Ask the Wi-Fi Guru About Wi-Fi for a Remote House - Page 3

By Aaron Weiss

April 11, 2011

A: The answers here are related to one another.

In scenario one (segmented network), your broadcast router (Buffalo 2 WAP) should enable DHCP and the configured IP address network should be different from the main house.

Suppose your main house router (WAP) is configured to the LAN address 192.168.1.1. This means its DHCP server hands out addresses in the 192.168.1.x range. On your guest house WAP, leave DHCP enabled and configure its LAN address to a different subject, for example 192.168.0.1, and its DHCP pool to addresses in the 192.168.0.x range.

Had you configured scenario two (unified network), you would basically do the opposite on the guest house WAP. Disable its DHCP server (because there should be only one on a unified network, and that is the main house router), and configure its LAN address to an address on the main router subnet; e.g. 192.168.1.2.

4. I plan to run WPA-2 and TKIP on the guest house AP, just as I do on the AP in the main house.

A: Absolutely fine. In either scenario one or two, you should be able to configure the wireless security (and SSID) on the guest house AP any way you want.

Note that in scenario two (unified network), setting identical security and SSID parameters for both the main router and the guest house WAP would allow seamless roaming between both locations. But since you presumably prefer the segmented network of scenario one, roaming is probably not the goal.

5. Finally, would I be better off running Buffalo 1 in Tomato's bridge mode? I want to avoid cutting my connection speed, as with wireless bridging.

A: It seems to me that you are already running "Buffalo 1" as a bridge. When this router is configured for Tomato's client mode, it is behaving as a receiver, picking up the signal from your main house WAP. It is passing data on to wired clients connected to any of the LAN ports on Buffalo 1, which includes Buffalo 2. This is what a bridge is. You should not lose any (significant) bandwidth this way because, as described above, the radio in Buffalo 1 is not being asked to play dual roles. It is receiving only, never broadcasting (that job is being done by Buffalo 2).

All in all, you are essentially using two routers networked together to play the role of a repeater. In my experience this is a solid solution compared to running a single router repeater, although that can be done. The downside, of course, is that you have to buy two routers, and if one ever goes belly-up, your repeater will be non-functional until it is replaced.

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