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Networks Wireless network woes. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dullonien, 26 Feb 2010.

  1. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    It's been almost a year since moving into a new house, and I've struggled to get my wireless network working working consistently well. The problem I have is that my Virgin Cable entres the house on the North side, while my office is upstairs on the opposite side of the house. It's not a big house atall, but there are two solid 120mm walls seperating both spaces. This seems t be causing big big signal problems.

    I've tried a number of things to sort it out. First, I upgraded from my old Netgear wireless-G router to a Netgear WRN2000 wireless-N router. That improved things, but my signal still drops on a routine basis, and my transfer speeds are pitiful. I'm using a WN111v2 wireless-N usb dongle on my pc, but have ended up revering to connecting through an old Netgear Wgps606 wireless-G print server, as it doesn't seem to drop it's connection as often.

    I've tried all kinds of different settings on the router, including changing the speed from 64Mbps to 145 and 300Mbps, changing between different security options and changing channels. The neoghbours wireless networks are on channels 6 and 11, so I've set mine to use channel 1.

    My WNR2000 router supports wireless repeating, so I bought another off ebay to place at the other end of the house. Of course, this still isn't working, as that now keeps dropping it's connection with the main router.

    I have just bought a Cat5 cable to connect the two routers to provide a stable connection between the two. This would then mean that there is only the thickness of the floor seperating my pc/laptop with one router or the other.

    My question is how do I set this up. Do I still use the wireless repeating function, or do I set both routers as standalone using the same SSID? Do you think this will finally sort out my problems, as at the moment my network usually runs slower than my internet connection (20meg). Streaming video (even SD quality) is a no, no.

    Note: both routers are using latest firmware.

    Sorry for the mini essay, wanted to make sure I provided as much information as possible.
     
  2. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    welcome to wireless. it sucks and is flakey at best and reliant on how your home is laid out and what it is made of.

    basically you need to configure the second router you bought to be a wireless access point if it supports it. this will use the cat5 you have connected to communicate with primary router and the wireless signal you connect to with your PC
     
  3. Fazed

    Fazed Active Member

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    Off the top of my head, if you're connect the 2 via Ethernet, on the secondary router (the one which is not connect to your virgin modem), you need to go into the setup pages, disable the DHCP server and give it a different gateway IP address to the primary router. (e.g. change from 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.2) To all intents and purposes, the secondary router then acts like a wireless AP/Switch and the primary router handles all of the DHCP functions etc. etc.

    As for the SSID, it's up to you. If you set the same name, channel, encryption, devices should seamlessly connect to the strongest signal.
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2010
  4. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    @adam_bugpuss. I've been using wireless networks for 5 years now, and never had any problems before. However this new house seems to have a horrible construction. It basically has 2 rooms downstairs with a staircase between, The staircase is enclosed by solid brick walls. I live in Lincoln, and this is a ~ 100 year old workers house, so the internal walls aren't simple studwork :(.

    @ Fazed. just set it up the way you suggested, initial results seem good. I decided to set different SSID's, so I can make sure it's connected to the correct router at all times.
     
  5. Fazed

    Fazed Active Member

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    I went a similar route when testing a pair of DG834GT's in the same configuration, ended up leaving it with different SSID's as it was only me using the connection, and easier to diagnose any problems that might have occurred, although none did!

    Anyhow, glad you're sorted.
     
  6. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    I'm soooo happy to finally have a stable and quick network. I store the majority of my multimedia (music and video) on a 2TB NAS connected to the router, which meant watching anything on my pc was a real pain, which usually ended up in copying the file to the desktop before watching. This was made even more anoying when the connection would drop constantly, interrupting the file transfer! It could sometimes take a few hours to get a ~ 1GB avi copied!

    So, I'm very grateful for the advice as it's workign like a charm. Just gotta buy a new drill bit to drill a hole through a wall so the cat5 cable isn't trailing across the rooms and through doorways!
     
  7. Fazed

    Fazed Active Member

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    Have you considered getting a decent pair of Powerline / Homeplug adapters as an alternative to drilling and having Cat5 cable running around the house?
     
  8. thewelshbrummie

    thewelshbrummie Active Member

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    Powerline is a great alternative - but make sure that both sockets near your PC and router are on the same wiring loop. It's the reason I can't go with it - the room my gaming rig is in is an extension to the original building and is therefore on a separate loop, so powerline isn't an option for me.

    So far as your wireless issues are concerned, the walls may be to blame - in my case what were external stone walls prevent decent signal penetration so the coverage is poor at best - brick is supposed to be better.

    I've solved my wireless problems by using extension cables for the antennas, both on my router and my motherboard wireless card. It's not pretty, but there's now only 2m of air between antennas which provides a reliable connection, and about as quick as can be expected on my current connection.

    Can't help with wireless repeating I'm afraid.
     
  9. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    High-gain directional antennae will help with signal troubles, eBay has quite a few of them.
     

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