Question regarding advanced router techniques

I understand that you can have more than one router on a network. Possibly for adding more available ports, lessening the load going through the other router, or maybe extending range.

However, I do not want to do this.

I want to have a secret wireless network, were the SSID is not broadcast. I want the location of the router to remain hidden (or not directly plugged into the original router).

I guess what I want, is for the second router to wirelessly use the first routers wireless network to obtain it's connection, but then sliently broadcast it's own network SSID. So only users who know the SSID and pass can join the network.

Does anyone know of a router that can obtain it's connection from a wireless network, rather than being directly plugged into a modem/router? Or whether there is some kick-ass firmware that can be used on 99% of existing routers to allow this?
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More about question advanced router techniques

  1. Hello and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums.

    Most routers can do what you wish and act only as an Access Point. There's a Sticky Post at the top of this sub-Forum title page on creating one and keeping it separate from the main router by using a different IP address block and Subnet.

    Here you go:-

  2. Thank you for the warm welcome.

    I did infact read the sticky. However, my question is specifically about connecting the second router to the first router wirelessly, rather than plugged in via one of the LAN ports.

    Looking forward to the warm replies.

  3. I see no reason why it shouldn't work wirelessly but believe it needs to be set up in the first instance while the two are cabled together.

  4. I really appreciate you trying to help, but I don't think you understand my question. This is likely my fault for not articulating it very well...

    I have a modem bringing in my connection. I have a router connected to that modem via an ethernet cable. The router is what all my wired and wireless devices connect to.

    I now want to connect a second router to the first router, s that router can broadcast it's own network. However, here's the part I think you're mis-understanding...

    I do not want the second router to be cabled to the first router. I want the socond router to pick-up it's connection from the first router using a wireless connection.

    Is this possible? Is there a router out there that can do this? Is there some awesome firmware that can be applied to a router to enable this?

    If wireless routers can broadcast there own network, why can they not pick-up a connection wirelessly too? I do not want the second router to be directly plugged into the first one.

  5. I think I understood and having re-read it, still do. I also think it can be done but for the initial setting up of the link between the two for your local router to be an Access Point and broadcast it's own sub-network, the two will need to be cabled together. It's only for the length of time it takes to get it working. I'll fiddle around with some stuff here tonight and if it works, I'll post again - possibly even if it doesn't. :D

  6. Fantastic, I misunderstood. I didn't realise you meant just for initial set-up.

    Thank you very much for your help.
  7. If I understand the OP correctly, all that's needed is a wireless repeater. That's exactly what it does. It connects to the remote AP as a wireless client, and then establishes its own SSID, thereby effectively repeating the signal. You can buy these as a standalone, retail product, or use a dd-wrt capable router.

    The only caveat in the mix is the "secret SSID". While you can always disable broadcasts w/ any SSID (whether it's the remote AP or the repeating AP), the problem is that it's never really hidden. Every AP sends its SSID from time to time, that's just part of the protocol. So disabling SSID broadcasts only creates an inconvenience (mostly for legitimate users). Any two-bit hacker could easily detect it by merely monitoring your wireless traffic.

    So hiding your SSID is totally pointless. Not just because it’s never really hidden, but the fact that real security is a function of encryption, not obscurity. Hiding your SSID is like the local bank taking down their sign in the hopes it prevents theft (iow, the bad guys won’t notice there’s a bank there). But that’s never going to work, not in the long run. You need to secure the bank w/ locks, vaults, alarms, etc. And now you can keep that sign up and not make it needlessly difficult for customers to find the bank for legitimate purposes!

  8. I wasn't sure a repeater could establish a separate subnet and haven't got one to experiment on. I look forward to hearing back from the OP if he goes down that road.

  9. It's always possible I've misread the OP's intentions, but as I read it, I didn't get the impression he wanted a separate network, but just another entry point (SSID), and hidden, into an EXISTING network.

    But if the OP does want to establish a second/different network (w/ its own subnet, DHCP server, firewall, etc.), you can do that as well. Using a dd-wrt capable router, you’d configure it for "repeater” rather than "repeater bridge" (“repeater bridge” keeps everything on the SAME network). It’s not something I’d normally recommend since it unnecessarily complicates your network configuration, but it can be done and can be useful in some cases.

    So it just comes down to what the OP wants.
  10. eibgrad, you're the man. I will see if my second router is DD_WRT capable, I hope it is. That's exactly what I wanted, a wireless repeater with it's own SSID.
    As long as it doesn't broadcast the SSID all the time so wireless devices can pick it up, that's good enough.

    Thank you, I will post back with my results, if anyone cares to read them. :-)
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