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Set up a Network for Two Zones or Floors

Posted on 2012-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-03-25
I need to replace a somehow fried network setup, and need suggestions on how to recreate it, given the described building layout, situation, and the (what should be plenty of) equipment on hand.
Building Layout:
•      Zone 1
•      Zone 2 (with a working cable modem)
A single Cat6 RJ45 cable connects the two zones, as no wireless signal can cross between the two zones easily, due to construction materials (think super bank safe or something…)
Equipment:
•      One (1) NETGEAR FS116 16 Port Fast Ethernet Switch with Auto Uplink (10/100)
•      Two (2) ASUS RT-N12/B Wireless-N Routers, both upgraded to DD-WRT v24 preSP2 [Beta] Build 16785 (mini build)
•      The one (1) aforementioned cable modem
I don’t think I need to (nor want to) buy any more equipment.
Desired Outcome:

A wireless signal must be accessible in each zone (so one DD-WRT unit per zone), and any PC in either zone must be able to find PCs and print to printers in the other zone. Seamless roaming between the two zones (e.g. as one passes immediately from one zone to the other) must be possible without loosing the connection. All PCs need firewalled internet access, and I’m thinking hopefully on a single subnet (mask 255.255.255.0) around 192.167.1.X for simplicity, for both zones of the building. I’d also like as many wired ports to be available as possible in Zone 2 (near the cable modem), as there are more electronics (printers, internet appliances, etc.) in that zone.

The 500-point question:
Including connectivity and DD-WRT mode (e.g. router, gateway, switch, AP, etc.) settings, how would you set up this network to achieve these results?
Best setup provided (that I can accomplish per the description) wins.
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Question by:travisjbennett
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 37759988
Network Diagram
You're pretty much limited to this
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Author Comment

by:travisjbennett
ID: 37760059
On the DD-WRT DHCP-Disabled Router...
would I want it in Router, Gateway, Bridge, or Access Point mode?
would I want to plug the cable that connects to "the LAN side of the DD-WRT DHCP-Enabled router" to the WAN side or the LAN side of the DHCP-Disabled router?

Lemme guess... (for kicks)
Router, and LAN ??
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37760366
you plug in the dhcp enabled wan port to the cable modem and the wan port of the dhcp-disabled router to a lan port on the dhcp-enabled router (or the switch (doesn't matter)

as for the other question I'd use router mode and set the channel to a low channel on one and on a high channel on the other (just in case)
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Author Comment

by:travisjbennett
ID: 37760412
If I want the computers to be able to share files, etc., then wouldn't I want to hook the DHCP-disabled router up to the dhcp-enabled router via LAN ports? Otherwise, the firewall would get in the way, right?

(DD-WRT can actually let me reconfigure the WAN port to act as a LAN port... something perhaps worthwhile here...)
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Author Comment

by:travisjbennett
ID: 37762884
I google searched with some "disable DHCP" terminology, and I ended up using this tutorial... thanks ve3ofa

One thing I did different: I made the theme red in the settings to remind me I made it an AP and the firewall features were disabled...
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