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Adding a router

Posted on 2008-06-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi -

I've got a spare wireless router and I was wondering how I could get it on my home network just to make use of it and perhaps boost the signal into other areas? Would anyone have some tips as to how I go about setting that up please?
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Question by:krakatoa
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by:cybrexus
ID: 21784735
if your router supports Repeater mode then you can use it to boost signal range of your other router
otherwise if you want you can make 2 networks with the same ssid with both routers connected to the same Internet connection or home network, then you can roam between the 2 routers and therefore have extended range
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21784745
OK the second spare router, I don't want it to have a wired connection to a PC or to the 'net / phone jack. I simply am looking for the first router to be bale to recognise the spare one, and route through it. Can that be done? It's a WRT 300N.
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Assisted Solution

by:CaptN-Mac
CaptN-Mac earned 166 total points
ID: 21784751
If your router is a Linksys you can google, DD-WRT or openWRT
These are replacement firmwares which work on various routers. The most common of which is the WRT54 series wireless router (loads of people have that type of router)
These replacement firmwares will allow you to boost the output of your wireless router. Keep in mind that technically this could be illegal depending on FDA and local regulations, but no one goes around looking for these things so you are good to go.

If you have another brand you may have less luck as there is less support for less common wireless routers but basically try looking on google for opensource or 3rd party firmware for your router. Most will give you options to boost output and give you a boatload of new features.

Another thing you can do is to try to unscrew the antennas that are on your router. If they come off easily this means that you can replace them with larger antennas. These can be bought at any store that sells computer supplies normally ... Staples, Best Buy. These aftermarket antennas'  will increase signal strength and range.
If they do not screw off ... you can try googleing your router along with upgrade antenna. There are many "weekend projects" that can be done to boost your routers range if you are up for it.

I would not chain 2 routers together. If you already have a wifi router at home you could use this one to repeat but it sounds to me like you don't have a wireless router already. If you are trying to use this router as an expansion to your current wifi router please post back so i can give you a tutorial on how to do this. Please include your router's model number (and ur current one if applicable)
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by:CaptN-Mac
ID: 21784755
I just ready your comment.
Yes you can do what you are looking for.
Here is how I would do it.

The current firmware is not the best for what you are trying to accomplish.
You can install DD-WRT, an open-source firmware on the WRT300N
Here is the link to the website:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/
All of your documentation can be found here
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

It is really easy to upgrade the firmware, it should take you less than 20 minutes.
Once you are done doing that just look at the documentation on the wiki. You should find instructions on how to configure the router to repeat your signal. It is fairly simple though, you may be able to pick it up just by looking at the webmin of the DD-WRT
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21784785
Thanks for the comments. I perhaps naively thought that I could just plug in the WRT300N to the power (no data connections) and that the first AP / router (WAG300N) would see it,  and just try to send packets. Pretty dumb of me I know. ;) I wasn't really expecting that I'd have to change firmware or fiddle with anything. (Even dumber!) ;)

If I have to project it (even 20 mins) I might not bother. That doesn't detract from your answers, but is that how things are? Thanks.
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by:cybrexus
cybrexus earned 166 total points
ID: 21784793
changing firmware is a good idea, especially on linksys they are almost made for it, it's pretty easy to do, but then unless the router doesn't support repeater mode - you'd have to spend more than 1min :)
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21784799
I looked through the admin interface, and trawled through the settings for the WAG300N. I can't see the option for Repeater mode anywhere. So I guess I can't do it?
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Expert Comment

by:cybrexus
ID: 21784812
yes basically some routers have several modes - router, access point, repeater
if you don't have the last one then you can only follow what CaptN-Mac posted to achieve the same result (it may actually add some other functionality as well, so there are a lot of fans who do this)
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by:kdearing
ID: 21785003
One thing to note is that the DD-WRT firmware does support WDS, which sounds like what he wants.
I'm not aware of any 3rd party formware for the WAG300N, though.

If the WRT300N is indeed a spare router, I highly encourage you to put a 3rd party firmware on it and play with it. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the added capabilities.
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21785114
>> If the WRT300N is indeed a spare  ... <<

ok, but am I even going to be able to reach it given that the WAG must be the primary AP / router, because of my internet telephony - I have no option of using the WRT as the primary AP / router. (That's why it's spare) ;)
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Accepted Solution

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kdearing earned 168 total points
ID: 21785551
If you are interested at all in learning about networking, this is worthwhile.
And yes, there are ways to connect it to your network and explore the capabilities.

You could...
1. Disable the wireless on the WAG300
2. Disable the DHCP on the WRT
3. Connect the LAN ports together
4. Then you could use the wireless on the WRT, you can tweak the power to increast the range.
This setup will allow you to play with the WRT to your heart's content.


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by:krakatoa
ID: 21786318
ok thanks all for the comments. let me give this some thought for a little while.
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21790007
kdearing :

Your point number 3 - I didn't want to cable the routers together at all - that seems to be what you are suggesting?
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by:kdearing
ID: 21790150
I suggested that setup solely so you could explore the capabilities.

For instance, the DD-WRT firmware will allow you to configure the wireless as a client bridge.
Using that mode, you could move the WRT to any location within your wireless coverage area, thereby greatly extending your network. (of course after re-enabling the wireless on the WAG).
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by:krakatoa
ID: 21791615
okay. thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:krakatoa
ID: 31467169
Haven't tried anything yet but it sounds good
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