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How to extend wireless coverage with WRT54GX

Hello,
I have a question related to extending the range of a Linksys MIMO WRT54GX device.
I have a house that has 4 floors. I want to install a WRT54GX device and have it deliver wireless signal thru-out the house.

How can the range of one of these devices be extended such that all 4 floors get coverage.

NOTE: I have the option of running a cable down to both the bottom two floors or just one from the WRT54GX device in case I needed to wire to another access point to extend coverage.

Is this possible? What is the best way? With the WRT54GX antenna replacement is not possible. I have dell notebooks that need to connect to this wireless network.

Thoughts?
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tadduci
Asked:
tadduci
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1 Solution
 
darkfriendCommented:
I doubt, at this time, the WRT54GX has any sort of extender or repeater.  Your only choice then would be to add an access point to the network.  You should first test the ultimate range of the SRX router.

If placed on the 3rd floor it "should" cover floors 2-4.  You could then run cable to floor 1 and place a standard WAP54G access point at that location to cover floor 1.

You could also purchase a 2nd SRX router and put one on floor 4 and one on floor 1 but then you still have to run the cable and your stuck having to disable DHCP on the 2nd router and change its LAN IP address to avoid conflicts.
My thoughts.
-DF
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tadduciAuthor Commented:
Hello,
Ok, I have no problem with the dhcp vs static change I would have to make for the first floor srx router... but basically would I need to use the same SSID? Do I still make the gateway on srx #2 the same as on srx #1?

Or if I go with the WAP54g I simply do the same thing in terms of the config?
Or is there a benifit to going one way or the other in terms of which one I pick?

Tony
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darkfriendCommented:
2 SRX routers....Well, lets call the main router the 4th floor and the other the 1st floor.  The 4th floor router will have internet hooked into the WAN port, therefore it's IP is the default gateway, say 192.168.1.1.  The 1st floor router will have the 4th floor plugged into a numbered port on the 1st floor router(WAN unused).  The 1st floor router will have to have the LAN IP changed to say 192.168.1.2, but not for any routing purposes, simply to avoid conflict and to be able to login to it for configuration purposes.  DHCP will also have to be turned off on the 1st floor router as to avoid computers getting their IP from it and accidentally getting 192.168.1.2 as a gateway.  Remember no WAN for that gateway so no internet on 192.168.1.2.  By hooking 4th floor to #'d port on 1st floor we are simply using it as an extension of the network.  It's really providing no function.  It will simply pass information from the 1st floor router to the client computers only, including DHCP and the 192.168.1.1 gateway info.  The reason it's so difficult is because we are changing a router into an Access Point.

With a WAP54G no configuration is necessary.  It's already an access point.  It has no DHCP and the IP is already 192.168.1.245, or something, right out-of-box.  SSID and WEP is the only thing that needs changing.

As to the SSID, it's your call.  If you leave them the same with the same WEP key then your computers in the middle will simply connect to one or the other randomly.  They will receive the same IP info from either.  This can cause problems if they connect to the weak one and have difficulty communicating with it.  If you name them different you will be able to see them as different and connect to one or the other.  Again, you will receive the same IP info from either.

Hope that helps.
-DF
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tadduciAuthor Commented:
Ok, this is good info...
Now, what about if I cannot run a wire down from the 4th floor... what are my options to get a boosted signal down to the 1st floor without a wired backbone?

I did the sitesurvey yesterday and the signal was adaquate but not FANTASTIC...
Could I?

1. force the srx unit to only do 2-5mbps instead of auto
2. change settings in the advanced setup

Other ideas?
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darkfriendCommented:
Without the wire you have VERY few options.   As far as I know Linksys kinda sucks at wireless options.  I'm not sure of the SRX but the Linksys routers I've dealt with have transmit rates of Auto, ALL, or 1-2Mbps.  Of course, 1-2 is kinda slow on a 5Mbps cable line.  That setting is in Wireless-Advanced Settings in the router if I recall.  I think I'm out of ideas really.  The SRX, Dlink MIMO, Belkin Pre-N are all just what they are.  They don't repeat, boost, or otherwise outperform themselves past what you take out of the box.

To get more repeated networks you should buy an established product with multiple repeater capablility like Belkin-G AP's or Buffalo Technology router and repeaters.  Each of these offer daisy-chains of 6 repeater devices in bridge mode.

BTW adequate is usually fine.  40% minimum signal and I'm satisfied with the performance.  That's 2 bars out of 5, or low.  As long as the speed is 6Mbps or higher.
-DF
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darkfriendCommented:
I guess I should mention that setting up 1-2 or whatever option you find below auto should increase range and stability.  I used the 1-2 option on a flakey network and it worked great...slow but great.
-DF
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tadduciAuthor Commented:
yes, that is what I thought too... thanks for all your comments...
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