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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 2014-12-01, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria
Posts: 577
Help with router movement/configuration

I've made do over the years with a WRT54Gl wired/wireless router in my basement located right next to the shaw Cisco modem (non-bridged). The WRT router has room for 4 wired ports and one of these I've used for a switch right next to it which feeds 2 other wired connections (xbox). The other three lan ports on the router feed two bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. One of the problems with all of this is the location--in a furnace room in the basement. My wifi connection to upstairs far bedroom was very low, I did buy an extender which works, except for a tendancy to drop out now and then. In hopes of improving some of this I just purchased the Netgear Nighthawk router. It too, has room for 4 ports and also two bands of wifi coverage.

My conumdrum now is although its signal is stronger, I still don't get full strength in the upstairs room. I could wire a cable upstairs directly above where the new router is now, but don't want to have to bring all the rest of the ethernet cables along with it (they likely aren't long enough).

My other thought is to use my old WRT router, place that in a bedroom upstairs and wire directly off that to a PC in that room. If I did this could I still use the WIFI off that router to hopefully improve the upstairs coverage?

So should I use my old router for upstairs wifi, or bring the Nighthawk router upstairs (but then what do do with the cables downstairs--run another switch down there?) I'm a bit lost with all of this.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 2014-12-01, 05:35 PM
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The WRT54Gl is a good router but not quite up to handling the amount of traffic on today's higher speed internet connections. I would replace the WRT54Gl with the the Netgear Nighthawk. There should be a performance increase, especially with internet services over 10Mbps.

The WRT54Gl could then be placed on a wired connection close to where the weak signal exists (near an existing wired device.) Use the LAN switch portion only and configure it as an access point. To do so, disable the DHCP server and the WAN port. This is called a wired access point. The LAN switch on the router can be used to feed the existing device.

Remove the wireless extender. It can cause issues and slow down the wireless network.

Due to the location of the Netgear Nighthawk, 5GHz range may still be an issue. It may be necessary to replace the WRT54Gl with a dual band router at some future date. What I did was use a router with very good wired WAN/LAN performance in the basement and turn the wireless off on that router. I then put a router with very good wireless performance in a central location and configured it as a wired access point.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 2014-12-01, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria
Posts: 577
Thanks for the info. I have already switched the nighthawk router with the wrt downstairs already and the signal (although better) still is not strong at the upstairs far bedroom. Being that the Nighthawk router has the stronger wifi capability, could I leave the WRT downstairs (disable the wifi on it), keep all my wired connections through that one, and move the Nighthawk router upstairs and used the WIFI (and one of the lan ports for a computer up there)? Or in doing so would I get some drop off in speeds through running an ethernet cable from the WRT down to feed the Nighthawk upstairs?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 2014-12-01, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto East Downtown
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An issue with using the WRT54Gl as the initial basement switch is that it caps out at 100Mbps, restricting wired traffic that flows between the devices connected through it. If this is not a priority, fine.
The Nighthawk's performance via Ethernnet should not be otherwise affected. You'll get 100Mbps.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 2014-12-11, 01:57 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maple Ridge BC
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I had a similar issue at my house. Router in the basement, bedrooms had weak wireless. I already had ethernet running to my desktop upstairs and did what ExDilbert explained. Second router as a switch/wireless access point. Works mint. Have strong wireless throughout my house now. I run the bands on different channels so there is no crossover.

I use my Nighthawks AC 5ghz band exclusively for my laptop(it's in my living room directly above the nighthawk). It's as fast as any wired connection in my house. Everything else runs on 2.4 on either router or 5 ghz on the second router

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