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Connecting a computer to two routers, one doesn't have Internet access.

Posted on 2011-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi All

I have an unusual set-up at one of my clients which is causing an issue.  They have a NAS to share files between three laptops when working on various remote sites.  In order to provide wired/wireless connectivity between the laptops and the NAS, and to issue IP addresses, I setup a basic NetGear router to provide network/DHCP/Switch features.  It is not connected to the Internet.  When working on remote sites these three users may also connect to the client's ADSL normally via wireless (using a wired connection to the NetGear).

Once connected to both routers the users can access the NAS, they can also run their SonicWALL VPN client software and connect back to their own office but they cannot browse the Internet.  I suspect that IE is getting confused at to which network to use.  The NetGear will be issuing not only IP addresses but also setting itself as the gateway address and DNS server address fro the wired connection.

Is there any easy way to "force" IE to route via a specific connection, e.g. wireless?

TIA

Glen
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Question by:Glen_TTL
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by:tflai
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If you are using Internet Explorer, try look at options under Internet Options and Connections and see if you can create create a default connection.
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by:tomago
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What are the gateway and subnet settings of the routers?  I'm guessing there is a conflict there.  On the NAS router, set the subnet and gateway to an uncommon network (IE 10.250.299.1 255.255.255.0).  

Alternatively you could get an access point and make it a client on the locations wireless network.  Use the access point for the WAN of the NAS router.
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by:Glen_TTL
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@ tflia: Within IE setting a deafult connection only applies to dial-up

@ tomago: For the Netgear router the IP address is 192.168.0.1 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.  Will using an uncommon subnet for the NAS router be sufficient for IE to use the second router?  The reason I'm using the NAS rather than a WAP iss that sometimes the 3 laptops will have no other connection, so need a router to handle IP addresses for the laptops.  
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by:amatson78
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You could setup an Explicit proxy server for IE to use for HTTP/HTTPS traffic and use the proxy to route that internet traffic. That may work for you.
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by:Glen_TTL
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@ Amatson78: that may work if we had control of the second routed network, but these will be outside of our control.  It may be a public wireless network, or a shared ADSL connection provided by an event management company.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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You could use a router running ddwrt to connect as a wireless client ( it's wan) and stil provide access to your laptops (lan)
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by:Glen_TTL
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@ aarontomosky - I confess to having to Google dd-wrt - I'm not sure if this will work with a NetGear router nor do I fancy replacing the standard OS with something different.  Thanks anyway for the suggestion.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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Other routers may also do this. I just know that ddwrt does. Buffalo has some routers that come with it installed.
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by:amatson78
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@Glen TTL, I see your delima, Using the SonicWALL VPN into the perspective. Where in relation to this network is the NAS? Would you be able to diagram what you are wanting to give us a better layout of the end result?
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by:tomago
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"@ tomago: For the Netgear router the IP address is 192.168.0.1 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.  Will using an uncommon subnet for the NAS router be sufficient for IE to use the second router?  The reason I'm using the NAS rather than a WAP iss that sometimes the 3 laptops will have no other connection, so need a router to handle IP addresses for the laptops."

Is IE not finding the internet an intermittent problem?  If the NAS router is the same subnet as the internet router than IE will get confused as to how to get to the internet.  Considering most routers use the 192.168.0.1/24, 192.168.1.1/24 or 192.168.2.1/24 subnets I bet that is the issue.  Changing to an uncommon subnest/gateway should solve it for you.  

Aarontomosky is referring to what I was trying to say.  If you get a bridge/access point that you can configure to connect as a client to the internet router, you can use that as the WAN connection on the NAS router.  Using DDWRT would be a cheaper option (don't have to buy and AP that can be config'd as a client) if the current router is supported by DDWRT.
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by:Glen_TTL
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@tomago - there is a possibility that the NAS router ends up on the same subnet as the Internet connection.  

To complicate matters, the NAS gets attached directly to the corporate network when the users are back at their own office.  This network is a 192.168.0 network, so unless I reconfigure the entire LAN to something really obscure, there will always be a possibility that the NAS router will conflict with external wireless networks.  

In the early hours of this morning, I was pondering this problem and wondered that if I get the laptop users to manually set an IP address 192.168.0.x) manually and just a subnet mask, i.e. no gateway and DNS, would IE then route out via the Wireless connection as that has a gateway address?

Maybe worth a try......
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Glen_TTL earned 0 total points
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So, my customer has just tried what I suggested and it has worked!  The NAS is connected with a static IP address to a NetGear router via a wired connection, as are 3 laptops.  Each laptop also has wireless connectivity to the outside world.  They can all use the NAS, VPN in to their office and surf the web.

Thanks to all for your input and suggestions - I feared I may have been missing something blindingly obvious!
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by:Glen_TTL
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It was my own final suggestion that worked.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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So you basically turned off your router and are using it as a switch with static ips on the laptops. It's good you found something that works for you, but you specifically told us that was not a solution as you wanted dhcp for when there was no other network.
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