Configuring Wireless Access Points

Hi guys.

Im totally stuck on setting up a wireless network. Can you help?!

What im trying to do is link an unwired network from one end of a big building to the other, using access points.

There is currently a three client workgroup set up in one office at the far end of the building (i'll call this Office 1) which is working fine, able to share files & printers with each other and browsing the net through an adsl netgear router (All Clients are running XP Home SP1) using 802.11b wireless adapters (although the router is 802.11g)

Ive set up three access points (Netgear WG602 v2) throughout the building trying to expand the reach of the network & internet to the other end of the building, and from what i can see (im walking around using a laptop with an 802.11g pen attached to it) each access point is in range with the one next to it (as i can see two or three available access points/router at any time in which to connect to using the supplied netgear software).  Please note that i want the next office (office 2) at the other end of the building to be on the same workgroup, able to access the same internet connection, and share files and printers with the other office.

However, as soon as i move out of range of the router in office 1, ive lost access to the workgroup and internet.  This is where im stuck.

The Netgear Access points im using (WG602 v2) have three options to choose from :-
1. Access Point.
2. Point to Point Bridging
3. Multi-point bridging
4. Repeater

Now all Access points are set to the same Channel, same SSID (all have no encryption set yet, as im leaving that until last). I just dont know where to go from here. Ive tried setting different options, like repeater, bridging etc, but i still lose the network as soon as im out of range of the router. Im either doing something wrong, or missing something.

Can anyone give me some instructions to follow, or some tips to try? im desperate!  I guess this is the same as roaming. if i can walk around throughout the building with the laptop, while still able to access the internet, share files and printers with the network in office 1, then essentially, i should be able to set up a network in office 2 no problem?  

Your help is very urgent and important, thus the 500 points offered.
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Many wireless routers don't support any other mode than a standard AP, IF this is the case then the WG602 will not be able to repeat the router.

Therefore you need to use the first WG602 as the connection by hardwiring to one of the router LAN ports.

The routers AP will be servicing the local users as before, the first WG602 will service any local users and the repeaters. When running APs on the same SSID they would normally be on different channels to prevent interference between the two, hence the router and first WG602 would need to be on different channels, any roaming device would automatically switch to the stronger signal.

The other WG602 are on the same channel as they need to connect to the first WG602 using the same channel.

The next WG602 will work as per the instructions and allow roaming, however the instructions don't mention if it is possible to use a third device so maybe this last WG602 won't work.

It may even be that you need a fourth WG602 so that you have two WG602s hard wired back to back in the central area, but you need to talk to netgear and get some advice.

I am not that familiar with these APs so can only give general advice, I assume from the guide that users will be able to roam between all APs

ps if you could hardwire between all APs and run them in AP mode then this would be the most reliable and straight forward way to do it.

scotlanAuthor Commented:
Also, i forgot to mention, but may be important for you to note, is that ive configured the laptop to connect to any available network.
Normally the APs would all have the same SSID but use different channels, you can use the same channel again as long as the two that share the same channel are not in range of each other. (hope that bit makes sense).

I take it you have read the instructions for the AP and the router, I would expect these to give examples of the use of each mode. Different models/manufacturers will have slightly different ideas of the functions of a particular mode.

As the APs are the same model, can you hardwire the first AP from the router, set the AP as an Access Point, then set the other two to repeater mode
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scotlanAuthor Commented:
Yeah ive read the instructions. I read this page  it mentions configuring it as a repeater mode, using the same channel, but i tried that and it didnt work (or i did something wrong)

ive not been able to wire the router to one of the access points. Although technically, is this required? as the router im using, also has access point capabilites.
Right reading that the repeater mode will work how you want assuming the wireless router has the same settings available.

Using those instructions setup the wireless section of the router to the same as the WG602 in those instructions, then set the 3 x WG602 you have to the same as the WG302 in those instructions.

In this mode all would be on the same channel.
scotlanAuthor Commented:
so is repeating the best way to go about this? is this better than point to point bridging?  and does the last access point on the chain need to be set the same? how are the clients able to access a repeater?

its all a bit confusing to me
Usually a bridge would be a wireless connection between two networks that is similar to putting a cable between the two points, in this mode wireless clients wouldn't be able to access either AP, the APs would just communicate with each other.

Assuming the repeater mode works in the way the document suggests (?!) then that is the way to go if the router supports it.

 If the router doesn't support it then maybe the only way it will work is to:-

configure one of your WG602 to the WG602 instructions, then hardwire this to the wireless router

configure other two WG602 according to WG302 instructions

Leave the router with its working settings (but channel must be different on the router from all the APs)
scotlanAuthor Commented:
why should the channel on the router be different than the APs? (does this interfere with the repeating?)

also, i dont quite understand why the need to hardwire one of the AP's to the router? can you explain further?
scotlanAuthor Commented:
also, do any of these ways support roaming? as im only able to test it with a laptop at the moment, i havent set up the far end clients yet
scotlanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help. I'll give it a try tomorrow based on your help and see how things go and get back to you.

but in the mean time, if you or anyone else would like to add to this, please do.

The more help i can get the better.

scotlanAuthor Commented:
What about multi-point bridging then? what is the difference between bridging and repeating?

couldnt i just somehow configure/bridge the access points? to allow the lan to extend its range to the far end office? does this support roaming? Remembering that all computers are wireless, and there are no wired hubs or anything like that
If I was going to do this seriously, I'd probably setup like this (altho I'd try to avoid this general situation as long as possible):

-----          ---------------------------                                  -------------------------
ISP |-------|Wifi Router Office One|--------------------------|AP Bridge to Office 2|
-----          |Channel 2  for users   |                                |Channel 6               |
                ----------------------------                                 -------------------------

------------------------                     -------------------------                -------------------------
AP Bridge to Office 1|----------------|Office 2 AP for users|------------|AP Bridge 2 Office 3|
Channel 6               |                    |Channel 11              |               |Channel 6              |
------------------------                     --------------------------               -------------------------

------------------------                     -------------------------
AP Bridge to Office 2|----------------|Office 3 AP for users|
Channel 6               |                    |Channel 11              |
------------------------                     --------------------------

Switches/hubs not shown

whups...the office 3 AP above should be on channel 2
scotlanAuthor Commented:
Are there any access points out there that can work in a sort of dual mode, being both in repeater or bridge mode at the same time as being in access point mode, basically to allow the ap to work without any lan wiring, but also being able to service any clients nearby it??
A very hesitant maybe on that....Try

There is a Netgear WG302 that allows bridging and repeating with wireless client association.  However, I've had several problems with the wg302 in general.  However, in repeater with client association I have two right now working strong for almost a year now.
kudos to nextgen00 - I don't know the netgear product :)
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