How to extend my wireless network to another structure on my property

jsmithr
jsmithr used Ask the Experts™
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I have a wireless network, let's call it "MyNetwork" set up in my home.
On the same property, I have an "In-law Suite" that is about 200' away from the main house.

I have an ethernet cable that runs between the two buildings.
I would like there to be wireless access in the In-law Suite.

I imagine that I will need an additional wireless router that will be placed in the In-law Suite.

1. Is it possible to extend the current wireless network "MyNetwork" to the In-law Suite?
2. Can both routers use the same SSID [but maybe broadcast on different frequencies]?
3. Is so, how would I accomplish this?

A little web snooping led me to this product:
Linksys RE1000Wireless-N Range Extender/Bridge
Maybe I could use something like this?

I know a little about networking, but am by no means an expert.
I am creating this post away from my home, so I do not have the specs of the current router in my main house handy... but I am pretty sure it is a Lynksis Wireless N [I will post the exact model number upon request.]
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Commented:
Rather than use an extender or repeater or anytihing similiar, just install a second wireless access point.  Either a router or just an access point would work.

You can use the same SSID and encryption settings and when going between the two locations, computers will make the switch automatically.  Only thing you'll need to do is change the default IP of the new router/access point.  By default it will likely be 192.168.1.1 and unless you've changed your settings on your current on, that is also probably 192.168.1.1.  Either way, you'll just need to make sure it is not identical, but within the same network (i.e.  192.168.1.X or whatever your IP scheme is).

Author

Commented:
Check out the info-graphic I painstakingly put together using Snag-It!
Is it accurate?

If so, when you state that
computers will make the switch automatically
I guess what you are saying is that a machine will choose the router with the strongest signal?

I mean, right now, the In-law Suite can [sometimes] pick up a faint signal from the house. It is very weak and unreliable.

Jason
AwesomeInfoGraphic
In this type of scenario you'll need to make sure that your main router is strong enough for your second one to pick up to signal. Unless they are physically connected to one and other. Howeever from the picture you just posted it looks like your on the right tracks.

Since you can pick up a small signal then you should be fine with connecting them together using an Access Point or second router.
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Author

Commented:
The purple line is an ethernet cable. Does that change anything?

Jaosn

Commented:
Your diagram is correct.  That will work.  You'll just want to use the LAN port on the In-law suite end.  Obviously in the main house, you already have the wan connected to your internet and the ethernet from the in-law suite just would go into the LAN end.

And the computer will pick up the stronger of the two signals.  Shouldn't be noticable at all to the user.

Author

Commented:
maytrix,

Sorry. One last question. I do not understand what you mean by
"use the LAN port on the In-law suite end"
It doesnt 'feel' right.

Main House Router LAN Port > Ethernet Cable > Inlaw Suite LAN Port ?
 -- OR --
Main House Router LAN Port > Ethernet Cable > Inlaw Suite Internet Port ?

Jason
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Remember one basic rule of networking:  wired is ALWAYS better than wireless.    Your purple ethernet cable means you're taking care of that for the long run between the structures.

In that case, it's trivial ... just connect a simple wireless bridge to the ethernet cable and you're done :-)

You can also configure a router to work as an access point, but some routers have issues passing the DHCP information when configured like this, so I'd buy an access point.  [When using them this way, you disable DHCP and connect the incoming ethernet to a LAN port -- this basically uses the 2nd router as a switch.     As long as it passes DHCP info okay, this will work fine.]

Regardless of how you configure it, you don't want to use the same channel for both wireless devices -- you can use the same SSID if you want (I'd use a different one), and can certainly use the same security code.    

Author

Commented:
garycase,


... just connect a simple wireless bridge to the ethernet cable and you're done :-)

Can a wireless bridge be configured? As in: SSID, Channel, wpa2 personal?
And if so, is it this configration that "extends" my wireless network to include the Inlaw Suite?

Are the terms "Bridge" and "Access Point" synonyms?
Forgive my confusion, but all three solutions [router, bridge, access point] are all slightly different.
Jason
Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Access point and bridge are almost synonomous -- an access point can serve as a client of an existing router or as a bridge from that network to it's own SSID ... depends on whether or not you enable it's own DHCP.

This is a nice unit that would work fine for what you need -- and has a built-in switch so you can also connected wired devices:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122365

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