So, in effect, my setup is still *faster* than Rod Speed's setup, but, not twice as fast.
My spare Linksys WRT54G router is set up, on your advice of, oh, about two or three years ago, to broadcast on a different channel (channel 1) than the main Netgear router (channel 2) but on the same SSID (so that mobile devices can switch seamlessly between them - which is something Android seems to do better than iOS based on my measurements years ago).
While the newer Netgear router is dual band, the Linksys is only
2.4GHz, so I don't have the option of switching the band.
For *every* suggested app in this thread, I tried to download it for the iPad, and failed in all but one case.
Unfortunately, while the iOS devices have a very clean user interface, they don't seem to allow the use of most of the powerful debugging tools that have been suggested by Jeff, a well known network expert.
The iOS devices can use weak debugging tools like "Fing", but the best tool suggested, the SNR WiFi tool, I couldn't find for my iPad (nor even inSSIDer, nor WiFi Analyzer, nor Fritz!App WLAN, etc.).
That's too bad because I had to do all my debugging with the Android phone, even though the iPads are part of our network. Even worse, my daughter and her friend have a mix of iPhones and iPads and Android, where, in their case, only my daughter's Android phone is capable of intelligent use of the suggested debugging tools.
I don't know about what happens with jail-broken iOS devices, but, if your equipment is stock (as is mine), then I don't know *how* you can measure anything useful when the network is weak, as is the case in the described situation.
Luckily, here in the USA, the network is very often very strong, so, it's less of a concern for us in the states than the kids in a foreign country (that doesn't even celebrate July 4th properly!). :)
I don't memorize (or really understand) the 7 layers all that well, but, I do remember that the MAC address only goes from the mobile device to the router, and no further - so - I was very happy to see Jeff's simple characterization of my wired access point acting merely as a BRIDGE (which, I think, means the MAC also goes through it to the main router).
So, that means TWO routers have my mobile device unique MAC address (if I understood Jeff correctly).
The practical application of that knowledge is that I make sure to
*change* my MAC address *before* connecting to any local hotspot that I don't own (e.g., Starbucks, McDonalds, the local library, etc.).
You should too (IMHO).
I don't have an iPhone, so someone here should suggest how to change the MAC address on the iPhone, because (I consider it) it is a key privacy bit in that it uniquely identifies *all* your communications if you're to repeatedly use a particular access point.
In addition, it "can" be traced back to you personally, but, that would take a crime on your part for the tracking back to Apple's purchase records to be worth the trouble for an adversary.
Yes. OSI Layer 2. As you note, fitting the layers of the todays TCP/IP networking into the OSI layer model is not a perfect fit. OSI Layer 1 (physical) and Layer 2 (data link) are combined in TCP/IP as the network access layer. Since all 802.11 wireless is bridging or switching, I like to call it Layer 2 networking.
Sorry, my mistake. IP is more accurate.
What I'm trying to point out is that no IP addresses are involved in
802.11 style wireless networking (except for device managment) and that everything in 802.11 wireless involves bridging or switching.
My Linksys WRT54G is on channel 1 and the Netgear router is on channel 6 (based on your advice) where the WISP is on channel 11.
This is all as per Jeff's advice from a few years ago when I first set the thing up (and when I was young and stupid) and before he stopped frequenting a.i.w in favor of the scientific repair groups (he likes geeks).
Jeff's advice gives me the best separation allowed in the USA on the 2.4GHz channel that they all use.
The same or different channel is wrong. In infrastructure mode, the access point controls the channel, mode, protocol, encryption method, etc. The repeater and client radio can only follow the access point configuration. If for some reason, the access point wants to change channel, it can do so, and all the other boxes either follow or get disconnected via a timeout. That roughly what happens when you set the channel in the AP to "AUTO" (which methinks is a lousy idea).
I would change the AP description to "controls the channel (and everything else)".
Ummm... Wireless routers can only do infrastructure mode. If you configure the ad-hoc mode, it will disable the router section, and magically convert your wireless router into a wireless client. More bluntly, ad-hoc mode uses only client radios, that talk to each other, and do not involve any other networking devices. In order to talk to the internet or other network, they require a specialized gateway such as Windoze ICS (internet connection sharing).
Gateway is normally applied to remote access devices, such as VPN routers, modem pools, and secure access servers. Comcast, in its infinite wisdom, has seen fit to rebadge all it myriad of modem/router/wireless/switch/phone/whatever conglomerations as gateways, probably because they lack the imagination to contrive a new name or understand the existing.
A bridge is easy. I described it previously. A bridge has 2 ports, which do NOT need to use the same communications protocol. For example, cable and DSL modems are bridges. Only those packets, with destination MAC addresses that are across the bridge, will pass through the bridge. Packets without destination addresses, such as broadcasts, also go across the bridge. That's all there is.
A switch is a bridge with more than 2 ports. Packets go only to those ports that have a devices with the destination MAC address. In other words, a packet only goes to the port with the correct destination address. This is good because no traffic goes to ports that are not involved in the immediate traffic. So, you could have major traffic between a machine being backed up, monopolizing two ports, without generating any traffic on the others. With a switch you can surf the internet while running a big backup or copying big files between machines.
Mobile devices and phones have many ways in which they can be identified. As far as MAC addresses go, your phone can have multiple MAC addresses. Each defines a port, not a device. Best described by analogy. It's much like a house. You have a name (Your_Name or email@example.com), which lives at a physical address (house and street number or IP address). The house has many doors which can be used to pass "traffic" in and out. Those are the MAC addresses. Vendors can also assign their own identifiers to your house such as the cellular ESN, MEID, IMEI, etc, some of which may also need a MAC address to define which door into your device is being used. When you configure a wireless hotspot, you are building a bridge between two of these doors (WLAN and WIFI) each of which has a different MAC address on your phone. I've left out some obscurities and complexications, but this should cover the basics.
Yep. It's difficult to complain about the weather when I live in paradise.
It's NOT at half speed when setup as an access point. The WRT54G can transmit and receive packets on both interfaces (ethernet and wireless) at the same time, thus eliminating the store and forward problem. It works at normal speeds, excatly the same as if it were a wireless router.
However, if you installed DD-WRT firmware, and set it up as repeater, you would be stuck with the store and forward problem and run at half speed because the wireless interface cannot transmit and receive at the same time.
Maybe this will help: ethernet wireless No problem. Full speed. wireless wireless store and forward, half speed. ethernet ethernet usually full duplex, no problem.
My experience with the WRT54G is that it's slower than a snail and can't handle cable modem speeds. I donated about 10 WRT54G routers to a group doing wireless mesh networks. I have about 15 more waiting for them to pickup. You might consider getting something more modern and faster. See the speeds at: The WRT54G isn't on the list, but I vaguely recall that it was less than 10 Mbit/sec (WAN -> LAN).
I don't recall either setup, so I won't offer an opinion.
I'm surprised that you can do seamless roaming successfully. My stuff tends to lock onto an initial connection, no matter the signal level or SNR, and stay connected, even if I'm right next to a much stronger signal router, and the signal from the original router is weak. So, I use different SSID's and manually select which AP I want to connect. On a new system, I always try a single SSID first, but if it fails, I switch to different SSID's without hesitation.
However, Ch1 and Ch2 are a bad idea. It should be on Ch1, Ch6, or Ch11. The problem is that the typical wi-fi signal is about 20 Mhz wide or 4 channels wide. Out of the available 11 channels, that give you about 3 channels that do NOT overlap. If your Netgear and Linksys devices can "see" each other, they're interfering with each other on Ch1 and Ch2. I suggest you move the Ch2 router to Ch11.
Well, I didn't want to get complicated - but I know exactly what you're talking about because I see it every day.
The wife complained a lot about the iPad not switching over when her Android phone did just fine at her study at the far end of the house (where I placed the Linksys WRT54G repeater/extender).
I finally told her to just turn off WiFi on the iPad and turn it back on, whenever she crosses the threshold into her study, and she's the type to just do it and not question why (because it works).
So, in my experience, all the Android phones in the house have no problem switching to the wired access point of the same SSID as the main router, and all the iPads do have a problem.
Easily enough solved; but I didn't want to bring it up as that complicates things (people always think that my particular set of iPads are faulty but they themselves haven't tested the things like I have and like I know you have as you've tested this stuff in detail as I have seen your web pages with the graphs).
So, in summary, I kept that detail out because I was trying to simplify things.
I keep making that typing mistake (dyslexia creeping in). Sorry.
I have it set up *exactly* as you suggested, with channel 1 and channel
6 and the WISP radio on channel 11 (where you can see bounceback here):
Thanks Jeff for clarifying, as I had followed your suggestions to the letter when I set it up, and I did remember that had I set up the spare WRT54G without wires, it would have been slower than with wires.
That makes sense that the wireless NIC is the bottleneck. I don't think "my" version of the WRT54G (V6?) has enough memory to easily install DD-WRT anyway - so - the *only* way I can set up my Linksys WRT54G is by wire.
That's a detail that I'm sure you knew; but for others, I put it out there that not all the routers have enough memory to change the operating system on them easily.
That's a nice summary. I only now understood what you meant by the half speed (and I now realize it's due to the card itself having to do two jobs, versus the card sharing those two jobs with another card).
It was a spare, so it was free.
I also have a nanobeam M2, which I have to get around to setting up to extend the WiFi range out to the pool:
First, when you use terms such as 'same' and 'different, you're exclusively comparing an aspect of the repeater (extender) or AP to that same aspect on the primary WiFi router, correct? Client behavior is not part of that comparison. Clients always follow (or not) what they're connected to, if possible.
So with that in mind...
Correct for both of those.
Same or different channel, same or different SSID. When you set up an AP, you're completely free to use any channel (you already know the "rules"), and any SSID. Those decisions are not dictated by the settings on the primary WiFi router.