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Cat5 in a Land of WiFi

Last response: in Networking
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June 29, 2012 3:07:12 PM

I just built a new PC and because it's for gaming I use the onboard Fast Ethernet card. However, my computer isn't able to connect to things like Windows Homegroups, LAN printers, or iTunes Homesharing. I think it is because of how I have my network set up.

My first line is a Motorola cable modem (from my ISP) with one Ethernet port. This then goes into a Netgear Fast Ethernet 5-port switch. This switch distributes Ethernet to different points in my house via Cat5 cable. I'm currently using two connections. One goes to my Linksys e2500 Wireless Router and the other goes into my new PC. My PC is the only device in the house connected via cable. All other laptops and iDevices are connected via the e2500 WiFi.

How can I get my new PC to be able to connect with my other internet devices.

*Note: The router and the PC can't be placed together because the router is in the center of the house and the PC is on one extreme.

More about : cat5 land wifi

June 29, 2012 5:12:30 PM

which cable modem is it SB6120 or SB6121?

usually the modem plugs into the router first and then the switch into the router
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June 29, 2012 5:27:56 PM

Hmm, it sounds like you have the switch between the cable modem and your wireless router, and that you're connected to the switch, not the wireless router.

[modem]<-- wire -->[switch]<-- wire -->[wireless router]

I'm not sure how this could be working if your ISP limits you to a single public IP (at least most do). In the above configuration, both the wireless router's WAN and your PC would require a unique public IP. Is this the case?

Anyway, putting that aside for the moment, if your PC resides on the WAN side of the wireless router, then the router's firewall prevents access to the network behind it, by design. I assume you want to use an ethernet connection for performance reasons (since obviously you could use a wireless adapter and avoid these problems).

The fundamental problem is that you have a situation in which is not ideal to have the wireless radio and router contained in the same device. Most times it’s acceptable. But in this case, you’d better off to replace the switch w/ the router, then either get a wireless repeater to extend its range, or else disable the wireless router’s AP altogether and drop one or more WAP (wireless access points) in strategic locations. IOW, divide the problem into two parts; solve the routing problem independently of the wireless access problem.
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June 29, 2012 5:40:48 PM

Yes, you can convert any wireless router into a simple AP.
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June 29, 2012 6:00:31 PM

Could that solve my problem?
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June 29, 2012 6:47:21 PM

I’m assuming you have the modem connected to the switch because you’re using that switch to feed the various ethernet runs to the other rooms. And that you can’t place the wireless router there in place of the switch because the wireless signal would be out of range, face too many obstacles, etc. So you moved the wireless router to a more ideal location and kept the switch connected to the modem. Bad idea. You did that because you didn’t think about separating the routing needs from the wireless access needs. All you need to do is replace the switch w/ the router and turn OFF the wireless router’s radio (you don’t need it). Now get one or more wireless APs and drop them off the various ethernet ports around your home to create wifi hotspots! You’re actually in a better position than most ppl since you have the advantage of a wired backbone around your home, so use it. The only catch is that you MUST keep the router between the modem and all your wired connections in the home.
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June 29, 2012 7:25:59 PM

Ok, how about this: I have an old WRT54GS that I've flashed with DD-WRT. Could I use the WRT54GS as a wired router to replace the switch and the e2500 as an AP?
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June 29, 2012 7:44:50 PM

Yes.
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June 29, 2012 10:26:37 PM

Ok, so here's my final solution. I found a Linksys BEFSR41 Router in my closet. I will replace the switch with that router and turn the e2500 into an access point. I'll post my results after I get it set up.
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February 3, 2013 10:09:11 PM

Best answer selected by norberto950.
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February 3, 2013 10:12:47 PM

So what I ended up doing for a while was the above set-up. It works, but the BEFSR41 router is a bit outdated and caused occasional problems. What I'm doing now is using the e2500 as a wireless router (like I originally had) and I'm using the WRT54GS with DD-WRT as a wireless bridge to bridge the Wi-Fi to my Ethernet only PC. This set-up is much more reliably and I don't have any measured drop in performance in internet speeds and ping on my gaming PC (my horrible ISP is the bottleneck in my network).
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