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Extending Wireless Network

5022 Views 31 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  epereira
We use a Linksys E4200 for our main wireless hub. When I am in the HT room at the far end of our home it will sometimes drop the connection. Even when it is connected it is very slow.

I am trying to figure out the best way to extend wireless to the HT room. I can run CAT 6 cable through our attic if needed and it would not be too terribly difficult to do.

I searched and it seems like there are fifty-eleven different suggestions on how to do it, but I could not find any comparisons as to which works the best.

Oh... and I also have an extra Linksys WRT54G v.3 router that is not being used. Would it be simple enough to just run a cable from the E4200 to the WRT54G in the HT room?
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That's certainly possible. I would go the cat 6 Route to connect them.
(I am not sure of the capabilities of these devices but you may need to check the following.)
Do you use either device to hand out IP addresses or do you set them statically.
If they are dynamic then you will need to disable DHCP on one of the devices.
I have almost exactly the same set up and the same router.

What I did was run the Ethernet cable thru the attic and connected the old linksys router up as follows.

Because I wanted the same SSID and a common network throughout the house, you have to plug the Ethernet cable into one of the ports, NOT the Internet port. You also have to turn off the function that automatically assigns IP addresses. The 4200 will handle assigning IPs for you.

Give the HT router a static IP address outside of the range that is automatically assigned. In my case, the 4200 was so I used Works like a champ. This way you can see your entire network with a media player in the HT room.
Thanks... those are my exact plans. :T
get a netgear 3700 dual band wireless router
I'd rather save some money. :bigsmile: I got the Cat 5 cable, so I am going to slap some ends on it and run it from my E4200 to the WRT54G, which will be in the HT room. It will be nice to have stable speeds in that area for firmware upgrades and laptop use. At 1.5Mbps I won't be streaming though.
I'd vote for running the cat5 too. If you're going to the trouble, you may as well either put some type of chase in or run a couple of parallel runs of cable. You never know when you'll want to run something else.
At this point I have ran a Cat6 cable from the E4200 to the WRT54G in the other room.

My DSL modem IP address is

My E4200 IP address is

I changed the IP address of the WRT54G to and turned off DHCP.

I set the wireless SSID the same on both routers, set one to channel 6 and the other to channel 11.

I connected the CAT6 cable to port 1 on both routers.

I see both identical SSID names in my wireless connections available, but I am not seeing any better throughput to my laptop.

What might I be doing wrong?
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I am having difficulty with getting back into the router after making changes.

Here are my main settings:

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My DSL modem IP address is

My E4200 IP address is
You have devices on two different subnets. (192.168.1.x and 192.168.0.x) You won't be able to connect to both routers set up like that, without manually changing your computer's IP to match the other device each time.

Most likely the E4200 should be changed to match the others on 1.x instead of 0.x.

Set both routers to be on the same subnet (probably 192.168.1.x is most common... especially if that's the one your DSL modem wants you to use), and make sure your computer is pulling an IP on that same subnet (or hardcode the IP temporarily if you need to, just to access the router and change the settings), and you should have better luck.
Kalini is correct. Both routers MUST be on the same subnet.

The way that I would go about it is to determine if the E4200 and the modem are working as expected, validate with speedtest or similar, then, if all is working as expected, I wouldn't change the IP of the E4200. I would simply change the WRT54G to You want to increment the device IP not the network IP. The way that you have done it creates a separate, isolated network on your network.

Once you change the WRT's IP, you can validate that as well with an ethernet cable and speedtest and see that you are getting the speed, then go after the wireless setup validation.

My 2 (choose the currency of your choice) worth.
I've never had luck with the same SSIDs on different subnets

Did you exclude the 2ND router's IP from the 3400 DHCP range?

I would also ditch the Cisco firmware on the WRT and load it with DDWRT.

I will go into more depth once im in front of a computer; stupid phone
Thanks guys! We should start a computer forum... I had three responses here to zero at Notebook Review forums.

I did not realize they had to be on the same subnet. I suppose that might be my issue.

I was already using the E4200 with my DSL modem without any issues.

What is DDWRT and how would that benefit me in this setup.
It probably won't help to do a firmware change in this set up. I didn't bother with it. Just becomes one more 'special' thing that I have to worry about, troubleshoot or maintain. It wouldn't hurt to be sure that your Linksys firmware is up to date.

I did go ahead and update the firmware before I got started. I believe I read where both wireless setups had to be set with the same security... and the old firmware did not offer WPA2 Personal, but the latest firmware does.

One thing I noticed was that the E4200 was set to Auto for channel selection. I set it to 11 initially and lost signal strength, then set it to 6 and got full strength again. It seems 1 and 11 are not as strong. So I suppose I will leave the E4200 on 6 and use 11 for the 54G, since we use the E4200 more often and would want the better channel connection for it.
DDWRT is a custom Firmware for the WRT. While Gottago has a valid point, I have to disagree with using Cisico's firmware. Its junk on the WRT. The 3200 is kinda scetchy with DDWRT, so I would stay with Cisco's firware on that guy.

DDWRT has more features, a much more stable caching code and opens more options that aren't available with the stock firware. I.e. you can change RX/TX power, CPU speed, and actually add cache(hardware mod). Point is, this firmware is more stable than the original. The GUI is also way more friendly to noobies for setup.

All my multi router setups use different SSIDs, unless I'm strictly using DDWRT on both routers. Most of my customers I've set up in the exact same situation have different band/model/chipset routers. Its more reliable and easier on me and the customer to just use different SSIDs, on the same subnet. You just have to make sure you set your DHCP range above the second router so you don't end up with IP conflicts. I.e. first router LAN IP, second router LAN IP Set the first router's DHCP to start at IP, second router DHCP set to off.

Again, I'm out of time to go into further detail. Most of the suggestions are actually viable solutions. However, you're usually limeted by firware and router options to do some of the suggestions.
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I looked at DDWRT, but there are fifty-eleven files and I have no idea which one to download. If their interface is anything like their download page, then I will be lost.

I am unable to get this to work. I can not get Internet access. CrimsonTide shows limited access. The status shows connected, but only at 54Mbps. I thought this would extend the range of my E4200, but that ain't happening yet.

Here are my settings on both routers:

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The status shows connected, but only at 54Mbps. I thought this would extend the range of my E4200, but that ain't happening yet.
If you mean while connected to the WRT54G, that's all you'll get because it's a 'G' router not an 'N' router.
I did not think I would actually be connecting to the WRT54G since it would be an "extension" of the E4200.

I want to be able to walk from one end of the house to the other on one SSID and have a strong signal, so it seems I have chosen the wrong route for what I am looking to do. If I have to disconnect and reconnect then I am not sure the purpose of having the same SSID. Either way, I don't want to be limited to 54Mbps in my networking. I can get better than that without the WRT54G.

Maybe I will just go the extender route and try that. :huh:
Correct. You can't mix N and non-N capable hardware in an extension scenario and get better than G (54mbps) speeds. If you need N speeds throughout, you need N hardware throughout.
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