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Connecting a remote workgroup via a wireless repeater

Posted on 2006-11-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-29
I have a Draytek Vigor 2600VG connected to a local network in my outside office and acting as a wireless router for 2 pcs in my house which connect separately to the network using wireless cards,  via a Linksys WRE54G wireless range extender. I want to create a local workgroup for the 2 PCs so they can share a couple of local printers and a single wireless connection, as the Windows XP connection seems temperamental and transferring files from one remote pc to the other is extremely slow. I bought a Linksys WET54G wireless bridge with the intention of bridging the connection from the main router to a workgroup hub, but this doesn't seem to work via the WRE54G; whilst the panel lights indicate it can see the network, the remote pc (i'm initially trying with 1 pc to test the connection) can not aquire a network address. Is it possible to connect a bridge via the WRE54G or is there another way of creating a remote wireless workgroup? The solution would require some sort of repeater as I currently live in a house with 3 foot thick walls - and the existing setup uses both an external high gain aerial on the office and the wireless repeater indoors to get the range and minimum signal strength.
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Question by:ArtyBee
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17877319
All you need to setup a workgroup wirelessly is your wireless access point (Draytek Vigor 2600VG) and a repeater to strengthen your weak signal.  The repeater just does exactly that...it repeats.  So as long as your getting a signal then you can pretty much ignore the wireless repeater altogether.  To setup a workgroup between 2 machines make sure they have the same workgroup name.  Then, to simplify your life you should setup an account on both machines with the same name and same password.  Use this account from now on.  Then, make sure file and print sharing is enabled for your network adapters and open ports for whatever services you would like to enable on your firewall(s).  Do the same thing for any additional machines you would like to add to the workgroup.
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by:ArtyBee
ID: 17878152
Thanks, but to clarify what I'm trying to setup is a local hub with a single wireless connection to the main router. My existing setup is pretty much as you describe - a mixed workgroup of two wired PC's in the office and two wireless PC's in the house - with file and print sharing enabled. The Windows XP connection on the wireless PC's can be temperamental and when I try to transfer large files from one wireless pc to the other its currently extremely slow, as all data has to travel via the wireless connection out to the office and then back in again. I'm trying to get around this by creating a local workgroup in the house with access to networked printers. I therefore thought a wireless bridge was the way to go but suspect the Linksys bridge is not compatible with the repeater.
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 17878674
If you have 3 foot walls, you will not get this to work reliably, unless you have a network of the same brand of repeaters as are the hubs, emphasis on same brand.  WIth this kind of building, you really need to run cat 5 cable and be done with it.  You will have endless problems with wireless, so just wire the building through the attic - it is a whole days work, and then the reception problems are over.
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by:ArtyBee
ID: 17879695
I did previously try a Linksys pre-N router to try and get the distance outright - without the repeater, but found it carried no further than the Draytek. After two and a half hours on the phone to Linksys support they also concluded it was not compatible with their range extender. For signal though - I believe the Draytek combined with the external high gain aerial is doing a good job of getting the signal into the house and I can get reliable reception on a pocket PC device where the wireless PC's are situated - having been carried internally via the range extender . The reliability issue seems to stem from Windows XP coming in and out of sleeep/hibernation - as I occasionally need to reset the wireless zero configuration service to enable the connection. This plus the file transfer issue (and the convenience of having local networked printers and NAS) is the reason why I'd like to create a local workgroup with a permanent wireless connection to the ouside office network . I'm also renting - so cabling would cause issues.
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17883336
So you can't get an IP from the router to your computer at the other end of the bridge, but what about the bridge?  Is there an HTTP interface in the bridge to determine whether it is picking up an IP address from the router?
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by:ArtyBee
ID: 17885682
There is an http interface but i'm only able to access it during the initial setup when wired to the router. Once setup and removed from the wired connection the "wireless-G" light indicates i'm connected to my wireless network but i'm unable to browse to the interface. This is the case whether i'm using the default 192.168.1.226 ip or telling it to take its ip from the DHCP server.
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Smacky311 earned 500 total points
ID: 17886702
Not to offend your intelligence, you obviously know what your doing, but is the routers DHCP service set on the default IP configuration of 192.168.1.x and subnet mask of 255.255.255.0?  What address pool is assignable in DHCP?  Did you setup an IP reservation for 192.168.1.226 inside the routers DHCP?  Can you ping the bridge interface by IP address on both wired and wireless setups.  Set the bridge to static IP address of 192.168.1.226 w/ subnet mask 255.255.255.0 if not already done.  Of course the subnet masks may not be configureable in the lower end routers.
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by:ArtyBee
ID: 17891916
No offence taken.....I can answer some but not all of what you're asking ! The DHCP service is set on the default IP config of 192.168.1.1 and subnet mask of 255.255.255.0  I believe the address pool assignable in DHCP goes up to 192.168.1.249 - I know the range extender is at its default of 192.168.1.240 and works fine. The bridge defaults to the static IP address and subnet mask you mention. I didn't setup a IP reservation but assume this isn't needed if nothing else is going to interfere at this range ? (all my other equipment defaults to 192.168.1.10 through to 19 - bar the range extender)I was able to ping the bridge when wired but have had no success on wireless. That all said - the bridge now appears to have died on me - only the power light works and I'm not able to access any menus - cabled or not.  I'll keep trying to reset it, but if unsuccessful in the next day or so will close this question - given that Linksys returns takes about 10 days.
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by:ArtyBee
ID: 17904671
Thanks Smacky311, you've given me plenty of food for thought if I do manage to resurrect or replace the bridge. I'm trying to get a straight answer from Linksys as to whether the WRE54G and WET54G will work together.  
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