How do I determine whether my additional router is helping?

Posted on 2010-01-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Ok, so I've gone through all the steps involved with adding an additional router to my current home network. I've disabled the DHCP on the second one, changed the IP address etc.

However I'm uncertain as to how I can test to see whether my second router is actually making any difference. The main reason I decided to get an additional router was actually to replace our older router, as several rooms in my house had a low wireless connection.

However my dad bought a wireless router that was using Wireless N which would not be compatible with several of our older devices that use 'A' and 'B'. That's when I got the idea to use both routers on the home network, so I googled it, followed all the instructions and it's connected now.

However I'm uncertain as to how I can test to see whether the additional router is actually working, whether it's actually improving our network, and whether devices are actually connecting to it.
Question by:gh_user
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    First, look at the name of the wireless connection.  This will show which router each device is connecting to.  At this point, configure the devices to only connect to the router that you want them connected to.

    Second, there is no way to traceroute to determine which wireless router is being used, but you can set up the routers to only be used by specific devices and assure that you are using the best device.  
    If you set the new router to "N only" wireless setting and old router to "A and B" or "B only" (depending on what devices you have) they will only handle their prescribed protocols.   By doing this you should not see the speed of the N router drop to handle the A and B protocols and will further optimize the network performance.


    Author Comment

    I set up the routers to use 'n'/'b' only, however as to configuring devices to only connect to a certain router I have no idea how to do that.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    You configure the device by connecting them to the correct wireless network.
    Lets say you have the following Routers with their wireless network names and wep keys.
    "Wireless 1" = N Only  WEP = 0001
    "Wireless 2" = B only   WEP = 1110

    When you connect Device 1 (Which only has B)  your only option is to connect to "Wireless 2".  Connect and enter the WEP Key.

    When you connect Device 2 (Which has N, so it may or may not also have B, depending on the adapter), you only set up the connection to "Wireless 1"  The under the properties of the network connection, on the Wirelesss Networks tab, set "Wireless 1" to the top of the preferred connection list.

    You are now assured that the protocols are separate and the devices are connecting to the optimum router.

    Then on each device (assuming they are windows computers) you can hover over the wireless connection icon in the task bar and see that the B Wireless device is connected at 11 Mbps and the N device should be connected at somewhere around 100 Mbps (depending on signal quality).

    If you only use 1 router, the router will transmit on the protocol of the common connection speed.   Meaning if you have an  N, B and A device and a B only device, the router will now only transmit B.  So the N device will connect using B.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the help, I didn't realise that both routers needed to have their own seperate names and wep keys as I had them set up identically, however now I have both my xbox and computer set up to the faster router, thanks for your help.

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