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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Extended media setup with two routers and a switch


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ur85q

 
Member Since: Nov 18, 2011
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Looking at extending my home setup which currently consists of:

Mac Mini 3.1 running OSX 10.6.8, connected to a Drobo (Gen2) file storage system. This is my home theatre set up (connected to a 55 inch LED LCD and sound system via optical). The Mac Mini is Ethernet connected to Cisco DPQ3925X 4 port wireless cable modem, through which we stream and download content from the net. A 17”Macbook Pro and a 13”Macbook (both running OSX 10.6.8) also connect wirelessly to this modem.

We have extended our house, and unfortunately, the wireless signal from the modem doesn’t reach to the new extension.

So … on a friend’s suggestion, I’ve strung Ethernet cable to the other end of the house, and bought two wireless routers (Belkin N300 with 4 ports). The thinking was to turn off the wireless on the Cisco modem in order to have it function as a switch, then connect the two new wireless routers to two of its ports, and have one serve the existing zone of the house, and the other serve the extension. Trouble is, configuring the lot is proving beyond my capabilities!

Would the following make sense to aim for, and be achievable?
  1. Cisco cable modem connects to internet
  2. Port one on the Cisco connects to Mac Mini (which is connected to Drobo)
  3. Port two on the Cisco connects to Belkin wireless router A to serve one end of the house
  4. Port three on the Cisco connects to Belkin wireless router B to serve the extension
  5. Macbooks automatically connect to whichever wireless router is strongest as you travel from one end of the house to the other. Macbooks can access content on the Drobo, regardless of the router they are connected wirelessly to.
  6. Port four on the Cisco connects to an Apple TV in the extension (connected to a 42 inch LCD), configured to access the content on the Drobo. This effectively becomes another media center
  7. Optional: Printer connects via Ethernet to Belkin wireless router B on Port three. Macbooks can print to the printer when connected wirelessly to either wireless router.
Is all of this technically possible?
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bobtomay

 
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There are at least a couple of us doing similar.

Connect the 2nd router to the first router - not to the modem. Have the 1st router provide all DHCP services - then all your devices are on the same network. The 2nd router is set up in bridge mode.

No, there is no way to have your devices "auto" connect to whichever wifi network is strongest. That's easily enough done with 2 clicks on the Airport icon in the menu bar and switching to the other network as you move around the house.

As to whether that Belkin has a bridge mode - don't know - not all routers do
You'll probably need to open up the owner's manual, or if Belkin has a forum, you might want to head there to ask about setting up bridge mode.

(After re-reading - you could connect both of them to the Cisco if it is handling all DHCP - you'd then need to set up both of the new routers in bridge mode.)

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ur85q

 
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Sounds like your re-read is the way to go ... found this on eHow ...

Bellkin N300 wireless routers support bridging using the Wireless Distribution System standard. When multiple Belkin routers are configured to use WDS, each router uses the same wireless network SSID and channel. This creates the effect of an extended wireless network. Roaming wireless devices automatically connect to the Belkin router with the strongest wireless signal. WDS enables a wireless device to seamlessly switch between routers without user intervention. You can bridge a Belkin N300 router by setting up WDS in the configuration interface.
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bobtomay

 
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Forgot about that as I have my wifi set up with 2 individual networks - one is 'n' only while the other is combo 'g' and 'n' for a couple of older devices. In my case, they won't auto switch.

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In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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