Multiple routers

Hi,

I have not gone to my boss's house yet.  But according to him, his wifi is on and off. I know it could be many reasons.  He has triple play from Time Warner, it is an all in one type of box, it has modem, router, wifi in one box.  My question:

1. Can he use his own wireless router in this type of all in one box?  

2. He said he wants to get ADT this summer, and he wants to set up another router just for that, does it make sense?

3. His router is located on first fllor, with extender, the signal is still poor on the third floor (his house is not a big house, a regular NY style single family house, wood construction).  What could be the possible cause?
mcrmgAsked:
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arnoldCommented:
A mesh for the stuck on like walls versus sheet rock.flooring .....
Does he have similar issues with wireless phone.2.4 and/or 5 GHz location of the base and ......

Depending whether a wired network wire from the first floor can be had on the upper floors, an extender or an ap/router configured as an ap on the upper levels.
It would rather be an inefficient to have another wireless router though newer near the existing one.
The type of wifi is also a consideration 802.11 b, g n, ac, etc. and what the wifi available on the systems I. Use.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the ISP will allow it, put the router in Bridge mode, and then get a good solid Wi-Fi router as the main box (Cisco RV220w, Cisco RV180w or the like). Make sure the main router has Ethernet ports as well as Wi-Fi.

Put the router where you can (hopefully) wire in a printer or two and the main desktop computer if there is one.

With respect to the third floor:

1. I have a Cisco RV220W in my basement behind an 8-inch steel I-beam. Signal is fine on the second floor (top floor) of my house.

2. See if there is a way up (through a closet) to the upper floor. I have two ways up in my house. Run Ethernet from the main router upstairs and put a wireless router there.

First, divorce yourself from the ISP's idea of Wi-Fi and all in one.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
If the wireless extender is on the 2nd floor then it's more or less optimally placed.  
But, as often happens, the user will put the extender at the spot where he/she needs the signal - somehow thinking that will help.  It won't.  So, in this case, the extender on the 3rd floor is a bad idea - just as having it on the first floor would be obviously inadvisable.

The idea is to put the extender half way in between the source and the client to be served.  Well, half way as far as attenuation goes.  That's a little hard to tell so.....

Consider power line extenders.  They are much easier to use than wireless extenders.

I have no idea what ADT has to do with anything here.  Maybe a bit more explanation?
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profgeekCommented:
I would suggest the following:

1.  Put the modem/router in bridge mode, which just makes it a modem only, passing the signal via an ethernet cable to the WAN port of your own router.
2.  Get a decent router and connect it to the modem
3.  Get a good powerline adapter pair and connect one end of it to the router with an ethernet cable
4.  Place the other adapter in a wall outlet somewhere on your second floor where you signal seems to be weak
5.  Get an inexpensive router, put it into WAP mode, and connect it to the second powerline adapter.
6.  If you have network printers, they can be connected to either of your routers via ethernet, or they can be connected via wireless, if they have that capability.

I did this in a new, large 8,000 square foot house with three floors.  The internet (DSL) came into the basement.  I put a WAP on the first and second floors and now the house has complete coverage.

It's also possible that you won't need the powerline setup if the router you get can give you full coverage in the house.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
profgeek has listed a good set of recommendations.

If I may, while I understand the possible desirability of switching the modem into bridge mode, I don't see anything here that seems to demand it.  Maybe the ADT addition would.  Unless you need a VPN with special requirements or other particular port forwarding issues, it shouldn't be necessary.  Life may be simpler for now to forego this and accept double NAT.  (i.e. the modem provides a private subnet on its LAN side (NAT) and your router provides a private subnet on its LAN side (NAT again).

When doing this, I agree with profgeek that having your own router is a good idea in the long run.  In addition to having complete control of it, this is important because the ISP modem may fail or be changed out or the ISP may change.  Whatever the cause you don't want to have to reconfigure your network devices.  One of the problems is using a "familiar" private subnet such as 192.168.1.0 or 192.168.0.1.  You don't want to have double NAT AND the same subnet for both the ISP device and your LAN subnet.
So, what I recommend is that you select an "unfamiliar" subnet like 192.168.101.0 or 192.168.99.0 for your LAN.
Then, if the modem changes and no matter if your router gets a public or a private address, there won't be a conflict (well, the probability will be very low instead of rather high).
(The conflict being that the routing in your router could be pretty confused if the subnets on the WAN side and the LAN side are the same).

Power line extenders come in pairs only as nearly as I've been able to find.  
- Some pairs go from Ethernet at the router source end to Ethernet at the remote end.  
- Other pairs go from Ethernet at the router source end to WiFi (plus Ethernet) at the remote end.  
So, if you need WiFi at the remote end, you may buy a pair with WiFi built in.  

If you need more than 2, then you will buy another suitable pair and use 1 or 2 of these in selected locations.
They work together if you add units and not just as pairs.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Profgeek has copied the same recommendation about bypassing the ISP router as I posted earlier. That is the first step to do. I also suggested adding a second router earlier.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
John Hurst:  Sorry I started reading at the bottom when I revisited....
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profgeekCommented:
Just to add to Fred's comment about the powerline adapters, most come in a pair, but additional single units are available.  Be careful adding more than 3, however, as the configuration can get problematic.

There are three additional problems with using the ISP-supplied combo unit as a combo unit:

1.  You may not have access to administrator settings in the unit (depending upon the ISP)
2.  The wireless aspect is generally less than stellar performance and range (note:  I was told this by a tech with the local phone company who was installing DSL for a client of mine.  He didn't recommend using it that way if the client had his own router available).  But still, it may work for you.  You'd just need to test it.
3.  They often only have two available LAN ports (depending upon the model) instead of the four you get in a consumer router.
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mcrmgAuthor Commented:
wow...you guys put up some good suggestions.  I think this is what I would suggest him to do:

1. see if ISP allows him to put it in bridge mode so he can get a new router
2. get a few power line extenders

basically it, right?

also, what is the reason to put another ap router?
5.  Get an inexpensive router, put it into WAP mode, and connect it to the second powerline adapter.


thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Your first two selections are in line with what we suggested.

I would get a decent (not cheapest) Wi-Fi router for upstairs.

Plug a LAN port of the Wi-Fi into the powerline adapter (Ethernet).
Give it a static IP on the main network
Turn DHCP OFF on the Wi-Fi router.

Now it is part of the network.
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mcrmgAuthor Commented:
I see, the powerline adapter upstairs is still "wired", he needs another wireless router ap to make the wifi for upstairs? correct?  thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes. Power line adapters are Ethernet and so you do need the upstairs Wi-Fi.
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profgeekCommented:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I would be inclined to get a good Wi-Fi router and use Ethernet power line adapters. That way you have flexible management over the Wi-Fi and likely will have a better product in the end,
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
I must say that I've never installed a wired/wireless (also wired) pair.  Just thought about it and have some on hand.
Are their WiFi capabilities unlike other wireless access points?
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profgeekCommented:
No, most are configured as simple wireless access points.  You can configure channels etc on them.
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