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Large home networking setup advice, please help!

Last response: in Wireless Networking
December 5, 2012 2:43:44 PM

Hi there!

I recently built a 2 story home, with a finished basement, so 3 floors. Virtually every room in the house has an ethernet jack attached to it, all routed to the basement utility room. There's about 16 ethernet connections or so in total.

Here's what I'm planning on having:

A NAS in the utility room
WiFi access point on EACH floor to maximize reception and connection speeds
All ethernet jacks working with access to the internet and access to the NAS/network/printer

Here's the equipment I have:

A cable modem
A 20-port ethernet switch
An Asus N-66U wireless router
2x TP-Link TL-WDR4300 wireless routers

So from here, what do I do exactly? Is what I want even possible given that equipment?
I'm assuming the actual wiring will look like

Modem - Asus N-66U - 20 port switch - All 16 ethernet connections and the 2 TL-WDR4300 (one on main floor, one upstairs, both connected into the WAN input port) and NAS (in the same utility room)

Is this right?

I'm pretty sure there's some router configurations that I'll need to do, but I have no idea how or where to start on those. Ideally, I want them on the same SSID... I think. Does anyone recommend this? Am I missing anything? I'm trying to achieve an environment where there's a seamless wifi network with a strong connection anywhere in the home, and have the infrastructure for a wired option in each room, all connected to the same network.

Any help/suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated - thanks!!

December 5, 2012 6:18:46 PM

cosecant said:

Modem - Asus N-66U - 20 port switch - All 16 ethernet connections and the 2 TL-WDR4300 (one on main floor, one upstairs, both connected into the WAN input port) and NAS (in the same utility room)

Is this right?

That looks fine.

As far as the SSIDs; I used the same on both my router and access point and experienced issues with some portable devices, so now I use SSID and SSID2 and have them both set up on each device.
December 5, 2012 6:23:22 PM

Congratulations on the house!

That equipment should should handle what you want just fine, and your idea of how it will be setup is correct.

I believe if you want a seamless experience with the access points then, yes, you would want the same SSID and password for both Access points. And possibly change the channel for each one so they don't interfere with each other.
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December 6, 2012 7:51:31 PM

Thanks for the replies and help, it's greatly appreciated!

I still had a few questions however:

- what are the actual router configuration changes I need to make to be able to turn TWO routers into access points? Is the process the exact same as turning ONE router into an access point? If I recall, there's something to do with changing something DHCP-related... any chance anyone has a step-by-step guide for all of this?

- and because both of the routers I am looking to turn into access points are identical models, how would I go about even accessing the individual configuration pages? Is there a different URL I could use to access each one seperately?

- is there any chance you elaborate on what SSID1 and SSID2 is, or how it works? I've set up something similar in the past at a friend's location and he's having the same problem with mobile devices in the home. Sometimes they just won't connect for whatever reason. What does your setup look like?

-if I'm overlapping and using the same SSIDs, what channels should I set them to?

- if I'm using each of the routers as an access point... can I use the remaining 4 ports on the router itself as a 'switch' still? ie. for my upstairs router-converted-into-AP, can I plug my Apple TV into the open ports on the router?

Thanks again!
December 7, 2012 2:18:46 AM

In order:

Basically, you disable DHCP and set up a static WAN address. I would use x.x.x.254 and x.x.x.253 for the static IPs.

You access the config pages using the static IP address.

If my SSID is Home, I would use Home, Home1, and Home2. You can try using the same and if it works for you then it will be simpler.

I would alternate using 1 and 11, such that the two on the same channel are physically the furthest from each other.

December 7, 2012 9:03:51 AM

Nice setup!!
I have a similar setup (smaller scale) at home myself. I have set it up just like skaz' design also. It is best that way to allow the switch to interconnect the connected devices and take as much of the workload as possible, allowing the router to "do it's job" (route traffic to the internet).
You need to have DHCP enabled on only one device (your main router), it is very important that it is off on all other devices! Otherwise most likely nothing will work!
For the wireless setup use the same SSID and password for all devices. That way you only have one wireless network SSID and password anywhere you are in your home.
When setting up DHCP on the main router, manually issue IPs to all the managed devices (modem, routers and APs). I usually start at, router, router etc. It would also be a good idea to manually issue addresses to devices that will always be connected like media players, Game consoles etc. so that you can do any port forwarding if need be later on and also be able to access them easily.
Set up your DHCP to leave out all the addresses you have issued and allow for a certain number of addresses in DHCP pool. Allow addresses from 1-99 for static devices and start your DHCP pool from 100 - 150. You don't want to allow too many users on your network...
Choosing the channels to use is a kind of dynamic issue especialy if you have other wireless networks in the range of your home. The best option would be to survey the area and see what channels are being used by neibours etc. then make your selection accordingly. If other networks are not an issue then set the channles to every other channel number (use odds or evens).
Other than that set up your shares on the NAS and enjoy!!!