Help/Advice needed on adding an Access Point

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Charlie Hoffpauir, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. My situation:

    Cradlepoint MBR1000 as my router, connected to my Internet Provider
    (WISP). Wired Cat 5e from there throught the house. Because the house
    is rather long and the router is in one end, I installed a Linksys
    WRT54G as an Access Point in the den, to provide wireless for phones
    and tablets there. however, the old Linksys finally failed, so now my
    wireless access there is really poor.

    I know very little about wireless networking, and had to find
    instructions on-line on how to configure the WRT54G as an Access
    point. Now that I need another one, I'd like a recommendation on what
    to get... another router that's easy to configure as an AP, or an
    actual AP device.

    Another point... When I set up this configuration years ago, the
    neighborhood was fairly free of home networks, so I set the
    Cradlepoint on one channel and the Linksys on another one, fairly
    widely separated. Now, the neighborhood is really crowded, there
    really aren't any channels "clear", so I need to pick a weak channel
    that my Cradlepoint will overpower to get wireless to work. When I add
    an AP, should it be on still another channel, or do I put it on the
    same channel ad the Cradlepoint?

    I "could" relocate the Cradlepoint to the den, and I think that would
    solve the wireless reception problem, but then I'd have the problem of
    getting the wired connections all re-routed.... I'd rather not deal
    with that since there's a lot of in-wall Cat 5e involved.
     
    Charlie Hoffpauir, Oct 21, 2014
    #1
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  2. Charlie Hoffpauir

    aaron Guest

    (Apologies in advance for the gratuitous doublespacing that Google Groups has
    inflicted on the quotation; the Cisco news server has dropped a.i.w, and I
    don't feel like manually editing out the vertical whitespace right now ...)

    Can't beat wired Cat 5e. Not with wireless, that's for sure.
    So ... you want to have two APs, both advertising the same SSID,
    both configured the same way, except on different nonoverlapping channels
    (i.e. any 2 of {1, 6, 11}.) Put both APs in the same L2 broadcast domain
    (subnet). Done.

    As far as which APs to use ... well my unbiased if ignorant view is that
    Cisco brand "Aironet" APs are the best. If they're outside your budget,
    then any functional 802.11 AP, or router (if that router can be configured
    to operate as an AP, i.e. bridging through a "LAN" port, and not routing
    through the "WAN" port), should be fine.
    Sure. If the strongest neighbor AP on say channel 11 is say at -85dBm,
    then use that channel and be happy. If the strongest neighbor AP on the
    channel is say at -70dBm, then that could be a concern.

    5GHz is often an option nowadays, you know.
    I hear you. When I moved into my house, I got into the crawlspace and pulled some
    Cat 3 hither and yon ... but that was 16; and I'll be damned if I'm going back
    into that crawlspace if I can avoid it.

    Aaron
     
    aaron, Oct 22, 2014
    #2
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  3. Charlie Hoffpauir

    miso Guest

    Don't you need to insure the IP address space of the two access points don't
    overlap?
     
    miso, Oct 22, 2014
    #3
  4. Charlie Hoffpauir

    Char Jackson Guest

    Address space sort of implies that both devices are running DHCP and
    offering up addresses to other devices, which should not be the case. You'll
    want to ensure that only a single device is acting as a DHCP server.

    More to the point, however, you do want to ensure that both devices have
    unique IP addresses statically assigned, and those addresses are most often
    assigned outside of the DHCP scope.
     
    Char Jackson, Oct 24, 2014
    #4
  5. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. This is really a
    follow-up post for anyone curious how it all came out.

    I ended up buying a Ubiquiti UniFi AP. It seemed to get universally
    good reviews, and was relatively cheap on Amazon, and I could get it
    in 2 days (arrived this morning). I downloaded the software, connected
    teh AP to my router, and set it up. It initially set the channel to
    11, even tho my across the street neighbor was using 11. So I left it
    there and sure enough, checking the signal on a Wi-Fi "Ap" on my cell
    phone, and it was great, even on the other side of the house. So Now
    my router wireless is on 6 and the Ubiquiti on 11, and I have
    excellent wireless signal throughout the house.

    I wasn't at all sure I'd set everything right. Initially, I elected to
    include a "guest" access, but went back and deleted that after playing
    with reception a bit. If I'd left it available I'd have had to do some
    more configuring to limit what a guest could access, and I didn't want
    to get that involved in it.

    Overall, I'd say it's a great AP, and pretty easy to configure if all
    you want is a simple AP. And, the range is much better than that of
    teh WiFI on my original router. In fact, I could probably disable the
    router's WiFi and just use the Ubiquiti to cover the entire house, now
    that it's "centered".
     
    Charlie Hoffpauir, Oct 24, 2014
    #5
  6. Charlie Hoffpauir

    Char Jackson Guest

    <snip>

    Thanks for following up. Glad to hear that it's working out.
     
    Char Jackson, Oct 25, 2014
    #6
  7. Charlie Hoffpauir

    miso Guest

    So you are saying put them on different IP addresses. I was thinking use the
    same IP address with both having DHCP, but then set the range of the DHCP in
    each WAP so they don't overlap.

    This still seems to be potentially troublesome. As you move around the
    house, it seems to me the wifi client will try to hang onto the first WAP to
    which it is attached, even if the signal strength is better on the other
    client.
     
    miso, Oct 25, 2014
    #7
  8. Charlie Hoffpauir

    Char Jackson Guest

    That's a *requirement* if both devices are on the same subnet, which they
    will be if they're connected to each other via their respective LAN ports.
    "same IP address" is another way of saying "IP address conflict", which is a
    bad thing.

    I don't see any benefit to running more than one DHCP server on a single
    subnet, even if you're careful as to how they're configured. I only see
    pitfalls. It's best to avoid it.
    I expect that to be the case. By making the SSIDs different from each other,
    (and on different channels, of course), you'd be able to choose the one you
    want to use.
     
    Char Jackson, Oct 26, 2014
    #8
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