Extending the Wireless reach of my network.

maj74

Active Member
Hi,

I currently have a Belkin Wireless G Plus Mimo Router which provides wireless coverage for my house. It is upstairs, connected of course to the broadband modem.
Currently only my adjacent computer and the printer are 'hardwired' into the back, leaving 2 'computer' sockets free.


This covers upstairs fine, but the signal downstairs gets rather patchy towards the kitchen.

How do I run a further wireless access point to downstairs to improve my coverage?

Can I run a network cable from one of the spare sockets of the router to a mains networking plug, and then use the other plug downstairs to run into the back of another wireless access point? In other words, can my router relay the network signals to another access point via the 'computer' sockets on the back?

Hope someone can help!
 

Michael

Well-known Member
Yes, but, why not just create a bridge?

A bridge is basicaly a slave router: it connects wirelessly to the origional one,
then relays the onwards.

That would give youthe same coverage, without trailing a patch cable
through the house..

You would just fit it at a point between the router and the area of the house
with low signal, to boost it.
 

maj74

Active Member
Thanks for the advice. Have never heard of 'bridges' before. (Networking is something I am still finding my way with!)

Can you suggest a bridge that will work in my setup (using WPA2 security)
 

Michael

Well-known Member
How To Turn An Old Router Into A Wireless Bridge
That should help you set it up.

The Linksys WRT54G is the router of choice, and can be bought for around £30-40. It is then simply a matter of installing the software (which btw is opensource(free)), and you're good to go.
I'd probably put the bridge router directly below the origional, on the ground floor.


Actually, I had another thought :rolleyes:
You could use Powerline adapters to send the ethernet signal through your
power cables, then plug a second router in downstairs, negating the need for a bridge.

However, that approach would require two different logins, for each router, which youl'd probably want to avoid.

In fact, forget these last 3 paragraphs where ever parlayed...
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Can I run a network cable from one of the spare sockets of the router to a mains networking plug, and then use the other plug downstairs to run into the back of another wireless access point? In other words, can my router relay the network signals to another access point via the 'computer' sockets on the back?
Yes you can, it would be my preference over wifi bridging.

Whilst using wifi bridging (or WDS if your kit supports it) is a do-able option, it halves your wifi bandwidth.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
You could use Powerline adapters to send the ethernet signal through your power cables, then plug a second router in downstairs, negating the need for a bridge.

However, that approach would require two different logins, for each router, which youl'd probably want to avoid.
Not necessarily: You can set up the same SSID, encryption type & passphrase on all access points, thence only use one set of credentials and gain the advantage that your client devices can automatically "roam" between the two access points.

If you are not using wifi bridging, it would be advisable to set each access point to a different wifi channel so they don't interfere with each other. Choose a channel for each from the set 1,6,11.
 

maj74

Active Member
Not necessarily: You can set up the same SSID, encryption type & passphrase on all access points, thence only use one set of credentials and gain the advantage that your client devices can automatically "roam" between the two access points.

If you are not using wifi bridging, it would be advisable to set each access point to a different wifi channel so they don't interfere with each other. Choose a channel for each from the set 1,6,11.
This sounds like exactly what I want to do.
So as my original post:

1. Cable from back of existing router upstairs (using one of the free normal computer sockets) into powerline socket to send signal through the mains.

2. Cable from downstairs plug into new wireless access point.

3. The 2 routers have the same SSID (Whatever that is!) security settings and passwords, but are set on different channels so as not to interfere.



So, next question! for the downstairs point, do i buy another wireless router or wireless access point? Is there actually a difference between the 2? (Wouldn't the cable from upstairs via the powerline socket simply go into the 'cable modem' socket of another router?)

You can tell I'm learning this stuff! :lesson:
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
3. The 2 routers have the same SSID (Whatever that is!) security settings and passwords, but are set on different channels so as not to interfere.
SSID = Service Set Identifier - basically it's the "name" that your wifi LAN advertises to identify itself that you see in the "list available networks."

So, next question! for the downstairs point, do i buy another wireless router or wireless access point? Is there actually a difference between the 2? (Wouldn't the cable from upstairs via the powerline socket simply go into the 'cable modem' socket of another router?)
Wifi Access Points and Routers are different things. Access Points provide wifi services, Routers move network data about IP networks (note "router" does NOT imply wifi.)

Unfortunately we suffer a bit of term overloading with "router." The "box-that-gets-you-on-the-internet-and-does-wifi" that is sold into the SOHO market needed a name to distinguish it from a simpler "modem," and "router" was coined by the marketing people and has stuck.

A SOHO "wifi router" is actually a multifunction device that includes, amongst many other things, a router and a built in wifi Access Point.

To provide an additional wifi footprint all you need is a wifi Access Point.

However, you can use a wifi-router as an a Access Point by disabling all it's "routing" functions.

Some people use a full-fat "wifi-router" as an Access Point because either A) they have an old one lying around or B) it's cheaper to turn a "wifi-router" into an Access Point by turning off all the "routing" functions and leave just the AP part working.

As a purist I'd just buy an Access Point to be an Access Point. But since full function wifi-routers ship by the gazillion, volume of sales drives down their cost and means it might be cheaper to buy a wifi-router and cripple it.
 
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maj74

Active Member
Hmmm I've jsut thought of a complication to my plan.

I will be using a pronto remote control extender that needs to be hardwired to a network socket. (It doesn't use wireless.)

The pronto remote control itself does use wireless to send signals, hence why I want the extra wireless access point downstairs. However, I'm guessing I can't hardwire the extender via it's network socket to the wireless access point can I?

The requirement to be able to hardwire an object onto the network means by definition I need a router downstairs?

So can I daisychain a second wireless router from the feed from the upstairs one?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Actually all you would need is a network "switch" if all you want is more ethernet points.

But, if you want to add both a few more ethernet ports and wifi downstairs, then you might as well use a wifi-router which often include a built-in 4-port switch as it will be cheaper than buying a switch and an access point separately. However, you will still need to disable the "routing" functions of your secondary "wifi-router" (you effectively do this by disabling it's DHCP server.)

So in summary: (presuming you are using homeplugs to establish a wired ethernet link from upstairs to down.)

- if you only want some extra ethernet network points downstairs, buy a switch.
- if you only want additional wifi downstairs, buy an Access Point or wifi-router and cripple it's routing.
- if you want both wifi and more ethernet downstair, then it will be cheapest to buy a wifi-router with a built-in 4-port switch and cripple it's routing.
 
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maj74

Active Member
- if you want both wifi and more ethernet downstair, then it will be cheapest to buy a wifi-router with a built-in 4-port switch and cripple it's routing.
This option is the one I need. Presumably the software mentioned earlier in this thread will turn off the routing feature? Is this undoable or is the router function permenantly disabled?

My current router upstairs is a Belkin Wireless G Plus Mimo Router (http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=203415) so presumably another of these would do the trick, as long as I can turn off the router feature?
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
Don't bother with any special software/firmware, (at the very least it'll invalidate your warranty.) Any changes you needed should be able to make using the normal admin screens and will be undoable.

"All" you need to do is access the admin pages of you secondary "router," find it's "DHCP Server" and turn it off then change the routers IP address to something different to your main router. Then configure it's wifi as you wish.

I can either describe what you need to do now in general terms, or wait until you have bought you're secondary router and give you instructions then when we know it's make and model.
 
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maj74

Active Member
Thank you so much for your help, this is super support!

It would make most sense if I acquire a router first, then get look at exactly what needs doing to it once we know what is is!

Thanks again
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
My current router upstairs is a Belkin Wireless G Plus Mimo Router (Belkin : Wireless G+ MIMO Router) so presumably another of these would do the trick, as long as I can turn off the router feature?
I've had a quick look at it's manual, and I can't see any reason why this model won't work as a secondary (note to self/other techs - IP address can be changed & DHCP Server can be disabled.)
 
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