Ask the Wi-Fi Guru About Wi-Fi for a Remote House - Page 2

By Aaron Weiss

April 11, 2011

How do I extend a wireless network to a guest house all the way across my property?

Q:I'd like to extend and redistribute the wireless signal from my home to the guest house on the far corner of my property Basically, I want to repeat my wireless network at full speed (if I understand correctly, a wireless bridge/WDS would cut the speed in half; I need a WAP to distribute the signal wirelessly within the guest house). I cannot physically wire the guest house to the main house.

I have two Tomato-flashed Buffalo WHR-HP-54G routers I can put in the guest house, and a long-range yagi antenna I can connect to one. I want to use one wireless router as a client and cable it to the other wireless router working as an AP, like this:

a complex Wi-Fi network

The client router and antenna in the guest house connect to the main house with no problem. I need help configuring and wiring the AP so it can receive the signal from the client. - Bree

Note: Bree continues on with several specific questions, and I will address them each one-by-one below. We have printed Bree's full description of her setup because it is a model example of a configuration that will work and may appeal to many readers who need to extend a wireless signal to a distant area of their property. The reason this configuration avoids the half-bandwidth problem described is because Bree is using two routers at the remote location; one to behave as the wireless client, and another to behave as the broadcaster. By doing this, no one radio needs to play both roles, therefore no significant speed is lost.

I think I want to connect the client's LAN port to the AP's WAN port, in effect substituting the client for a cable modem. Is this right, or should it be LAN to LAN?

A: In fact, both ways will work, but with different consequences.

In scenario one, you connect the wireless client (bridge) LAN port to the AP WAN port. Doing this will segment your network, meaning that everyone connected to the client router (visitors in your guest house) will essentially be on a separate network from the network in your main house.

By "separate network" I mean that the SSID, security settings, and IP addressing will be completely independent from your main network. These users should not be able to see clients in your main network, and will be behind whatever firewall settings you configure on the client router. So yes, this would be very much like substituting the wireless client for a cable modem. Presuming that you are renting your guest house to visitors, this is probably your most desirable configuration.

In scenario two, you would connect LAN ports on both routers, ignoring the WAN port. This would essentially extend the network from your main house into your guest house. Users in the guest house would share access to the same devices as in the main house. This would be desirable if you or trusted others were using the network from the guest house, but not so desirable otherwise.

2. Should the guest house AP's network address be different from the network in the main house? (I'll be running different SSIDs to avoid conflicts).

3. The client currently works with DHCP on, and I think I should probably turn DHCP off on the AP. Right?

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