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Can 2 wireless routers be used on 1 line?

Brogan

Well-known Member
Is it possible to have 2 wireless routers in 1 property, using the same ADSL service but connected to different PCs?

I'll briefly explain.

In the study I have the main PC connected via an ethernet cable to an Orange Livebox. The PC doesn't have wireless.
This Livebox is a wirless router but it also does VOIP so I'd like to leave it where it is as I can get free 'phone calls and that's where the phones are.

In the lounge I will very soon have an Xbox Elite :D and obviously need to connect it to a router.
I have a spare wireless router but I will connect the Xbox via an ethernet cable as the Xbox doesn't have wireless as standard.

The 2 laptops will then be able to use either wireless network.

Is this possible?
Will 2 separate routers with 2 different MAC addresses work on the same ADSL line?

The only other option is to get the wireless adaptor for the Xbox but at £60 it's not exactly cheap and I have no idea whether it will work with the Orange Livebox or not.

TIA
 

pingu

Active Member
Quickly read the livebox FAQ and it does support the 360 wireless adapter (or any standard 802.11b/g client for that matter).

So, you don't need another router - you either need the 360 adapter or a wireless bridge (an access point in reverse).

If you can envisage further networked kit in your lounge, then I'd go the wireless bridge route as you can add a cheap hub later so that all your lounge kit can use it.

In fact, if you can get hold of a specific hardware revision of the Linksys WRT54G, then you can install some open source firmware like HyperWRT which enables it as a 4-port wireless bridge. This is what I did and it works a treat plus it's cheaper than the 360 adapter.

HTH,
pingu
 

Brogan

Well-known Member
Thanks chap.

I was going to read up on the Livebox but got sidetracked reading about the Xbox I'm hopefully getting on Friday :D

My point in using the 2nd wireless router was because I have one spare.
If I go down the wireless adaptor or wireless bridge route it will mean buying more hardware - yes I am that tight :D ;)
As I don't plan to have any other networked kit in the lounge using my existing router will be the quickest and cheapest way of getting the Xbox hooked up.
Plus it will avoid any potential issues caused by using a wireless link instead of a hardwired ethernet cable.

I suppose I can always try it and see what happens.
In fact, that's probably the best thing as I can plug the spare router in now, hook it up to one of the laptops and see if there are any problems.
 

pingu

Active Member
Hi Brogan,

Does your spare router work in 'bridge' mode? If not then it won't help you unless you plan on connecting to a phone line downstairs and switching the livebox off (or disconnecting from ADSL) when in use. I'm sure you can't connect 2 ADSL modems to the same line at the same time.

Cheers,
pingu.
 

Brogan

Well-known Member
Does your spare router work in 'bridge' mode?
Not sure, I'll have to check.
It's a Cable & Wirless ADSLR10CW3.

If not then it won't help you unless you plan on connecting to a phone line downstairs and switching the livebox off (or disconnecting from ADSL) when in use. I'm sure you can't connect 2 ADSL modems to the same line at the same time.
The 2 routers will be in different rooms and therefore plugged into different BT sockets but it will still be the same BT line so you're probably right.
I'll give it a test later and see what happens.

Edit: Just did a quick search and it seems that it is capable of Bridge Mode. I just need to work out how to implement that now.
 

Brogan

Well-known Member
OK, I tried both routers connected to the line and as you predicted, it doesn't work.

I am now trying to set up Bridge Filtering on the C&W router but can't seem to get it to work.

I've gone into the modem configuration in the Bridge Filtering page.
In the Source MAC address I entered 000000000000 which means "don't care".
In the Destination MAC address I entered the MAC address of my Orange Livebox.
In the Type box I wasn't sure so I entered 0000.

I wasn't able to get a connection though and when I saved the settings and rebooted I couldn't even connect to the modem again so I had to hard reset it.

I'm sure it's fairly simple to get bridge filtering set up but I've had a search on the web and most of the instructions are fairly vague.
 

pingu

Active Member
Hmm,

I'm not sure bridge filtering is going to do the business - that just partitions your LAN; if the box isn't pushing traffic through the wireless in the first place, it won't help.

Usually, with consumer boxes, they'll operate in AP mode, bridge mode (aka AP Client) or sometimes in WDS (Wireless Distribution System) which is AP mode with repeater.

What you want is bridge mode/ AP Client mode.

I've got a Linksys WRT54G that only does it because I installed some nifty firmware called HyperWRT (for that box only unfortunately) which enables the function the chipset inside is capable of. Out of the box it wouldn't do it.

So it looks like more hardware is needed :thumbsdow
While the 360 adapter is expensive, it has the advantage of being USB powered and quite neat. So if you're absolutely sure you won't have more network enabled kit downstairs, I'd get that. Otherwise I'd look at getting a proper wireless bridge or maybe even HomePlug (runs ethernet through your mains power wiring)

Rgds,
pingu
 

Brogan

Well-known Member
Yes, I think you're right.
I did a bit of searching yesterday and found lots of articles about HyperWRT but unfortunately I can't utilise that.

I have found a solution though. It's not ideal but it's cheap and it works.

The Livebox stays in the study connected to the PC and telephone.
The 2 laptops can connect to the Livebox wirelessly.

The Xbox connects to the other wireless router via ethernet.
When I want to use the Xbox I just switch off the Livebox.
The 2 laptops will then switch over to the other wireless network.

It's not ideal as I need to remember to switch routers on and off.
Also, I won't be able to use the PC for online stuff when using the Xbox but I shouldn't need to as I'll be in the lounge anyway.
If I do need to go online for anything I can use one of the laptops.

Perhaps in the future I'll look at getting rid of some of my surplus gear and get a wireless adaptor for the Xbox.
 

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