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Setup 3 routers for wifi off of 3 modems

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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June 14, 2012 5:26:56 PM

We have 3 modems from Comcast installed (very big, cinder block and concrete building with basement, 3 floors, huge auditorium and spread far).
We also have 3 Amped R10000 Wireless Routers and 3 Amped SR300 Repeaters.
Comcast gave us 5 static IP's and all the info.
When we setup the wireless router with info provided by Comcast, we cannot get to the internet. When we let Amped router do the auto configuration (192.168.3.1), it works fine.
The problem is that we need all three of these routers just to spread the connection through the building. I have configured them every way I can think of. I set one to handle DHCP, but then the others (set to auto, or client, or disabled) can't get to the internet. I set different static IP's on all, 192.168.3.2 and .3.3. Whether with Comcast IP info or the auto config of the routers.
What we are noticing is with the auto config (192.168.3.1), they are all separate connections and people drop off. Also, the repeaters can't get an IP from any of them. I know it has something to do with my setup, but I just can't figure it out.

Here is the info: Our static IP's start at 50.xxx.xxx.17 - 21 with a gateway address of .22
Our subnet is .248
And we have the two DNS addresses.

If someone can tell me what to put where and how to set some of the options such as the DHCP (should the others be set to disabled, client, etc...?) or if we are going about this the wrong way, I would definitely appreciate it.

Here is a link to screenshots of my problem areas

www.isitpluggedin.net


More about : setup routers wifi modems

June 14, 2012 6:04:29 PM

Let's think about this a little deeper before making any recommendations.

If you have 3 modems and 3 routers, then by definition, you have 3 completely different networks. Yet it sounds like you want them all to exist on the SAME network. That's a problem because you're trying to do two mutually exclusive things; have separation at the modem level, yet union at the router level. That's just not going to happen, at least not without a lot more work.

If you have a problem w/ wireless signal strength, you don’t solve that problem by having more modems. You use more modems to increase Internet bandwidth! And if you need more internet bandwidth, then yes, I can see where having groups of users bound to their own specific router+modem combination would work, but at the expense of being separated at the local network level (192.168.1.x, 192.168.2.x, etc.).

But if you’re not doing this for internet bandwidth purposes, then save yourself some money, dump the other modems, and just use the additional routers as repeaters (assuming they can be configured as repeaters, some routers can, some can’t). But only ONE router is connected to ONE modem that all clients of the primary router and various repeaters share. Of course, those other repeaters won’t need firewalls, DHCP servers, etc.

If you want to increase internet bandwidth AND increase wireless signal strength, then you would still use a single router and various repeaters, but now employ a router that supports multiple WANs, each supporting its own modem. So now the single multi-WAN router load balances the modems to increase internet bandwidth.

So first decide the problem(s) you’re really intending to solve here; internet bandwidth, wireless signal strength, or perhaps even both. Until that’s clear, the right architecture will remain elusive.
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June 14, 2012 6:14:43 PM

Thank you for the response. Our only intention is to spread the wifi signal, but we just weren't able to get it with one router and repeaters. Comcast brought the lines into the building with the modems. I don't know why and that is not what I asked them to do. We wanted one connection and really just wanted them to run the 3 connections off of it so we would not have to run it ourselves through the building. I don't have the equipment to drill through the walls.

They are no help at all and consistently messed up the order. It took 2 months to finally get this done.

We wanted 1 modem with three cables (connected to that modem), running to three spots in the building, they put in 3 modems though we only pay for one connection. I have absolutely no problem with unplugging the 2 additional modems, but can't run cabling.

Is there a way to have these 2 other wireless routers connect wirelessly to the 1st one that is attached to the modem?
Our routers can act as repeaters and we have the 3 additional repeaters.
Our building is very old and large and one router barely covers a small portion of the building. Our old Linksys only covered a hallway and was entirely useless.
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June 14, 2012 6:48:25 PM

In a way, I can understand why Comcast did this. They don't want to get involved in how to widely distribute your *local* wireless signal to a single modem. That's just not their business. So when you tell them you have a problem in having everyone reach the internet via that single modem, their solution is to add more modems. That will definitely work, but as I said, the implication is that each modem will be bound to its own router, and by extension, its own network, and therefore everyone bound to a given modem+router is isolated from all other modem+routers. Of course, Comcast couldn't care less about this limitation. They merely solved the problem of Internet access. They've left the *local* problem of having a single, logical network to YOU.

As far as using the routers as repeaters, since you indicated you actually had repeaters, I’m not sure what that solves. Repeaters are repeaters, whether they are sold as such, or routers that are reconfigured as repeaters. They all do the same thing. The issue is *range*. If you can’t solve the range problem with more repeaters, than you’re stuck, at least as far as wireless repeating as a solution.

Ideally you would like ONE modem and router, then extend the reach of that router w/ repeaters. However, if your users are VERY widely dispersed (or are separated by serious obstacles) that no matter how strong the repeaters, they remain out of reach, then wireless is problematic. You would have to consider some other technology, perhaps powerline (i.e., running ethernet over your power lines). At least this eliminates the need to run ethernet cable, although performance is sometimes questionable, and powerline sometimes just doesn’t work in certain situations. There’s also MoCA (ethernet over coax cable, if you’re lucky enough to have coax running between your locations).

Another solution would be to use individual modem+routers for different areas (just as Comcase suggests), but join them *logically* over a VPN. For example, using LogMeIn Hamachi, all your Windows clients would appear to have a local network on the 5.x.x.x network. The VPN uses the Internet to make it appear they’re all physically on the same local network. In effect, the Internet itself bridges all your modem+routers.

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June 14, 2012 7:11:38 PM

Best answer selected by rglenn.
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June 14, 2012 7:15:51 PM

Thank you for going into detail on how and why everything is operating as it is.

I will keep them on their 3 separate modems/routers for now and look into LogMeIn as a viable solution.

You went into great detail on my problem, possible solutions and the obstacles faced with each in my situation. And great response time.

Again, thank you so much. I knew I wasn't crazy but assumed Comcast had understood our dilemma and gave us a solution and being our ISP, I assumed they knew something about their setup that I just didn't understand.
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