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wireless router acting as access point

Posted on 2011-10-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello

my adsl connection is plugged into a wireless router that also acts as the modem, lets call this the "primary", i have a Belkin N wireless router, (lets call this the "Belkin") that i want to connect to the "primary" and have it act as an access point. I have consoled into the "Belkin" and enabled the menu option "use as access point", it then prompts me to set the static IP address which i did, setting it to the same subnet as the "primary". The "primary" is set to 192.168.1.254 and the "Belkin" is set to 192.168.1.1. I have then plugged the "Belkin" router via ethernet into the "primary" using the ethernet ports. With this setup i can still console to the "Belkin" but it must be routing via the "primary". Ideally i wanted the "Belkin" to relay the same SSID as the "primary" as would be possible with WDS but it doesn't look like the router has this ability so instead i set it up with a different SSID. My PC can now see wirelessly both SSID's, the "belkin" SSID signal is strong, i click connect and it prompts for the WPA password but unfortunately it won't connect, it tries and then fails and prompts to troubleshoot (WIN 7). The "wireless" signal on the "Belkin" is not lit up at all and i'm sure this is the problem. The "Belkin" although is a few years old its never been used so i would be very surprised if its a hardware failure.


I simply want the Belkin router to be the wireless router at home but as its not a modem/router i need to plug it into the primary. The belkin is a much better wireless router and produces a stronger more consistent signal.

is there a step i am missing or is there something in the setup that i have done wrong?

Thanks in advance

Jonathan
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Question by:Outkst
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by:mrklaxon
ID: 36932807
Why do you still have wireless turned on in the Primary?  If they are next to each other then there is no reason to.  If you are trying to expand the wireless range and have them in different rooms then you will likely need to run as 2 SSIDs as they probably are not capable of working together.  DHCP should be handled by your Primary and exclude 192.168.1.1 as well as 192.168.1.254.  The Belkin should be configured as an AP for the Primary router (bridge to LAN) with no DHCP - this will come from the bridged connection to Primary.  W7 will fail if it can't get to the Internet.  Failure does not mean the Wi-Fi failed (although that could be true).  The Belkin will have whatever SSID you set as well as it's own WPA key.  These could be the same as what the Primary had but only if you turn wireless off on the Primary.
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36933617
i turned the wireless off on the primary and then couldn't get an internet connection as suspected. Everything else is setup correctly as outlined in your comment.
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by:mrklaxon
mrklaxon earned 1336 total points
ID: 36933871
Under my description the Belkin needs to be plugged into Primary - LAN port to LAN port.  I may have missed something in your description but it sounds like you may be trying to get the Belkin to talk wirelessly to the Primary.  Which is it?

If hard wired, have you gone through the W7 troubleshooting?  Event log?  IPCONFIG to see if an address was pulled?
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36934012
The 1st Lan port on the Primary is plugged via straight through ethernet cable to the 2nd Lan port on the belkin, the "wired" light is green on both routers so this cabling is working. I'm not trying to have the routers talk to eachother wirelessly. Tbe main issue I see is that the "wireless" light on the belkin is not lighting up, without it I can't see how it can be broadcasting a wireless signal. I don't know why this is not working.
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by:mrklaxon
mrklaxon earned 1336 total points
ID: 36934430
I don't know your Belkin model but would assume if wireless were turned on it would light up.  If you connect to a LAN port on the Belkin you should get Internet - not a Wi-Fi fix but just another verification of the Belkin.  Have you checked for a firmware update for it?  If your Primary wireless is off and you still see the new SSID being broadcast then the wireless must be doing something.  Assuming the security level is supported by your PC you might try swapping between Windows managing wireless and the card driver program.  I know it works outside of this setup but I've had some that don't like connecting to certain APs but have worked fine elsewhere.  Or try another PC if available.  There isn't security on the Primary restricting MAC address is there?  Some of the old ISP connections also restricted the number of connected devices, usually a reboot of the router and then connecting the Belkin only would rule that out.

Beyond that I would have to dig into the info specific to the model.  
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36936203
I turned the wifi off on the primary and my pc could still see the SSID for the belkin which means it is transmitting wirelessly. when i try to connect to the belkin SSID it doesnt aquire an address, it tries and fails and then i checked IPCONFIG and could see there was no IP assigned. The primary is a Thompson TG585 v7.
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Expert Comment

by:mrklaxon
ID: 36942007
As a test you could turn DHCP on in the Belkin to see if it can complete the Wi-Fi connection.
If that works, you could even leave it that way so long as you split the DHCP pool range between the Belkin and Primary so they can't overlap.
Sounds like the Wi-Fi part is fine but that it isn't bridging to the LAN.
In your first post you said you could still console into the Belkin but thought it was routing via the Primary.  If plugged into the LAN, it would not be "routing" as it would go directly to it.  If you were still on Wi-Fi and managing then it must have been using the Primary Wi-Fi until you turned it off.
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inbox788 earned 664 total points
ID: 36949501
I don't see this has been done, but the first thing to do is turn off WPA. Unless the wireless access to the Belkin control has been turned off, you should be able to connect to the Belkin SSID without any security and access the browser based settings, even WITHOUT an internet connection. Looks to me that if you can't do that, you're not connecting to the Belkin wirelessly. Assuming its not your PC, then the problem is the Belkin wireless. If you take down everything that might interfere (do a hard reset, update the firmware, turn off security/firewalls, etc.), then the only conclusion is some wireless hardware failure. Even if you haven't used it much, it could be an infant death issue.


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Expert Comment

by:inbox788
ID: 36949513
BTW, if you've turned off DHCP on the Belkin, you may have to manually put in an IP.
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Expert Comment

by:mrklaxon
ID: 36951424
If the Belkin is bridging to the LAN that the Primary is on then the DHCP request should go to the Primary and you shouldn't need to assign one.  If it isn't forwarding properly then you might try splitting the range between the two to test or keep it that way.

Turning off security as a test would be good though.  Really you could leave everything but the WPA security off in the Belkin since the Primary is really your firewall in this setup.
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36952582
i tried setting the belkin up with a static IP but with DHCP configured but it still didnt work. Then i decided to set the belkin back up as an access point (theres a simple menu option from the web console, it disables DHCP, etc), this time i was able to connect to its SSID and get internet access. it was working but i was noticing that the connection was giving errors, in WIN 7 under the wifi networks the Belkin SSID would red X every 5 seconds and tell me that the network settings on this computer for this network were incorrect. but it was still browsing the internet seamlessly. i then went out and came back a few hrs later to find the red X was now a permanent feature and i couldn't get connected to the SSID. i then disabled security (encryption) on the belkin and i was able to connect once again to its SSID and the internet.

so at the moment it works if i disable encryption, i tried lowering to WEP but it still red X'd on my WIN 7 pc and on my laptop (XP) it told me the laptop did not have the correct certificate (or something to those words).  

so its just the encryption now that needs to be solved. The Primary router is set to WPA-PSK and my laptops and pc have no issues connecting to it
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Expert Comment

by:mrklaxon
ID: 36955246
Did you ever check on a firmware update for the Belkin?

Could be a problem with it managing encryption but weakness in the wireless often shows up more when encryption is running.  Since the encryption adds extra info to all of the packets and needs the packets to arrive in proper order/timeline any failure will cause more retry/resend and failure issues.

Maybe it's just time.
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36955331
i forgot to mention the "wireless" light on the belkin now lights up and i get a very strong signal. i'll try the firware update and will play with the encryption settings today
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Author Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 36976376
i updated the firmware but it was already on the latest anyway. i played around with the encryption settings and managed to get it working on two laptops, i still had problems with my pc connecting but i noticed the adaptor was not 802.11n capable so i changed a setting on the belkin so only 802.11g devices could connect. i also deleted the SSID profile for the belkin. it was not showing errors anymore but though i had the security set to WPA it kept showing as WEP next to the belkin SSID in my wireless networks and when i would try and connect the password would fail. i then updated win 7 to SP1 and updated the driver for my wireless adaptor, after this it started seeing the belkin SSID with WPA encryption and i was able to connect and login with the password i had set. so finally we have success! i'll check it tomorrow and if all is still working i'll close the question and assign the points
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Expert Comment

by:mrklaxon
ID: 36979207
I've had a few like that.  Updating drivers hasn't often helped but switching between the driver managing wireless and Windows managing it often helps.  WPA is the standard now, WEP is crackable and while it's very unlikely someone would bother to hack your signal it's better sticking with the WPA both for better security and compatabillity.  Good luck!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Outkst
ID: 37003095
excellent work, much appreciated!
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