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  1. #1
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    Using/Testing 2nd wireless router

    Hi (from an old member, but brand new poster),

    I'm somewhat unsure about my networking knowledge -- so, asking here before I do something dumb. ('dumb' means messing up my current, working DSL ethernet systems and wireless setup).

    Using (mostly) XP Pro, somewhat older systems and laptops (P3 and P4).

    I acquired two other wireless routers (1st a 'new' Linksys WRT54G2 v1, 2nd - off-brand Intellinet Wireless G (new, but messed up during a long session helping a friend setting it up - we failed; and he gave up and just gave to me (to return to Microcenter or use, my choice).

    My working router is a WRT54G, fed through a simple switch (8 port Rosewill). Right now the router only feeds my primary desktop system (ethernet).

    DSL modem output uses the switch too, as does 2-3 other systems (but only one of which is currently set up to reach the Internet). A laptop and remote desktop are working well wirelessly. (I don't, at present, 'network' any computers -- meaning that I don't shares files, printer etc. Just for interest - I use Dropbox mostly for file sharing.)

    Router's WAN input comes from the switch, not direct. [I don't really know why I set it up like this -- several years ago; but it is working -- so......]

    After that overly long description:

    I want to 'try' the other routers;
    1. can I connect another router to the switch? And set it up -- somehow?(or will my ISP complain about 2 routers, or just not work?

    2. Any way to connect the two routers in 'parallel' (again - ISP problems?)

    That's enough for this time.

    I have other questions too, but I'll wait -- this is too long as it is.

    Remember, I'm trying to not do something (change settings, etc) that I can't recover from.

    Thanks for any insight or suggestions.

    Bill

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hi Bill,

    After reading your current IT setup I do not see any reason to try them as they will not offer you any tangible benefits in speed or feature-set from the hardware mentioned. It would be purely to tinker for the sake of learning.

    IMHO the WRT54G is a better unit than the newer WRT54G2 both provided by Linksys but a point to note from my experience is that I've found the wireless reliability in the WRT54G2 to be terrible requiring regular reboots.

    In this case it is probably a case of it ain't broke then leave it be

    P.S. I had a look at the specifications of the Intellinet Wireless G router and it is nothing special either. I'd keep these units as spares in the event your current router fails.

    But if you want to tinker, let us know and someone can assist I'm sure.

  3. #3
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    Hi JDB...,

    Thanks for the comments, but maybe I didn't word my questions clear enough (old engineers tend to include too many details -- therefore obscure the overall meaning).

    [from your msg] >> It would be purely to tinker for the sake of learning. <<

    But -- that's what I *want* to do! <G>

    My present networking setup works for me. I really don't want to change that (much) -- unless someone has beneficial suggestions (like 'why do I use a switch' ? --- ans now: it is just there now for better physical computer/cabling).

    Maybe repeating/enhancing my original questions would clarify a bit.

    1. can I connect 2nd router to the switch? (just to test it out, and learn how to do it) and set it up -- somehow?(or will my ISP complain about 2 routers, or just not work?)

    2. Any way to connect the two routers in 'parallel' ? (again - any problems with how my ISP interacts with me?)

    Yes, I do want learn more about setting networking, in general. By tackling this 'project' (among others in the future).

    3. Another (sample) question: what about 'workgroups'?
    I 'heard' somewhere that systems 'should be' members of the same workgroup. Why? -- my (so-called) network seems to work, I've never worried about their workgroup name. And, my system setup works (like I use it anyway) with no consideration about workgroups.

    There I go again -- too long, complex messages. Sorry.

    [But -- I do want to thank you for mentioning that my 'new' WRT54G2 may not be a 'step up' over my present G version. I thought that the newer G2 would be better. <sigh>]

    Bill
    Last edited by WillMS; 2011-03-19 at 17:56.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    If I understand your last question about parallel routers. You can run 2 or more wireless routers at the same time. HOWEVER, what you cannot currently do according to Cisco (I asked this awhile back to them as I wanted to do it) is to have like 2 wireless routers AND for instance install 2 wireless NIC cards in the computer, like you can with hard wired routers and NICs. At least a few months ago, I tried to do this and even called Cisco and asked about it and they said currently the technology will not allow you to run multiple wireless nics connecting to different wireless routers.
    you can run 1 wireless connection though and then more than 1 wired connection.
    Again, that was months back when I asked this question. If somehow it has changed I haven't seen anything saying so.

  5. #5
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    1. A router is just an intelligent hub or switch.
    2. You can cascade, in series, or you can connect router in parallel. Just like hub and switch.
    3. Router is more 'intelligent' than hub or switch. It may, when setup as gateway, not allow certain Ethernet address groups to go through, hence the name router. It is a traffic cop, or a night club bouncer. Some Ethernet addresses are not allowed. Some do.
    4. Ethernet routing or interconnecting depends on Workgroup names. Only members of the same workgroup name can see and communicate with each other. For example, Account Dept. group are not allowed by Sales Dept. group. They cannot see or communicate with each other on the Ethernet network.
    5. Windows uses a default workgroup name 'WORKGROUP' since Windows 3.0 days. If all your PCs have never changed the default name, they can all talk to each other, because they belong to the same workgroup. If you change the workgroup name, the PCs would be separated.
    6. If your PC has two netcards, each can connect to a different router, or hub, or switch. You can set up each netcard having different Ethernet connection method. Or even set them up so that one netcard acts as gateway for the other. This effectively turns your PC into a software router. You can then run software to setup many routing rules. For example, you may isolate Account Dept. and Sales Dept. When the network printer in the Account Dept is not working, you can set up a temporary rule to route all Acct Dept print jobs to Sales Dept. network printer.

  6. #6
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    Re wireless:
    If your PC has two wireless cards, they can connect to a different (or the same single) router. They must have a different setup (different SSID, for example) if from two routers. From a single router, they can have the same SSID, password, and even same channel number. Just like hard wire Ethernet. How to use them is another story. See my previous post.

  7. #7
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    Re wireless NIC:
    I'd like to qualify the previous post.
    Wireless NIC typically runs a program as setup. Same brand wireless NIC uses the same software and same driver. This disallows two same brand same model in one PC.
    However, if you uses two different brands and models, the setup program and driver are different. Then you can have two wireless NICS, and they'd behave like wired NICs.

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