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Accessing Printers via WiFi in the Home

Posted on 2014-12-26
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Hi all -
I have a home network with working ethernet jacks in every room, and 2 Wireless Routers at opposite ends of the house.
I also have 2 Printers, one is connected wirelessly and the other is plugged into the network using an ethernet cable.
Here's my question:  If I take my laptop and connect to one of the WiFi routers (let's call it Wireless-1), and I know I am connected successfully because I see the Wired Printer, should I be able to access/use the WiFI-connected Printer IF that Printer is connected via the other Router, "Wireless-2" ?
(There's nothing fancy about my Router setup. I did a factory reset on both, Netgear WNDR3400's, and just configured the Wireless settings)
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Question by:bleggee
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by:schaps
ID: 40518632
If the wireless routers are both configured as routers (their default mode), then you won't see devices connected to the other router, because the devices are keeping the two network segments separate. If one of the devices is connected to your cable or DSL modem, then it is your router, then other device should be set up as an "access point" to just spread your existing network, not create a separate one.
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by:bleggee
ID: 40518663
Ah ! Makes total sense. That must be why I have trouble whenever I plug in a 2nd Router. My "Wireless Router #1" connects using it's "yellow" ethernet jack to the Cable Modem. As you say, it sounds like I need to reconfigure "Router #2".  Correct?
Also, the way I have things connected now is:
Coax-Cable -> CableModem -> 20-Port Netgear Switch -> Router #1
Seems to work, but any issues with having the 20-port switch (which lights up all the ethernet jacks in the house) in between the CableModem and the Router?
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by:schaps
ID: 40518668
oh, yes, that will cause problems.
It should be:
CableModem -> Router #1 -> 20-Port Netgear Switch -> ethernet jacks -> "Router" #2

I am trying to find documentation on the exact procedure. It looks like Netgear doesn't provide much support for doing this, but it can be done.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40518678
You can connect the wireless router on the same network and then any wireless computer can connect the printer. I do this all the time.

Connect a LAN port on the wireless router to a LAN port on the network.

Give the wireless router a static IP address on the network.

Turn DHCP OFF on the wireless router.

Do this, the wireless router should now be on the network and printers should work fine.
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by:schaps
ID: 40518708
The web configuration of the WNDR3400 should have an option for "AP mode" in Advanced setup--> Wireless settings. What this should do is turn off the DHCP server on Router #2 and essentially disable the firewall separation you normally get between something plugged into the yellow port and the rest of the devices "inside" your network.
On many routers, there is no "AP mode" per se, but you can get the same functionality as above by merely disabling the DHCP server on that router and then *not* using that yellow port (sometimes just called a WAN or Internet port) at all, but instead plugging the network cable into one of the four LAN ports.
Netgear has a support document on this, but it doesn't list the WNDR3400 as one of the routers it applies to. Nonetheless, it might be helpful to you: http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20927

Does any of all this make sense to you? It's OK if it doesn't, it can be quite confusing. Just ask if still confused.
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by:bleggee
ID: 40518942
Thx - Starting to make sense ... so since my 2 Wifi locations are not near my Cable Modem & 20-port switch, it sounds I need to add 3 total WNDR3400's (I happen to have 3 of them), so that I can setup like this:

Cable-Modem -> WNDR3400 configured as a Router & disable wireless -> 20-Port-switch -> 2nd & 3rd WNDR3400's configured as an AP and then plugged into an ethernet jack in their respective locations.

Am I on the right track?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40518946
WNDR3400's configured as an AP and then plugged into an ethernet jack in their respective locations.   <--- I think you can do this.  So long as all are on the same subnet when done, you should be fine.
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by:schaps
ID: 40519044
I think you are on the right track. If the location where your Router #1 currently is has two ethernet jacks running back to your patch panel, then you could set it up as the attached graphic shows, essentially sending the network connection from your cable modem out to Router #1's location, into its yellow (WAN) port, and a second cable coming back from one of its LAN ports back to your patch panel and then to your 20-port switch (and then back through the patch panel to the other remote ports, including the one leading to your Router #2 you will use as an access point).
You might do that quickly just to see if this will work, but since you already have an extra router you can configure to be a 2nd access point, I would suggest keeping the main network stuff all in the same room. It is a better strategy long-term for troubleshooting.  
Also, I don't know what the model is of the 20-port switch, but this all assumes you have a flat network, no VLANs. If you don't know what I am talking about, it's not likely anything but flat.
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schaps earned 250 total points
ID: 40519083
Here's a diagram of how I recommend you set it up using the three router plan. By the way, at each "access point," the LAN ethernet ports should be still active and useable if you have any ethernet devices you want to plug in. In the meantime, they are good for troubleshooting to see if the AP is hooked up properly. You should be able to connect a PC/laptop to one of the ports on AP#2 and AP#3 and get an IP address from Router #1. If that doesn't work, the wifi from #2 and #3 probably isn't working, either.
EE-Recommendation.jpg
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by:schaps
ID: 40519085
hmmm, just noticed that the attachment on the post 2 posts back did not go through. Attaching here.
EE-APsetup.jpg
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by:bleggee
ID: 40519227
Thanks both of you, awesome info.  I can't wait to try all this out! Heading out of town, will try it out & circle back here in a week.

- B
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40586679
@bleggee  - Thank you and I was happy to help.
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