June 09, 2005

Curious George: How to link multiple wireless routers...

I have two wireless routers, a Linksys WRT54G and a D-Link DI-624. I would like to use both routers either at the same cable modem connection to increase the wireless power, or to have them on separate cable modem connections to increase the coverage throughout the house. I am running on an iBook G4 with Tiger. If anyone can tell me how to either set up the routers, or if they can't be joined as one "big wireless router" then how to set up my Mac to use both wireless signals simultaneously I'd appreciate it. Mahalo.

  • I don't think it is possible to use them both at the same time. (remembering my physics, I don't think that doubling the number of broadcasts eminating from one location would increase the distance traveled signifigantly anyway.) I think it might be possible to place one in one location and the other somewhere else and have one hand off the connection to the other, depending on the specs of the router. Some routers can opperate in what I think is called bridge mode or act as a wireless bridge and that is what you want. Without knowing the details of the situation, the best solution would generally be to try to place the router you are using at different locations (if you remember the days of rabbit ear antennas you know that moving it just a little can often make all the distance) and see if the reception is better or get a replacement antenna for the router to increase the range. You can either buy a totally new antenna or try any of a large number of homemade antennas.
  • I'm doing this right now... I'm actually leaching internet off of a cafe down the hill, picking it up wirelessly with a Wifi/Ethernet Bridge that then leads into a access point. It's a Belkin-something bridge and DI-624. So the bridge gets the HOFNET signal, passes it out the ethernet port, goes as the WAN on the AP and my laptop gets the MarketHouse signal. It's kind of a bitch to configure, because you have to plug a computer first into the bridge, configure it's wifi stuff, and then plug in the AP and configure that. That's my experience. (:
  • Commenting on jccalhoun, actually you have to make sure the AP can do what's called repeating. And unfortunately that's never been standardized so each brand will only repeat with themselves, and even then, only on newer access points. I'm checking the specs on the WRT54G right now and it doesn't mention repeating, which most likely means it doesn't support it. So either way you have to add hardware, whether it be a bridge/AP or a second access point to the WAN (a second cable modem, etc).
  • Something like what you're talking about can be done with the WRT54G, but not with the official linksys firmware. You'd need to flash it with 3rd party firmware, read through the documentation and do a bit of command line hacking to set it up to act as a client or repeater. And I'm not sure if it'll play nice with the D-Link even then... It's not that simple to do and you could easily end up with a useless hunk of plastic.
  • It looks like you want to build a Wireless Distribution System. There actually is a standard for this, and both the WRT54G and the DI-624 can be configured to support it. But yes, as Pryde points out, be prepared to apply firmware upgrades and spend some time tweaking the settings to get this to work. (You might find that recent versions of the Linksys firmware have added WDS support. Several of the third party firmwares certainly include it.)
  • Thanks for the help.
  • Simple! A netgear doc on this very subject Ignore the model names, this has worked for me every time I've tried it. If you still have troubles, let me know!