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Running routers in parallel


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#1 Bytyne

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:59 PM

I've searched the forums but can't find this covered, please forgive me if I've missed it.
 
I have recently changed my router to BT Home hub wireless, this works.
 
Previously I was using a Belkin router and I would like to be able to run the two routers in parallel as we have stone walls here which block wireless signals.
 
I have been trying to find out on-line how to do this - if it's possible but the language the geeks on those sites use doesn't mean anything to me they seem to want to impress everyone with their great knowledge and keep it all secret!
 
Please can someone tell me the answers in two syllable words? I know very little about computers but can follow instructions in plain English, if I don't know what something is I can look it up (on the computer).
 
Thanks in advance.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 15 July 2014 - 04:15 PM.
moved from Introductions to the appropriate forum


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#2 Orecomm

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:16 PM

Here is what I think you are asking: You have a BT Home Hub with Wireless that is working. You have a Belkin wireless router that you would like to use to get wireless coverage in part of your domicile where service from the Home Hub is not functional because of attenuation due to construction materials, namely lots of rock. You would like to locate the Belkin on the other side of the lots of rock to serve that area. Is this correct ?

 

Can you get an ethernet cable from the Home Hub location to the proposed Belkin location ? This is a key bit of info as it influences the path forward. 

 

Assuming that the cable mentioned above exists (big assumption), what you want to do in semi-techie terms (in case you need to refer to it later) is convert your Belkin from a Router to a Dumb Access Point.

 

Here is the easiest way to do that I know of. Since I don't know the model of your Belkin the steps will be somewhat generic, you may have to look up the exact how-tos in the manual (gasp!) or online. This process is similar for most home WiFi routers. Please read all the way through this before you start, and if anything isn't clear ask first. 

 

Be aware oddness may occur until you complete the setup. Don't try this while your significant other is attempting to watch their favorite show or movie on Netflix or their Roku. 

 

Connect to your Home Hub network, wired or wireless, from your PC or Lappy. You need to figure out what address you have been assigned by DHCP (automatic address assignment) on the Home Hub. If you are on Windows you need to get to a command screen (Start->Run->cmd or similar depending on version) and in the DOS-ish looking window enter "ipconfig /all". You are looking for two things, you IPv4 address and your Default Gateway. They should be located about 20 lines down from the top and MIGHT look like 192.168.1.<something>  and 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.254 respectively. Write them down. 

 

Now we need to make a "hole" in your network addresses for the Belkin to live in. The problem is that the Home Hub probably assigns DHCP addresses across the entire range of available addresses, and we may get a collision if we assign the Belkin an address that is already, or will ever be, assigned by DHCP. Since you probably don't have 253 computers on your home net at any one time we can narrow the range a bit to make room for a few statically assigned addresses. 

 

Follow this handy guide to get into the Home Hub LAN settings menu:

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9011/~/how-do-i-change-the-dhcp-settings-of-the-bt-home-hub%3F

The process is a little different depending on the version of Home Hub you have. Also these instructions leave out one very important step, but we'll get to that in a moment.

You will need to disable the DHCP server per the instructions for your box, save changes.

Now change the DHCP address range to something manageable (I use 192.168.1.100 to 192.168.1.199 for my home network, for example).

Write down the range you use. Don't change anything else. Save changes.

Now the important but left-out step from the instructions above, re-check (or un-check depending on your version) the box you checked (or unchecked) to disable the DHCP server. To be clear, we want the DHCP server on the Home Hub box to be ON. If you don't do this everything  in your house that gets an address automatically will quit working at some point over the next few days. That can be annoying. 

Save changes.

OK, we should be done with the Home Hub.

 

We need a PC or Laptop with an Ethernet cable to set up your Belkin. If it also has WiFi please turn that OFF. We really only want to talk to the Belkin over an Ethernet cable.

Plug in your Belkin and connect to it (one of the 4 "local" Ethernet ports) from your PC or Lappy with an Ethernet cable. Don't connect the Belkin to anything else except power. Your computer should be set to get an IP address automatically. Give the Belkin time to boot up then try to connect to it. By default it should be at 192.168.2.1 (web browser http://192.168.2.1) and a the password prompt leave it blank. If it's changed you may have to go find your IP info as above, the router should be at the Default Gateway address. If the password is changed and you don't know what it is you may have to reset the router to defaults. This usually involves "The Paperclip Of Doom" and a small hole in the back of the router, hold down the button for a few seconds until the lights (on the router, not the house) blink. After a power cycle and suitable boot-up time the defaults should work again. 

 

Once you are in the router we need to go to the WIRELESS settings. We want to set the network name (SSID) to the same thing used on your Home Hub WiFi, with the same passphrase and security model (usually WPA2). This will not let you roam seamlessly between them, but it will let you connect to whichever is strongest wherever you happen to be when you connect. If you move around you may well lose and re-establish your connections, so watching movies on your tablet while jogging around the house is not advised. Locate and change the network name (SSID). Locate and change the Passphrase (often under a "Security" button. Save the configuration (will probably cause router to reboot.)

 

Log in again if needed.

 

 

Once you are back in the router we need to go to the LAN settings. Again, the exact steps depend on the model of router, but you should be able to follow along. We need to change the LAN address to something that matches your Home Hub network, but not something used by the existing modem/router or any other device. Find the LAN address (should be 192.168.2.1 if default) and change it to the gateway address you wrote down for the Home Hub network but with the last digit of 2 (if your gateway address ended in .1) or 253 (if your gateway address ended in .254). Write this address on a sticky note or strip of tape and stick it on the bottom of the Belkin. Don't save yet as it may be difficult at this point to get back into the router.

 

While we are at it we want to disable the DHCP server on the Belkin. This is usually under a LAN tab. You may have to hunt a little but it's there. It may be called DHCP or "Assign Addresses Automatically" and may be under an "Advanced Settings" tab.  Once it's turned off you can save and reboot. 

 

At this point you probably cannot log back into the Belkin - that's fine as we've pretty well told it to shut up and go away, which is what we want.

 

On the back of the Belkin there are 5 Ethernet ports. 4 are in a group and one is all by itself. Find some tape and stick it over the one connector that's all by itself. Some little note that says to avoid connecting to that plug helps. Now connect the Ethernet to the Home Hub to one of the other 4 ports. Reboot your PC or Laptop while it is connected to another of the 4 ports on the Belkin and when it comes up you should have Internet access (and if you check, probably the same IP address you had way up at the top when we started, and more importantly, the Gateway should be the address of the Home Hub). If that works you can disconnect your PC/Laptop Ethernet cable and turn on your WiFI again. If all is well you should connect to WiFI with a nicely strong signal and be able to access the Internet. 

 

TaDa! You just made a Belkin into a dumb access point and 4 port switch. The DHCP and routing for the entire house is now handled by the Home Hub. You've got a few extra Ethernet ports in Belkin land in case you need them. 

 

If you are missing the Ethernet cable between the Home Hub and Belkin locations you might want to look at Broadband over Powerline as a way to interconnect them, or even use one of the Broadband over Powerline WIFI extenders - they pretty much do what we just did above but without the wire and without the extra Ethernet ports on the Belkin end. 

 

Good Luck !



#3 Bytyne

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:58 AM

This has been really helpful, thank you so much for your advice. We've spent a long time trying to do the necessary steps, so many things seem to be in different and unexpected places though. I guess it's just a very steep learning curve, I've run out of time energy and patience today and will have to come back to it tomorrow.

Am I right in thinking that with this set-up the Belkin router will only work with cables and not wirelessly - I know something is wrong as it's  not got a blue light?



#4 Orecomm

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:49 AM

The Belkin should work both wired and wireless in this configuration. You won't get the blue light because as far as the Belkin is concerned you don't have an Internet connection - because it is looking for the Internet on it's outside connection which is the one we stuck tape over in the instructions. It should still show a wireless indicator, and if you got the network name (SSID) and passphrase correct (the same as your Home Hub) it should work pretty much transparently. We've shoved it's little router brain off in a corner with nobody to play with since there is no outside connection and the Home Hub's DHCP server is telling all of your devices to talk to the Home Hub as their gateway so nobody is trying to route traffic through the Belkin (except as a bridge or switch). The router brain of the Belkin shows it's annoyance by not letting you see the pretty blue light. (Ok, it's been a long day and the grandkids have been around, maybe just a tad bit too much preschool TV..)



#5 heybooboo2007

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:32 PM

Hi Orecomm,

I have a similar problem as the OP. My local cable company gave me a crappy Hauwei outdoor modem which I connected to my TP Link MR3420 v2. I then started running into NAT issues and discovered I had a double NAT and the Hauwei outdoor modem was actually a router also.

I followed a guide on portforwarding.com: http://boards.portforward.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=93 which basically explained what you did. It helped me convert my TP link into a hub/switch. Now all the DHCP is being done by the Hauwei router.

 

However I ran into a snag when NONE of my DLNA devices (roku & WD TV Live) in my bedrooms would connect to my media server HTPC in my living room anymore. Plex, Play-on etc stopped working and couldn't connect to the remote server.

 

I have tried to manually forward the ports on the Hauwei router and my ports still show closed when I use the portforward.com app.

 

In a bid to be able to use my roku box, I tried reversing the process but can no longer access my TP Link router control panel.

 

in my situation what would you advice I do? I have no option with my ISP except to use this router. I am also not in the USA and so ISPs here do not really respond to customer service calls. Hence asking them for anything is out to the question. I read somewhere that I could try putting the Hauwei modem in bridge mode. Ive never done that before and I cannot do it if it will involve my needing to call the ISP for any reason because they would have NO IDEA what I was talking about.

Any suggestions??



#6 Wand3r3r

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

Undo the port forwarding on the Hauwei router.  You don't port forward on the lan. You got double nat, I am going to assume, because you used the TPlinks wan port not its lan port. Confirm your lan cable is going from hauwei lan port to tplink lan port.






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