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Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-21-2007

Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

Or am I begging for trouble?
 
Here's my setup.
 
Just had Verizon install Fiberoptic service in my house. I'm currently actually set up with three routers. First one is an Actiontec wired/wireless router in the basement where my Fiberoptic service comes in. It then feeds two Linksys routers (one's an 8 port BEFSR81 , the other a WRT54GS ) which are located on the second floor (one daisy chained off the other) where most of my wiring comes together. For now I've disabled the wireless portion of the basement router, but I'm wondering if I can activate it without problems. I was able to run cat 5e to much of the house during a recent renovation, but parts still rely on wireless)
 
Can I (should I) run two wireless networks in the house? If so, do I run them as separate networks or one network (if that's even possible?). What do I have to do to minimize the two from interfering with each other?
 
Many thanks
k6ncx
Posts: 286
Registered: ‎07-25-2006

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

You can, just as people in apartment houses can run wireless networks in adjacent apartments. The question becomes whether there is any benefit in doing so, (and whether that benefit compensates for the added complexity.) I've got to admit that I'm wondering (it doesn't really matter, I'm just wondering) why you have two routers upstairs. (The one downstairs I think I understand...)
 
If you run two wireless networks, run them on channels as far removed from eachother (and from any other strong signals you can see) as you can. You could decide to use the same SSID (letting clients connect to whichever one they see better) or different SSIDs (so you could explicitly direct connections.)
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

You can run two wireless networks without problems. You can either create to separate ones (with different SSIDs and different encryption keys) or you can create a single roaming network with more than one access points using the identical SSID and key and running on non-overlapping channels if possible. In a roaming network clients can move between the access points without loosing connection (ideally, it does not always work that smooth...).

However, for a roaming network the clients must connect into the same subnet as they must use the same IP address wherever they are. If two access points use different subnets clients have to renew the IP address and will loose the connection. This is because wireless roaming happens on the ethernet level and not on the IP level. On the IP layer, the computer does not know that it has switched the access point.

I suppose you have connected the WRT through the WAN port to your main router. In that case, it work as router and you have a different subnet for clients connected to the WRT. If you want to use the WRT as access point to create a roaming network, you must reconfigure the WRT:

1. change the LAN IP address of the router to a free IP address in your main router's subnet. The IP address should not be used by the DHCP server on the main router and should not be used by any other device connected to the main router's network.
2. turn off the DHCP server on the WRT.
3. connect a numbered LAN port of the WRT to your main router. Do not use the WAN port. It remains empty.

Now any client connected wired or wireless to the WRT will have direct access to the main router's LAN. It will use the main router's DHCP server to get its IP address and will use the main router for internet access. They will also be able to access shared folders and printers in the main router's LAN.

Wireless clients then should be able to roam between the main router and the WRT as they connect to the same LAN on both access points and thus can keep their IP address during roaming. You have to test how well it works between those routers. There are many factors that sometimes create obstacles either on the router or on the client side.
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-21-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

k6ncx-- thanks for yur response. I thought I could do it, run multiple wireless setups, and even thought of how neighbors do it all time. Just didn't know if both being on the same system made a difference.
 
If I activate it, should I specify a channel for each one, or will they find their own way?
 
As to having two routers upstairs: When I did an extenisive set of renovations on the house I was able to run lots of cat5e. 10 drops around the house. That covered most of the rooms. The upstairs routers are set as switches (DHCP disabled, and with unique addresses) to run signal to the various drops.
 
Actually, I'm about to resurrect an old Linksys 80211.b router and disable the wireless -- these three routers will run the ten drops that are hard wired.
 
Why do it this way? It works well and was cheap. I had the 80211.b. I picked up the 8 port Linksys router used for almost nothing, and I needed a wireless router.
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-21-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

gv -- thanks for your thoughtful response. It's too late to digest it all right now, so I'm going to re-read your answer tomorrow. And probably come back wtih more questions?
 
Thanks
DBwright
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-30-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

Thank you for your post, this was exactly the help I needed for my home system.

I’m having a problem connecting by wireless to the system. I did not perform the first step and only disabled the DHCP, now my laptop will see the wireless connection but will not connect to it. I did not set an IP on the main router, but I did look at the DHCP table of the main router and the wireless routers are on the list. So should I still have the connection problem? And how do you get back in to the router to change the settings. I enter the IP that came with that router in to my web browser, but it will not connect. Do I enter the IP that the main DHCP gave to it?

arild
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-30-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

Can I use this method to use a WRT54G as a wireless signal enhancer? I can make it work, but I don't want to connect the access point router to my main router with a cable, because I want to place it in a different part of the house.

I.e., here's my setup: I have a WRT54GL connected to my cable modem. I have a local network, a mix of wired and wireless computers.

Now I want to use another WRT54G as as a way to boost my wireless signal elsewhere in the house (without connecting the two routers with a cable, but by having the second, "slave" router connect to the main one via wireless.

How to do that?
Thanks,
Arilkd
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

I posted an answer to this questions I think three times in the last 24 hours.

Search for "second router" in this forum.

Short answer:

A WRT54G with Linksys firmware does not wireless bridging (which is what you require).

3rd party firmware adds this feature and voids the warranty. Search for "WRT54" on wikipedia for an article and links.
arild
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-30-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

Thanks!
arild
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-30-2007

Re: Can I run more than one Wireless Router in my house?

Hi, I searched for "second router" but can't find it. Can you point me to the post?