extending a network

Gigabyte / Nvdaacpi
September 7, 2010 at 12:44:09
Specs: Win7, Intel Q8300/4gig
I want to be able to set up two additional networked PCs in a different building next door using my existing wireless router, so I just want someone to confirm that my thinking is correct.

I have an existing wireless network on cable and the new building will have 2 PCs sharing 2 printers and both having internet access. So I'm looking at a wireless switch (yet to be obtained) getting it's internet connection from the wireless router, about 20 metres away, and then connecting both PCs and both network-ready printers to the switch.

So first question: I've only ever used wired switches with no problems, so would a wireless switch be as simple to set up?

2nd question: I can't actually find a wireless switch as such, they all seem to be routers which I then need to disable DHCP and then use one as a bridge. Is this correct or am I missing something obvious here?

Sorry if this sounds confusing, networking is not my speciality & I certainly don't want to extend my knowledge much further in the field once I've done this but any constructive help would be appreciated.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#1
September 7, 2010 at 13:37:22
1) I don't know that anybody makes wireless switches. I suspect you'ld have to buy either another wireless router, or a range extender

2) No I believe you're right in both cases (ie: no wireless switches and you'd have to use bridge mode to extend the wireless network). For more info on adding a second router, click on my name above and read my "how-to" guide labeled "adding a second router" You'll want to follow the "LAN to LAN" scenario only instead of a cable, you'll be using bridge mode to connect the two. I've never extended a wireless network using bridge mode, so I can't give you any info on doing that. I would just be sure the router you already own, and the one you buy are both capable of connecting in bridge mode as I am sure both ends have to be capable of connecting in bridge mode.

The only real issue I see you having is the signal strength coming from the wireless router in your house. I highly recommend you take a laptop out to your shop and see what you get for signal strength. If it's real low, you need to reconsider how you're going to connect your shop to your house's network.

If it were me, I'd either use point-to-point wireless antenna's to connect the two buildings (google EnGenius and have a look at what they make, I've worked with them and they'd do the job nicely for you) or I'd get two range extenders that mount on the outside of your house/shop. The third alternative would be to run a cable, but that would involve conduit, digging a trench etc etc.

I don't think you'll be able to just run off your wireless router in the house. The distance between locations added to the fact that you'll be passing through no less than two walls tells me you'll probably find the signal strength too weak to work well. So have a look at the other two options.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
September 7, 2010 at 14:02:23
Many thanks for a very informative response.

The current wireless router I'm using in the house is a netgear WGR614 with an external antennae that covers the (fairly large) house very well. So I guess the easiest option would be to get another router the same - according to the manual it can be set in bridge mode as long as DHCP is disabled(?) The other advantage of this router is that I can attach an outdoors antennae to it so it's only got one wall to go through. At least I know I'm going in the right direction so many thanks for that.

J

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#3
September 7, 2010 at 14:11:32
when you "bridge" you are extending your existing network which already has a dhcp server [router1] which is why you don't need a second dhcp server [router2]

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#4
September 8, 2010 at 06:52:59
Thanks for replies - at least I know where I'm going. I've got a spare router hanging around that should do the trick.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#5
September 9, 2010 at 23:38:06
OK, getting further, but not much. The wireless router I tried did not have any system of turning it into a bridge so I borrowed a Linksys Access Point WAP54g which, looking in the manual, can be set in bridge mode, however, after trying it and then checking on the Cisco website, it will work, but only if you have another WAP54g providing the wireless signal (I know you mentioned this may be the case, Curt, but I always live in hope. So, rather than trying to track down another WAP54g, & having another link in the chain, does anyone know of any hardware that will work as a wireless bridge with any wireless signal, or am I really looking at having to replace the router or add an access point?

Failing that any other solutions would be welcome. I'm beginning to think that running a cable may be my simplest option at this rate.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#6
September 10, 2010 at 07:47:50
To repeat what I already said above:

If it were me, I'd either use point-to-point wireless antenna's to connect the two buildings (google EnGenius and have a look at what they make, I've worked with them and they'd do the job nicely for you) or I'd get two range extenders that mount on the outside of your house/shop. The third alternative would be to run a cable, but that would involve conduit, digging a trench etc etc.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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