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Extend wireless signal using second router

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I am currently using Linksys router (WRT54G) for all my wiressless connection and I like to know if I can use my another spare wireless router from Netgear (WGR614) to extend the wireless signal ?

How to do it ? Thank you.
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Question by:benjiwu
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17941334
I doubt it.  You're looking for a wireless repeater - and usually that's not built in to generic router/AP's.
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17941489
Usually I would tell you to use a wireless access point rather than a second router, but the way you stated the question it looks as if your trying to save some $.  First, to do something this fun you should be sure to upgrade your firmware on both routers to the latest version.  You can setup both routers on far ends of the house/coverage area, and be sure to put them on different channels.  Wireless Zero Configuration service in windows XP will switch to the signal with the strongest signal strength in your preferred networks list.  Be sure that the Wireless Zero Configuration service is running and it will do the roaming for you when you fall out of one network.  This should be fine for internet surfing, downloading, some games, and other non-network specific setups, but beware that you will be switching networks when you move from one router to the other.  Of course, I would not expect things to run perfectly as inexpensive wireless routers never do.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17941517
>extend the wireless signal

I read that as he wanted one AP to pick up the wireless signal and repeat it.  Of course, he could run a wire to wherever and use the other one as normal - which would be extending wireless coverage.

Which way do you mean,  benjiwu?
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by:dlangr
ID: 17941773
If both are connected to the same network, give them the same SSID , this usually allows devices to roam between them without losing the connection.
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by:dlangr
ID: 17941784
also make sure that both use the same keys for   WEP/WPA/etc...
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17942373
I would not recommend using the same SSID for 2 different routers (If it were an access point it would be a solid idea).  The ambiguity in the network may make troubleshooting unforseen issues difficult.  Wireless zero configuration is all that is necessary to seamlessly translate across networks "roaming" and with only 2 networks having to setup the WEP and SSID's x2 will not cause you much trouble (especially compared to troubleshooting why you can't print in one part of the house and can print in another).
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Author Comment

by:benjiwu
ID: 17942552
Sorry for the confusion.

My current Linksys router can only cover two rooms I have. Another two rooms at far end can only pick up wireless signal barely (usually LOW). Does not matter how to do it but I hope the other two rooms can pickup wireless signal at STRONG. This Netgear I have, I can connect it with Linksys via WIRE or WIRELESS, whichever is easier.

I use MAC access table for security so only those MAC address I specified in the table can access the internet. Will that make any difference ?

What is Wireless zero configuration ? It is on Window ?
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by:benjiwu
ID: 17942614
By the way, the Linksys router has to stay in current spot due to wire issue as well as there is a PC beside the Linksys router must have wire connection.
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by:kode99
ID: 17942784
Because you have some signal you might find getting high gain antenna for the linksys would boost your signal enough to give you a good connection.  It's not that expensive and involves absolutely no monkeying around.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833124155
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by:dlangr
ID: 17942886
WZC relies on the SSID being the same, so i am lost as why one should not do that. secure both routers with WEP or better and as long as you keep things the same, you should be fine. Choose an SSID that is not commonly used to prevent your computer from switching to an wireless access router not belonging to your network.

See http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/webmaster/article.php/3577111 vor more information.
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by:benjiwu
ID: 17943230
The second router (Netgear) need wire connect to first router ? Or just receving wirelss signal from first router ?
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17943894
"WZC relies on the SSID being the same, so i am lost as why...."

Dlangr:  The article you posted refers to Wireless Access Points (not routers) using the same SSID and also refers to the problem I mentioned earlier about two different networks "But what if two APs are broadcasting the same SSID and are not on the same network? WZC will connect to the stronger one, whether you want it to or not. "  Access points are not the same as routers especially because of the issues of being on two different networks and different firewalls (in this scenerio).

In Wireless networks with different SSID's WZC will connect to the network that is in range that has a higher priority.  Creating the same SSID will cause the WZC to connect to the network with the strongest signal.  Creating the same SSID on both routers may cause him to jump from router to router in certain areas of the house and it also may work to his advantage, but as I mentioned above I don't recommend this setup because it will make troubleshooting more difficult, especially if benjiwu, or any user, is not extremly detail oriented. For an in depth discussion of WZC by microsoft please see:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/columns/cableguy/cg1102.mspx
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17944027
Benjiwu.  You can either get a second IP address from your ISP and a switch and connect the WAN port on both routers to the switch.
OR
Follow the directions in this article to turn your netgear wireless router into an access point:

http://www.dslwebserver.com/main/fr_index.html?/main/wireless-router-as-access-point.html
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by:benjiwu
ID: 17944707
Smacky311-
The article using wired router and a wireless router but i have two wireless router, is it ok ?
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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 200 total points
ID: 17945888
Easiest solution: buy the high gain antennas mentioned above.  

Next easiest:  buy a Linksys Wireless Range Extender.

Lastly:  Run a crossover cable from the Linksys to the target location and plug in the Netgear into a LAN port NOT the WAN port.  Put them 5 channels apart - like 1 and 6.  Put them on the same SSID.  Then, you have minimal problems and are on the same layer 3 and 2 network.
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17946334
benjiwu, two wireless is ok, just be sure to keep them on seperate channels like everyone has been saying.  

I agree with pseudocyber that its not the easiest solution.  The crossover cable in the uplink port may work, but I didnt mention it b/c I'm just not sure how 2 low end routers react when using the uplink port to eachother, but pseudo seems to be familiar with the setup.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17948569
Works fine - bridges them - same layer 2 net - instead of routing two layer 3 nets.
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by:benjiwu
ID: 17948978
understanding the physical connection part. Thanks
How about setting in Netgear ? Other than same SSID and different channel (5 channel apart); how about WAN setting ? PPPoE or others ?
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17948989
You don't need any of that.  You would turn off DHCP service.  Assign it an IP for management.  Assign username and password.
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17949624
My biggest concern is that when he disables DHCP on the Netgear how is it going to act as an access point if it can't hand out any addresses?  Will the Linksys be able to perform DHCP functions through the uplink, if not he can't assign a static IP unless he uses the same subnet mask and network ID on both routers.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17950897
Yes, the dhcp request will go wireless to the netgear and then transfer onto the uplink wire to the Linksys where it will be serviced by the dhcp server on the Linksys.
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Author Comment

by:benjiwu
ID: 17951663
"You don't need any of that.  You would turn off DHCP service.  Assign it an IP for management.  Assign username and password."

Turn off DHCP: I assume there is option to do that or it is by default ?

Assign it an IP: the Linksys ID is 192.168.1.1 and all my PC start from 192.168.1.100 so I can assign 192.168.1.101 to Netgear for example ?

Assign username and passwork: Is this for when PC try to access Netgear router by type 192.168.1.101 and then enter username and password ?
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17955159
>Turn off DHCP: I assume there is option to do that or it is by default ?
There's an option to do it.

>Assign it an IP: the Linksys ID is 192.168.1.1 and all my PC start from 192.168.1.100 so I can assign 192.168.1.101 to
Netgear for example ?
If your pc's start at .100, then it doesn't make much sense to assign your network gear a .101 address.  No, assign it something like .5 or .10.

>Assign username and passwork: Is this for when PC try to access Netgear router by type 192.168.1.101 and then enter username and password ?
Correct.
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Author Comment

by:benjiwu
ID: 17959214
I tried last night and set Netgear IP to 192.168.1.105 and it did not work.
I will try again tonight and set IP to 192.168.1.5.

How about port forwarding (or port triggering) that I think Netgear require me to check one ?
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 17959228
You shouldn't need it just for the Netgear.  Port forwarding is for apps.
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by:Smacky311
ID: 17962145
If it doesnt work you still have the option of turning your wireless router into an access point:  http://www.dslwebserver.com/main/fr_index.html?/main/wireless-router-as-access-point.html
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Author Comment

by:benjiwu
ID: 17967261
from Smacky311:If it doesnt work you still have the option of turning your wireless router into an access point:

I thought all pseudocbter suggested me to do is to turn Netgear router into an access point ?
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dlangr earned 50 total points
ID: 17972713
- use same ssid (as i recommended in my fist post), channel 5 channels apart from each other, as others suggested.

- connect both wireless routers by wire. Don't use the uplink on either one, use one of the ports you would connect computers inside your network to. The uplink only compicates things, especially if it is configured to act as an router. At an wrtg54 the uplink/wan/internet port is seperated by some empty space from the "normal" ports. Also it is probably labelled as "internet", as it is at mine. Judging from some pictures found with google the internet/wan port at the WGR614 is also seperated by some space from te other "normal" ports. I am 99 % sure the cable should not be an crossover cable (judging from my experience and some posts about your router found with google)

- disable dhcp on one of them, keep it enabled on the other

now to troubleshoot it:

- connect a computer to each router (preferrably by wire) and ping the ip of computer1 from computer2 and vice versa. If that works, the wire connection is fine.
- now try the same with wireless. or if you have only one wireless device, ping from the wireless device on location A to a computer on location B. Now move the wireless device from location A to lo location B and ping a computer at location A.
- if it does not work, try pinging the routers from various locations instead of computers behind the routers to determine where the problem is.


Be sure to ping by ip to rule out name resolution problems.

I
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