Help with Wireless Networking

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scrappysphinx

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Hey all, apologies if this seems completely unrelated to this forum or in the wrong section however i gather a lot of people around here have home networks set up and figured someone may be able to help.

My current Situation:
I have a MSI RG54G3 Cable router connected to a 20Mb Virgin Media Cable Modem. The router provides wireless internet to my PC, Wife's Laptop, PS3, Wii and a wired connection to an original xbox running xbmc in the living room.
Not sure if need but its using WEP encryption as whenever i try to set up WPA my ps3 refuses to connect to the router.

What i would like to do:
I would like to add another xbmc xbox in the bedroom for streaming movies from the pc and also would like to add some of my miggys.
I have a basic understanding of wired/wireless networking as in using the web interface to setup security and other basic features but thats about it.
I have heard that i can possibly use another router (i believe configured as an access point) in the bedroom to transfer the wireless signal from the MSI (thereby making the two routers seem like one) and then using the upstairs router with wired connections but providing the devices connected to it with wireless internet (sorry if thats confusing)?

Can anyone clarify any of the above or recommend the easiest way to connect upstairs and downstairs onto the same network without having thousands of wires everywhere?

Thanks for any help

Mike
 

imnogeek

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

* wired is always better and easier IMO so if you can use wires then do.

* simplest way to add to a network which already has a router is a switch not a router.

*if you are adding wireless devices try a powerline wireless range extender google wgxb102
here is how it works a cable from router goes to the adapter which you then plug in the mains,
now plug other adapter wherever you want on the same mains circuit (bedroom)
it now picks up wireless and uses the mains circuit for the data.
 

scrappysphinx

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

hey imnogeek,

That mains circuit looks interesting however i still can't accomplish what i would like.
My problem is all wireless devices are downstairs along side the router and the wired devices (miggy's and xbox) are upstairs and i don't wanna be running wires up the stairs or up the walls.
I could move the router upstairs as the wireless signal is strong enough for the downstais devices to run however then the downstairs xbox loses connectivity as its not wired to the router anymore.
I also looked into the possibility of a Wireless Game Adaptor designed specifically for use with XBOX/PS2 consoles making them wireless but they are limited to one device per adaptor and can be quite expensive.

* simplest way to add to a network which already has a router is a switch not a router.

From what i've been reading that is exactly what i'm after. I'm trying to add another network to an existing one but mascerade it as one network (if you see what i mean) and i believe thats what the second router does. The two routers talk to each other wirelessly and the main one downstairs does all the DHCP stuff with the upstairs one just providing the ethernet ports? i believe its calles wireless distribution system or something like that?
 

Harrison

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

As imnogeek mentioned, a wireless signal booster is what you would need to extend the signal and make it stronger further way from the original router. Most of the makers of routers also make these, and I would generally recommend you buy one from the same maker as your router if possible as it will be optimised to get the most from the signals being sent.

Routers can't normally be turned into a signal extender. However you might be getting confused with something called a bridge, but that isn't the same thing as extending the signal, instead it bridges two networks together. This is useful of you had for example two offices in adjacent buildings. You could have a wired network running in each building, with a router connected to each in bridge mode, linking the two buildings together wirelessly.

However if you wanted to set up a bridge you can't use your existing main router to do this as it is currently set to be used as a broadband router. You would need to instead add two more wireless routers to your network. One connected to the existing router, and the other in the other location connected to the other systems. Do also consider that a bridge also means you can get into a lot of confusion when setting them up because the two parts of the whole network can be on their own IP ranges and subnets.

I would also backup the statement that you should use a wired network where possible and not wireless.

There are a lot of benefits using a wired network, and a lot of negatives using a wireless one. Wireless might be more convenient as you then don't have wires trailing around, with the need to try and route them somehow between rooms. However with a wired network, if all of the systems are connected together through a switch then they can all utilise the networks maximum bandwidth all of the time. For a 100Mbit network this means actually transferring files between two systems at that speed.

In contrast a wireless network's maximum bandwidth is always shared because all traffic has to be routed via the wireless access point, much like a wired router. This means that if you were connecting two systems to transfer files it would transfer at close to 56Mbit if you were very close to the router and have excellent signal strength. However if you then had more systems connected to the wireless network at the same time they would also then be sharing the same bandwidth, so if for example you had files transferring between 4 systems then each transfer would be halved to 28Mbit.

There is also the problem of speed degrading due to distance from the access point. Unless you are in the same room as the access point it is very unlikely you would be getting bandwidth higher than 50% of the total bandwidth, so you would be starting out with 28Mbit at most, but normally much lower than even that. This doesn't happen with a wired network. OK, for very long cable runs you would need to add a repeater, but we are talking very long cables here.

On my own home network I keep all of the main systems on a wired networked, connected together via a switch, and the switch is connected directly to the broadband router. This means all of the wired systems can transfer files between each other at the maximum speed of the network. In addition I have a separate wireless access point which is used to access the internet and the network from portable devices such as PDAs, PSP and laptops. This in my view is the best way to set up a network.
 

SkydivinGirl

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@scrappysphinx

D-Link makes a Wireless Network Bridge that allows you to connect up to four wired devices to a wireless network:

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=663

A little expensive at $118 list price but if it saves you running wires then it may be good. We use an older version of this bridge where I work to connect a computer-driven metal brake press to our wireless network and it works great!

Hope this helps :)

Heather
 

Harrison

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

To add to this.

If you are interested in setting up a network bridge between your upstairs and downstairs networks then I recomend looking at the Linksys WAP11 Wireless Access Point as it can be switched into bridge mode.

With two of these WAP11 access points switched to bridge mode, you can link two wired networks. So for example you could have:

Cable Router --> first network --> WAP11 ----> WAP11 ---> second network.

If you wanted the second network to be wireless you would also need to add a third WAP11 as a wireless access point.

Read the following link for more information:

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/wireles ... nksys.html
 

Harrison

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@Heather

That is definitely a better solution compared to the standard wireless network extenders that only allow a single device to be connected. However it still just connects into a wireless network, so all devices would be sharing and reducing the overall bandwidth they each have access too.

And while that D-Link unit might seem expensive, a single wireless network extender costs over £60 so it's not that expensive when it does the job of 4 of them in one unit.

But I would still go for the proper bridge between two networks if more than online gaming was needed from the second bridged network.

However in scrappysphinx's case the D-Link might be a good solution. Move the broadband router and wired network upstairs and then use one of these D-Link units downstairs to connect the wired systems like the Xbox. Should work well.
 

imnogeek

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

The Mains plugs come in different varieties....
If you get one from your router to the mains you can then add two or more other wired ones around the house or even a plug that can take three wired devices.
have a look here for some of the different ones available
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keyw ... t6qcrpi0_b
 

scrappysphinx

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

Hey All, solutions are a little overwhelming but eye opening. I think the bridge is what i am trying to get and i really like the one heather has pointed out. I have put together a little diagram of what i am wanting to achieve.
Diagram

I'm sure this sort of setup can be done as i have an uncle who has a similar setup using 2 bt home hubs and he followed this guide to set it up. However they are ADSL and im on Virgin/NTL Cable.
 

SkydivinGirl

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@scrappysphinx

From your diagram, I think the device I mentioned would probably be your best bet. I've seen information on the WAP11 that Harrison pointed out and I have heard that it is a great device but I'm not sure if it works in the same manner as the D-Link one. As someone else stated here, having a router from the same manufacturer would be best so you may want to get a D-Link router with the same wireless technology.

The internet connection itself should not make any difference since everything you are doing it to replace wired connections to the router with wireless connections. The only think that will be connected to your internet modem is the router.

Harrison is also correct in stating that all the devices you run through the adapter I mentioned will share a single wireless connection. If you have a Wireless G connection with all four devices pulling the maximum amount of data at the same time, your average speed per device will be about 13.5 Mb/Sec. If you get a compatible Wireless N router, that speed will increase significantly.

Good luck!
 

Merlin

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@ Heather

OT I know, but I used to be a Metalworking Fuild sales rep for Shell; what do you make where you work?

/Merlin gets all hot under the collar at the thought of sheet metal, press brakes, lathes and other kewl metal bashing stuff.... :shock: :oops:
 

SkydivinGirl

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@Merlin

We make multi-ton ice making equipment and poultry chilling equipment. Here's our company's web site: http://www.morris-associates.com . The company has been around for 60 years. We only have a single location and make everything here. Of course, we just laid off a third of our work force in October because nobody is buying capital equipment in this economy.

I really like the fact that I have a metal working shop just on the other side of the wall. We mostly use Aluminum and I can get them to make brackets or custom mounts or whatever metal object I may need for my retro computing fun.

Heather
 

Merlin

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

SkydivinGirl said:
We mostly use Aluminum and I can get them to make brackets or custom mounts or whatever metal object I may need for my retro computing fun.

Heather

Is that a bit like what we call Aluminium? :LOL:

Right, back on topic..... :roll: :)
 

imnogeek

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

no offense to anyone but I would like to point out one thing which may or may not be relevance when doing this.

The HomePlugs are very simple to deploy, mostly plug in and use.
ie Cable in router then socket in wall, now go to Amiga and do the same, and so on. add more plugs as required.

they also come in 200mbps versions

@scrappysphinx I don't know your capabilities or do I assume anything, just thought it was worth mentioning 8)
 

SkydivinGirl

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Re: Help with Wireless Networking

@Merlin

Yup! Same thing, different spelling :) I said we use mostly aluminum but we actually use mostly stainless steel with Aluminum being the second largest metal we use.

BACK ON TOPIC

@imnogeek

I keep forgetting about the HomePlugs since I never see anything about them. It could definitely be a viable option.

Heather
 
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