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  1. #1
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    Filling the Wi-Fi holes once and for all




    BEST PRACTICES


    Filling the Wi-Fi holes once and for all


    By Lincoln Spector

    How do you extend your home network when Wi-Fi isn't strong enough and HomePlug proves unreliable?
    You extend both Ethernet performance and Wi-Fi portability by adding Ethernet cabling and a second router.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-practices/filling-the-wi-fi-holes-once-and-for-all/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2013-06-19 at 19:31.

  2. #2
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    It's worth pointing out (I don't think you mentioned it in your article) that when you attach the second router to the network after configuring it for use as an access point, you should plug the patch cable into one of its switch ports (the "internal" LAN-facing side of the router - the yellow ports on the router you use as an example) and not into the blue "external" WAN port that would normally face the internet. If the cable goes to the WAN port, the router will still attempt to act as a router and firewall for traffic passing through it, which is precisely the functionality you are trying to disable.

  3. #3
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    You should also have spent a little extra money and gotten a router that supports dual band operation. 5G provides better coverage and (debatable) better speeds.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by molletts View Post
    It's worth pointing out (I don't think you mentioned it in your article) that when you attach the second router to the network after configuring it for use as an access point, you should plug the patch cable into one of its switch ports (the "internal" LAN-facing side of the router - the yellow ports on the router you use as an example) and not into the blue "external" WAN port that would normally face the internet. If the cable goes to the WAN port, the router will still attempt to act as a router and firewall for traffic passing through it, which is precisely the functionality you are trying to disable.
    You can use the WAN port as long as you configure the router with a fixed IP address as long as you are only using the devices on that router to access the net. Any devices on the router, such as other computers and a USB connected device will not be able to be accessed from devices upstream from the router. So your advice is good although technically using the WAN port will still provide limited functionality. What Lincoln did worked, but is not the correct way to configure a WAP.

  5. #5
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    1. Since I don't remember you mentioning what or how to access the "Web UI" of Router A, I suggest an alternative would be to enter "ipconfig" ("ifconfig" on non-Windows) in a Command Prompt and press Enter. You can usually use the "Default Gateway" IP address to access the router's Web UI by entering this IP Address into your browser.

    2. In your third screen shot (of Router B) , you show "Default Gateway" being left all zeros (and that it is optional on your router). It might be safer to put the IP Address of Router A here.

    3. To access Router B after the reboot, use the new, static IP Address that you just assigned to it ("192.168.0.200" in your example).

  6. #6
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    Hi Lincoln,
    I think the issue you are having with getting back to the web management page is you are using the WAN port address, which by default on most routers does not let you get to the web management page. You need to use the local address, which looks like it changed to 192.168.1.1 - but connect your computer back to it via a switch port or wifi and look for the gateway IP address and that should be the new internal address.

    An alternative setup would be to ignore the WAN side of the router and set the LAN address as you specified and plug the wall connection into a switch / LAN port on the new router so everything is on the same subnet and you will not double NAT everything and your internal IP addresses can all talk to each other. I have done this several times and it works like a charm.

  7. #7
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    Lincoln,
    Best way to avoid the issue mentioned with access to router B is to reserve an IP address for it using the web interface to router A. Different brands call this different things but it's almost always available from wherever DHCP is configured. Use the MAC address of the LAN side of router B and choose an address on the local subnet and within the normal range of the addresses DHCP on router A hands out for wired devices. I like to choose a distinctive value for the last octet, usually a multiple of 64 or one below the end of the range AND LABEL router B with the address. I've done this quite a few times with various brands of routers and have not run into the problem of not being able to access the web interface of router B.

    And, like you, my experience with powerline networks was less than ideal, both in my own house and at clients' places. Funnily enough, the last place I made this change was a client's house fully wired with Ethernet in every room and a wireless router in the basement/garage and with a powerline router on floor 1 and a powerline AP on floor 2. Client, of course, has no idea what this was about, just wants good wireless everywhere.

    Now, if I could just get my own old house properly wired for Ethernet to the rear of the house. Shoemaker's children get shoes last.

    Rob

  8. #8
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    Red face Accessing both router's SETUP utility

    Try changing the IP for the 2nd router to 192.168.1.1 / 255.255.255.0 and then make the default gateway 192.168.0.1 (or whatever your address is for the router that is the DHCP server).

    Swampster

    (Gary Hill)

  9. #9
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    I got over this problem in the following manner, it has now been superseded, also apologies as I'm doing this from memory.
    Not connected to Router A in any way.
    During the setup of Router B, I assigned a pc with a static address of Router B+1, using Router B configuration pages. No DHCP etc, as in the original article.
    Then I went to 'Network Connection' (Win7 BTW), right clicked my network card and selected properties. I then highlighted, 'Internet Protocol V4', selected 'Properties'.
    You then need to click the radio button to move from 'Obtain an IP address automatically' to 'Use the following IP address'. Fill in the boxes with the appropriate numbers, i.e. the ones that relate to Router B. Then back to 'Obtain an IP address automatically'.
    When I wanted to access Router B, I'd change the radio button in 'IPV4' properties, ipconfig /release, ipconfig /renew.
    I could then access Router B's config pages through my browser, when I'd finished, change back the radio button, ipconfig release/renew etc.

    Takes longer to read than actually do. It worked for me, hopefully it may point someone in the right direction.

  10. #10
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    I agree with NOT using the WAN port for best results. See http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19852 for typical setup.

  11. #11
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    The netmask 255.255.255.0 gives the whole 256 address range. As, typically, the DHCP server only assigns addresses from 192.168.0.100 to 199, the lower part of the range is free for static addresses.
    I have a similar setup using two Linksys Gateways - one connected to the DSL, the other used as a slave/range extender. Master gateway uses the ip address 192.168.0.1, slave uses 192.168.0.2, the next few addresses are/or have in the past been used for things like NAS devices, SUN Unix kit and other stuff which I need to have a fixed address.
    De-selecting 'enable DHCP' on the slave. assigning, as stated above,Gateway address+1 ( 192.168.0.2) and the same netmask (255.255.255.0), you will be able later to point your browser at 19.2.168.2 to tinker with the slave router's web setup.
    You don't need to bother about the master unit's overwriting the fixed ip address - DHCP's a 'demand' service and supplies addresses to computers which ask for one - static address mean the slave won't send out a DHCP request broadcast.

  12. #12
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    I have been using the two router setup for over 2 years with no issues. You merely change the second router base IP address to be the same as the first router plus 1. For example, my first router was 192.168.1.1, so I changed the second router base IP address to 192.168.1.2 while using the same subnet address to keep it on the same network segment. I also disabled DHCP on the second router so any device would pull an IP address from the first router. The ethernet cable must NOT be plugged into the WAN port on the second router, instead, it must be plugged into one of the regular Ethernet ports. With the second router having it's own base IP address, you can now access the router setup by using your browser and entering 192.168.1.2 to bring up the router setup for only the second router. I tried to attach a screenshot of my second router setup screen, however I am not sure of the success.Router2setup.jpg

  13. #13
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    You guys might want to watch this video and consider the implications:

    http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/...-measured.html

    Our router has a "Radio On-Off" switch on the rear panel. We turned it off. If we want to use the laptop on wireless we can always switch it on. Our setup is two PCs connected to an inexpensive Trendnet TEW-639GR router (in the same room) with ethernet cables, and we use a pair of Netgear 500Mbps powerline adapters to connect our home theater PC in the living room.

    I recall questioning the amount of RF radiation way back when we first got a wireless-B router. We were assured at the time that radiation levels were very low. Certainly the wi-fi signal was weak just one room away, so I can believe that RF radiation was indeed at a fairly low level.

    Now, however, many of us are using modern routers with much greater power to reach distant rooms or the patio. The resulting RF radiation may be a silent, unseen health hazard over a period of years. Impossible to be sure, but it's worth considering how we might avoid that exposure!

  14. #14
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    ddinham said it precisely correctly, my seven routers
    hooked up as described using 192.168.002.001 - 192.168.002.007
    are accessible from any web browser using 192.168.002.xxx in
    the address bar. All the functions of each router work perfectly,
    DHCP is disabled in all routers except 192.168.002.001; by the
    way we have three XBoxes working simultaneously on the
    network.

  15. #15
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    Re: steve.ryder's post on 2013-06-20 13:39

    1. I've found that almost all routers, when they come out of the box, do not have their DHCP range set to 192.168.x.100 - 192.168.x.199. The DHCP range, in the main router, should always be checked. You may not know who has been in there before you.

    2. The goal here it to pick an IP Address for the slave router that is OUTSIDE the DHCP range of the main router, so there will be no conflict if the main router's DHCP assigns all the addresses, within its range, to other devices.

    3. I believe that the last IP Address you mention should have been "192.168.0.2".
    Last edited by DirtySox; 2013-06-22 at 10:06.

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