Tag Archives: Router

Setting up a home network with two routers

Recently, I solved network connectivity problem at home by setting up a slightly complex network using an old BSNL wa3002g4 router. Earlier I wrote about how I used this BSNL wa3002g4 router as a WiFi switch and lot of people said that the post was very useful. So I decided to document this setup as well, so that it will be useful for someone who wants to do the same thing πŸ™‚

Problem

First, let me explain the problem that I was facing. I have half a dozen devices running multiple OS (two desktops, a Mac, an iPhone, couple of Android phones, couple of Raspberry Pis.. you get the idea right πŸ˜‰ ) that I wanted to be in the same network and share my single internet connection. Also, I live in two floors and my WiFi signal was too week to penetrate the concrete across the floors.

In my old setup, the cable from my broadband provider was connected to a Netgear router, that acted as a network switch as well as a WiFi router. This was in my top floor where the desktops were present. But when I am in the bottom floor, the WiFi signal was too weak to be used in my laptop or in my phones.

Solution

My first thought was to buy a WiFi expander and use it to boost the WiFi signal in the bottom floor. When I was about to buy the signal booster, I remembered that I had an old BSNL wa3002g4 router, which I was using earlier as a WiFi switch. I know that it is a multi-functional device, so I was trying to see if I can use it to expand my WiFi range.

Unfortunately, it can’t act as a WiFi expander. But then I realized, I can still use it as a switch. I started to experiment a bit with it and after some trial and errors, I made it to work in the way I wanted πŸ™‚

My current setup

The cable from my broadband provider (currently ACT broadband, who gives me 15 Mbps πŸ˜‰ ) is connected to the input of my Netgear router which is placed in the top floor. It gives out both wired and wireless connections to the devices in the top floor. One of those output port from Netgear is connected to my old BSNL wa3002g4 router which is placed in the bottom floor. This second router gives wired and wireless to the devices in the bottom floor.

After I had this setup, I realized that both the routers were creating their own sub networks and the devices are not in the same network. Also I had to use two different WiFi ssid’s which kind of defeated the whole purpose.

DHCP relay

It was at this point, that I discovered that my BSNL router has a feature called DHCP relay, which allowed me to configure the connections so that they can be in the same network.

DHCP relay, allows you to specify a different DHCP server from where the device should get dynamic ip address instead of generating ip address on its own. I specified the ip address of my Netgear router as the DHCP server in the DHCP relay config of my BSNL router.

This allowed the BSNL router to relay all DHCP requests to the Netgear router instead of generating the ip address on its own. Now all my devices were connected in the same network.

Configuring WiFi

The next problem that I had to solve was setting up the WiFi ssid’s. Again by trial and error I found that if I configured both routers with the same WiFi ssid and same authentication parameters, then the devices can connect to both the routers seamlessly. I changed the WiFi config in both the routers to be the same and then my devices started connecting to the network without any issues even when I moved across floors. The devices always pick up the router which has the best signal.

And now I am finally happy that all my devices are in the same network and that I can connect to my network from any part of my home, without worrying about the signal range πŸ™‚

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Using BSNL wa3002g4 router as a WIFI switch for Tata wimax connection

Note: If you are not in India or if you are not currently using either BSNL or Tata broadband connection, then you can save a couple of minutes by ignoring this post. πŸ˜‰

Before I moved to Bangalore, I was having a BSNL broadband connection at Chennai. I bought the wa3002g4 WIFI router from BSNL. Now after moving to Bangalore, I took Tata wimax broadband connection.

Tata wimax doesn’t come with a wifi router and my old BSNL router was lying around. So I thought of using my BSNL router as a switch to convert my wired connection to a wireless connection. After some struggle I succeeded and thought of documenting it here so that it will be helpful for someone who is looking to do the same thing and I can also refer to it in future, if I need to do it again.

Multi-functional device

First thing to know is that, the wifi router (wa3002g4) provided by BSNL is a multi-functional device. It can act as an ADSL modem, a wifi router and also as a switch.

Connecting the wires

First, you need to remove the ADSL cable from the BSNL router and then connect the output cable from Tata wimax modem into any of the four slots of BSNL router. If you need to share the connection with a desktop without wifi card, then you can connect the cable from the desktop network card to one of the other slots in BSNL router. Like wise you connect up to three other computers.

Configuring the router

Now login to your router admin console and disable DHCP. Enter a SSID for your connection and password protect it using WEP or WPA. (WPA is recommended)

Now switch on everything and enable wifi in your laptop. Connect to the router using the password you created. After the connection is established log on to the Tata wimax admin console and enter your username and password. Now you should be able to browse the internet using wifi.

I guess the router can also be used as a switch with other broadband providers, but I am not sure. If you have tried to setup connection with other providers, then do let me know about it in the comments. πŸ™‚

Update: If you are not able to log into the Tata Indicom web dialer page simultaneously in both the computers, then call up Tata Indicom customer care and ask them to enable "NAT" for your connection. Once enabled, you can use connect using multiple computers, without individually logging in each of them separately.

Update 2: I have since moved on from Tata Indicom connection. I currently use this router to share WiFi signal across floors in my home.

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