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how do you know if a wireless access point is working?

i installed a linksys wap54g along with a linksys router wrt54g.  i put in the wap when the slowness of wireless signal downstairs got too annoying.

but i'm wondering, other than checking signal strength, how do i know if it's working.  it has the same ssid as the router, obviously the same security setting, so when i look to check network availability and quality, i always get the ssid name.  

can i assign the wap a different ssid, with the same security settings, and then set up the downstairs laptop to have a preference for the wap ssid?

long and short though, i just want some proof that the downstairs laptop is using the access point
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joemz
Asked:
joemz
2 Solutions
 
Rick HobbsRETIREDCommented:
Eventhough they have the same SSID, they have different MAC addresses.  When you do a site survey, you should see both and one should have a higher signal strength.  If you don't, then only one is working.  You can verify by doing a site survey, checking signal strength, shutdown the wap, do another signal strength and compare results.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
You can certainly assign different SSID's, or choose a different IP range if DHCP is enabled on the WAP. For example on the router use 192.168.1.101 - 192.168.1.120 and on the WAP use 192.168.1.121 - 192.168.1.140
I am not familiar with that unit but on many WAP's if you log on to the management console it will show you the connected devices in the status section, or failing that check the log file for entries with your current IP address.
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joemzAuthor Commented:
should i set up the wap as a static iP, or use dhcp?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I would recommend static. Making routers and servers static is a "best practice" option to assure they are always readily accessible. Fine to have clients (computers) connect using DHCP.
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Titanium_SniperCommented:
why not assign ip addresses by Mac address with DHCP like I do so the servers get the same IP every time they renew.

also you may run into issues having 2 dhcp servers on one network and after a week of perfect working half your network could stop working.

that happened at school ;) but it was an english teacher not me great prank idea though
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks joemz,
--Rob
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Rick HobbsRETIREDCommented:
Thanks joemz,  glad to be of help.

RIck
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