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wireless repeater using a 2Wire Home Portal

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Hello experts:

I just set up a WAP (Netgear WG102) to act as a repeater.  There is wireless access to part of the area but two of the furthest rooms get very low quality signal and it will not sustain a connection when data starts to flow.  So I've set up this WG 102 as a wireless repeater.  The host Wi-Fi router is a 2Wire 1000HG Office Portal.  I set the WG102 to receive its input signal from the 2Wire's MAC address and I set the security (WEP) with the correct access code.  I can see the WAP throughout the area now but still cannot connect.  

Any suggestions?

Thanks

thedslguy
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by:GJTechSolutions
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Purchase a netgear router to do your routing.

This will a) improve the signal throughout the house and b) allow you 100% compatibility with your access point.

The dsl modem you are using for wireless access is rather old..
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Yes, if you have netgear equipment already you're going to want to stick with the same vendor...
Everything 2 Wire makes are cheap and not very good, unfortunately. The best thing you can do is make the Netgear your router and add either a Netgear Access Point or wireless router into the network as a repeater.
One thing to note - when using wireless equipment in repeater mode it HALVES your speed - everything goes 1/2 as fast because the repeater has to operate in half duplex mode (cannot transmit and recieve at the same time).
Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions!
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by:thedslguy
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GJTechSolutions & Pugglewuggle:

I realize the device is rather old and that 2Wire isn't the best out there.  What I want to know is does the 2Wire device support repeating.  

This setup is for a client.  The provider is AT&T and if I switch to a Netgear WiFi router I'll either have to place a different modem or change the configuration of the existing router in a way that AT&T will not support.  If replacing is the only option, so be it.  But if the existing equipment will suffice, I think the client would prefer to stay with what he has.

Thanks for the input.

thedslguy
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GJTechSolutions earned 125 total points
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thedslguy:

My guess would be no. But I've no way of knowing 100%.

You will at most have to bridge the modem and new router. If the modem is not auto-bridging, which I doubt it is, they're support will help you through this process and then you can call netgear to help you with the router config.

Best bet would be to get a new modem as well. :)

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by:Pugglewuggle
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Repeating is not done on the side of the 2 wire - it s done on the side of the device repeating is configured on. In other words if you want a repeater set up, it requires no additional configuration on the 2 wire.
That said, vendors tend to make their wireless chipsets in their equipment with proprietary additions. It would be ideal to have the wireless off in the 2 wire and connect a Netgear router to that and then repeat from netgear to netgear.
When you mix device vendors things more often then not get messy (if they even work at all).
BTW - you don't need to switch modems. Just turn off wireless on the 2 Wire and connect the netgear router to one of the ports in the back of the 2 wire. Then configure the wireless and setup another netgear router or AP to act as a repeater to extend the range. I've done setups like this easily over 100 times and it works fine.
Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions!
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by:Pugglewuggle
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BTW in response to GJ's comment - the 2wire modem DOES NOT have to be in bridging mode. It would be better if it were, but it will also work fine if the netgear router gets a DHCP address from the 2wire on the WAN interface.
And no you don't need a new modem - just don't use the 2 wire for anything other than connecting the netgear to it and it will be fine. Just connect all the PCs to the netgear stuff.
Cheers!
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by:GJTechSolutions
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dslguy:

Go with the new equipment. The one time cost will save you headaches in the future. Should cost you no more than $300 for the whole shabang (depending on where you spend your hard earned $$).

Puggle/dslguy:

Hence the "you will have to *at most." Bridging is not always necessary, but the better option, taking the modem out of the equation. Repeating is done by the AP, requiring no additional config from the modem but gets its signal from the source (here the modem itself), making the modem a crucial part of the whole deal. And making a Netgear repeater work with a 2wire (haven't seen one of those in a long long time) may prove to be an annoyance, if you get  it working at all.

;)
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by:Pugglewuggle
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:) Isn't that all what I just said? lol
It would be much easier, cheaper, and just as functional to just turn off wireless on the 2wire and use the existing netgear and just buy an extra netgear - that's only $50 instead of $300 and it will do the job just as well.
Buying all new equipment is nice, but it's just not necessary when you consider how everything wil be setup. He would be fine with just 1 new netger wireless router to act as the repeater.
I wouldn't even bother trying to get a 2wire to work with anything, nor would I suggest it.
Cheers!
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by:Darr247
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You don't want to place the WG102 in the room where you need the signal... you need to put it about halfway between the 2wire unit and the room[s] where you get poor signal. That way the Netgear can pick up the signal while it's still strong enough, then boost it up so it can reach the area[s] the 2wire doesn't reach by itself.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Again, we're not using the 2wire's wireless at all in my solution - only netgear to netgear - 2wire wireless is garbage, but the device will work fine as an internet gateway.
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by:GJTechSolutions
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I think we can all agree here:

Gateway : 2wire
Routing: Netgear router to be purchased.
AP for greater coverage area (may not even be needed with purchase of a decent enough router): Currently owned netgear

Short and sweet. Do this and you'll be good to go.

Let us know how you make out.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Yes, that's exactly what I've been saying since post 1. :-D
Cheers!
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by:Darr247
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I invite you 2 to buy his client the hardware.


thedslguy,
If you want the best chance of making it work with what is there already, try it the way I advised.
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by:GJTechSolutions
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Puggle:

If you read my first post, I suggested simply purchasing a compatible router, then we got off track.

Darr247:

I invite you to read the post before you make yourself look bad:

"I set the WG102 to receive its input signal from the 2Wire's MAC address and I set the security (WEP) with the correct access code.  *I can see the WAP throughout the area now but still cannot connect.* "

Focus on the last line... nothing to do with signal quality. He cannot connect, indicating a problem with the AP and the modem talking to eachother.

Client can afford to spend < $100 on a compatible router to solve his problems.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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?? Say what darr? I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say, but anyone who is hiring someone to setup a network for them and can't afford a $50 router has more serious problems to deal with than worrying about a network... If they won't spend $50 on a router then I'd be worried about getting paid if I was the person installing it...
Just get 1 more $50 router and it will work just fine. That's not even a tank of gas these days.
Cheers!
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Looks like GJ and I are right in line on this... as for Darr I just don't know...
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by:GJTechSolutions
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LoL. I couldn't believe what I'd read. I agree. Question was answered and then some. First suggestion was the correct answer.

Beat ya to it Puggle.

Time to close this thread.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Lol what an argument! You are very persuasive GJ, but we both had good points in many areas. :)
Cheers!
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by:Darr247
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You guys can huff and puff all you want, but if this were a 'cartalk' support site, and someone posted a question like ''I'm having a hard time backing up my Ford pickup with an Airstream trailer... I'm looking in the mirror - what am I doing wrong???''
you guys' would respond with ''Ford sucks for towing Airstreams! Get rid of that, buy a Chevy instead and everything will work sweet.'' (instead of figuring out the guy is trying to use the INSIDE mirror instead of turning around or using the outside mirror[s].)

thedslguy,
There is no reason the WG102 shouldn't work as a repeater from that 2wire unit.

You say you entered the MAC address in the WG102... well which MAC did you enter?
Wireless routers typically have at least 3 separate MAC addresses. The MAC for the WAN port is usually the only one printed on a tag on the bottom (if any are). There's also usually one for the LAN ports (the switch, really), plus another one for each radio. You want to enter the MAC address for the 2wire's radio in the WG102. Did you assign the WG102 a static IP matching the local subnet (its default address of 192.168.0.229 will not talk to the 2wire's default 192.168.1.0 network, obviously), or did you set it to use the 2wire's DHCP Server?  (DHCP should be fine, IMO.)

Then in the 2wire's web configuration menu (http://gateway.2wire.net), on the Home Network tab, under Wireless Settings click the EDIT MAC FILTERING button and see if the ENABLE box is checked. If it is, you'll need to add the WG102 radio's MAC address to the Allowed list; if that filter's not enabled then it doesn't matter. You must save your changes before switching to another section, of course. In the Advanced Settings section, look in the 'Current Settings' section on the right, and the WG102 should show up in the Device List. Is it there?
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by:Press2Esc
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Q: Can I assume your wireless connection shows "connected" - but you can't surf?  If so, delete the (wireless) "perferred" network (SSID) which will alllow you to re-enter the (correct?) WEP key.  To isolate a connectively vs WEP problem, temperorily disable the wireless encryption and see if you can get online...

Q: The router and WAP use the same or different channel (1, 6, 11)?

Q:  Any nearby (ft/1M) RF interferrence or significant obstructions (e.g., ceilings, walls, glass, metal, brick, etc ) bewteen the WAP and distance (weak) signal areas?

Q: Do you see any (strong) wireless networks around the weak coverage area(s)?  If so -  try and ID the equipment.  The newer, "high-speed" PreN equipment has been documented to block adjacent (802.11b/g) wireless networks.  

If none of this helps, consider dumping the ford and gettin' a chevy...

P2E
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by:thedslguy
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Hello all

I have set this up in my shop to emulate the site.  At this point the 2Wire does not see the WAP as part of its home network.

I've attached screenshots of significant pages from the router and WAP interfaces.

As you can see the WAP is not being seen by the router.  

Thanks for any input

thedslguy

Router-Pages.doc
WAP-Pages.doc
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by:thedslguy
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Press2Esc:

A:  No it does not show.  I can connect to the WAP but with "Limited or no connectivity"

A:  They are different channels:  WAP uses 11; Router uses 5

A:  No interference between Router and WAP.

A:  The only WiFi signal visible is from the host router


I've attached a more complete set of shots from the router.

Thanks

thedslguy



Router-Pages.doc
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by:thedslguy
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Darr247:

I entered the MAC address from teh wireless settings page (see the files) and MAC filtering is not checked.

Another curiosity here:  If I'm connected by wire to the WAP, I can't connect wirelessly to the router.  I can ping it and it gives me an address, but I can't surf to the interface.

thedslguy

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by:Press2Esc
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looks like a config in the 2wire is the problem.  the dsl rouer and repeater are not seeing one another..

Also, I dont believe the 2wire supports WDS - which means the Netgear would have to have an ethernet connection back to the 2wire....  

Are you wired or wireless back to the 2wire??

P2E
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by:thedslguy
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P2E

The connection is wireless.  I was trying to avoid running wire.  That's the point of the question.

thedslguy
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by:Darr247
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Put the 2wire on channel 11 too. Channel 11 on the AP will not talk to channel 5 on the 2wire.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Hi thedslguy,
With regard to Darr247's comments, he is wrong. Using a multi-vendor solution for a repeater setup is about the same thing as trying to run your car on water. It just doesn't work. Vendors purposely make their systems so they only work with compatible systems (aka a similar product from the same company).
I contend that the best possible solution to this is to just spend another $50 on a Netgear router or wireless device. It will work with minimal trouble and you won't waste countless hours troubleshooting this and trying to make something never designed to be sold in a competitive space work with a mainstream product. Why do you think you can't buy 2wire at the stores? The only way you can get the stuff is through an internet provider and the only reason they sell it is because its as cheap as dirt for them to get a hold of, not because it's any good!
If you want to save yourself lots of trouble, take my advice and do not use the 2wire's wireless. Get another netgear and do it that way - it's a much better and more compatible setup.
Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions.
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by:Darr247
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> Also, I dont believe the 2wire supports WDS

I believe that's correct, but neither does the netgear say WDS is required... if it was required then its instructions should note that the WG102's MAC would need to be entered in the 'parent' hardware also (typically that's required with bridges, but not repeaters). Also, WDS allows only WEP encryption, so if the setups let you select WPA or WPA2 it's definitely not WDS. At this point security should be disabled until they're talking together, of course... but that's one way to check if the Repeater mode is limited to WDS compliance - if you can choose WPA or WPA2 in Repeater mode it's not WDS.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Agreed with Darr on the WDS requirement. You don't need it for a connection in repeater mode, you only need to have compatible hardware (which is the problem here).
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by:thedslguy
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Hello all

My original question was if this arrangement would work.  It seems the answer is no.  And it seems that to make it work without wires will be more complex than any of us want (myself or my client).  While I appreciate the suggestion to purchase a different router, I had already decided in the beginning that if I can't make this work without wires I'll run wire.  I think that will have the fewest issues down the line.  
So that's what I'll be doing.

My next project will be to figure out how to assign points.  Lotta good information here and it's all valuable.  

My thought is to split the points equally.  There was a raucous debate going on for a while there but it was really irrelevant to my question.  

My intent is to do that but I want to hear from you folks.  Please tell me what you believe is fair.

thedslguy
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Sounds good to me! Best of luck in getting this resolved!
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And, naturally I will be prejudiced toward my own solution being accurate, but I did mention in my 1st post that the setup you proposed would not work unless you used 2 netgear devices and further explained the implications of running in repeater moder, and then answered in my next post why it wouldn't work and how to work around it.
Thus I feel that I had the first "right" answer. Either way, GJTechSolutions deserves a share of the points as well.
Cheers!
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by:Darr247
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So changing the 2wire to channel 11 did not allow them to connect to each other?

The others may think netgear stuff is better, but there are good reasons cable/phone companies choose motorola, cisco and yes, 2wire equipment to provide for their customers use.  On the other hand I don't know of any that provide netgear equipment. Not that I think netgear is 'bad'; I just don't believe it to be inferior as the others in this thread seem to thnk.
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by:Pugglewuggle
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Darr, like I said, the 2wire is a garbage product when it comes to wireless AND wireless repeater setups generally do not work  when using products from different manufacturers.
Also, I know of no ISP that uses Cisco. It's too expensive. And no cable ISPs actually provide Motrola equipment - it must be purchased seperately. And no, none provide Netgear. :) It is just what the asker already had and using would minimize new purchases to only one netgear device instead of two of anything else.
Also, 2wire is terrible. Period. They are a pain to configure and lose their configuration if there is any kind of power surge. Garbage equipment in my experience. :)
Cheers!
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by:Press2Esc
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Darr, the purpose of WPS (Wireless Distribution System) IS to expand wireless networks.  WPS utlizes wireless repeater mode...  Also, since dslguy WAS using already WEP, not sure why the extra verbage about WPA..  Especially, in light of the information you were commenting on was incorrect - WPS does support static WPA encryption.    

I agree with you disagreement with PugglesW insistance to purchase a $50 router...  Bypassing the customers 2wire to make room for a cheaper BestBuy, CircuitCity class Netgear (or other) wireless router seldom present customers with a better long-term solution.  If dslguys client is a business customer, I would recommend using only business-class equpment.

I have visited several businesses only to find an underpowered or dead SOHO-class switches and routers as their problem.  Considering my time and the customers potential loss in business/revenue due to a down network - far outweight the initial costs of using the right equipment in the 1st place.

P2E
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by:thedslguy
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It seems this question has become an open chat.

I'm going to split the points evenly and be done with it.

Thank you all for your comments.

the dslguy
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by:Darr247
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> It seems this question has become an open chat.

Not by my choice.

Still, I never got an answer to ''So changing the 2wire to channel 11 did not allow them to connect to each other?''
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by:thedslguy
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Darr247:

I decided to run wire from the router to the WAP.  

Thanks for your interrest

thedslguy

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