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phicar2
2006-01-18, 12:41
Can anyone help me out with a networking question or point me in the right direction? I am planning on installing some ethernet cable in several rooms in my house and wanted to get an opinion of the best way to do it and the hardware for it. I am trying to get the best connection for my 2 SB3s (I want to wire them into the network) and wireless coverage throughout my house to connect my Nokia770 as the remote for both SBs.

Right now I have a Dlink DI-624 wireless router (which only has 4 wired ports) but I will need more wireless access points and more wired ports than 4 to hook in all the PCs and wireless access points. My question is what is the best way to expand my network? Can I use one of the four wired ports on the 624 and connect a switch (Dlink DSS-8+ for example) and then connect to the switch any number of other wired desktops and also connect multiple wired access points (Dlink DWL-2100AP)? Or do I need to start from scratch with a router that has more wired ports?

Basically I am trying to figure out the best solution to have about 8 or more wired devices hooked into the network since I will have 4 PCs wired in, 1 of which has the slimserver running, and 2 or 3 wireless access points wired in (I have a fairly spread out house and the wifi doesnít cover too large an area because of the walls, ceilings etc. thus my need to have multiple access points). I know I need a router to connect the internet to my network. Iím just not sure from there what I can plug into what to expand the network...

MrC
2006-01-18, 13:26
Yes, you can add switches to accomodate your needs.

Are the multiple APs working ok for you?

phicar2
2006-01-18, 16:48
Just to be clear about the switches. All I do is hook an ethernet cable from one port on the router to one (any?) port on the switch. Is that correct? Then I can hook any PC or AP to any open port?

I can't comment on multiple AP working as I don't have them yet, that is just my plan. Why, are there issues and problems I should be aware of ahead of time?

JJZolx
2006-01-18, 17:12
Just to be clear about the switches. All I do is hook an ethernet cable from one port on the router to one (any?) port on the switch.
Maybe. Older switches required a crossover connection between two switches. This either requirs a crossover cable (wires 1-8 are reversed on one end) or else you'd use a special cross-over port on the switch. This port is usually labeled 'uplink' or with an 'X'. On some switches one port is switchable from regular straight-through to crossover and will have a small switch next to it.

Many newer switches, though, are auto-sensing and will cross over automatically when connected to another switch with a standard Ethernet cable. The D-Link DSS-8+ does this. From the product page:


Installation is simple with the DSS-8+, as it is truly a Plug & Play switch. All ports support Auto-MDI/MDI-X, which means whether it is connecting to another switch or to a computer, there is no need for crossover cables.

ceejay
2006-01-18, 17:12
You should be ok. The main thing when setting up multiple WAPs is to make sure you give them well separated channel numbers.

I have a similar setup to the one you are thinking of, it works well most of the time!




-------- ----------
WAN-- |router| | switch |
-------- ----------
| | | | | | | | |
| | | -------------- | | -------- WAP
| | --- PC 1 | -------- PC 5
| ----- PC 2 ------- PC 4 (slimserver)
--------PC 3



The router is also a wireless router, ie it has its own WAP built in.

It probably helps if the switch ports are autosensing (in/out) otherwise you might need a crossover cable connecting switch and router?

I have two SB2s, both connecting wirelessly to the standalone WAP. (I use the other WAP for 11b connectivity for laptop and PDA).

HTH

Ceejay

MrC
2006-01-18, 17:13
Yes, just connect an ethernet cable between an open LAN port on your router and an uplink port on your switch. Newer hardware automatically determines the correct pairing of recv/xmit so that you don't need a crossover cable. Without this, you'd need a crossover cable between these two devices. Just be sure the switch you get has auto-mdx.

Multiple APs can cause more trouble than they will solve, because they will all require separate channels in an already crowded, narrow radio frequency range. What you really want is a repeater. Otherwise, you are likely to have channel conflicts if in a wifi-crowded area. Most consumer APs do not support repeaters, so if extending your range is your desire, be sure to get an AP that supports a repeater.

Btw. Today's MIMO routers (like the Belkin Pre-N) have outstanding range. We have no trouble anywhere in our large house, despite many walls, floors, etc. This would just require one AP then, simplifying your life.

ceejay
2006-01-18, 17:15
Just like waiting for a bus! You wait hours for a reply, then three come along at once!!

Ceejay

phicar2
2006-01-19, 06:34
You guys rock! Thanks a ton for the great info. And great diagram, that's exactly what I'm looking to do. Also, yes I beleive the WAP I was going to get was the DLink DWL-2100AP which says one of the five modes it can operate in is as a repeater.

JJZolx
2006-01-19, 10:20
You guys rock! Thanks a ton for the great info. And great diagram, that's exactly what I'm looking to do. Also, yes I beleive the WAP I was going to get was the DLink DWL-2100AP which says one of the five modes it can operate in is as a repeater.
I have a DWL-2100AP, although it's my only wireless access point on my network. If you're using it wired off of the switch, then I'm not sure what you'd want to do is use it as a repeater - it might just be another access point.

Ask questions in the following D-Link forum:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/dlink

Mark Lanctot
2006-01-19, 11:07
BTW repeating is really called WDS (wireless
distribution system) and is pretty tricky.

http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article78-page1.php

You really need products from the same vendor, and
even then it may not work.

Note you also take a significant throughput hit as
the packets have to be received and re-transmitted.

JJZolx wrote:
> phicar2 Wrote:
>> You guys rock! Thanks a ton for the great info.
And great diagram,
>> that's exactly what I'm looking to do. Also, yes I
beleive the WAP I
>> was going to get was the DLink DWL-2100AP which
says one of the five
>> modes it can operate in is as a repeater.
> I have a DWL-2100AP, although it's my only wireless
access point on my
> network. If you're using it wired off of the
switch, then I'm not sure
> what you'd want to do is use it as a repeater - it
might just be another
> access point.
>
> Ask questions in the following D-Link forum:
>
> http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/dlink
>
>

--
___________________________________


Mark Lanctot
___________________________________

JJZolx
2006-01-19, 11:26
BTW repeating is really called WDS (wireless
distribution system) and is pretty tricky.
The DWL-2100AP has the following five 'Mode' choices:

- Access Point
- WDS with AP
- WDS
- AP Repeater
- AP Client

Mark Lanctot
2006-01-19, 11:31
I wonder if the repeater modes are different than
WDS...or if those popular "wireless repeaters" out
there use WDS.

But there may still be a performance hit as
packets still have to be received and then
retransmitted.

JJZolx wrote:
> Mark Lanctot Wrote:
>> BTW repeating is really called WDS (wireless
>> distribution system) and is pretty tricky.
> The DWL-2100AP has the following five 'Mode'
choices:
>
> - Access Point
> - WDS with AP
> - WDS
> - AP Repeater
> - AP Client
>
>

--
___________________________________


Mark Lanctot
___________________________________

phicar2
2006-01-24, 19:12
Yes, just connect an ethernet cable between an open LAN port on your router and an uplink port on your switch. Newer hardware automatically determines the correct pairing of recv/xmit so that you don't need a crossover cable. Without this, you'd need a crossover cable between these two devices. Just be sure the switch you get has auto-mdx.

Multiple APs can cause more trouble than they will solve, because they will all require separate channels in an already crowded, narrow radio frequency range. What you really want is a repeater. Otherwise, you are likely to have channel conflicts if in a wifi-crowded area. Most consumer APs do not support repeaters, so if extending your range is your desire, be sure to get an AP that supports a repeater.

Btw. Today's MIMO routers (like the Belkin Pre-N) have outstanding range. We have no trouble anywhere in our large house, despite many walls, floors, etc. This would just require one AP then, simplifying your life.


I have a question about this... My house is about 4500 sq ft and I have the DI-624 set up on the second floor at one end of the house (I canít do anything about this, my wife makes some of the rules and I need wireless coverage at the exact opposite end of the house on the first floor. I was planning on dropping a wired Ethernet port and hooking in a 2100ap and using it as an AP. However, reading this, it sounds like using it as a repeater is a better way to go Ė and using it as a repeater does not require it to be hooked wired into the network, correct? The clarification I need is that if I use it as a repeater, what is it going to repeat? The signal from the 624 is essentially 0 (or less - crossing that space with all those walls and the floor) so how can it repeat a signal it can't see? What am I missing?

MrC
2006-01-24, 19:36
Hello phicar2,

The repeater would need to be close enough to the 624 to pick up and repeat its signals to the other end of the house - eg. midway. If your situation doesn't allow locating such a device anywhere, then this route would not work for you.

Larger companies do this - they have a grid of access points/repeaters to cover a larger area then can not be covered by a single AP. Typically, they mount them on the ceiling upside-down.

This setup is nice, because you can walk around your house with your laptop and the network is always connected. With two APs, you'll be switching back and forth between the two, associating and disassociating as you move. Not a pleasant experience.

Make sense?

Michaelwagner
2006-01-24, 20:24
I would stay away from multiple access points unless you really really really (and I mean really) need it.

I have a 24,000 sq. ft. factory and I have one access point. I think I once on a lark walked a wireless laptop all the way to the other end of the factory (200 feet) and it was fine.

Put your WAP up high and centrally located.

Mine is about 6 feet in the air and at one end of the factory. It works. And I'm not even following my own rules.

And my factory is steel frame, which tends to be a bad thing for wireless.

phicar2
2006-01-25, 11:10
Thanks guys for the feedback. What I have decided to try is I purchased the 2100AP which can function as a repeater. I also bought 2 "big" antennas that I researched and sounded like they actually do a good job of strengthening/lengthening the signal. I will try to put the AP at a higher location and the repeater within range on the first floor and see if that covers the areas I need covered. If not I'll be back for more advice! :-)
Thanks again everyone for all the help!