructions on how to set it to bridge, but it may be called all sorts of things; bridge mode will turn off Network Address Translation, so "NAT" may be part of the setting's name... Also, do that change WHILE WIRED TO the Netgear box.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
You'll have to change the Netgear's IP so that it is part of the same subnet (192.168.1.x) as the rest of the network, then set it to BRIDGE mode and restart it. You don't mention which Netgear unit you have, so I can't give you specific instructions on how to set it to bridge, but it may be called all sorts of things; bridge mode will turn off Network Address Translation, so "NAT" may be part of the setting's name... Also, do that change WHILE WIRED TO the Netgear box.
I am wired to the netgear when I am changing the subnet. I think it may be having trouble with the stupid "Setup Wizard". anyway to turn this crudness off?

by the way, the netgear is model WGR614
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 07:54 PM
 
well after finnagling a bit I figured out what I was doing wrong.

first off, to bypass the smartwizard I just had to use to http://192.168.0.1/basicsetting.htm

I am 100% positive I have the Netgear configured correctly now.

now for the wireless part:
netgear is on channel 11 and the linksys is on channel 1. SSID is set to not broadcast but they are the same for both.

it seems to be working. however my Touch doesn't seem to read a very strong signal even when right next to the netgear. am I going to run into any problems with the netgear broadcasting at b and g and the linksys broadcasting only on b?
( Last edited by abbaZaba; Aug 7, 2008 at 08:06 PM. )
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 08:34 PM
 
after some trial and error, I've decided to just use b to avoid conflicts with the Touch. I know that I'll get some performance hits if I ever try to move something over the LAN with the wireless but I use my mini as a server to do all that.

the signal meter on the Touch does read low but I would imagine that it's tailored to g signal strength and thus won't read as accurately since I'm only broadcasting b.

thanks a lot, especially Eug
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 08:37 PM
 
sidenote: my old man's iPhone has trouble since the network is only b. I imagine that since the signal meter reads the wifi as a weak signal the iPhone has trouble deciding whether or not to use EDGE or the weaker Wifi.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2008, 10:04 PM
 
My iPhone 3G works fine with all my four access points set for both 802.11b and 802.11g. (One is a 2wire, and three are TRENDnets.) All are using WPA security (and all four are using the same SSID and password). I use both b and g because although most of my equipment is g, I have a couple of Cubes which are b only.

However, the iPhone wouldn't work with a 5th wireless router... with WEP. That was an 802.11b SMC router but the iPhone worked fine with it when encryption was turned off. Turn on WEP, and the iPhone simply couldn't connect with it. Finally I turned off wireless for the SMC altogether and just use it as a wired router.

Anyways, the point is there does seem to be some hardware compatibilities with Apple wireless hardware and some routers. My solution was to limit my router purchases to the same models. Ironically, although I now own three TRENDnet TEW-432BRP 802.11g routers, they are all different revisions, and have slightly different configuration software and defaults. The important point though is all three work fine with Apple hardware.
     
abbaZaba  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 16, 2009, 05:14 PM
 
So today while trying to figure out this Airport Express issue I am having, I noticed that one access point had the option "filter multicast" checked, while the other access point had the option UNchecked.

should I check both options on both access points? or uncheck both? or leave it as it is?
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:39 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,