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Connecting Linksys Wireless Access Point to Linksys Wireless Broadband Router

I'm planning to get a Linksys Access Point to add on to my existing Linksys-operated network (wireless B network).
My current network configuration is an DSL modem connected to Linksys Wireless Broadband Router, and 2 notebooks connected wirelessly to the broadband router. I need an access point as one of the notebooks is far from the wireless range of the broadband router.

My questions are :

1) How to link the Wireless Access Point (WAP) and Wireless Broadband Router together,
2) How to link the notebook to the WAP,
3) How to check the current firmware version in the existing Wireless Broadband Router as well as the WAP,
4) What settings I have to configure on my Windows XP Professional notebook to connect to WAP ?

I've visited and found out the the Wireless Broadband Router doubles up as an Access Point, but it didn't state if it works with repeater mode.

So new questions bothers me :

1) Is it more logical to get another Wireless Broadband Router instead. since I can have another option to attach my DSL modem to the either router,
2) Does the Wireless Broadband Router has repeater mode functionality,

Thanks for helps...

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1 Solution
1.)  I am currently install a wireless network in a large hotel, and have come onto this problem as well.  What I have used (tested and approved) is a D-Link DWL-800AP+ as a range extender.  It is very effective, and requires absolutely no cabling.  You will need to jack into it initially with a patch cord and configure it to repeat the broadcast of your Linksys Router's MAC address, and after that, everythings peach.  Just plug it into an outlet somewhere between your router and the distant laptop and forget about it!  

2.) Assuming the notebook is XP, you need to make sure you have the recent XP update for WAP (Go to windows update site and scan your system).  Then, just set the settings the same as your router.  There is nothing too complicated about it; just remember that both side must always have the same settings.  I can provide more help here if you let me know if your laptop is XP or not.

3.) Go to your router's internal ip address (you may have changed it, but it is usually 192.168.0.?).  The documentation for your router will tell you what the default address is.  So . . . http://192.168.0.?  log in (again, possibly you changed it, but refer to the manual for the default).  Somewhere in the web setup it will show you the version, and provide a "browse" button if you want to grab a downloaded firmware upgrade from a WIRED!!! computer.  Do NOT do a firmware upgrade over a wireless connection or you might have a good doorstop.  LOL

I'm sure you will have more specific questions so get them and fire back.
idiotsAuthor Commented:
I'm running on Windows XP as stated in point 4 of my question.
So do you mean I just got to set the SSID for the WAP same as the router ? Nothing's on IP addressing ?
And I just plug in my Wireless Notebook Card without configuring anything to connect to the access point?

And also, does the Wireless Broadband Router has repeater mode functionality ?
If then, would you recommend the WAP or the Wireless Broadband Router ?
Typically, you want to set the Router and your laptop for DHCP, this way you will not make any typical mistakes.  If you decide to give an IP address statically to each device, use 192.168.0.__ starting with 1 for the router and 2 for the laptop (or make a gap and give the latop 100).  IP address can be as basic as this, or as artful as surgery.  LOL

Yes, just get the SSID and the WAP the same on the laptop and the router.  IP addressing, SSID, and WAP (or WEP) are the biggies.

When you plug in the wireless card in your laptop, you will get:
1.) new hardware has been plugged in (install the drivers if you haven't)
2.) a new LAN adapter that you can configure by going to the adapter properties.  I like to do this by right-clicking on Network Places (on the start menu if not on the desktop) and selecting Properties.  All of your installed network adapters will show here.
3.) Right-click the icon for your wireless adapter, and select properties.  this is where you will do all of your configuration for the laptop.
4.) Click the Wireless Networks tab.  Make sure the box at the top (Use Windows to configure . . . ) is checked.   Available networks will show in the top frame.  By highlighting one of the networks (your-named by the SSID you set the router up with-should be showing) and selecting Configure, you can set all of the stuff we have been talking about.
5.) Viola, you should be surfing away.

Honestly, I have not checked out the Linksys router you are talking about.  I don't have time today to help you out on that.  However, if it does not say that it can on the package, it can't.  That is a quality newly out, and highly promoted.  If it does not say immediately that repeating is one of its functions, it can not.  

I would continue to use your existing router, and buy the D-Link I discussed in my previous post.  Wirless router does the initial broadcase, and the DWL-800AP+ extends that original broadcast's range in the direction you need.
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idiotsAuthor Commented:
Think that should be the answers to my questions...
Still left some to clearify...

So u meant the DWL-800AP+ works with any routers of different models and brands ?
idiotsAuthor Commented:
Whats the difference between AP (Access Point) Mode and Repeater mode ?
Yes.  There was some doubt initially, but basically it is just rebroadcasting what it hears without doing much itself.  Basically you plug via a patch cord (normal ethernet cord) and configure it to repeat anything from the router by plugging in the router's MAC address.  The MAC address is usually on a sticker somewhere on the router, but you can also find it though the web configuration.
It has to do with the way it is used.

AP mode is used when you connect your device to the network; you hard wire it into your switch.  It then MAKES a wireless field from a wired network.

Repeater mode is used to take a WIRELESS signal and rebroadcast it.  It extends the area of the WLAN.

A third mode is Bridge mode.  This usually is set up between two devices both acting as bridges.  You use a bridge to wirelessly span 2 wired networks, i.e. to connect the networks of 2 separate buildings.
Again I add my two cents to a thread -

Napolean is right on with the D-Link AP model he posted.  It's the most popular easily attainable wireless repeater.  You guys seem to have some misunderstandings about the terminology here; As napolean said, a repeater and a WAP are two different things, and what you need is a repeater. Breifly, here's the difference in laymen's terms:

WAP, or wireless access point, mode does nothing to connect or re-brodcast an existing wireless network.  What a WAP does is connect to a WIRED network and brodcast a wireless signal.  When you take a small router like the one you have and use WAP mode, what you're doing is turning off the routing and firewall functions while still using the wireless functions.  Someone who had a brodband router and switch before wireless networks came out would use a WAP to add wireless functionality to his network.  These little "wireless router" units that people are getting now are actually three networking devices built in to one box - a switch, a router and a WAP.  Using WAP mode is simply deactivating the router portion while leaving the switch and WAP components active.  It does nothing for your case.

A wireless REPEATER, again as napolean already said, doesn't need to plug in to your network anywhere.  It takes the signal from the air and re-broadcasts it.  Repeaters are generally much more expensive than WAPs and I highly recommend the D-Link napolean mentioned as it is one of the cheapest easiest repeaters I've seen or heard of.  I know I"m repeating a lot of what he already said, just wanted to give you a little more detail in ways you will understand.  I did want to add more about how a repeater works since you seem unclear on that.  It's something you need to configure once and then just let it be unless or until you change a routing or wireless setting on your Linksys.  Specifically, here's how you set it up:
When you get it out of the box, you will have to plug it in and connect to it via a network or serial cable (I think that particular model uses a network cable as it also has WAP functionality) by going to your web browser and typing in or whatever its default IP address is (found in manual).  The settings you will need to change are the following -
Set the operation mode to repater *It's important to mention that some brands call repeater mode "bridge" mode even though they are technically two different things.  I've worked on at least one D-Link brand unit that referred to it this way.  
Once you are set in repeater mode, you will need to fill in the SSID, WEP key(s) and MAC address for the network.  the SSID and WEP key(s) should match those on the Linksys, and in the MAC address portion, you need to enter the MAC address of the Linksys router's LAN connection.  Some routers and firewalls have two mac addresses, one for the WAN (internet) connection and one for the LAN (your network) connection.  I don't think the linksys does but some do so be aware of that - if you have multiple MAC addresses you got to use the LAN MAC, but I"ve only seen multiple MACs on very expensive firewalls that have more than one physical network interface.  The MAC (media access control) address is a 12 digit hexidecimal number usually expressed in pairs seperated by colons or dashes, and is usually found on a sticker on the unit's outer casing.  The big difference between a repeater and a bridge is that the repeater is transparent on the network because of what it does with the MAC address.  When you enter the MAC of your Linksys in the repeater it does two things with it; It tells the repeater to repeat only signals originating from that MAC address (useful if you live somewhere like New York City where there may be 10 or more wireless signals going through your apartment) and it tells it to tag the repeated signal with that MAC address so that any computer connected can roam across the two brodcasts without choking, in other words if you were walking through your house with the laptop and your wireless card jumped from the linksys signal to the repeater, it wouldn't know the difference and would keep transmitting and recieving.  If the MAC addresses were different, it would have to terminate one and connect to the other etc, which would cause some data throughput interruption.

There are a couple of other factors that may come in to play with repeater configuration, such as IP addressing and MAC filtering on your Linksys router, but a true repeater doesn't need an IP address because it's never logging on to the router, it's just capturing the specified signal and re-sending it.  That's another difference between a wireless bridge and repeater.  Again, at least one D-Link I've worked with actually required bridge mode for repeating, which involved assigning it an IP address on the main router, adding it to the MAC filter list and a few other things.  If you get one and you need help, post your specific models and configuration and there are plenty of people who can assist.  

Couple other things for your clarification:
1) It does not matter what brand name or model you are using for router and repeater, as long as they are both using the same 802.11 standard and support the same encryption schema.  That's why standards ar standards - you don't need a linksys repeater to repeat a linksys signal.

2) The default IP for most linksys routers is, and not as mentioned in the earlier posts, so for everything where napolean told you 192.168.0.*, substitute a 1 for that zero.  The default login/password for Liinksys is admin for user name and 1234 for password, or blank user name and 1234 for password.  Unless you want to provide internet for your neighbors and passers-by CHANGE THAT SETTING IMMEDIATELY!!!!  If you leave it at default settings, someone driving down the road could connect to your entire network, use your internet, browse your files, and even worse, lock you out of your own router.

3) Windows XP setup to connect will not change when you add a repeater.  Your computer will never know the difference - that's the point of a repeater.

4) In Napolean's setup instructions, he uses WAP and WEP interchangeably.  They are two completely different things and are not interchangeable terms.  WAP is Wireless Access Point and refers to an aforementioned piece of hardware.  WEP is "wireless encryption protocol" and it is the WEP "key" that you need to set, along with the SSID etc.  

5) Good luck!
Actually, this is one of the acronym confustions in the tech world.  WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is also is a protocol that Windows has recently pulled out.  It doesn't really apply here, but the configuration settings for it are in the same location as the WEP.  Sorry for confusing the issue more.  

Also, that was a great post Focusyn; it must have take FOREVER to write!!!  Very inclusive, and very complete.  Hope that it answers anything I left out.  

Sometimes . . . .though . . . .you just have to play with stuff before you understand it.  Hands on is the best approach.  So now you've got your answers; go get the stuff and start PLAYING!  LOL.

Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions.  I think you will find the instructions fairly self-explainatory though.
idiotsAuthor Commented:
You guys did answered my questions...
I'm very satisfied.

But what's so special about DWL-800AP+ access point from other branded access points.
You guys seems to emphasize on this model much...

If you have an ethernet connection around where the second Access Point will go then use AP mode.  From reading repeaters dont always work as well as thought.

My home setup is very similar to the following.

2 WAPs  1B  1G  

I have my WAPs IPs configured statically and  Mac filtering is on which I included the wap1's mac in wap2's allowed (not sure if necessary).  My SMC does DHCP for every box.  

WAP1 and WAP2 use the same SSID, but use different channels.  I have read that in this type of setup use channels 1, 6, and 11 so there are no overlapping in signals.  I wouldnt use 6 since every manufacturer seems to default to 6.

The magic of this setup is I can lose a WAP and still keep connectivity.  The wireless devices will transparently swap to the backup WAP.  

I would also recommend buying WAPs with the external reverse polarity TNC connector (RP - TNC)  linksys / dlink are examples.


The reason we emphasize that particular D-Link is because you can pick one up on ebay or elsewhere in the $50 range last time I checked.  An actual enterprise repeater is usually upwards of $500 on the low end (The ones we use throughout my agency were over $5,000 each!).  that D-Link model is one of the few devices ever built for SOHO use that has a bridge/repeater function built in.
idiotsAuthor Commented:

I don't understand what you are trying to say ?


so there are nothing so special about that brand ?
other then cheaper prices ?
Yes, nothing special about that one except value/cost, and that it may be a little easier to configure since it's geared toward the home/small office user rather than a network engineer.  

What peteysa is describing is using dual access points, both of which are connected to his network via cabling.  If you can run cabling (CAT5 / network cable) from the spot where your existing access point is located to where you would like to add another signal, then you don't need a repeater, just another access point or router operating in WAP mode.  That setup is slightly less efficient than a repeater configuration because your latop will have to change channels/access points as you pass back and forth, but in a real-world home setting you are not likely to notice any difference.  The big factor there is whether or not you can run a network cable to the location where you'd like the second access point to be.  If you do decide to go that route, check out for some cheap access points.  Just make sure if you're purchasing an access point or another router that it operates on the same 802.11 protocol as your existing one.  802.11b and 802.11g will work together, 802.11a is incompatible with either of them.
Does anyone smell dead horse and hear thumping?

We recommend that one because it is the only one (really) under $100!!!!

If you don't want to run cable, CLICK HERE AND ORDER ONE.

**Make sure that you check your linksys router that you have to see if it is 802.11b, 802.11g.  If b order the b.  If G, order the G.

Go get your hands dirty, its the only way you will start understanding what we are talking about.  Take it from a teacher (me!).
idiotsAuthor Commented:
Woah what a price...!

Okay now...
There are two models left..
1) DLink DWL-800AP+ - Enhanced Wireless 2.4GHz Range Extender
2) DLink D-Link - DWL-800AP+ - Enhanced Wireless 2.4GHz Range Extender

What the their differences ?
Sorry napoleon41 because I've been always looking into Linksys products.
I'm getting blur with DLink...
idiotsAuthor Commented:
Well I assume it's the same although the prices given on the website is different...
Just make sure that you go with a company that is reputable so that you don't get burned.  Check out the PriceGrabber rating of the store.  The more stars the better, and stick with the companies with several hundered reviews to insure that the company is not brand new.

There are two AP's because one is for 802.11g, and one is for 802.11b.

G-This one operates at 54MBPS and has the model number DWLG800AP.

B-This one operates at 22MBPS and has the model number DWL800AP+ (notice no G between the DWL and the 800AP)

Check your Linksys router to see if it is "b" or "g."  If it is B, order the DWL800AP+.  If it is G, order the DWLG800AP.

Focusyn and I did the anwering on this; mostly I wrote and Focusyn clarified where I got too techy for idiots.

I recommend that the points be split in some way between Focusyn and I.
Who do you know on the inside, Focusyn?

What in the world!  I can't believe that you got credit for the whole thing.  Great contribution, but you weren't the only one typing.  Hmmmmm.  Guess I'm just irritated that this guy was a newby and took a lot of time, and then I got totally shafted out of any credit.

It's just points, right?  LOL
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