Router Models : TL-WDR4300 (V1), Asus RT-N16
Operating Systems of devices on the network: W7, W8.1 and Android
Modem: Arris TM601A
Switch: Trendnet TEG-S16Dg
I have many rooms in my house hard-wired. However, not all. So, I need wifi.
I bought the WDR4300 to replace my Asus RT-N16 as I need more range and seemed to remember reading somewhere that the WDR4300 2.4Gz band would be better than the Asus 2.4Ghz band (although I may have just dreamed of reading that as I cannot find my source at this point). I do not have any scientific measuring equipment, but I am not noticing an appreciable difference. Neither router can get from the NE corner of my basement to the SW corner of my second floor. Should I have expected an appreciable difference??
With two routers, what is the best way for me to get maximum distance without sacrificing speed?? I am not sure that I really understand the difference between an Access Point, a Bridge, a Repeater, and a Booster. But surely there is some configuration that is best for me??
My modem is in the NE corner of my basement and cannot be moved. My primary router is now also located in the NE corner of the basement. Since I have more than a few hard-wired ports in the basement my router is also connected to a switch (also located in the NE corner of the basement where all the termination gear is). I have one (1) available hard-wired port on the first floor of the middle of my house. It seems like I cannot move the primary router to this first floor location as I only have one port. So If I move the primary router and then connect the modem to the now slighlty remote router, I have no other port to connect the router back to the switch. I think that the middle of the first floor would be the ideal location for the router from a wifi perspective, but again with only one port, it does not seem viable.
But I am wondering if I could turn off the radio on the router in the basement (and just use it to connect the modem to the switch and serve as DHCP) and then install the second router on the first floor with radio turned on -- so it would be the only router (of the two) with wifi working but use the hard-wired connection to go through the switch back to the primary router (which is assigning addresses)?
Does this make sense? Is it possible?? Is there some configuration that I should be using instead?
Ok so the router you are going to put on the 1st floor. To make it an access point, turn off its DHCP server and connect the cable from the basement to its LAN port (leaving its WAN port unused). That will give you wireless on the 1st floor. Now it is up to you if you want to turn the radio off on the router in the basement. If you want to you can leave the radio on. If you leave it on make sure it is using a different channel from the AP on the 1st floor. If your using 2.4ghz, choose channel 1,6, or 11. So use one of those channels in the basement and a different one of those channels on the 1st floor. Set your channel width to 20mhz (not Auto or 40). You can use the same SSID on both radios. Now if they are 5gz you can just set the channel to Auto and the channel width to Auto.
Access Point - an extension of the primary router. Router to access point via ethernet = wireless at access point
Bridge - Converts one medium to another. Router to bridge via wifi, bridge to device via ethernt = wireless connection to non-wireless device
Repeater - takes a wifi signal and rebroadcasts it. Router to repeater via wifi, repeater to device via wifi = farther wireless range at cost of 50% loss in bandwidth
Booster - In many cases a company falsely refers to a repeater as a booster. Real booster would be basically an amplifier of the wireless power. Now routers like the buffalo HP series have boosters in them (amplifiers) that increase transmit signal power.
What you are wanting to do is the access point. That is very similar to my setup at home. I have a modem in my office in the far end of the house, it goes to my primary router that goes back to the switches in the recessed panel in my wall, it then goes to all of my hardwired ports including to my access point located on a ledge between my kitchen/living room/entry room. The primary router has its wifi radio turned off and provides all of the addressing, routing tables, and logic, while the access point is providing all of the wireless.
The ASUS model should have better RAM/CPu for being the primary router. It can also be flashed to tomato firmware which I highly recommend. Very feature rich but user friendly and you can easily tell it have its dhcp server assign the same static IP everytime to a device (that way your portable device can always have the same IP when you are at home without having to set it static on the device itself).
Then take your WDR4300 and I would suggest flashing it with dd-wrt, also a good firmware but not as simple as tomato. You do not have to flash it to dd-wrt but I noticed my TP-Link WDR3600 was MUCH more stable after flashing it. You can then configure it into an access point.
There are specific instructions available for DD-WRT but here is the just of what you need to do to turn a router into an access point (A.P.):
Set router IP to an address that is in the same subnet as primary router (so if primary router is 192.168.1.1 set A.P. to 192.168.1.2). Then set it to the same 255.255.255.0 subnet and set gateway IP to the router IP address.
Dissable DHCP server, NAT, and SPI firewall
Plug ethernet from primary router into a LAN port of the access point NOT THE WAN PORT.
Configure wireless type and security as desired
FYI if you want the full 300 mbps bandwidth you will need to set it to use wireless N only, and AES only for encryption.