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Wireless access point with gigabit switch?

Last response: in Networking
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April 3, 2012 9:36:12 AM

Hi,

My situation is as follows: my bedroom is behind a large stone chimney, and as a result my wi-fi signal is rather weak. Especially for mobile devices, this means a huge decrease in speed: I get 1-3Mbps DL while I receive 50Mbps from my ISP. I do happen to have an ethernet cable (from the router) connected to my desktop.

So I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice to have a wirelless access point connected to this ethernet cable, with integrated gigabit switch, so I can have both my desktop and mobile devices connect to this switch. I haven't been able to find many products that have these features. The ones I was able to find do not offer gigabit ethernet.

What product would you recommend me?
April 3, 2012 3:10:16 PM

Buy a wireless N gigabit capable router that you can easily configure as an AP, the DLink DIR-655 works great for that, I use 4 as APs. Just turn off DIR's DHCP, give the DIR the same SSID, same WPA/2 key, use different radio channel than the main router, and assign the DIR an address in the network that is either reserved dynamic or static outside the main router DHCP assignment range.

Oh, and to connect, attach it to the main router LAN port to LAN port -- not to a WAN port.
April 12, 2012 4:04:34 PM

Thanks very much! I followed your advice and ordered the dlink DIR-655. Actually, I already had one as my main router :sol: .
Everything is working great now and the speeds confirm that devices are actually connecting to the AP.

I still have some questions, just to satisfy my curiosity. I'll just list them:

- Is it normal that only one network shows up representing both routers and is this because I set both SSIDs to the same name?
- Related to the previous question, is there still a way to check to which router a device is connected, and should I wish to, can I force a device to connect to a certain router/AP?
- Are there any settings I can turn off besides the things you mentioned? I feel there are so much settings that there can easily be redundant ones running.
- What would be the most elegant/quickest way to turn off wireless on the router, i.e. the radio transmission. Call me crazy, but I only need the wireless a couple of hours a day so I would prefer it to be off the remainder of the time.

Thanks again, appreciate the help.
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April 12, 2012 5:32:56 PM

It is a single network because your network address is set up that way, so only one should show up. If you had a second gateway address to create a subnet that would show up as a second network. Your wireless AP is simply an extension of your existing network wireless portion -- but a different SSID would not allow your devices to roam seamlessly (i.e. just walk around the house and use the best available wireless signal without any intervention). The only time that I would use a different SSID and passphrase for an AP is to more easily segregate users if my router doesn't have a guest zone feature, at the expense of seamless roaming.

You should be able to determine which AP you are connecting to and could use a specific one, although that would defeat the purpose of how it is now set up for seamless roaming.

There may be other things that you could turn off, but there is really nothing else significant to turn off other than WPS to protect your network from a Reaver attack (look around page 45 of the manual). Most of the additional options are off by default.

To turn off the radio sometimes, the easiest thing to do would be to go into the router configuration and set the wireless radio to operate during specific times by creating a schedule if you know when you want it on -- it is under wireless settings. Otherwise you would have to manually change the wireless to on or off in the router configuration, which is more work than it is worth.

edit -- one other thing that is fun to play with is a little program called inSSIDer (it is free and small) that lets a computer with a wireless card see all wireless signals that it receives. It is useful for selecting channels if you run into interference from a neighbor's wireless network, as it lists the channels and strength for all signals that have SSIDs. Get it here: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
April 13, 2012 12:52:23 PM

Thanks very much for your help. Really appreciate that you took the time to answer each of my question.
I think all is now clear to me, I'll remember to check out the tool!
!