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Thread: Setting up 2 wifi accesspoints, 1 wireless and 1 wired to router will it work?

  1. #1

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    Question Setting up 2 wifi accesspoints, 1 wireless and 1 wired to router will it work?

    Started messing around with some network gear this year.
    Got some ideas on how to improve my older brothers wifi network with 2 accesspoints.

    http://www.grandstream.com/products/...roduct/gwn7610

    I went with grandstream networks gwn7610s but documentation of newly firmware updated features is lagging behind like most other vendors i checked out.

    Got a question if anyone knows if the aps can run purely wireless between eachother and 1 ap is plugged into a router. The plugged in ap will be run as master and provide connection to the 2nd ap over wireless.
    Im thinking the mesh network guide on the docs section of the site might have what i need but i went lost during the description of different network topology examples...

  2. #2

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    I'll have a quick scan but what you are describing is exactly a mesh network. From their docs / terminology a Chained Mesh network.

    First thought is unless you are setting up a huge public network for hundreds of clients and have the necessary infrastructure in place, those AP's are total overkill IThey should work on a standard issue Home broadband / Flat LAN fine, but they are way crazy.

    Have you already bought them? If not, i'd totally recommend going down the Powerline/Wifi route. https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/test-c...-2018-3490638/ They are easily the best way of networking a house going.

    It looks like you need to configure one of those GWN;s though as the master / controller, point it at your Router/DHCP server, then add the second AP into the mesh by first plugging it into the LAN ports, configuring pairing 'somehow' then unplugging it, moving it then letting it get it's shit together. Pages 13-14 of the docu cover it in nice bullet points.
    Last edited by Itiken; February 27 2018 at 06:46:02 AM.
    Please don't teach me what to do with my pc.

  3. #3
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    IIRC it's going to come down to how you want your network, whether you want each extra hop via wifi to be a subnet & where's there DHCP server(s).
    https://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Routers

    Skimming GrandStream's Mesh Network guide from here, it strikes me as lacking that there's no loops in their mesh graph, rather it's always a true tree.
    Seems really you only want:

    Code:
    Key: [Device number: device internals]. AP = Access Point.
    
    [Internet] =wire= [1:Router + antenna as AP] - wifi - [2:antenna + internal bridge + antenna as AP] - wifi - [3:antenna + distant device now on network].
    Device 2 is should be able to be any wifi router that's able to both serve an AP & handle the subnet for it, and connect to another network via wifi (so a modern multiple antenna router?), and internally bridge the two networks/virtual interfaces.
    I guess they might call that forming a mesh depending on if/how subnets are added as things chain, but it just seems odd that it's a mesh without consideration for loops (i.e. what happens if device 3 is in range of 1 & 2, connects to just 2, 2 goes offline, would 3 actually know 1 is the same network & auto swap to fix the graph break? Because if it were a true mesh and 3 were also serving others down the chain it would need to do that, and/or also connect to 1 by default, no?)

    Kinda off-question but because it's my weakspot & I'm curious, but also because it's effectively also just extending a home network using a simple setup, & conceptually wires can be replaced with wifi:
    IIRC currently I've taken 2 regular home wifi routers and got:

    Code:
    [Internet] =wire= [1:Router + antenna as AP + ethernet] =wire= [2:ethernet + switch + ethernet] =wire= [3:ethernet + distant device now on network].
    As said, Device 2 is physically the same as 1, it's just being a dumb switch that has its own static IP & doesn't handle DHCP itself, iirc 3 is seen by 1 and assigned an IP from there.
    IIRC 2 could also turn its AP on and extend the network from its position too, but that's not being a mesh/bridge, at least not in my mind, just some kind of extender/switch. If it were handling DHCP it'd be a bridge for devices like 3, and that'd still be true if it were wire or wifi between it and 1. I think it'd only be a wifi mesh if it were wifi to 1 and also repeating the same wifi AP settings at its location.
    Currently I think 2 could turn on its AP using completely different wifi settings and it'd all work fine, just those in range of 1 & 2 wouldn't know they're APs to the same network. GrandStream & others' details of a mesh network would have all APs running the same settings, but again GS don't actually seem to cover the case where multiple APs are in range & a loop can be formed in the network graph.

    Here's the view from device 3 (192.168.1.96) with no mention of the device 2 midpoint (192.168.1.200), as well as 2's perspective of distant (& remembered old) wifi devices being seen via ethernet, and 1 (192.168.1.254)'s true view of the network it's managing atm.
    The device "PC"@192.168.1.167 had also directly connected to device 2, rather than 1, but with this layout nothing really cared where/how it had got on the network, p sure it could stream to the TV no problem.

    I don't know why OP's request is more complex than this, other than needing a device 2 that'll connect to both 1 to be the dumb switch for, and 3/serve an AP to many, via wifi rather than wires.
    Last edited by Daneel Trevize; February 27 2018 at 09:34:28 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

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    You really don't want to be adding subnets on the mesh. It should 'almost always(tm)' be a flat layer-2 network.
    You gain nothign from adding loads of extra routers/subnets along the way.

    in your example, you have made a few conceptual mistakes. Unless you have an actual router and again are using different subnets (Don't), all you would achieve by adding a 2nd DHCP server is to fuck things up. You could theoretically run 2 DHCP servers on the same subnet, offering 2 different scopes (192.168.1.10-15 & 192.168.1.51-99) but it's a waste of time and effort and it'll break in a weird and wonderful way one day. As a rule of thumb, you want 1 DHCP server Per Network. The static IP on the 2nd router is purely for management. It could be the Default gateway if it was routing out to it's PPPOE/ADSL port but it isn't so it's not doing much.

    All you are doing there is as you suggest, extending your ethernet network via switching. You can continue to do this ad infinitum.

    (i.e. what happens if device 3 is in range of 1 & 2, connects to just 2, 2 goes offline, would 3 actually know 1 is the same network & auto swap to fix the graph break? Because if it were a true mesh and 3 were also serving others down the chain it would need to do that, and/or also connect to 1 by default, no?)
    That's exactly the point of doing it properly via a mesh AP. A device can roam around as the AP's talk to each other and hand your WiFi device over to each other cleanly without dropping packets (there is a subset of the 802.11 protocol that handles this). Trying to do it on the cheap by buying 2 devices and naming them the same will, again, fuck everything up in exciting esoteric ways.
    Please don't teach me what to do with my pc.

  5. #5
    Straight Hustlin's Avatar
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    Only time I have ever used dual DHCP is when 1 router was purely for a wired network for like 20-150. And the other for the only wifi on 151-255. Mainly because I wanted to QoS my annoying house m8's who's netflixing was fucking with my very very important traffic, like games and stuff.

    Not that any of this helps you.

  6. #6
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    ... I wasn't advocating 2 DHCP servers.
    Just trying to convey that all that seems to be needed is a 'router' that can be set to act like a simple switch (as I seem to have correctly set up for myself), only while doing it all over wifi rather than ethernet.
    And googling "wifi network switch" bring up shit like IoT networked (power) switches, for smart homes.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

  7. #7

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    Well how the previous owners built the house i dont trust a powerplug setup to connect well enough.
    And I already invested in the Gwn aps and wanted some american v8 engines for my brothers underperforming funky wifi.
    Some initial testing so far with a different brand of router and 1 gwn ap connected behind it has shown great promise.
    Going to tryhook up the 2nd ap as a slave behind the 1st ap and then run the 2ndary wirelessly and power it with a poe injector.
    Im really diggin the ui in the gwn units so far although Im sure a pro can find more nitpicks in it im sure.

    The issue with the old / current wifi is that as soon as the nodem/ router been rebooted you nedd to run the wizard to reconnect the solo external ap to the modem / router again wich is a pita with their 1 year old pulling out plugs sometimes and the folks resetting the router when wifi slows down.
    So my hope is that with fresh hardware with more smart solutions can keep things running and reconnect the wifi automatically if things get rebooted.

    Ok tried doing some testing and managed to mess up the master / slave feature on the APs so the 2nd AP cant be discovered by the 1st AP, both connected to a simple poe switch since they need to be in the same network during initial configuration according to the mesh feature guide.
    I have factory reset the APs like 10 times without making the see eachother in the network.
    Tried the AP discovery tool that i downloaded and it sees both aps in the network wich is weird.
    Im not sure if its due to both APs had the same ip adress causing some conflict, was hoping that when both APs are from the same vendor they can overcome such issues but I guess not.
    emailed my friend wich i bought these from too see if he has some ideas on solving the issues.

    Ok managed to get the master AP to talk to the Slave AP and change the firmware on the ap's but the mesh feature doesnt show up in the settings list as the pdf guide shows.
    So I guess another firmware update will be needed for it to work or I done something wrong, asked my old friend who i bought them from too see if he can mail back to me to tell me what i did wrong.
    Done more testing and the AP range is amazing compared to old hardware, just need to get the wireless to wireless between the 2 GWN's to work and it will be golden.
    Last edited by Janeway84; March 12 2018 at 02:59:45 AM. Reason: firmware updated and it semi works

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