Wireless Router Question...

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by Silent_Buddha, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Silent_Buddha

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    First what I need it for...

    My condo complex is putting in wireless internet access for the residents. It'll be setup so each resident can connect however many computers they want directly to it. But, I'm not exactly too keen on that as it means each resident would in theory be able to see each other connected client.

    Does there exist a router that will route a wired LAN to a wireless internet portal? That'll at least limit direct access to computers on my home LAN even though the wireless connection would still be a potential point of intrusion.

    Or is it possible to do something like that with any wireless router? I know I could setup my home server to double as a router, but I'd prefer not to do that.

    Still not sure if I'm going to go with their service. It's cheap, but I have no idea how they plan to regulate bandwidth and how oversubscribed their bandwidth is going to be. But thankfully, they're letting us have a free month trial to try it out once it's all installed.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Your best bet is to setup a switch for your own LAN and use an Wireless Access Point (Or Router with the right firmware) to connect to their Internet. I haven't done this, but I'm sure the others like Frank or Mize will be able to point you to more solid information.
     
  3. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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  4. Silent_Buddha

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    Thanks for that info. Looks like my router will never get a DD-WRT firmware, so that's out. But reading that got me the info I needed to look for what I should be looking for. Wireless client mode.

    Looks like that's a relatively common feature on wireless access points. So that might be the way to go.

    Now the question is, if I get a wireless AP and put it into client mode, does the wireless AP then act as the DHCP server and router? If so that would be relatively annoying.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    No. An access point is effectively just a wireless switch. Although, due to differences in sales volume, it is probably cheaper to get a (second) router that is either flashable with third party firmware or comes with the option to disable the DHCP/NAT etc. Within a manufacturer's series, they're probably the same hardware anyway.

    Edit: Maybe I misunderstood you. For client mode to work with more than one device you need at least one router on your private network, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the unit that gets the wireless signal from the external network. You then need a client that can be configured to pass through all traffic and forward the external IP it gets to (one of) its LAN port(s).

    So either 1. Router (as wireless client) - AP -> Devices; or 2. Router/AP configured as "pass through" (as wireless client) -> Router -> Devices. You'd want do avoid running with "double NAT".
     
    #5 Zaphod, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2010
  6. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    It also depends whether the clients are segregated by the router itself. I've used Hotel internet where this was the case.
     
  7. Silent_Buddha

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    If I go with AP in client mode it would be AP (client mode) -> Router -> all computers on LAN. I just needed to know if the AP would attempt to do DHCP or routing duties as that would necessitate then looking for a good quality AP vesus just a quality AP that won't overheat and shutdown with high volume of traffic.

    That would allow me to keep my current setup as is and just plug in the AP to the WAN port on the router I have, and then a few minor adjustments in the router itself (turning off PPOE login, etc.).

    Regards,
    SB
     
  8. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    If the AP is an actual AP, then no. it can't. It's not capable of routing.

    If the AP is another device (i.e. a router) acting as an AP, make sure the device can be configured to do what you want it to do.

    If you want to be using your existing router for routing duties (creating the private wireless network) you want the AP to act as a "client bridge" (in DD-WRT terms), basically reversing its direction.

    I'm not entirely sure what "proper" AP you should be looking for. A DD-WRT capable router configured as a client bridge should do it, though. Then only use one LAN port to hook up your existing private network and leave the rest alone. (Personally, I've only ever used the client device as a router with an access point behind it when setting up a "wireless network within a wireless network" and only used wired clients behind a wireless bridge.)

    Note that if you don't need the private network to be wireless, you'd only need the one new device and you can ditch your existing router.
     
  9. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    There are numerous "wireless print servers" that can connect to a wireless network and then provide a four-port wired switch. They run like $50 or so. Use one of these to connect to the condo wifi and then put your existing wireless router on one of the Tbase-10 inputs and route your LAN and private WLAN from there.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Thanks for mentioning that. I'm so used to reconfiguring routers with third party firmware (often better price, availability and flexibility) for suchthings that I'm somewhat oblivious to what they'd call a dedicated device providing some said functionality for people who don't want to bother. (I've got a router set up like that providing internet access to the Xbox and media centre etc.)
     
  11. Silent_Buddha

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    I'll put that on my list of devices to look at also. It's a bit more than some of the wireless AP's I've seen with decent reviews (25-50 USD) but something else to look at. This is all assuming the wireless network they put in here is any good. I have my reservations as to whether I'll get the 6-8 mbps sustained (bursts up to 20) that they are claiming. If it does though, 10 USD a month would be great value.

    As well, I'm hoping 802.11a will be enabled on their end as well as 802.11 b/g. The 2.4 ghz band here is extremely crowded.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  12. corduroygt

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    If you live in the Baltimore area, I got a DD-WRT flashed motorola router that's just cluttering up my cabinet. I was using it years ago to wirelessly stream media to the original XBOX that I'd converted into XBMC, so I know that works :) However, you surely know wireless doesn't handle many clients communicating at the same time very effectively, so I doubt you could replace your real internet with that.
     
    #12 corduroygt, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2010
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    Well, so far, I'm still undecided on whether to replace my DSL. The speed varies from far faster (midnight - 6 am for example) to slightly slower than DSL. Going to see how it goes the rest of this month as they are letting us use it for free until January.

    I'm also now considering it as a second Internet portal, it's only 10 USD a month so would bump my internet only bill from ~55 USD to ~65 USD. If it continues to vary from about 5-20 Mbps depending on time of day that might be worth it compared to the 7 Mbps 24/7 on DSL.

    Going to stress test streaming later. Signal strength isn't the greatest, but as long as it doesn't drop it should be Okay-ish as a secondary or backup (don't really need backup as I've had a total of 2-3 hours of downtime in one day on DSL in over 6 years).

    Regards,
    SB
     
  14. aaronspink

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  15. Silent_Buddha

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    Yup that's one of the AP's I've been considering if I decide to go that way.

    But I find I'm increasingly leaning towards keeping the DSL rather than replacing it and instead using the wireless to supplement it through load balancing in Win7.

    I'll be paying 10 USD more per month but moderately increasing download speeds (lowest I've seen on the wireless thus far is ~4 Mbps) and a significant boost to upload speed (again that minimum of ~4Mbps, my DSL is only 1 Mbps up).

    That upload speed boost will come in more handy when I'm in Japan as I'll be able to grab stuff off my Home server much more quickly.

    I could probably live with 4 Mbps broadband, but I'm too impatient. :p

    Regards,
    SB
     
  16. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    There are some reasonably priced load-balancing with failover routers out there...
     
  17. Silent_Buddha

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    That might be useful, do you have links for any or what models to look for?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  18. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    I know there's a Cisco-branded one and a Netgear for sure - I'll try to dig them up.
     
  19. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    The 'Cisco Small Business RV042 Dual WAN VPN Router' seems to be the cheapest at around $150 from the Omelette.
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    I'll check it out, thanks. :)

    Regards,
    SB
     
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