Extending wireless network question

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Old 03-27-17, 05:11 PM
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Extending wireless network question

I have a 2 story house with a Linksys E1200 on the main floor. I am finding that down in my basement I do not get a good signal. I want to add another wireless device so I get coverage down there. I thought about putting in an identical Linksys to keep things consistent and I managed to get the first one up and running despite limited computer skills. My question is how do I setup the basement one, what happens if I have an active wireless connection off the main wireless router then I roam downstairs, will I see a disruption as it picks up the new one or is it all seemless? I know my main one hands out its own DHCP address space, would I need to change the address space on the downstairs unit? sorry if these are dumb questions, I just want a transparent connection if I take a device between floors and it jumps from one wireless device to the other, I'm not looking for anything fancy. any help appreciated. thank you
 
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Old 03-27-17, 05:36 PM
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A repeater will extend the range.

Look at this site

https://www.repeaterstore.com/pages/...er-differences
 
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Old 03-27-17, 05:41 PM
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It would be better to run an Ethernet cable (cat 6) downstairs & connect it to a switch. You don't need 2 routers. It could be that you need to move the current router a few feet to one side or the other. If it's on the floor, put it on a table. There is no reason why the signal should be weak at such a short distance.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 05:58 PM
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A lot of things can affect signal strength, not just distance. Other electronics, types of lighting, lots of metal , or heavy concrete barriers or lots a partitions and even other competing WiFi signals. Cat 6 is fine but you're tied to a wire. The whole point of wireless is to move around without a tether. And running a cable between floors is a hassle (I know, I've done it).
 
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Old 03-27-17, 06:57 PM
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A repeater will extend the range.
I hate repeaters. They just create a second network, and your devices rarely roam freely between them. Laptops and phones/tablets will try to hang onto the weak signal long after you've moved into range of the stronger one - therefore are constantly manually switching SSIDs.

The better way to do it is to do exactly what the OP stated. Get an identical router. Only this one is set up a little differently.

In a nutshell, you hardwire it to the first one going LAN port to LAN port, and give it a static IP. The second one is configured with IDENTICAL SSID/security settings, but with the DHCP/routing functions disabled. Then you set the second one to a different CHANNEL than the first one.

This allows for you to transfer pretty much seamlessly from one AP to the other without the device having to disconnect/reassociate with a new network. As you get closer to the stronger signal, the device simply switches channels, quickly reauthenticates, and keeps right on going. That's the way it is done in large office buildings, schools, etc.

If you are interested in doing that, let me know and I will help you get it set up. It might sound complicated but it's really just changing a few settings.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 09:20 PM
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Agreed, go with a 2nd router, use the same WIFI settings, but different channels.
Works best when connected by ethernet.

I've got a masonry house, masonry addition, and garage office 150' away.

Current configuration is a main router in the house, a secondary router for the stone addition which is connected via MOCA (ethernet over cable tv cable), and a third router in the garage at the end of a 175' run of outdoor grade ethernet cable. 2nd and 3rd plug into are slaved to the 1st router's IP address, and all 3 have the same ID and password, but each are set to different Wifi channels.

Primary is the new cable gigabit router, secondary is the old cable router as access point, third is an old Westell DSL router re-configured as an access point.

Before getting the 175' cable, I used an old linksys router reconfigured as a wireless bridge,
which worked fairly well, but going with a simple cable strung between the buildings makes a big difference in the lag for VOIP.
 
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Old 03-27-17, 11:17 PM
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2nd and 3rd plug into are slaved to the 1st router's IP address
That's an odd way to put it, and the way I read it makes it sound like you're saying they share the same IPs. I know what you're saying though. Just for clarification, every device on the network has its own IP, otherwise nothing works. What you mean is that the "Primary" router is the actual router. It handles your NAT/firewall, DHCP, and DNS. The other two are simply acting as "dumb" access points - their router functions are disabled, they just funnel traffic WLAN <-> LAN. They each have their own separate LAN IP. Nothing is shared or slaved.

On your point about the bridge, your VoIP lag was simply due to using old repurposed equipment over too far of a distance for your bridge. If you were to use a pair of EnGenius ENH500's, you wouldn't have lag. I've installed loads of them for various applications, and they perform every bit as well as a cable over long distances.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 09:54 AM
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If I’m not mistaken the term “slaved” for the AP routers in that type of setup is a commonly used term today. Or is that not correct?
 
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Old 03-28-17, 11:05 AM
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And running a cable between floors is a hassle (I know, I've done it).
It's not that hard. I've done it many times as well.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 03:05 PM
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And running a cable between floors is a hassle (I know, I've done it).
It's not that hard. I've done it many times as well.
Since you stated that way I feel I must respond. "It's not that hard" all depends on one skill level and ability to want to drill holes or run a line up through a cold air return or just run it up a stair well. For you it's simple. For me it's simple but a pain in the neck. Today's technology as I mentioned in the referenced web site could be a very economical fix. Yes I agree those alternatives might not be perfect, BUT, each alternative may be fine. It all depends on the particular circumstances. I feel you're painting with a very broad brush saying those alternatives are poor choices. Again the whole point of wireless is to be free of a tether. I know of several installs that use the methods mention with complete reliability. Are they perfect everywhere? No. But then I've had bad ethernet hook up also, for various reason.

To the OP: Did you look at the web site I referenced and read what they had to say? Only you can determine if they are right for you.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 03:24 PM
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At this point, there is no way to know what the best route to take is without seeing pics or a floor plan not to mention what year the house was built.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 03:58 PM
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If I’m not mistaken the term “slaved” for the AP routers in that type of setup is a commonly used term today. Or is that not correct?
Nope. Routers are routers and APs are APs. There is no master/slave.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hal_S
2nd and 3rd plug into are slaved to the 1st router's IP address
The other two are simply acting as "dumb" access points - their router functions are disabled, they just funnel traffic WLAN <-> LAN. They each have their own separate LAN IP. Nothing is shared or slaved.
Yes, that's better wording.

1st router is 192.168.1.1 while 2nd and 3rd routers are 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.3 respectively.

The 2nd and 3rd routers have the IP address of the 1st router as gateway, DHCP and DNS.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 07:22 PM
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I never saw a reason to have 3 subnets on a home network. It's really getting blown out of proportion.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 08:11 PM
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I never saw a reason to have 3 subnets on a home network. It's really getting blown out of proportion.
Uhrrrr it's not three subnets. It's three IPs on the same subnet (first three octets are the same).
 
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Old 03-28-17, 08:18 PM
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This thread is drifting away from the OP's question on a wireless extender.

Please keep it on topic.
 
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Old 03-28-17, 08:44 PM
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The OP has a duplicate router. which supports the downstairs wireless connection.

There are 4 common ways to connect the other router to the main router

1) wireless, as a repeater, easy to setup, but speed can suffer from 2x traffic.
2) using a direct ethernet cable, e.g. through an air duct
3) using a power line adapter.
4) using existing cable TV cable / MOCA, e.g. Verizon

I've tried all 4,
MOCA was simplest, as it reused existing cable TV cable, but you need cable in the right place.
Ethernet cable in the air return ducts, was next-best.
Powerline adapter came in 3rd.
Wireless repeater was 4th, due in part to having a stone house with lots of iron in the rock.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 07:18 AM
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PJ and Hal, thank you for some sound reasoning and common sense! I hope the OP is watching.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 09:33 AM
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The OP has a duplicate router…
A little picky but I think relevant, it looks like the OP hasn’t actually purchased the second router at this point in time – that decision is part of the original question (at least I think that’s what this means
I thought about putting in an identical Linksys …
)
 
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Old 03-29-17, 01:18 PM
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Wire in an air duct is against electrical code.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmiee
Wire in an air duct is against electrical code.
Deja Vu all over again...

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...uctwork.html#b

Article 830 applies to Cat 6 cable, as it is network powered broadband communications system cabling.
Section 830.55(B) permits cables installed in ducts, plenums, and other spaces used for environmental air. The cable type must be Type BLX.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 02:17 PM
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Yes it is against code. But lets face it, people do it all the time. I don't condone it, I just mention it. Just like running it up the stairs. major tripping hazard. I've seen it.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 03:30 PM
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Wire in an air duct is against electrical code.
Electrical wire, yes. Communications cable not so much.

The cable type must be Type BLX.
WTF is "BLX"? I think you mean CMP (Plenum rated).

However Plenum cable is rated for RETURN AIR applications, it is not rated for conditioned air ducts.

Will it cause any problems? Pretty much definitely not.

Will a few feet within a duct (whether it's rated or not) cause toxic fumes in the event of a fire? Let's just say the toxic gasses from the other things that are burning by the time it gets to the ductwork will cause a lot more problems than a few feet of 1/4" PVC jacketing.

Will an inspector red tag it? Not unless he's really pissed off at you.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 04:08 PM
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Did not know there was such a thing as plenum rated. Good to know.
 
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Old 03-29-17, 04:46 PM
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Did not know there was such a thing as plenum rated. Good to know.
Plenum is rated (and REQUIRED) for use in return air handling spaces like drop ceilings in office buildings. Its jacketing is made of material that has a higher ignition point and gives off less smoke when it burns - so if a fire starts in the ceiling space of an office, it doesn't produce a ton of toxic smoke that gets sucked into the HVAC system and blown throughout the building when the communications cabling burns - and it takes longer for it to spread.

As I said, it is NOT rated for use in ductwork that carries conditioned air, but a couple cables running in ductwork in a house is not going to pose any real threat.

Plenum costs about 30-50% more than standard riser (CMR) cable, and does have special installation considerations.. The jacket is stiffer and harder to work with, it has a larger bend radius than CMR, and you can't put a reliable crimp on it, you must use punch terminations.
 
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Old 03-30-17, 08:28 PM
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A wireless extender isn’t the first thing you should try if your Wi-Fi isn’t cutting it. First, move your router to a central part of your house. Then, check your router’s firmware and settings to make sure they’re optimized for your environment. Next, consider upgrading your router, especially if it’s a few years old. If you’ve tried the first three options and can’t (or don’t want to) try the fourth, a wireless extender can help you get a good Wi-Fi connection in places you couldn’t before.
 
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Old 03-31-17, 11:47 PM
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This is a DIY help site. That is ..... for end users who don't know what they are doing .... thus the reason they come here for help.

You know and all (at least most do) professional installers know, that running wire in a duct is against code. End users don't. If you tell them to run a wire in a duct, you know and I know that other toxic gasses will certainly cause more of a problem than the one wire. BUT ..... the code doesn't say don't run a wire in a duct most of the time ..... because people do it all the time and one wire is not going to cause a problem and the inspector probably won't red tag it anyway...... it's ok to do

So now the DIY'er is thinking ...... If I can run one wire ..... why can't I run two? How about four? And maybe one more in case I need it for something else in the future? Why I can even run my 110VAC Romex for the outlet I always wanted in the attic ..... and the 220VAC for my second air handler .......

There's not enough space here for me to tell you the things I have seen installers put in HVAC ducts in the last 47 years. When ever I come across it in a take over, I eliminate it. Because is something SHOULD happen ..... I own it. I've seen everything from one wire to 20/30 wires to plastic horn speakers with Styrofoam placed carefully on the sharp edges inside the duct, so the wire wouldn't get cut. And yes .... even 220VAC.

If you tell an end user it's ok to do ..... if you tell them they can run one wire ...... where will they stop?

In my opinion .... telling them it's against code is the safe bet.

Jus sayin..............
 
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