Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Routers?

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Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Routers?

Postposted on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:14 pm

I'm building a home network. I'm running 8 CAT-6 drops from a central panel. I have a Netgear WNR3500 Router that I want to put at one of the drops to support visiting wireless devices and maybe a Kitchen PC. My question is; what is the best way to distribute broadband from my central panel, which will be hidden under a staircase?

Another wireless N router with gigabit ports and a gigabit switch? A 10/100 wired router and an 8-port gigabit switch? I am lost and confused. There has to be a way and it should not be very expensive. My networking center is configured for DSL and cable. So, I'm good for whichever local provider is offering good cheap service. But I don't understand how to share.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:50 pm

If the panel is reasonably centrally located in the house, I'd say put the WNR3500 there, and hang a gigabit switch off of it. No need for a second router.

If you really need to put the WNR3500 elsewhere due to signal coverage issues, then yeah another router (no need for it to be wireless) and switch at the panel is the way to go.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:19 am

Thank you very much. I'm thinking a second router, probably wireless because most inexpensive gigabit routers seem to be wireless. The WNR3500, or the new router, will be out in public so guests can handshake with it and join my network. I need one under the stairs to share my bandwidth.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:14 am

So the "public" area is too far from the area under the stairs to get a good wireless signal?

I still don't quite understand why you think you need two routers. Two routers means you've got more stuff to configure manually instead of just letting the router's auto-config do it for you -- you'll need to make sure DHCP is disabled on only one of them, manually configure the LAN-side IPs to be compatible (same subnet but different IP), make sure the wireless radio is disabled on one of them if they're both wireless, etc.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:59 am

The two routers might be 13 feet, 4 meters, apart. But, one will be in an equipment room with all the usual unsightly clutter. The other will be on a counter-top near the front door. Guests may be invited to use my bandwidth on their smartphones, and other mobile devices, with a simple touch and go protocol at the public router. I'll be able to avoid sharing my unsightly clutter or spending social time on technical support. It's a US style thing. My bandwidth is cheap so my wife enjoys sharing it.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:53 pm

Closest thing I see in the WNR3500 documentation is the feature they call "Push 'n' Connect"... but unless I'm misunderstanding how this feature works, it still appears to require that you use a web browser to log in to the router's admin interface each time you want to add someone. This kind of defeats your "avoid spending social time on technical support" requirement. Futzing with the router's admin screens is probably about as much work as helping someone configure the WiFi SSID and password into their device...

WNR3500 Manual wrote:1. Log in to the wireless router at its default LAN address of http://www.routerlogin.net with its default user name of admin and default password of password, or using whatever LAN address and password you have set up.
2. On the wireless router main menu, select Add a WPS Client (computers that will connect wirelessly to the wireless router are clients), and then click Next. The Add WPS Client screen displays.
3. By default, the WPS button is selected. Either click the onscreen button, or press the WPS button on the side of the wireless router. The wireless router tries to communicate with the client for 2 minutes.
4. Go to the client wireless computer, and run a WPS configuration utility. Follow the utility’s instructions to click a WPS button.
5. Go back to the wireless router screen to check for a message. The wireless router WPS screen will display a message confirming that the client was added to the wireless network.

Edit: One other thought -- if you're willing to run two Ethernet cables between the closet and the counter, you can still do it all with just the one router (plus a switch in the closet). As I mentioned previously, multiple router setups will require manual configuration to prevent conflicts. Just trying to save you some potential hassles...
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:27 pm

Thanks, I guess I should RTFM. The extra CAT-6 link looks like the most elegant solution after following your logic. I confess to not going beyond skimming the sales description when the WNR3500 showed up at a good price and after investigating where it stood in the food chain for wireless routers, at the time. Final layout would be modem -> Router -> switch, or end device -> switch to other seven drops.
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Re: Lazy Twit Building Home Gigabit LAN - Two Wireless Route

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:16 am

JBI's recommendation (the edit, not WPS) is spot on. If you do decide to replace the WNR3500, I suggest getting a router that supports guest SSIDs. This allows a separate, direct-to-internet wireless connection that 1) can be configured with a different password and 2) protects the rest of your network from whatever nasties your friends bring in.
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