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Adding wireless access point to wired router?

Posted on 2007-11-27
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At my work we use a wired Draytek Vigor 2800 ADSL modem router and we want to use two laptops wirelessly. Is it possible to add a wireless access point device into one of the 4 ports and configure that device with the WPA security settings, etc?

If so, is there any config issues that I should be aware of?

Thanks.
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Question by:CSHTech
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b0lsc0tt earned 250 total points
ID: 20360715
CSHTech,

Although I don't know the model of modem/router you use you can do what you want.  Make sure the wireless device is just an Access Point.  You don't want a wireless router.  The access point will have a port for 1 ethernet cable and that will need to go in to a port in the router (or a switch/hub if you have one connected to the router).  The Access point should be set with a static IP in the range compatible with the router but outside its dhcp scope (i.e. not an address it will assign to a computer).  The Access Point can then be setup for WPA/WEP encryption and other wireless security as long as it supports them.  The router/modem will not be able to help with the wireless security that will all be controlled and managed by the Access Point.

Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

b0lsc0tt
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by:CSHTech
ID: 20360779
Thank you.

There will only be two laptops connecting to the access point - will a fixed IP be required?
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20361469
Yes, for the access point.  Otherwise you will have problems if you need to access the device's web configuration/interface.  It should support a fixed IP and even come with a default one.  The default will be fine if it is compatible with your LAN.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

bol
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by:Tachyon_1
Tachyon_1 earned 250 total points
ID: 20362220
Yes, for example, a device like the Linksys WAP4400N Access Point (or AP) should work right out of the box. Though to add the security settings you'll need to log in and configure it to your preferences.
I would say to use WPA with PSK/TKIP and a passphrase.
You could use WPA2, but not all of the laptops that might come into your company will support it.
Also, don't use Enterprise WPA since that requires a RADIUS server on your network.

What I would do is get a device like the WAP4400N, hook it up to a simple desktop switch (like the D-Link DGS-1005D) and then hook up one of your laptops from a wired (ethernet) port to the switch as well. Set your PC to use DHCP (obtain network address automatically) from the network settings control panel.
Browse to http://192.168.1.1/ and set up the AP the way you want. Don't forget to click on "save settings" in each configuration page that you make changes. Once you are sure it works, then try connecting to the AP wirelessly. If that works, then hook the AP to the DSL router and see if you have Internet access. If not, you should at least be able to access the setup page on the AP (as above from your browser) and check your settings for errors.

Make a note of whether your DSL router assigns IP addresses, or if you have to assign one to the AP manually.

Hope this helps.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20362270
IMPORTANT:  The access point (AP) should not come with an IP like ###.###.1.1 and you should not set it to an address like that.  Hopefully the sample address above was just an oversite but in the type of environment you will have that address would conflict with your router and make the AP impossible to access (without a hard reset to restore defaults).  The default IP will most likely be 192.168.1.### but the last number should not be 1 either by default or by choice.  Since the AP will not be providing DHCP there is no reason for it to act as the "gateway" or use that IP.

Let me know if there is a question about this.  I doubt that was the intention of the comment above but just wanted to make sure there was no confusion or unintentional conflict. :)

bol
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by:JJB-Zenful
ID: 20362881
CSHTech,

You may want to check out this thread.  

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Networking_Hardware/Wireless/Q_22981650.html

We just had a discussion in that thread with a solution for a similar question that you are asking!
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by:Tachyon_1
ID: 20366664
b0lsc0tt, my choice of IP's was of course just an example. I picked that address because it's the most commonly used one on Linksys products. The user manual of whatever product he chooses would of course tell him the correct IP to use. Just FYI, in the case of the particular AP I mentioned (Linksys WAP4400N) the actual default IP is 192.168.1.245.
Also, if you had paid attention, I told him to do the setup of the unit on a switch or hub not connected to his network so there would be no conflicts until he can set up the device to match his own network IP range, or more likely, until he can set the AP to get it's IP via DHCP.

And as long as we're playing the "let's nitpick other people's posts" game, you're incorrect in saying that you must use an AP, and not a router. Almost all wifi routers will also work fine as an AP as well. In this example the difference would be that you would plug the Ethernet cable from the Draytek DSL modem to one of the LAN ports on the router and not use the WAN port. Then in the configuration, you would disable DHCP serving on the router. It will then just bridge the WiFi and LAN segments. In fact many of these routers even let you choose AP mode in the control panel. If you use a router that supports a replacement firmware like DD-WRT for example, you can even reconfigure the WAN port to be a part of the LAN segment and gain yourself another port for use by wired clients.
Given that you can often pick up a used router very cheap, they make a good stand-in for an AP. They also then have the ability to step into the router roll later if you change ISP's or want to use it somewhere else.

Either way, the point is that there are quite a few ways to accomplish what the original poster asked.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20367023
Tachyon_1,

Sorry if it seemed I picked on your post and info.  It was good but I just thought to clarify a thing or two that I thought could be misunderstood.  Nothing personal and this will be my only comment direct to you (just as a response to a thing or two in your comment to me).  I definitely don't want to take or distract from the question.

>> if you had paid attention, ... <<

Actually I did see it but not tell I had reread the comment a few times.  For that reason I thought it worth making the comment to make sure there was no misunderstanding.  From my experience most AP's come with a different default IP (like the one you just posted) or software to connect to the AP.


>> until he can set the AP to get it's IP via DHCP. <<

If that means a dynamic IP then I recommend against it.  I mentioned this in my first post though and explained so the Asker can decide for him/herself.

>> you're incorrect in saying that you must use an AP, <<

OK, now that isn't exactly what I said.  I am glad you posted to clarify it though if it was confusing.  I just said that "you don't want a wireless router."  I am glad you pointed out that a wireless router could work though as long as those features (e.g. dhcp) could be disabled.  Personally I wouldn't get one when I already had a router but that is my opinion.

>> Either way, the point is that there are quite a few ways to accomplish what the original poster asked. <<

Very true and with the comments here, including the followups by both of us, it should be very clear and complete.  I hope you don't mind this reply to your post to me.  I definitely didn't mean to take or detract from anything you posted and I am glad you did.

CSHTech,
Let us know if you have a question or need anymore info for this.

bo
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by:CSHTech
ID: 31411275
Thank you
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 20389749
Your welcome!  I'm glad I could help.  Thanks for the grade, the points and the fun question.

bol
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by:Tachyon_1
ID: 20393308
b0lsc0tt,

  Sounds good. Sorry if I over reacted. There's a lot of crap that goes on here on these forums with regards to slamming other people's posts. Guess it's given me a cynical eye  and a hair trigger when I read replies.

Anyway, glad we could help him out.

Later,
Tachyon
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