Multiple access points to flood an area.

Multiple access points to flood an area.

My attempts to provide reliable wireless access to guest laptop computers over an area spanning about 100 feet have proved unsuccessful. I suspect the problem is interference from numerous other wireless devices in the area. A possible solution would be to position two separate wireless routers (access points) toward the edges of the area with each wireless router (access points) hardwire linked to the modem via (possibly an Ethernet switch and) CAT5 cable.

My current wireless router / access point of choice is the D-Link DI-524. It has been chosen because the native IP range 192.168.0.X of the D-Link does not overlap the 192.168.1.X IP address range of the router built into the 2WIRE2701 modem (wireless option disabled). My guess is that I can either: (1) configure each D-Link wireless router so they have non-overlapping IP address ranges and feed them in parallel from a switch, or (2) disable the DHCP in one of the units, and feed it (the second in the chain) from the first unit.

Will either of these schemes work? How do I best configure the D-Link DI-524 devices so they act in parallel to flood the area with signal?


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Better describe "the area".

Possibly. But without describing where you're trying to do this it's impossible to say. If you have any control over the other devices it might be possible to reduce the amount of interference. But if they're not yours and you can't contact who's running them then it may not be possible to do what you're after. Rather it might be possible, but perhaps only with more access points, each running at a lower power.

Likewise if the interferring systems don't need to be covering such a wide area it may be advantageous for THEM to reduce their own radio power levels.

Without better info it's impossible to say if that's right or not. But yes, in general, you put an access point where you want coverage and run wire back to the switch.

All devices of this sort have configurable options for their IP address and/or IP range. Chosing one based on that is like chosing a green car because you think it's faster than a blue one (everyone knows red is faster anyway. Heh)

Use one as a router, use the other as an access point. They can be on the same subnet, just make one of the run DHCP and disable it on the other. DHCP requests will be passed through one to the other via the wired ethernet connection. An access point is basically 'dumb' in that all it does is pass traffic from the wired network to/from the wireless clients connecting to it.

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Bill Kearney

as the other reply has indicated.... we really need more details.

You seem to mixing lots of different technical topics, but at the same time, don't really have a handle on technology. The entire paragraph on router "native IP range" tends to magnify that.

SO - what is the real situation, and the area you are trying to cover ? Wait - 100ft ??? Are you kidding ? A single AP will do that - it's like 3 houses ? I can see my AP from up and down the block in all directions, along with several neighbors....

What is the Internet connection available to you ? Is it just a simple DSL line via your 2WIRE2701 modem ?

Where will the AP's be located ? How powered ? and how connected back to your DSL modem or main router ?

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Thanks for prompt reply... It looks like I've found some real experts.

The area I'm trying to cover is the top floor of an apartment house occupied by ten friends and potentially ten lap top computers. The building is 100 feet from front to back and 30 feet wide. The building is in an area with lots and lots of students, many of who have their own wireless access points. A check of networks in range will usually turn up at least ten networks and often many more. I really don't know who those other user are let alone being able to coordinate channel selection and power settings with them.

The users on the top floor have a variety of laptop computers, none of which are set up to use MIMO or any of the proprietary range extension techniques. Currently, there is one wireless router located in the center of the top floor; it is set for maximum power on the least used channel. Although the current router and others that we have tried claim to deliver range to 100 feet, reception beyond 30 feet is marginal (one bar) to useless, especially at night when many others seem to power up their computers and wireless equipment. A directional antenna advertised as providing 10 db of gain did not seem to help significantly independent of its positioning. (It was a pole antenna that supposedly achieved its gain by flattening the radiation pattern.) It seems to be possible to get reception through two walls, but any more that that and reception is unacceptable. Each user wants to be able to connect from his/her desk and not relocate to the kitchen counter because of its closer position to the central source.

I'm aware that the you can change the IP address ranges on most all routers, but having units whose default states don't conflict makes network repair easier; it is one less thing to have to reset when something goes wrong.

The Internet feed is a simple DSL line via the 2WIRE2701 modem. The thought is to disable the wireless capability of the 2WIRE2701 (there is a control panel option for switching it off) and connect one of the four RJ45 Ethernet ports on the 2WIRE2701 to each of the two D-Link DI-524 wireless access points via a physical CAT5 Ethernet cable. Each D-Link DI-524 would be powered form a local source. Each would be located near the opposite ends of the building.

I'm plan again to try the tandem configuration recommended by Bill Kearney in his post wherein the DHCP is disabled on the second-in-line router.

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Bill ... Thanks for prompt reply.

Your suggestion makes sense.

I'm going to give your tandum feed configuration a try. It is going to be a few days before my second DI-524 arrives and I have the opportunity to lash it up.

see reply to ps56k's posting for my more detailed explanation.

W>> Multiple access points to flood an area.

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You're screwed. Trying to curb the amount of interference from all the poorly configured routers will be like herding cats.

Unlicensed wireless can lead to just what you've encountered, a conflicting mess.

For that small an area max power is probably not needed, nor desired.

Although the current router and others that we have tried claim

Some construction materials will block enough of the signal to prevent decent reception. Older buildings usually, but new buildings with metal stud walls can also be problematic. The only solution, really, is to use more access points at lower power.

Again, you're making a choice based on a less-than-smart plan. If you want reset programmability then get a router that can have a 3rd party firmware loaded. Configure that firmware ahead of time to your desired setup (by recompiling the firmware) and load that on each. Frankly, that's a lot more trouble than it's worth. Once you have this setup properly there really should be no need to reset the devices to factory settings.

Probably not opposite but more like the lobes of a barbell. As in:


No, leave it enabled in the central router, the 2wire unit. Disable it in the others, configure them as just dumb access points. This way you'll only have to deal with DHCP and other settings on the one router. You could use one or the other of the Dlink units but it's six of one, half-dozen of another. If you use the 2wire you'd be able to reboot the wireless units independently without losing connectivity on the other. Likewise if you temporarily need to add more wifi routers it'll be trivial to set them up as an access point and nothing else.

But you're still going to be faced with the interference problems. This may not be solvable without cooperation from the other device owners.

-Bill Kearney

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Bill Kearney

I''m thinking the same as Bill's suggestion; assuming that you are using omni antennas (makes sense here), set up your routers not at the very ends but in the barbell shape, maybe with a third in the middle.

Considering that you are trying to cover a long area, you may want to go ahead and keep the 2-wire radio operating as well.

Placement is going to be everything. Luckily, your area is only 30 ft wide, so it will be a line, not a grid. Try to set up so there is always an AP within 2 walls of any user.

Here's a suggestion: Make a map of the walls and the needed coverage to play around with locations for the APs. Place one AP two walls in from the end of your desired coverage. Go four walls over and place the middle router. Go four walls further and place the end router. Hopefully you have now covered the whole thing. Make sure that your middle router is on a different channel than your end ones at least.

Who knows if it will ever work with all the other APs that seem to be present. I would do a site survey first to see what the channel mapping currently is. You might be able to prevail upon one or two key AP owners to switch channels so that everything works better. Failing any of that, doing it blindly, I would assume that most are set to channel 6 and that using 1 and 11 for your APs will help.

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Bill & "seeweeds" - thanks again for suggestions...

I'm aware that getting around interference from 20 (by actual count although they may not all be present at the same time) within range networks presents a challenge. I planned to use the dumbbell placement scheme suggested by "seeweeds," as well as leaving the 2WIRE operating in the middle as well. I currently don't see why lowering the power settings on my access points will improve my signals; I can see it making for less problems for the others.

Does this procedure appear correct?

I'll reset the IP address of each DI-524 units from (default) to perhaps and, so I can access the control panel of each independently. The DHCP feature in each D-Link router will be turned off. Two CAT5 cables will be run from RJ45 LAN jacks on the 2WIRE to one of the four RJ45 LAN jacks on each of the D-Link (no longer router) access points. I am assuming that the 2WIRE DHCP will assign non-conflicting IP addresses each of the D-Link routers and all DI-524 wireless clients without manual intervention.


Bill Kearney wrote:

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If your unit isn't seeing the others, due to lower power and antenna aiming then it won't have to retry. Unfortunately the cards in the laptops will probably not be as configurable.

Sounds like a plan. You may want to configure the D-link units with static addresses; ones not in the DHCP range. That way they'll always be accessible at known addresses, not at the mercy of DHCP leases, which will change eventually.

And whosuggested the barbell layout? Hmmm?

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Bill Kearney




Nope, you already assigned non-conflicting addresses to the two D- links yourself. They are now fixed. What the 2wire's DHCP will do is assign IP addresses to the clients of the D-links, rather than the D-links trying to do it themselves. That way everybody is on the same subnet with a unique address.

Again, channel assignment may make a big difference. Don't forget about that. Do a Netstumbler survey to map the existing APs and where they are stronger to help you sort that out.

Also, if BILL's barbell (with 2Wire added) scheme doesn't work, then there are other possible approaches to try. But that seems like the best


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Thanks again for the suggestions. I was unaware of Netstumbler as similar tools.

I been successful at getting the first of the two peripheral wireless routers working as access points in a close in lash up, so it looks like I've got the IP issues under control. Now I just need to finish stringing CAT5 cables.

Thanks again... WindsurferLA

seaweedsl wrote:

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