Extending Your Home Wireless

Extending your wireless network is a great way to bring internet goodness into every nook and cranny of one’s home. The only additional hardware is a second wireless router, some cat5e cable, and a crossover converter.

You can leave your primary router as is and let it handle the internet connection from your isp. Routers are configured to bridge their wireless and wired connections by default. Run a second cable from one of the LAN ports of the first router into the LAN of the second router. This cable needs to be configured to be a crossover cable. You can use a short crossover converter or just make your own crossover cable.

Second Router confiuration:
You need to turn off DHCP. The idea is to let the first router handle all the ips to assign. Set the ssid and wireless channel to be the same as the first router. This will assure that connections can be handed off properly between routers. I like to use channel 11 at home because it is at the extreme edge of the spectrum and seems to have less interference with microwaves. It’s a good idea to set the ip of the router to something other than 192.168.1.1 like 192.168.1.2. This will negate any ambiguity when it comes to administrating the routers. That’s it. You have set up an additional access point and your network has been extended.

Extra Configurations:
I always turn off wireless administration. In this setup, a request to 192.168.1.1 will return administrative options for the primary router even though wireless administration may be turned off. The request is coming in through one of the wired LAN ports of the first router from a wireless connection of the second router. It would be a good idea to block requests to 192.168.1.1 via wireless.
I also like to disable wireless broadcast. If you have the right tools, you can uncover hidden networks, but it will remain undetected by casual scanning.

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