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Network setup - Help needed!


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#1 IronSimon

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:09 PM

Good day all,

My girlfriend and I are doing renovation on an old house with her family in Quebec. It's 3 different units in the same building and we want to share the same internet connection because since we are far in the wood we need to have satellite connection and we will split the cost. I don't think a single wifi router can do the job because there are many concrete wall between units and the area to cover is more than 150'.

I need help to setup my network properly. 
I was thiking about doing it this way but maybe I'm wrong so I would like to have you guy reviewing my setup and help me if possible. 

----------------------------_________ Wifi Router 1 (1 TV, 2 laptop, Xbox.mobile phones will access this router)
_________________|
Internet ------> Switch -------- Wifi Router 2 (laptop and mobile phone connected to read email and internet search)
_________________|
_________________ -------------- Wifi Router 3 (laptop and mobile phone connected to read email and internet search)

 

(To make sure we understand each other : Internet modem will be connected to a swtich and all 3 routeurs will be connect to this switch).

 

I don't care if a computer connected on Router 1 cannot share file with a computer connected on Router 2. If it can that's a plus but if it can't it's not an issue. All we want it's all devices connected could access to internet without major configuration because I'm a beginner in networking and I will manage all issue because others don't know anything except google, youtube and facebook if you know what I mean. icon_smile.gif

 

Please note that I'm also working from home so maybe it could be a good thing to separate all networks.

 

I also read that it it's possible to connect this way

 

Internet ----> Router1 ----> Router2 -----> Router3

 

Please tell me which setup is the best (less configuration) and most stable with pros and cons if possible.

No wiring has been done but it needs to be done asap to close the wall so I would like to have the good network map before doing it.

If you have any question on need any further detail please do not hesitate.

Also if you can tell me which Switch/Router (if needed) to buy, or any specification it will help me a lot.

Thanks for your help! 


Simon



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:40 PM

You could do it either of your ways, but there is no need for a switch, most wireless routers have 4 ethernet ports so if everything is wireless go this way: Internet ----> Router1 ----> Router2 -----> Router3

 

I would recommend getting wirless repeaters or range extenders instead of having router 2 and router 3. It would be cheaper and likely easier to setup just using 1 wireless router and then boosting the range with repeaters/extenders.

 

There are many options available: http://www.newegg.com/Wireless-Range-Extender-Media-Bridge/SubCategory/ID-2948

 

For $25 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315112

 

Also with new technology you may be able to get by with just 2 wireless devices, a router and a repeater depending on the actual distance between devices and obstruction from walls, metal, etc.


Edited by zingo156, 22 April 2014 - 01:56 PM.

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#3 x64

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:56 PM

You could do it either of your ways, but there is no need for a switch, most wireless routers have 4 ethernet ports so if everything is wireless go this way: Internet ----> Router1 ----> Router2 -----> Router3

..

I'm not so sure about that. My suggestion would be to link the remote access points individually back to the main router, and if at all possible to use Ethernet cabling rather than wi-fi to do that. (it will be far easier to troubleshoot issues, and the access points logically further away from the main router will not be dependent on the intermediate routers/ APs. Downside is more cabling to do.

 

As Zingo156 says many routers have more than one Ethernet connection, but as your connection is satellite, you'd need to ask your ISP how many ports are on the access router that (I presume) they will supply before deciding if you require a discrete switch to connect the access points into. 



#4 IronSimon

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:35 PM

Ok so if I understand correctly there is 2 different way to do it.

 

Do one single network using 1 router and 1 or 2 extenders. 

 

Internet ----> Main Router -----> Extender1 -----> Extender2 (if needed)

 

I put a switch on my network map because I'm pretty much sure there is only 1 port on the internet modem from the ISP so the switch was to dispatch / split signal to all 3 routers. (I will validate with the ISP)

 

 

x64 you suggested to link the internet modem to my main router and then wire 2 cables from that main router to the 2 remote access point individually.

 

 

                                   |------------------------> Remote Access point1

internet ----> Main Router

                                   |------------------------> Remote Access point2

 

What would be the major difference if there is any between both setup? I don't if there is more cabling to do we bought a 1000' bulk of cable. 



#5 zingo156

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:42 PM

This should work fine: Internet ----> Main Router -----> Extender1 -----> Extender2 (if needed) If you do use 2 extenders make sure that extender 1 has 2 ethernet ports so you can continue the chain.

 

Check that you do not have NAT enabled on both the satelite provided modem/router and your wireless router (chose one to do DHCP and disable NAT completely on the other). You may encounter some double NAT problems if more than one device does NAT/DHCP. You can get it to work with double NAT but it is more difficult and takes more port forwarding etc.


Edited by zingo156, 22 April 2014 - 02:44 PM.

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#6 Soldierbane

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:46 PM

I personally would go.

 

--------------------------  _________ Wireless AP
_________________|
Internet ------> Router -------- Wireless AP
_________________|
_________________ -------------- Wireless AP

 

Alternatively if the modem from your ISP already acts as a router then the router with a switch, or use the switch integrated into the modem if there are enough available ports.

 

The way you suggested will give you three independent networks, and will be a pain if you have to trouble shoot a connection issue. I would also avoid using wireless repeaters as they will cause a drastic decrease in your wireless throughput. 



#7 zingo156

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:48 PM

I probably would not recommend daisy chaining any further than 2-3 devices as x64 mentioned if you can plug each extender into the wireless router itself you will have better wireless speeds.


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#8 zingo156

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

Soldierbane is correct, repeaters can affect network speed especially daisy chained.

 

This would be faster:

 

--------------------------  _________ Wireless AP    
_________________|
Internet ------> Router -------- Wireless AP
_________________|
_________________ -------------- Wireless AP

 

 

You could use repeaters in a similar manor of course you might be fine just having the router and 1 wireless repeater especially if you get a powerful repeater like the ubiquiti 1000mw

 

--------------------------  _________ Wireless Repeater 
_________________|
Internet ------> Wireless Router
_________________|
_________________ -------------- Wireless Repeater

 

 

Using wireless access points/routers would likely be quite a bit more expensive as well. You can get very powerful range extenders for reasonable costs. If cost is no issue, use the AP's rather than repeaters.

 

It might be good to know what type of networking you plan on doing, if you do not share large files between computers on the network often, go with the cheaper repeaters, if you want to transfer movies or stream from one computer to another on the network, get wireless AP's, the new AC models have high transfer rates from what I have seen though I have not owned anything above Wireless N models myself.


Edited by zingo156, 22 April 2014 - 03:04 PM.

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#9 smax013

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:06 PM

I put a switch on my network map because I'm pretty much sure there is only 1 port on the internet modem from the ISP so the switch was to dispatch / split signal to all 3 routers. (I will validate with the ISP)


If the modem is just a modem (i.e. no included router function), then to my knowledge, you cannot use a switch right "after" the modem…it would have to be a router.

If the modem is actually a modem/router combo, then a switch would be fine.

#10 IronSimon

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

Wow that's a lot of good information! 

 

The only problem I'm seeing using Wireless Repeater is what they will do if they need to add something with a cable on the network like a new smart TV , Xbox or any other device with a cable?

 

Maybe it's a stupid question but what's the difference between a '' Router '' and a '' Wireless AP '' ? Because if it's possible I'll put the router in my unit (note that I need cables for 2-3 devices and wifi) and start 2 cables from there to the two wireless AP for the other 2 units.

 

I think I will go with the following configuration but I just want to know if the Router can be in my unit and if Wifi signal is available from this router or if it's only there to dispatch signal on the 3 wireless AP.

 

--------------------------  _________ Wireless AP    

_________________|
Internet ------> Router -------- Wireless AP
_________________|
_________________ -------------- Wireless AP

 

*** I will validate with the ISP about the modem, modem/router question ***

 

Thank you so much!



#11 smax013

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:37 PM

Maybe it's a stupid question but what's the difference between a '' Router '' and a '' Wireless AP '' ? Because if it's possible I'll put the router in my unit (note that I need cables for 2-3 devices and wifi) and start 2 cables from there to the two wireless AP for the other 2 units.


Technically, a router is a device that "routes" Internet traffic to separate private IP addresses on a private/local network, while an wireless access point adds a wireless network to an existing private network that has been already created by a router.

The problem is that today's "routers" are technically three (or more) devices. Your typical home broadband "router" is an router combined with a network switch (which is why there will be several LAN ethernet ports) and a wireless access point (which is why you can setup a WiFi network) all into one device called a "router".

Back when broadband routers were first sold to consumers (back when broadband Internet became something a consumer could finally get), it was just a pure router (i.e. had one WAN port to connect to the modem and one LAN port to connect one device)…you had to add a separate network switch to the router to enable multiple devices to physically connect to the Internet. Shortly thereafter, they started including switches built into routers as you realistically needed a switch to allow a router to do what it does (although a single port router with just one computer connected to did still act as a firewall). Then later on when WiFi networks came into existence, you first had to buy a separate WiFi access point that you connected to your router/switch combo. Again, not long later, they stated including wireless access points in the routers.

While I have not looked real hard these days, I believe "true" wireless access points are much rarer at least at the consumer level (the enterprise network is a whole other situation). There is a reasonable change that it will be easier to buy another router that you put into "bridge mode" at a lower cost than a "true" wireless access point. Plus, if you want ethernet ports in the other units, then you likely will want a "router" anyways as "true" wireless access points will only have the one ethernet port that you connect the wireless access point to the main router.

Edited by smax013, 22 April 2014 - 03:42 PM.


#12 Soldierbane

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:41 PM

A router performs operations such as assigning IPs and routing internet traffic, an access point is just a point that you can use to access an existing network.

 

From what you're looking at now try something like this:

 

 

Internet ------> Wireless Router (Your unit) -------- Wireless AP
________________                 _                  |
_________________                                   -------------- Wireless AP

 

Just run cables from the switch on the router to the AP's and your other wired devices.


Edited by Soldierbane, 22 April 2014 - 03:43 PM.


#13 IronSimon

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:49 PM

Excellent! 

 

Any suggestions of Wireless Router and Wireless AP? Brand? Price range etc?

 

I don't care to pay a bit more if it's worth the money and can use it for several years.

 

Seriously this forum is the best thing I could have found today and you guys are amazing! 



#14 Soldierbane

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:57 PM

What's your budget, and can you give us a general feel for each unit? Approximate size, will there be a lot of internal walls to block the signal? If so are they just standard internal walls with studs and sheet rock, or are they all concrete?



#15 smax013

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:01 PM

Excellent! 
 
Any suggestions of Wireless Router and Wireless AP? Brand? Price range etc?
 
I don't care to pay a bit more if it's worth the money and can use it for several years.
 
Seriously this forum is the best thing I could have found today and you guys are amazing!


Personally, I am not that good at recommending things as I don't like to recommend things that I have not used myself, which is limited.

What I can say is that I use Apple's routers. Apple does not technically sell a wireless access point, but you can setup Apple's routers into "bridge mode" that will essentially allow you to use then as wireless access points AND still allow use of ethernet ports on the secondary routers…AND you can do this by a wireless connection between the main router and secondary router.

That last part is the big reason why I still use Apple equipment. I have a MASSIVE brick and concrete CMU fireplace right down the middle of my house. Since my cable modem and router (an Apple Airport Extreme) are located at the back of the house, the signal does not reach the front of the house well due to the chimney. It is also problematic to get an ethernet cable from the back of the house to the front of the house without major destruction. The wireless signal does make it to about the chimney, so I use an Apple Airport Express to pickup the wireless signal there and then "extend" the signal (so it is acting kind of like a "repeater"), but it also has an ethernet port that I can attach wired devices (or a switch to allow multiple wired devices), a USB port to attach a printer if I wanted, and a speaker port that I have computer speakers to that allows me to send music from iTunes to.

The downside of Apple routers is that they are on the expensive side. The Extreme will be about $200 while the Express will be about $100. You can likely find cheaper options that offer similar features.

So, while it works for me, I am not necessarily "recommending" it for you. It is worth a look, but other might offer up cheaper options.




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