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Best way to configure two wireless routers on a single Internet connection for best throughput?

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-10-24
I have a client with 2 Netgear routers, model WNDR3700-100NAS

They are giving a training course in an auditorium in a couple of days with an Internet connection 40mbps down, 10mbps up.

The course trains the students how to use an iPad app, and this app gets data (typically map data) from a web site hosted elsewhere. There will be 30 to 35 students on wifi during the course.

I currently have the configuration as: both routers have dual band wifi enabled (so 4 SSIDs total).  Router 1 WAN is connected to the cable modem.  Router 2 is DHCP off, one of its LAN ports connected to a LAN port on router 1.  Thus router 2 is configured only as a wireless access point, connected back to a LAN port on router 1.

The intent is to spread the use of the SSIDs evenly among the students.

Is this the best way to make sure everyone gets a solid connection to the Internet for the 2 hour course?

Thanks.
Dave
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Question by:DaveWWW
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40336500
How far apart are the 2 routers? Also make sure that each SSID is running on a different channel.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 40336505
The routers are side by side.
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40336511
If the routers are side by side then the coverage is limited, ideally one should be on each side of the room.

With your current setup, I would make sure that each SSID is on a different channel. This will minimize interference. Are the SSID's all named different or all they all named the same?
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 40336528
The auditorium is actually fairly small - perhaps 100 seats.  All users will be within 40 feet.  I just took my laptop into the farthest corner and basically got full strength.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 40336531
And all SSIDs are different, and on different channels.
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Iammontoya earned 250 total points
ID: 40336627
It sounds like your configuration is fine. The bigger question is: Where is this training data? Is it on a regular server? Can  it handle the connections and bandwidth? Is it video? I would just keep that in mind, as it looks like you have your wifi portion covered.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 40336739
It isn't video; it is online forms, clicking links to see data listed on web pages, etc.

I've been having an online chat with a Netgear sales person, and he recommended a couple of units for me to consider.  I noticed they are very quick to say that their"home units" (which I sadly discovered is how they classify the WNDR3700) are not capable of much more than 25 clients or so, and in fact says that adding access points does not do anything to increase throughput, which seems contradictory to what I've read elsewhere (assuming a robust Internet connection of course). What do you think?

I've since found out from the customer that there are only 25 students in the upcoming course, so hopefully I'm fine!
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Assisted Solution

by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 250 total points
ID: 40336786
If the SSIDs are different
and if the coverage is 100% from each one in the room
then having different SSIDs is fine.

But if the devices were more spread out then out may find that having identical SSIDs would be easier to manage as users would have to log into one or another.  If they can do that fine.  But if they need help then ....
Others might have advice in this regard.
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Expert Comment

by:vivigatt
ID: 40340247
You should definitely use different channels for the 2 routers, even for each SSID if doable. Use channel 1 and 11, they should not overlap.
You can also try to use a mesh network. This would require some alternate firmware dd-wrt (with WDS), open-wrt (with B.A.T.M.A.N or OSLR). But a mesh network is quite hard to set-up and configure if you are not used to that...
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 40402730
I configured the second router with DHCP turned off, connected to the LAN port of the first router, and the performance turned out fine with no problems at all.  Thanks for the help.
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