Daisy-chaining wireless routers

June 3, 2009 at 06:07:49
Specs: Windows XP
I know this question has been asked several times before, but I think my situation is a little different. My office is on the 3rd floor, where I have my cable modem and Linksys WRT54G router. I have two PCs and a printer wired into the ports in the back of the router and a number of PCs throughout the house that connect to the router wirelessly. Everything is good except the signal strength on the first floor is a little week. I bought a Linksys WRT160N router and swapped it for the WRT54G router and all was good except my wife's laptop on the first floor keep dropping the signal, so I swapped back the WRT54G. Since some of the wireless PCs worked fine with the WRT54G and some worked fine with the WRT160N, I was wondering if I could connect, via wire, the G and N routers together and configure them so that the wireless PCs had their choice of the N or G router, whichever worked better. My office PCs and printer would still be connected via wire to one of the routers.

I am considering a Linksys Range Extender, but since I already had two routers, and the N router was supposed to have a stronger signal than the G router, I wanted to try using what I have already before I go out an buy something else.

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.


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#1
June 3, 2009 at 07:21:43
I was wondering if I could connect, via wire, the G and N routers together and configure them so that the wireless PCs had their choice of the N or G router, whichever worked better.

This should work just fine. If it were me, I'd setup the downstream router to offer the wireless network and nothing else. Which is to say, have DHCP shut off on it and probably the firewall as well. Let clients connecting to that router get their DHCP from the first router (via the wire of course).

Just remember to put the second one on a different channel. Which is to say, the first router on the 3'd floor should be channel 1 and the second router on the 1st floor should be on channel 11 to prevent any interference.

You will want to use a crossover cable between routers if at all possible. While not absolutely necessary, as both routers should be auto MDIX capable, it's still preferable to use a crossover when connecting like devices. You will connect from LAN port to LAN port and when configuring the second (downstream) router, you'll want to give it an IP in the same subnet as the rest of your network, but use an IP outside of the DHCP scope so as to avoid duplicate IP's. Use the exact same subnet mask and your DNS and Gateway addresses should point at the IP of the upstream router.

One consideration. Just because a router is N, does not make it's signal stronger. However, with two in operation, and the second one of the two on the first floor, all wireless clients within the house will have no problem with signal strength.


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#2
June 3, 2009 at 07:54:15
Thanks much for your comments, I think I understood most of it. I was playing around with it a little this morning before I wrote this note, and when I connected the two routers, I used one of the 4 ports on the upstream router and hooked it to the Internet port on the downstream router. I'm guessing from your comments that that is not right. Should the cable from the upstream router get plugged into one of the 4 ports on the downstream router or the Internet port?

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#3
June 3, 2009 at 09:30:09
It should look like this:

http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_...


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#4
June 3, 2009 at 10:05:44
Should the cable from the upstream router get plugged into one of the 4 ports on the downstream router or the Internet port?


As the diagram shows, it should be from LAN port to LAN port


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#5
June 3, 2009 at 11:40:16
Thanks alot for the advise. I disabled DHCP and the firewall on the downstream router, made sure they used different channels and recycled everything, and it all came up just great. I'm keeping the N router on the 3rd floor with the 2 PCs and printer wired in, and moved the G router down to the 2nd floor, wired to the N router. This way, machines configured to talk to the G router will get a better signal without having to reconfigure anything, and if they want to connect to the N router, they can.
I really appreciate the quick replies.

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#6
June 3, 2009 at 12:14:32
I'm glad to hear you got it working, that's great news. Also, thanks for getting back to us here and letting us know.

Just FYI, if the wireless N router is N/G/B then the G clients would connect to it just fine. Most wireless router's/AP's are made to accommodate previous wireless versions.


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