routers in series

Netgear Wgr614 wireless router
August 20, 2009 at 17:42:01
Specs: Windows XP & Macintosh
Ok, I've been going crazy with this for a week now. I have three routers. They are a cisco, a netgear, and a D-link. I don't know the exact models. I am trying to connect them in series. I did a test with the netgear router hooked to the cisco (which is the main router hooked to the cable modem). I unplugged the main computer from the cisco, and plugged the netgear into it instead, and then plugged the computer into the netgear. After a little bit, the netgear wizard came up and did it's thing and I was online, proving that it's possible to do this. Now, that was only for a test. The current configuration is from the modem to the cisco, and from that to the main computer and another computer. Both computers have internet just fine. Now, when I attempt to unplug the second computer to plug the netgear OR D-link router in, the router isn't on the internet. The computer sees it, and thinks it's online, but it's really not. The first computer runs Windows XP, and the second is a Mac. The router wants to have a static IP now, whereas it was fine doing its own thing before. I'm primarily trying this with the netgear, as I want the D-link to be last in line. How can I make this router work in this configuration? I will need to hook the computer and another router up to router two. Router three is going to be for wireless going to a separate building. Why did it work once, and now it won't work at all? If anybody can help, that would be great. Also, I've tried inputting static IP's up the wazoo, but nothing is working. I think I'm just putting the wrong ones in there. If anybody thinks that's the problem, I'll write in here all the IP's I'm getting from various sources.

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#1
August 21, 2009 at 04:31:35
There is no benefit to three routers in a line. If you just want to play with them, two of them have to have DHCP disabled & the default IPs have to be changed.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
August 21, 2009 at 07:16:43
Thank you for that information. I know there's no benefit, but this is what I have to do. It's a long story. I'll try to do this today.

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#3
August 21, 2009 at 10:19:30
There's a very good reason for not daisy chaining equipment like this. The first router will be carrying the entire load of all 3. This will affect bandwidth for everybody plugged into them.

Since you have no choice, the thing to do is ensure you're going from LAN port to LAN port in each case and configure the LAN side of both downstream routers to have an IP within the subnet of the first router, but outside it's DHCP scope. Ensure both downstream routers have the correct gateway IP (the LAN IP of the first router) and subnet mask and DNS address (same IP as gateway).

example:

router 1
LAN side
IP: 192.168.0.1
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
DHCP Scope: 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199

router 2
LAN side
IP: 192.168.0.2
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway IP: 192.168.0.1
DNS: 192.168.0.1
DHCP = disabled

router 3
LAN side
IP: 192.168.0.3
SM: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.0.1
DNS: 192.168.0.1
DHCP = disabled

Essentially what you're doing is setting the routers up as a plain old switch. In fact, it makes more sense to buy 1 or 2 8 to 24 port switches and use them instead of routers. You won't have to mess with any settings that way.


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#4
August 21, 2009 at 12:56:15
Ok, what I gather from what you've said is that my problems have been 1. - I've been using a different DNS address than the gateway IP, and 2. - I've been hooking LAN to WAN (which, by the way, worked the first and second time I tested it). Does this mean that I'll have a line going into one LAN port, and then another coming out of another LAN port going to the computer and the third going to the third router? Thankfully, the third router is just there for wireless, and that's all it's being used for, so I don't have to worry about running two separate things from it. Do you know how to see what the subnet of the cisco router would be? I'm assuming it would be any number entered after the last decimal. I'm going to do some searching to try to figure out how to do what you told me to. Thanks again for the help. The three computers won't really be used at the same time, so the bandwidth being taken up won't be too big of an issue.

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#5
August 21, 2009 at 13:55:35
I've been hooking LAN to WAN (which, by the way, worked the first and second time I tested it).

This configuration will work but requires more know-how and setup time. Generally speaking, I wouldn't go WAN to LAN except for when I'm going to have one router on one subnet, and the second on another subnet. As long as they're going to be on the same subnet, I always use LAN to LAN and that's why I recommended it. It's easier to setup and in the case of problems down the road, it's also easier to troubleshoot.

When you go WAN to LAN, this requires routing. When you go LAN to LAN, no routing is necessary. This is why it's preferable in this situation.

Does this mean that I'll have a line going into one LAN port, and then another coming out of another LAN port going to the computer and the third going to the third router? T

If I'm reading this correctly, yes. As I'm understanding the above statement/question, you're asking if:

Router 1, port 4 connects to router 2, port 1. Router 2, port 2 connects to router 3, port 1.

Router 2 port 3 connects to a client PC.

Ok, what I gather from what you've said is that my problems have been 1. - I've been using a different DNS address than the gateway IP, and 2.

I can't say as I don't know anything about your IP addressing since you didn't post any of that info with your question. My example above does indeed work, I've used it before.

If it were me, here's what I would do. I would get rid of 2 of the routers and use only the wireless router since you want a wireless network. I would buy one switch with enough ports to cover all present clients with additional ports to allow for growth. So lets say a 16 port switch.

Here's how I would have it setup:

Internet >> Wireless Router >> 16 port Switch >> Clients

Done my way, you only have to setup one router. You plug the switch into a LAN port on the router and anything you plug into it will now have LAN/WAN connectivity. That's a whole lot less muss and fuss than what you're trying to do.

The general principle in computing is the KISS principle. (Keep It Simple Stupid - and no, I'm not pointing that at you or anybody, that's what it stands for right). The scenario I just described, one router, one switch is a LOT simpler than daisy chaining 3 routers. The more complex you make something, the more likely it is to break AND, the harder it is to troubleshoot when it does (notice I said "when" and not "if"). So whenever possible, keep your setup as simple as absolutely possible.


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#6
August 21, 2009 at 14:32:39
Thanks again. This is why I'm doing it this way: Router 1 is in an office in a main building. There is a really long ethernet cable going to computer 2, which is in a separate building (computer 1 is in the office). The cable is there because computer 2 is too far away to pick up wireless from router 1. Computer 3 is another couple hundred feet (straight line) from computer 2 in another building. IF I were to do one router, then all three computers would have to be wired to it. That means that there would be a long (about 150') cable going to computer 2 (which already exists), and an extra long (300' at least) cable going to computer 3 (across a small parking lot and through some bushes). Router 2 is there so computer 2 can have a connection AND computer 3 could have a wireless connection from router 3, which would be on the other side of the parking lot and bushes from computer 3. I guess this is all to eliminate the use of really long cable lengths and running a cable across a parking lot. I could certainly do that though, if I can't get this to work. Well, at least now I've got some things to try. Oh, and to answer your unasked question, no, I have no idea how this stuff all works.

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#7
August 21, 2009 at 15:03:52
Ok, that makes sense. You could save yourself some grief by using switches instead of routers 2 and 3. As I've said, the switches require no setup. But if you already have the extra 2 routers it doesn't make sense to spend more $$$ on switches too only to have the routers sit and collect dust.

and an extra long (300' at least) cable going to computer 3

This is pushing the maximum segment length for a Cat5e/6 cable. The actual maximum is around 380 feet (100 metres) but I find once you pass 80% of the maximum, you can easily start running into problems with attenuation. So keep that as short as you possibly can.

Good luck!


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#8
August 21, 2009 at 16:46:10
Well, I've made more progress than before! The router says
it's on the internet now! The only problem is the computer I
connect to it says it's not on the internet. I've been manually
entering IP's on the computer (because DHCP is off on the
router). I tried putting DHCP on and using a different scope
than the main router, but that didn't help anything. I can't get
into the main router right now to see what the scope is, but
when I plug the computer into it, it gives the computer an IP
ending in 100, so I assume the scope is 100 to 199. Maybe
the scope is 1 to 100? But then the router wouldn't go on
with an IP ending in 1, would it? Alright...here is what I
have, because I should have entered this in the first place.

Second computer hooked to main router gives me this:
IP: 192.168.1.100
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.168.1.1
DNS: 24.151.8.210, 24.151.8.211, 66.189.130.21

So, on the second router, I've put these numbers in:
IP: 192.168.1.2
Subnet Mask: 255...etc
Router: 192.168.1.1
DNS: 192.168.1.1

I turned DHCP off on the second router and changed the
router's IP to 192.168.1.2. The router did its checks and
said it was online after that. I then went into the network
configuration (on the Mac) and did the test and it fails at
internet. I tried putting in a bunch of different IP's, but
nothing made the computer connect to the internet. A few
that I tried started with 192.168.1 and ended in 3, 100, 4,
101, 200, and 201. There might have been a couple others.
Anyway, I'm going to keep trying different things, but if you
see something obvious that I'm missing, I'd love to hear
about it.


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#9
August 21, 2009 at 19:20:13
Routers have a default IP ending in .1
but my dlink was 192.168.0.1 & my actiontec is 192.168.1.1

In other words, don't forget the third octet. That has to match as well.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#10
August 31, 2009 at 11:22:46
Ok, I just ran a test. I hooked the second router to the first
using cables that were store bought. The routers did their
thing and the computer went online. Is there any way that a
cable could be fabricated incorrectly so that a computer
could get internet from it, but you couldn't run another router?
That's the only logical thing that could be wrong (or that the
cable is too long to run another router from it, but an ok
length to let the computer be online). I came back out to the
second building (where the fabricated, very long cable runs),
and the router wouldn't recognize that the internet cable was
plugged into it. I think I've been chasing my tail with this
one. I might just install new cable ends and see what
happens. Any ideas?

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#11
August 31, 2009 at 11:35:16
When the Verizon guy installed my fiber optic connection, he had trouble connecting the cat5 head to the cable & he does it every day. So, if he had trouble, you can be sure that it's very easy to make a mistake. There's no telling what can happen if it's punched wrong. I prefer store bought.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#12
August 31, 2009 at 12:07:35
Is there any way that a cable could be fabricated incorrectly so that a computer could get internet from it, but you couldn't run another router?

Nope, not possible. It's mostly a "works or doesn't work" thing with cables. It is possible to mess up a cable and have it only connect at 100 Mbps when it's on a 1000 Mbps network. But it isn't possible that it would work for the internet and not the LAN.

You see, the data for the internet is actually traveling over the LAN to get to your PC. Ergo, if the LAN doesn't work, neither does the internet.

Anyhow, I'm not at all sure what your issue is, but you've got me stumped.


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