Extend that network.

While listening to one of my favorite podcasts I heard a comment about the trouble extending the wireless network in the house. Since they live in a palace, well a palace to me anyway. There are no hardwired connections and the wireless signal is not able to pass through all the walls. This not a project for novice users. You should understand how to access a router and change it’s configuration as well as how to factory reset the router when you make a mistake.

A solution I have used is to add wireless routers but configure as access points. You do this by making some configuration changes.

First determine how many rooms can not receive a usable signal from your current router. With that information and an approximate distance away from the current router the signal becomes unusable, we will determine how many access points we need.

Below is a very rudimentary drawing of a routers coverage in a large area.

Simple house plan

The circle represents the usable range of the wireless router. You want to have wireless access in the two room on the left, but don’t want to have to connect through the solid concrete wall as it will degrade the signal. This means you need two extra routers, one for each room. To connect to the existing network you need to either run Ethernet cables from the rooms tot he location of your primary router or use Ethernet over power adapters to extend the network via the existing power wiring in the house.

After you have an Ethernet jack in each room, connected to the existing router we can start configuring the new access point.

You are gong to power up the new router, away from your existing wireless router. After connecting and logging in as admin, you should change the admin password, perhaps to the same one as the primary router. Then change the wireless SSID to the same name as the primary. Also change the security type and key to match the primary router. This allows you to go from one area to the next and have just one network.

You also nee to turn off the DHCP server of each extra router.This will make the Primary router responsible for give your equipment an IP number. Now, with all these changes made and saved, plug one of the LAN ports into the new network jack in the first room.

You should now see the same SSID as the primary, in the room that did not have access before. Your equipment that was able to connect to the existing wireless point should now connect to the new access point and get access to the internet.

If not then ensure your Ethernet jack is working by using equipment that can be plugged into the jack. If that fails then you will have to determine why before the access point will work. If all is well then repeat the process on the second router.

I have used this process to successfully extend the wireless network in a small store with several concrete walls.



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