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Setting up my first network.


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#1 Ryan 3000

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

Hello, first post for a long time. Seems I can't escape you guys.
I just bought a new Linksys WRT54GL router for my basement. This was not intended to be the main router, which is upstairs. I wanted a switch/adapter for my basement PC and Xbox when the buddies come over. I have somewhere between NONE and BASIC understanding of networks and routers. So, here are my questions:

1. Is it absolutely necessary that this router be connected by Ethernet cables to the internet? I want to use it on wireless. I have been using a laptop USB adapter, but it's yielding less-than-impressive signal strength for a 20-foot wireless connection, and it's completely erratic.

2. There is a device on my network map called DCN5P1D1. I don't know what it is. It is shown on the visual map as a computer, but we don't have a computer with any name resembling DCN5, and all of the PCs in my house are accounted-for on the network. Any ideas for what it could be? Should I block it from the network?

3. Does the home-base router, connected to the modem, need any settings changed for my router to enable wireless?

4. For my basic needs, is third-party router firmware worth looking at?

5. Just a side-note question, really. My upstairs computer, the one managing the home-base router, got a serious virus and BSOD'd today. It's being taken care of, but are other computers on my network at risk for this virus, more than usual?

ps I realize that I've jumped into deep water here, buying a router, uncertain about its functionality. If Question 1 above is 'yes', what can I do with this router to save some part of its functionality? The basement has one computer (my main one), using the disappointing wireless adapter, and will occasionally need to use a switch to hook up Xboxes and hopefully wireless internet for when a friend with XBOX LIVE comes over.
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

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#2 CaveDweller2

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:14 PM

1) You are talking about connecting your "home" router to the router downstairs via wireless, that's tricky. Normally you'd need to buy 2 of the same brand and model router and then use a 3rd party firmware that has that capability. If you can run a cable to connect them it would be better. But then you don't need a router downstairs a switch would be cheaper. If you're going to do that why not just plug the Xbox into one of the 4 ports? The difference in price between the router and switch will pay for the cable needed to connect the "home" router and switch downstairs. Then you need whatever to wire the PC and Xbox in.

2) If your wireless isn't secure with WEP, WPA or WPA-2 it could be some slub sponging. If you can find it's MAC address you could block it. OR just turn on WPA-2 and it'll take care of sponging.

3) You mean to enable the downstairs router wireless? No but the one downstairs will need to be turned into a wireless access point, meaning you have to turn off DHCP and turn the wireless on. I refer you to the answer to #1 tho lol

4) Refer to the answer to #1

5) Some of these can infect other hard drives or even get out on your network. So it is possible but the people taking care of it can prolly tell you what it was and if you need to be worried.

your ps) Refer to the answer to #1

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#3 Ryan 3000

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:24 PM

I generally understand what you're saying, but some of the acronyms have me confused.
Are you saying that my two mis-matched routers will possibly function as a wireless adapter if I set up my basement router to be a Wireless Access Point? How would I do that, and what is DHCP? Additionally, still curious: does the lit-up "WLAN" led on my router mean that it's connected in some way to my home-base router? It doesn't give me any recognizable connection but the light would be turned off if it didn't mean wireless because it's not wired either.

btw love the avatar.

btw btw The DCN5 is definitely a computer. I looked at it in Network Magic (trial) and it has Windows XP. ...I don't know what to do. Could be one my parents' laptops but those are accounted for, too. Guess I'll cut it off and see if anyone notices.

Edited by Ryan 3000, 01 December 2009 - 09:30 PM.

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

#4 CaveDweller2

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:23 PM

As far as 2 routers connecting wireless to one another, that is fairly iffy under the best of conditions. What is your home router? And we'll have a look for the firmware that will allow it

DHCP = The letters mean Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. What is simply the router handing out IP addresses as needed.

As far as turning it into an access point, that would depend on the 3rd party firmware. But basically you turn off DHCP and turn on wireless along with wireless security.

WLAN (Green) The WLAN LED lights up when the wireless feature is enabled. If the LED is flashing, the Router is actively sending or receiving data over the network. This is from the user manual.

I do love that movie and book, which I HIGHLY recommend reading. It gives an awesome background on Inigo and Fezzik.

Good idea on the DCN5. If its someone in house they'll scream. lol

EDIT: I found this site It looks like you can do the wireless to wireless with just 1 Linksys. The instructions are there. I thought you needed 2 Linksys but in that setup just need 1 /shrug

Edited by CaveDweller2, 02 December 2009 - 02:56 AM.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#5 Ryan 3000

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:12 PM

This looks really cool and I understand the concepts behind it, but I've never done it before and don't know how. Can you run me through the steps here?
Additionally, I believe that the stuff below implies that I need to flash DD-WRT firmware. I have it downloaded. Now how can I flash it? I still don't know how to even interact with my router as an object.

The router that you are trying to connect to is the primary router. The router you are configuring is the client router. You don't need to worry about the primary router as long a s you set your client to a different subnet. What this means is, if the primary router has an IP of 192.168.A.X, you need to set the client router to an IP of 192.168.B.X. Most primary routers will be at 192.168.1.1, or 192.168.0.1. So, when you are configuring your client router, set it to 192.168.2.x.
With that in mind, here is how to configure it.
Download a recommended build for your router. DO NOT USE SP1. If you are using a broadcom router, read the peacock thread prior to starting. http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486 Use one of those recommended builds.
Do a HARD reset on your router.
Connect a cable from your computer to the LAN port on your router.
Set your computer to a static IP address of 192.168.1.7
Set your browser to 192.168.1.1 and open the dd-wrt webgui.
You should be asked to change your password and username. Carefully type these in. If you aren't asked for a password and username, do a hard reset, this time doing it properly! Hit change password.
Go FIRST to wireless, wireless security and enter the security type and key that matches your primary router.
Hit SAVE, (or APPLY if you wish to)
Go to the wireless, basic settings page and change the wireless mode to Client.
Your wireless network mode should be set to the same as the primary router.
Set the wireless channel to match your primary router channel
Set the wireless network name to exactly the same as your primary router. Make sure spelling and capitalization match.
Set Ack timing to 0 unless you have a long distance (>300 meter) link
Hit SAVE at the bottom.
Check to make sure all the configurations, including the mode, saved and the mode is still client. If any changed, fix them, and save again.
Goto Setup, basic setup and enter a router IP, Local IP address of 192.168.2.1. Leave subnet mask at 255.255.255.0.
Set the Gateway IP to your primary router. (Likely 192.168.1.1)
Leave Local DNS blank
Check Assign Wan port to a switch, if you wish to.
Change your timezone and DST to match where you are.
Hit Apply.
Change your computer IP address to 192.168.2.7
Set your browser to 192.168.2.1 and login to your router
Goto Setup/Basic Setup and enter 208.67.222.222 for Static DNS1, and 208.67.220.220 for Static DNS2. Hit Apply.
Goto Security, Firewall. Under Block Wan Requests, uncheck everything but "Filter Multicast" (Leave Filter multicast checked).
Hit Save
Disable SPI Firewall
Hit Apply.
Set your computer back to auto IP and auto DNS.
You are done. Configure any other settings you wish at this point.
[edit]Requirements

ROUTER refers to a linksys wrt54g with stock/original firmware. Any other should work as well.
ROUTER internal ip = 192.168.1.1
ROUTER subnet mask = 255.255.255.0
ROUTER DNS Server 1 = aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd (replace by actual ip)
ROUTER DNS Server 2 = aaa.bbb.ccc.eee (replace by actual ip)
ROUTER has wireless enabled with SSID = SUBSTITUTE_YOUR_ROUTER_SSID
ROUTER as security enabled using 64 bit WEP encryption with key = SUBSTITUTE_YOUR_ROUTER_WEP_KEY
CLIENT refers to a router with dd-wrt firmware. 
X > Y = Click on first level menu on the top labelled X and then click on submenu or tab labelled Y 
A.B = Value of a field labelled B in the section labelled A on a page. Section names appear vertically on the left of the page with black background.
[edit]Preparation

Validate or obtain the above information about the ROUTER. As long as you have access to it one way or another it shouldn't be an issue, e.g. on windows, you can run a ipconfig /all command in the command prompt to obtain the info above. Whatever the values, please use those values instead of the above.
Also figure out an ip address on the ROUTER that is outside the dynamic ip address assignment range. Most routers come pre-configured with dynamic ip assignments starting from *.*.*.100 or *.*.*.50 onwards. So a low ip like 192.168.1.2 should work in our scenario. This will be used to assign the ROUTER facing ip to the CLIENT later on.
These steps assume that you are starting with a clean slate. So if you have messed around with the settings, undo it by restoring the defaults. Any settings not outlined in the steps are to remain at the default values!

Edited by Ryan 3000, 02 December 2009 - 05:23 PM.

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

#6 CaveDweller2

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:26 PM

I'm not going to give step by step instructions when that site I linked you to already has them written out. I will help you find those instructions tho =)

To connect to the router - Plug in the power to the router and give it like 30 secs. Then plug an Ethernet cord from your PC to one of the 4 ports on the back of the router. Your PC should get an IP address from that router. Type ipconfig /all. Look for Local Area Connection look for the Default Gateway. Now if its the same as your Wireless connection you'll need to shutdown the wireless connection, just right click on the icon by your clock and click Disable, you'll lose internet of course. Put the Default Gateway for your Local Area Connection into a web browser address bar and hit Enter. A box asking for a user name and password should pop up - leave the user name blank and put admin in for the password and hit Enter. You should be looking at the Linksys web UI.

How to install the firmware - Here. Look in the Contents there is a section on Linksys and how to find all the info you'll need. Just follow the instructions.

The instructions you posted - The first paragraph just explains that you don't set both routers to the same subnet. If you are connected to your home router at a command prompt type ipconfig /all look for your wireless connection then look for the default gateway. It will be something like 192.168.1.1. When you set up the client router(ie the downstairs router) you need to set it to an address like 192.168.2.1.

Just follow everything from "Do a HARD reset on your router." down to where it says you are done.

ALWAYS use a wired connection to a router to make changes to it.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#7 Ryan 3000

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:42 PM

Ok, sounds great. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'll do this tomorrow and tell you how it goes.
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