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how to connect 2 routers together

Posted on 2006-06-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I have 2 4-port NAT routers that I want to connect together.  The first router or "main" as I'll call it is connected to a cable modem via the WAN port.  The 2nd router is a wireless router and will provide wireless access for me.

The main router has DHCP enabled and works fine.

The wireless router has DHCP disabled.

The 2 routers are connected using a "straight through" cable from LAN port to LAN port.  I did not use the WAN port on the wireless router because of possible NAT issues.

When I first plug in the wireless router and disable DHCP everything works fine, but inevitably after a few days it'll go "belly up" and I have to RMA it.  I've had 4 RMA's back to D-Link for the exact same problem.  That tells me that I'm doing something wrong.

First of all I'm wondering if perhaps I should be using a crossover cable.

If it's not the cable, then are there any other considerations that I've been missing that could cause the death of a router?.

Thanks,
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Question by:amoosa
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16829109
You are correct in using  a straight through cable from LAN to LAN, and disabling DHCP on the wireless unit. Nothing you are doing could in any way damage the unit, yet 4 routers does sound suspicious. Dirty power (power fluctuations) can harm some routers more easily than others. Have you tried adding a small UPS (Universal Power Supply) to stabilize the router's power supply ? You might want to try changing the patch cords just to make sure there are no shorts in them, but I have never seen a shorted patch cable damage a router.
Also have you tried updating the firmware on the router ? That will often resolve "issues" with many routers.
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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16829223

Hi,

Thanks for your input.

So, I am right to use a straight-through cable???  I thought that must be the problem.

I have tried swapping out the cable, but I've not tried plugging the router into my UPS.  Unfortunately my UPS is full-up with equipment I cannot affort to go down in the event of a power outage.

I do however have room on a surge protective power bar.  Would my power bar provide "clean" power?  It's an older model APC (not a Wal Mart special).  APC is the same brand as my UPS, so hopefully it's a good one.

Now you've got me thinking...I wonder if I really do have "dirty power" because often I'll see my UPS kick-in for just a little while for no apparant reason.  And whenever I call D-Link tech support they always ask me to check the specs on the power supply (voltage, current).  And I have a lot of halogen lighting, which I understand can affect the "cleanness" of the power in the house.  And a while ago I tried a telephone extender, which send telephone signals through your house wiring and I couldn't use it due to too much noise.  Hmmmm!  Although, I can't say that I've had any other electronics gear die due to dirty power.

OK, if you think the surge protector will do the trick I'll try it when my next RMA replacement comes in the mail.

Is there anything else that could be causing it?  Any config issues?  Or anything else?
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16829260
>>"So, I am right to use a straight-through cable???"
Absolutely.
If you have an older unit you will find a cross-over will not work or light the lights. The newer units are auto detect and it doesn't matter. The only time you might need a cross-over would be if your unit wasn't auto-detect and you were connecting between the WAN port and a DSL modem.

Surge protector is definitely better than nothing but it does not stabilize the power like a UPS.

There are lots of "config issues" that could cause it not to work, but certainly nothing that would damage the unit and force an RMA.
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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16829731
OK, I'll get a multi power port and plug it into the UPS.  That'll give me a couple of extra power plugs.  I just have to make sure I don't exceed the UPS rating.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16829745
Router doesn't draw much power, but you are right, don't overload it. In many cases it's OK it just shortens the length of time you can run on battery.
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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16829837
OK.  I'll let you know what happens when I get the RMA.

Thank you for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16829844
You are quite welcome.
Good luck.
--Rob
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Expert Comment

by:lnfra
ID: 16835376
Hi amoosa,

When you say Dlink i remember some other ppl who have problems with
Dlink DI-624+ running firmware 2.70. Is that the router you are using?

Prob 1. DHCP did not renew my Centrino IP address
Prob 2. Router constantly rebooted and loses the connection.


If its Prob1 maybe you can download the latest firmware from this link and flash the firmware from router config page.

http://www.dslreports.com/r0/download/899874~71cf3c364aaf7d7ffe1fd490d17a3e09/di624_firmware_271b7.zip

And if its Prob 2 some users recommened changing to a new Power supply rating 6V, 2100mA (the old one were 5V, 2500mA)

http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/Reviews.asp?ShopGroupID=20&CategoryID=221&ProductID=1604

Hope this helps
//lnfra


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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16836927

Thank you for your response and your suggestions.

I am using a DI-784 (wireless a+g) router running the latest firmware

The router does not lose connectivity, it just dies.  When I look at the router I see all the lights on the router are on.  However, if the suggestion given by another expert here does not work (plugging into clean power) it might be worthwhile trying a power supply with more juice, as per your suggestion.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 16839755
>The only time you might need a cross-over would be if your unit wasn't auto-detect
>and you were connecting between the WAN port and a DSL modem

No, you will absolutely need one if your units do not auto-detect and you are connecting identical ports (ie LAN ports) on identical units.  

Cheers,
-Jon
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Expert Comment

by:Roma032500
ID: 16840635
I have had the same problem before.
You should be using straight cable.
Try and see if the router has a bridge only mode.
Activating that will make the main router, the only router and the second router (with wireless) wil become just an acess point. This will allow the main routers DHCP server to access all computers. From then on everything should work perfectly.
Regards,
Roma
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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16842927
>The only time you might need a cross-over would be if your unit wasn't auto-detect
>and you were connecting between the WAN port and a DSL modem

>No, you will absolutely need one if your units do not auto-detect and you are connecting identical ports (ie LAN ports) on identical units.  

>Cheers,
>-Jon

Jon, are you saying that I do need a crossover???  If my units do not auto-detect?
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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 16842943
Roma;

By turning off DHCP on the wireless router I am effectively turning it into a switch, which I believe is what your suggestion is.

When I first hook everything up it works perfect.  I'm able to get very fast connection speeds, but after a few days the wireless router just dies.  And that's the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16842947
amoosa
Best bet is to plug a cable in and see if the lights come on. If they do, it will work. It cannot "half work". It will or it won't. :-)
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Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 16846556
>Jon, are you saying that I do need a crossover?

No - if it ever works (even just ocassionally), then they autodetect and as such you don't need one.

IMO, you have local power problems in your building or something similar if you are burning out equipment at such a quick rate, as others have already suggested.  The only other thing I can think of is that maybe one of your other devices is broken (main router mainly) so that it is sending out-of-spec signals/voltage over the ethernet that is burning out your gear.

Cheers,
-Jon


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Author Comment

by:amoosa
ID: 17237959
I checked and discovered that the router was in fact plugged into a UPS, so our theory of "dirty" power went out the window.

I have since given up on the router and purchased a Netgear.  It has been functioning perfectly for the last 3 weeks.

Thanks to all that tried to help me with my problem.  I really appreciate their willingness to help and their insights.

One other note, soon after I posted on this thread my main router decided to give up too, so I've disposed of that one and replaced it with my really old Netgear router (with a metal box).  I love that old router.  Anyway, the person who suspected the main router may be sending out of spec voltages may have been correct.
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Expert Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17267244
if your question is resolved, please visit the help page i provided above to find out how to close your question.
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Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 17313587
>Anyway, the person who suspected the main router may be sending out of spec voltages may have been correct.

That was me.  Thanks for the hat-tip.

I propose PAQ with refund - never hurts to remind folks that gear can break in such a way that it is sending signals so far out of spec that it can break other gear.  Very rare, but worth remembering.

Cheers,
-Jon
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