Add 2nd Router(as switch) & WAP to Wired Router

Discussion in 'Windows Networking' started by Rich, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest


    I have a wired network setup in my house because the layout prevented a
    wireless signal to the most remote computers without multiple boosters.
    There are 4 computers currently on the network. Two computers are in the
    office where the cable modem & 4-port SMC 7004VMC reside. Two cables were
    run to the other end of the house to each of my children's bedrooms to a
    wall socket. Everything works fine. I know I can piggy-back a 2nd wired
    router (SMC 7004 I have laying around) with a crossover adapter attached LAN
    port to LAN port with DHCP disabled in the SMC 7004. Earlier in the year I
    had done this while I was building a 5th computer & temporarily hooked it to
    the network with both routers connected directly together in the same room.
    Now I must move the 2nd computer in the office to the other end of the house
    just across the hallway where my daughter's computer is hooked to the wired
    network at the wall.


    - Would I be able to attach the 2nd router via a LAN port & crossover
    adapter to my daughter's CAT-5 wall plug, turn off DHCP, plug my daughter's
    computer directly into the 2nd router & plug in a WAP to another LAN port
    on the router to network the computer across the hall after adding a
    wireless NIC?

    -Instead of buying a WAP, would it be cheaper or make more sense to buy a
    wireless router equipped with direct LAN ports instead of a WAP? Would both
    the computer connected by cable & the wireless computer be able to access
    the network/internet with DHCP disabled? I do understand that, depending on
    which new wireless router, the interface with the CAT-5 wall plug may be
    different (via WAN or LAN port, with or without a crossover cable).

    Anyway, I am an amateur & probably over-thinking this. Maybe instead of
    asking how to make my solutions work, I should ask how would you experts
    solve this problem.


    Rich, Dec 28, 2008
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  2. Rich

    daytripper Guest

    Yes, that should work. Both the daughters PC and the WAP should plug into the
    router's lan ports with straight patch cables.
    Pretty much every soho wireless router has wired lan ports (except for some
    USB-based crapola), and wireless routers tend to be cheaper than WAPs (indeed,
    in the past I've seen cases where a wireless router was very nearly free once
    discounts and rebates were considered). As to whether the wireless section
    will function as desired in all such routers if the router doesn't have it's
    wan port connected, I can't say. Hopefully someone else can recommend a
    specific model that they have successfully used in such fashion - or you can
    find this for yourself via Googling it to death ;-)


    daytripper, Dec 29, 2008
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  3. Rich

    Rich Guest

    I pretty much decided that a new wireless router for ~$80 would be the way
    to go. The point you bring up about whether the wireless ports would work
    without the WAP connected momentarily crossed my mind. Thank you for
    pointing that out. I decided on buying locally so I can return what doesn't
    work. I'm planning to buy a Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N
    Broadband Router. This statement under product features:

    "Router can act as a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server,
    which enables another computer to be added to the network without manually
    assigning it a unique IP address"

    did not come with a caveat that turning off DHCP will disable the wireless
    function & reduce it to a 4-port wired switch. Anyway, if it does, it will
    go right back to Best Buy.
    I will Google as recommended.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer.

    Rich, Dec 29, 2008
  4. Rich

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Yes, it makes much more sense to just buy a wireless router than a wired
    router + wireless access point. In fact, it's hard to find wired-only
    routers anymore these days, since most wireless routers also have a
    wired component.

    Also, it looks like router makers are figuring out that people are
    buying secondary routers for use as simply bridges. So many of them have
    a single-click option built in to disable their DHCP and WAN
    functionality. On my D-link WBR-2310 router, the feature is called
    "Enable Access Point Mode", but it could called anything similar by
    other router makers. The idea is that they realize that DHCP will be
    provided by the primary router, which would also be the one directly
    connecting to the broadband connection; while the secondary router will
    pass off all of those complex duties to the primary, and just act as a
    simple switch or a bridge for the primary.

    Another thing you mentioned is that you will be taking a CAT5 cable from
    one of the house to the other end. I don't know if you already have that
    cable snaked through the house, or if it's something you plan to do. If
    it's something you are planning to do, then you might want to save
    yourself some labor and buy a Home Powerline Ethernet solution. These
    are basically a couple of adapters that plug into a house's powerline
    sockets and use them to send data signals to each other directly through
    the powerlines. They connect to the computers via CAT5 cables on both
    ends. The difference between this and routing a single CAT5 is that you
    don't have to snake a long CAT5 all of the way across the house, just a
    couple of shorter CAT5's and let the rest flow through the powerplugs.
    I'm using that solution here, exactly for routing data between primary
    and secondary routers. I use a D-link DHP-301 Powerline Ethernet kit
    myself, which includes two of these adapters right in the box, but I
    think similar (and maybe better?) kits might be available from Linksys
    or Netgear or others.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Dec 29, 2008
  5. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Actually my son & daughter's rooms were already hard-wired 4 years ago at
    the other end of the house. I tried wireless at that time but the multiple
    90 degree angles and distance caused the signal to die by the time it
    reached the kitchen about half the distance & 1 90 degree turn. I then tried
    the powerline option. Unfortunately, the house has 2 breaker boxes & the
    network could not transverse the box which, of course, serviced the kids'
    rooms. The powerline adapter worked as far as the wireless from the cable
    entry point in my office.
    This all started because my company wanted me to set up a separate cable
    line to work at home. He connected a totally separate line to the pedestal
    tap & connected it directly to my computer & downloaded at 15-20Mbs. When I
    insert the SMC7004BR or 7004VBR, the speed drops to between 6 & 7Mbs. These
    routers are 6 years old. Do they go bad? Any way, I purchased a Linksys
    WRT160N to replace the main router. Now I get the full 15-20Mbs over the
    wired network. I installed a wireless card in the computer that will
    eventually be moved & it gets 6-7Mbs about 10 feet away from the router in
    the same room. I appreciate that you confirmed that a wireless router will
    function as a WAP if DHCP is disabled & connected LAN to LAN port. Since the
    signal drops off before the final potential locations that the computer
    needs to be moved to, I will now purchase a 2nd Linksys WRT160N , plug it in
    the wall on the other side of the house, disable DHCP & use it as a WAP. The
    added benefit of doing this is that my daughter can now use her I-Touch all
    the way in her bedroom & the kids have a WII down that end of the house that
    I am told can connect wirelessly to the internet also. Between the new
    wireless router in the office & a new wireless router configured as a WAP in
    one of the kids' rooms, my wife should be able to move her desktop out of
    the office & acquire a signal wherever she ends up.
    BTW, the Linksys WRT160N comes with a CD installation guide that walks you
    through both replacing your old router or hooking it up to use with your old
    router....very clear & helpful.

    Thanks for your input.


    Rich, Dec 30, 2008
  6. Rich

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Actually, I have run into this issue too, and it sounds like your
    situation is very similar to what I saw before. I have a friend's
    brother who ones a large single-story bungalow which he had added an
    extension to turn into his office. They were having sporadic WiFi
    connection problems at the other end of the house. But the extension and
    the main house were on separate breaker boxes, and the powerline
    Ethernet wouldn't work across the boxes. So the solution we came up with
    was just a more powerful WiFi router. We ended up purchasing Linksys
    WRT300N router which had a parabolic directional antenna on it, and
    pointing the antenna towards that end of the house. The previous router
    was a G-router.
    They don't go bad, they just start out bad. :)

    I've found that routers are severely underengineered for the jobs they
    are intended to do; they are underpowered and/or undercooled. I've got a
    dual router setup not so much because my house is so big that I can't
    get a single router to cover my whole house, but because I'm
    job-splitting amongst them. My primary router is tasked with just
    connecting to the Internet and assigning DHCP addresses to the
    computers, but its wireless radio has been disabled. The secondary
    router is tasked with just providing wireless access. This is the setup
    that I've found to be most stable.

    The job of just providing wireless services is really something that
    should be done by one device alone. The WiFi radio broadcasting adds a
    lot of heat the system, and then when you add in the computational
    muscle needed to provide security encryption protocols like WEP or WPA,
    you already have an overheating candidate. Then you add the task of
    routing and DHCP into the mix, and you really shouldn't expect a lot of
    reliability out of the router. I've had routers that lock up after just
    3 hours of operation, sometimes just 10 minutes later they lock up
    again. One solution to this is to simply unplug the power to the router
    for 5 or 10 minutes and let it cool down. The other solution was where I
    just split up their tasks.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Dec 30, 2008
  7. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Actually someone in another newsgroup pointed something out to me that I had
    forgotten. Both routers are 10Mb so 6 to mob was OK. They had functioned
    without a hitch for over 6 years. So they didn't go bad, bandwidth just
    overtook them :)


    Rich, Dec 31, 2008
  8. Rich

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Was your old router that old that they only had 10Mbps connections on
    their WAN? Usually they come with 10/100 selectable connections these days.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Dec 31, 2008
  9. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Purchased when cable was first installed in my old home in NJ in 2002.
    Cablevision (Optimum Online) gave 1 speed: ~10Mbs. They would download a
    test file from their server at ~1.1-1.2MBs. When I moved to Phoenix in 2004,
    Cox offered 6Mbs & the test file download speed was about 600Kbs. Then Cox
    upped their maximum download speed (with "Powerboost" for large files) to
    9Mbs. My download speed never increased from about 6.3MBs. Then Cox
    eliminated that tier & implemented a mandatory upgrade to 12Mbs for $5 more
    per month & my download speed never increased beyond ~6Mbs. Since I
    routinely achieved between 9-10MBs in NJ from these routers, I just assumed
    it was the age of Cox infrastructure or something. Since I wasn't getting
    anymore speed for the increase, I downgraded to the economy tier of 1.5Mbs
    for $20 less. However, it became evident that with 4 computers on the
    network, 2 adolescent playing Runescape & the adults using YouTube or
    streaming something, there was a noticeable lack of bandwidth. So I just
    relented & switched back to the 12Mbs service & received half the download
    speed. I finally called Cox about it & both their automated system check & a
    live rep indicated that my modem (Motorola 5100) settings were not quite
    right & something was wrong with it & a technician would be sent. I told
    them that I already had one coming for a new install of a 2nd account & she
    said that he would check it out. Meanwhile, all the settings from the modem
    were in range....excellent, actually. The installer ran a completely
    separate line at my request underground to a separate tap in the pedestal.
    He connected the new modem for the 2nd account directly to my computer & I
    immediately received between 15-22Mbs. I then connected the old line, which
    had 1 split before the modem, to my Motorola 5100 directly to the computer &
    received the same crazy fast speed. I couldn't believe it, I immediately
    purchased the 2 new routers, shelved the trust old ones & got the same high
    speeds through the new modem. Even the desktop that was moved to wireless
    gets 6Mbs from the router set up as a WAP 2 rooms away, about 30 feet.

    Rich, Jan 1, 2009
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