General Question

Silence04's avatar

2 Wifi Routers/Access Points on the same network?

Asked by Silence04 (2782 points ) April 9th, 2012

My house is too big to get my router’s wifi signal to reach throughout the entire house. So I took an extra router I had laying around and turned it into a wifi bridge to extend the signal into other areas.

I originally set it up months ago, and it seemed to work fine. However, I just noticed there isn’t a fully seamless transition from the router to the bridge. For instance, if I am connected to the network on a device via the router, then walk with the device to the bridge, it will show I’m still connected to the same network and have full signal, but I can’t access anything on the Network or Internet. In order for me to regain access, I have to disconnect my device from the wifi network, then reconnect.

Is this normal, or do I need to change some setting on the bridge?

p.s. I also noticed if I have device with a manually selected IP address, that device will not have access at all when connected to the bridge. I have to change IP in order to regain access. Don’t know if the 2 issues are related or not.

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8 Answers

dabbler's avatar

That sounds normal to have to disconnect then reconnect. WiFi is not designed to hand off well, like phone cells are. There are industrial strength APs out there if you get tired of that.

Ref the IPs, do you have network mask set on the bridge?
Does the new IP have to be in a certain range to work and do your AP and bridge have the IP ranges?

Rarebear's avatar

I don’t know the answer, but I’m following the question. I often need wifi access outside my house and coverage there is decreased. I had thought that I need to get a wifi range extender like this one but I also have an extra wifi router hanging around. I didn’t even think about using that as the booster. How did you set it up?

RocketGuy's avatar

@Rarebear – My low budget method to increase signal is to go into the router setup and change channels. At my house, Channel 11 works best. The auto channel in my LinkSys router does not work. Also, if you have no 802.11b devices, it might help to set your router to transmit only 802.11g and n. 802.11b has an annoying feature that if one b device is transmitting, the other b devices have to pause until the first is completely done. The g and n standard allows multi-threading (or whatever they call it), so multiple simultaneous requests just all slow down. My b/g laptop really liked b, so kept getting paused by my b/g phone (which also liked b).

I too am interested in the bridge. My genius electrician forgot to put in ethernet to my computing area during our remodel.

dabbler's avatar

I’ve heard some great things about some more serious-grade equipment by Mikrotek, e.g. this one. They aren’t cheap but folks say they get the job done.
With something like that you can often eliminate the need for repeaters and bridges.

Silence04's avatar

@dabbler That’s what I was afraid of… :/
I know the masks are the same on both the Bridge and Access Point. I will check on the IP ranges.

@RocketGuy @Rarebear If you have an extra router, there might be a setting to turn on “wireless bridge mode” if you login to the router’s setup page. if it’s not there, I would recommend flashing the firmware and install the open source DD-WRT firmware, it’s a lot more reliable and robust than most stock firmware.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Installation
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge

Rarebear's avatar

@silence04, thanks. I’ll check it out. I do a lot of streaming of my telescope online, and obviously my telescope is outside. It’s annoying and embarrassing to be on a Youtube broadcast with professional astronomers commenting on your feed and having it go out.

whitenoise's avatar

When configured as a bridge, your access point should be totally transparent to your router.

That is… it acts as a switch for all its wireless clients and the LAN connection to your router.

If your access point is indeed configured as a bridge, all of the following features on that access point should be switched off: NAT, firewall, DHCP server, network separation.

Are you connecting your access point (the bridge) to your router by ethernet? Try to connect it to one of the LAN ports and do not use the wan port.

i have set up many routers in the bridge configuration that you use and some behave better than others. It worked well with netgear.Recently I have good experience with apple airport express in bridge mode and Belkin router. The airport express doubles as a wireless speaker hub as well.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, I have a Netgear N router for the primary, and an old Linksys G router that’s just hanging around doing nothing. I’ll research your sites and poke back up if I can’t figure it out.

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