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Wireless access point vs wireless router

Posted on 2011-04-26
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Hi everyone,

I just switched to a new internet formula in my country. They needed to install a new modem, but what I didn't know is that it comes with a build-in router. The router is not so bad, but the problem is that it is placed in my basement. (I also don't like the fact that you have to login online to configure the router and my provider now can see how many clients I have connected to my network, normally it is limited to only 4..) I already contacted them to install new modem without router but haven't got a response..

But let's say that I can't switch to a new modem... The current situation is that I use a router as a wireless access point (I don't use the WAN-port but only the switch ports). I want to upgrade this router to a new one. I was looking at this one ( http://www.linksysbycisco.com/EU/en/products/E4200 ). A collegue of mine has one of them and he is really satisfied. Now was my question: Is it stupid to buy a router and actually use it as a wireless access point?

I was looking for a wireless access point, but none of them seem to have as good as specifications as the router, for example: http://www.linksysbycisco.com/UK/en/products/WET610N

What is your opinion on this and what would you do?

Now if I can switch to a modem without built-in-router, I need to buy a router to put in the basement (Itt is also connected to some clients in the basement and directly above the router is a tv and some other stations which require internetconnection). What router do you recommend?
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Question by:Silencer001
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by:ittogo
ittogo earned 400 total points
ID: 35468954
I have used a wireless router as an access point for years.  I just had it handy and didn't want to spend the money on an access point (which tend to be more money than a router and not as easy to find)
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by:ittogo
ID: 35468959
Just make sure you turn off DHCP if there is another DHCP server on the network
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by:
Dk_guru earned 1000 total points
ID: 35469098
I would suggest the router for your particular situation.  The reason being is that if you use the router, you can use the built in switch and it is then not necessary to purchase another switch.

I personally would get an asus router and mod the firmware with dd-wrt.com software then I could use each of the ports including the wan as a switch port.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35470197
Thanks for your suggestions! I will go for the router then and will take a look at the custom firmware. I will still need to buy myself a new switch because I have all the devices in this room wired so I require 6 ethernet ports..

Would you recommend to change the modem + router? Because it actually limits you in my opinion and what kind of router whould you suggest to use?
So basically I need to routers: 1 for the connection from my modem (downstairs with some other pc's connected, TV,..) and to this router a 20 meter UTP cable to my router downstairs..

Thanks again!

Oh and is gigabit really necessary? Would you recommond it?
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by:Dk_guru
ID: 35470251
For your setup, Gigabit is not necessary.  I would use 1 wireless router (asus branded), and a 100 mbit switch (netgear 8 port blue box switch).
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by:Silencer001
ID: 35470426
And for the first router in my set-up? What would you recommend? And why specifically asus branded besides of  the Custom firmware?
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by:jostafew
jostafew earned 600 total points
ID: 35476341
I'd like to add a little piece of background which the average person might not be aware of; inside your average home type wireless router are actually three devices, a router (obviously), a 4 or 5 port switch on the LAN side, and a wireless access point (which is internally connected to the switch). So no harm in using the LAN only side of a wireless router as a WAP and a switch provided you disable the DHCP server in this new device (DHCP server should only be running in one place on your network).

Also, when you're in this lower end device range it's often a good idea to run a router as a WAP as they typically ship more units of the router than a comparable WAP and therefore have more people complaining about bugs resulting in better firmware updates. For eg. we run $700 cisco WAP's in our plant where we need a solid connection, but $50 D-Link DIR-615's as WAP only at our sales branch for intermittent use in the showroom.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35707658
Thanks jostafew for your input, very useful for people who don't have an idea what a router really is when you go buy it at your local IT-store!!
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