Linking two routers to extend network

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting' started by artso, Aug 16, 2014.

Share This Page

  1. artso

    artso Registered Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just moved into a bigger place and am having issues with wifi due to thick brick walls. I'm thinking I could extend my network between my office and living room.

    I currently have a BT Home hub 5. Can I run a long ethernet cable through my flat from the home hub into the living room and connect a wireless router at the end and use the ethernet ports and wifi on that router, and still use the ethernet and wifi from the Home hub?

    If this is the case can anyone recommend a suitable router for the living room end? I've tried searching around but and getting confused between all the different modes and am not sure which product and setting I actually need.

    Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Glod

    Glod Kustoms Slowest Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the second router a cable router would suffice, you don't really need a modem for the second router so that should bring the cost down a little. If you need the Ethernet ports too then the router will work but a wi-fi extender is all you really need if wi-fi is enough at that location.

    If you are able to run a cable to the second router from the primary then configuration amounts to switching off DHCP on the second router to use it as simply an access point and allowing your primary router to handle the DHCP. (Assuming that is how you are set up just now).

    If you're willing to splash out a little on the second router you could go for a dual channel model that does 2.4 and 5 ghz for the additional choice in connectivity.
     
  3. Archaon

    Archaon Eats, Drinks, Sleeps Kustom

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don't need the functionality of a router and having two on the same network will likely complicate matters.

    I would suggest using a small switch and a wireless access point.
     
  4. Flash

    Flash Regular Kustomer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    wireless access point is the way to go as the home hubs are fairly limited it there configuration

    At home I run a vigor 2830vn and a vigor ap700 upstairs and that gives me blanket coverage inc the front and rear gardens but the vigor ap700 isn't cheap £60-65

    A tp-link will set you back £20 or a netgear Access points start around £25-30 both are available on the Net or high street

    you could just use a range extender tp-link ones are £15-20 abite very basic
     
  5. artso

    artso Registered Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the advice, I'd already about a second router though by the time the other replies came in.

    For the record I bought a Netgear JWNR2010 N300, switched off DHCP as described by Glod and it's worked perfectly. Was £20 so well within budget and stretches my wired and wireless network where it's needed.

    In case anyone else is searching - make sure you connect your routers using the LAN port on both routers - not using the WAN port (like I did on the Netgear then couldn't work out why it wasn't working!)
     
  6. artso

    artso Registered Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I originally set this up I created a new SSID for the Netgear router. After reading about routers the other day I tried to create a simple get SSID but using both routers. I followed some instructions online and this is my configuration:

    BT Home hub on channel 11 (2.4GHz) dhcp on
    Netgear on channel 6 (2.4GHz) dhcp off

    Both have the same SSID, and the same password.

    But for some reason my wireless devices will only connect to the netgear router, defeating the point of having the two routers.

    Does anyone have any pointers to create the network how I want it?
     
  7. Archaon

    Archaon Eats, Drinks, Sleeps Kustom

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of the networking bods at work explained this to me a little while ago, memory's a little fuzzy but from what I remember devices will connect to the strongest signal (typically the closest AP with the least obstructions). Unfortunately they will then stay connected to that AP until the connection drops off completely - which will be after the point you notice things are slow or stop working. I suspect that's an issue you're facing - devices are connecting to the Netgear but then once you're near the BT hub they're still staying connected to the Netgear (even at a range where the signal is slow and unreliable) rather than swapping over to the BT hub.

    For that reason the kind of setup you have is fine for static devices like a desktop and games consoles, but all falls apart once you decide to move a portable device like a laptop or phone into another room.

    Unfortunately to get the kind of intelligence within the WLAN to say "hey this device is heading away from me and over to the other AP, move it over to that one" requires a wireless LAN controller. To my knowledge the cheapest way to do that is probably one of the higher end DrayTek routers (which can act as WLAN controllers) and one of their APs. Even though that's one of the cheaper methods you're still looking at around £300-350 to do it.

    Other devices such as the new breed of 'cloud managed' access points may be able to do it but a couple of those would be a hefty bill as well.

    Standalone controllers are sold by the likes of Cisco, HP etc and are normally £500+ and require specific APs from the same vendor (typically expensive ones), so I wouldn't even go there.


    If you don't need seamless passover between the two APs have you considered running two separate networks? If both networks and their access keys are saved into the device(s) that you use it wouldn't be too much of a ballache to swap between them, unless you need to do it every 5 minutes for some reason?
     
  8. artso

    artso Registered Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Archaon for the insightful reply; looks like I'm going to just go back to having two SSIDs and not try and be a clever dick! £300+ is a bit much to throw at a problem as lazy as not wanting to switch between networks from the living room to my bedroom.