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Thread: help needed in sharing a printer between 2 wireless networks

  1. #1
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    help needed in sharing a printer between 2 wireless networks

    Hi there.

    I'm currently running 2 wireless networks at home. Here's the background...

    Wireless network #1 (WLAN1)
    I've got a cable broadband connection to the home desktop PC's NIC. This computer and my other laptop are both members of the HOME workgroup and wirelessly connect to each other using ICS on the desktop PC, through a NETGEAR WiFi ADSL router configured as a non-DHCP server with static IP address 192.168.0.10. Incidentally, before the second wireless network came along, I had no problems sharing this internet connection on the laptop, or printing a document on the network printer (which was connected to the Netgear WiFi router) from the laptop.

    Wireless network #2 (WLAN2)
    I recently purchased what appears to be an ISP bagded 4-port WiFi router (brand: 2-Wire) for my home office, seeing as I subscribed to a higher spec internet service for business purposes. I also installed this unit with my laptop and accordingly am now connected to it for internet services in my home office. I've also re-connected my network printer to this newer router and I can print to it wirelessly from my laptop.

    Both home desktop PC and laptop are running WinXP Professional, with latest Service Packs and upgrades (Windows update enabled on both machines).

    Here's my problem...(or problems, rather)
    1..As the home office is in a converted garage studio in the back yard, I have difficulties getting a strong signal of WLAN2 from the home desktop. I figure that I need to connect to WLAN2 before I can print to the newly positioned network printer. How can I boost the signal from this newer WiFi router so that my home desktop PC can see it all the time and connect to it as necessary?
    2..As the home desktop PC is primarily used by the family, who aren't necessarily IT gurus, is there an easier way to just click on the "print" button and have WLAN1 contact WLAN2's printer and send the document there?
    3..I used the laptop to install WLAN2. I recently tried connecting it to WLAN1, to use the home's internet service. Although I connect the laptop to WLAN1 OK, I seem to keep getting DNS issues that prevent the laptop from accessing the internet.
    4..The final issue I have is that I'd like to clarify which internet connection the home desktop PC is using if connected to WLAN2's WiFi ADSL router but also physically connected to the home's cable modem via it's NIC.

    Would really appreciate someone's input to at least point me in the right direction for these answers. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Unhappy The sequel.....

    OK, so nobody out there wanna show me some love..??

    I've since taken out WLAN1 and am connecting the desktop PC directly to WLAN2, distantly transmitted from the office in the back yard. Great, because now I can access my files on the desktop PC from my office. Bad, because the signal keeps dropping out every time it rains, my dogs decide to run around the backyard or even if my cat farts (pardon the French). Ok, so you get the picture about the unreliability. I'm wondering how I can use the Netgear DG834G wireless router I was using as the access point for WLAN1 (which now doesn't exist anymore) as a repeater to strengthen the signal from the office so the desktop PC can connect to it with greater certainty (i.e to boost WLAN2's signal strength). I've already tried hardwiring it to WLAN2's WiFi router, giving it the same SSID and WPA-SPK and broadcast channel (11). Alas, to no avail.

    Can one of you gurus please lend a hand....

  3. #3
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    Sorry 080522jk, but I can't understand..??? Is that Korean?

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Disregard his posts..he was a spammer.

    I'd recommend getting a single wireless broadband router...WAN/Internet port to your cable modem, wired PCs to the LAN ports, and naturally...wireless clients running from it too.

    I'm not fond of those 2Wire brand units at all....poor wireless performance in my experience also.

    Now your approach is somewhat on the right path...taking the 2Wire "dsl gateway"..killing DHCP on it..and trying to flip it to run as just an access point...but in my opinion...even though what you're seeking to do is possible..it's somewhat complicated, and most likely will not yield you good reliable performance, and ease of use/troubleshooting.

    Now...mentioning the issue of distance..and the garage...I'd look into the approach of getting a good new "N" broadband router...and seeing if it can make it to your garage...distance wise. N has superior range over older G. You may be able to pull it off just using this one unit. If not...purchasing a unit ahead of time that you know works with a range extender would most likely do the trick.

    If on a budget...some other alternatives....pick up a Linksys wrt54GL model...and flash it with DD-WRT firmware...it allows you to crank up the output power...and get better distance than default stock G wireless would give you...almost as good as N. You could also pickup a second unit if needed..flash with the same DD-WRT 3rd party firmware..and run that second unit as a range extender..or even as a wireless bridge in your garage. You can also pickup higher gain antennas for it..
    http://www.fab-corp.com/home.php
    Try a single unit as your primary router...with some hi gain antennas..and cranked up with DD-WRT firmware...
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  5. #5
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    Thanks.

    Some time's passed since this little chestnut...!

    You're right, I had all sorts of reliability issues with the way I had it configured at first. I think it probably had something to do with all the cross-over points from one LAN to the other...

    FYI, I've since ditched the Netgear wireless router, acting like an extender. Instead I've invested in some neat little EoP tranceivers and am using the home's electircal installation to transfer data between networks. Admittedly, I'm only getting around 20Mb/sec transfer rate due to all the noisy plant on and around a typical residential installation. But you know what..? At least it's 20Mb all the time, every time....

    Appreciate your help, all the same..!

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