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Thread: wireless access points?

  1. #1
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    wireless access points?

    I just bought a D-Link Powerlink ethernet kit. On the box they say you
    can extend your network by connecting the powerline device to a wireless
    access point. What are they? Are they just wireless routers or are
    they something else?

  2. #2
    Char Jackson
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:40:29 -0400, Robert Peirce
    <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:

    >I just bought a D-Link Powerlink ethernet kit. On the box they say you
    >can extend your network by connecting the powerline device to a wireless
    >access point. What are they? Are they just wireless routers or are
    >they something else?


    http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi#...s_Access_Point

    Note that a wireless access point is a subset of a wireless router.
    Therefore, a wireless router can be used as a wireless access point,
    but the access point cannot be used as a router.


  3. #3
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    In article <a8ng76tgqi812ne98o1lj67vf7s1r9p909@4ax.com>,
    Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:

    > On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:40:29 -0400, Robert Peirce
    > <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:
    >
    > >I just bought a D-Link Powerlink ethernet kit. On the box they say you
    > >can extend your network by connecting the powerline device to a wireless
    > >access point. What are they? Are they just wireless routers or are
    > >they something else?

    >
    > http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi#...s_Access_Point
    >
    > Note that a wireless access point is a subset of a wireless router.
    > Therefore, a wireless router can be used as a wireless access point,
    > but the access point cannot be used as a router.


    Interesting. That gives me an idea. My computer and my Apple TV are at
    the edge of a wireless network. I stream audio to the Apple TV to play
    on my stereo system. The computer and ATV are probably 10-15 feet
    apart, but the room is fairly far away from the router. Consequently,
    the signal sometimes drops out for a few seconds.

    I discovered the ethernet kit has the same problem as the wireless
    network. The signal drops off with distance. Consequently, it isn't
    the solution I hoped for. It is actually worse than the wireless
    network! However, as a test I disconnected the router from the DSL line
    and brought it to the room -- no dropouts!

    Would it be possible and reasonable to connect the ethernet port on the
    computer to a router and set the ATV to receive from that router? Could
    the computer be on the wireless network at the same time? That would
    give me a sort of dedicated line to the ATV while keeping my internet
    access available. It would also be better, I think, than using the
    ethernet kit to connect the router (as an access point) to the main
    router, and it ought to be a lot simpler.

  4. #4
    Char Jackson
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 22:46:16 -0400, Robert Peirce
    <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:

    >In article <a8ng76tgqi812ne98o1lj67vf7s1r9p909@4ax.com>,
    > Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:40:29 -0400, Robert Peirce
    >> <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> >I just bought a D-Link Powerlink ethernet kit. On the box they say you
    >> >can extend your network by connecting the powerline device to a wireless
    >> >access point. What are they? Are they just wireless routers or are
    >> >they something else?

    >>
    >> http://wireless.navas.us/wiki/Wi-Fi#...s_Access_Point
    >>
    >> Note that a wireless access point is a subset of a wireless router.
    >> Therefore, a wireless router can be used as a wireless access point,
    >> but the access point cannot be used as a router.

    >
    >Interesting. That gives me an idea. My computer and my Apple TV are at
    >the edge of a wireless network.


    My first thought is that the Powerline networking devices would be an
    excellent choice here. Plug one in near the main wireless router,
    connecting its Ethernet port to a LAN port on the router, then plug
    the second Powerline unit into an outlet near your computer and ATV,
    connecting that unit's Ethernet port to an access point if you want to
    create/extend the wireless network in that room, or plugging into a
    simple switch if you prefer a wired network in that room.

    >I stream audio to the Apple TV to play
    >on my stereo system. The computer and ATV are probably 10-15 feet
    >apart, but the room is fairly far away from the router. Consequently,
    >the signal sometimes drops out for a few seconds.


    I assume you're streaming audio from the computer to the ATV, in which
    case the long distance wireless path needs to be traversed twice. Not
    a great scenario.

    >I discovered the ethernet kit has the same problem as the wireless
    >network. The signal drops off with distance.


    How do you figure? If it's working properly it shouldn't do that.

    >Consequently, it isn't
    >the solution I hoped for. It is actually worse than the wireless
    >network! However, as a test I disconnected the router from the DSL line
    >and brought it to the room -- no dropouts!


    That's a good sign, and falls in line with my 'first thoughts' above.

    >Would it be possible and reasonable to connect the ethernet port on the
    >computer to a router and set the ATV to receive from that router? Could
    >the computer be on the wireless network at the same time? That would
    >give me a sort of dedicated line to the ATV while keeping my internet
    >access available. It would also be better, I think, than using the
    >ethernet kit to connect the router (as an access point) to the main
    >router, and it ought to be a lot simpler.


    You're proposing that the computer have two network connections, a
    wireless connection through the house to the main wireless router,
    (which has historically been subject to dropouts!), and a second
    network connection that's essentially an ad hoc connection directly to
    the ATV? That wouldn't be my recommendation, (because it doesn't
    address the weak wireless signal at this end of the house), but sure,
    with the right equipment and configuration, that could work. Heck, if
    the computer has an unused Ethernet port, you could simply run a cable
    from the computer to the ATV, assuming, of course, that the ATV isn't
    limited to a wireless connection. You'll still have the flaky wireless
    connection from the computer through the house to the main router,
    though. The Powerline devices should be able to help there.


  5. #5
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    I was not clear enough. Allow me to elaborate -- below.

    In article <3d2h765r2qh2ur8rm6j4t428783q2745hm@4ax.com>,
    Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:

    > I assume you're streaming audio from the computer to the ATV, in which
    > case the long distance wireless path needs to be traversed twice. Not
    > a great scenario.


    Three times for internet radio!! [just an aside]

    > >I discovered the ethernet kit has the same problem as the wireless
    > >network. The signal drops off with distance.

    >
    > How do you figure? If it's working properly it shouldn't do that.


    It doesn't drop out but it does drop off. There is a three light speed
    gizmo: green > 20Mbps, amber 6-20 Mbps and red < 6 Mbps. Mine is green
    at idle but drops to amber when streaming audio. I called D-Link and
    was told this is a function of length of run and what else might be on
    the line. I said it is probably 60-80' or more of house wire from my
    router to my computer, because both lines have to go back to the breaker
    panel. The tech said reduced speed at that length of run would not be
    unusual.

    > You're proposing that the computer have two network connections, a
    > wireless connection through the house to the main wireless router,
    > (which has historically been subject to dropouts!)


    It only started to drop out when I started streaming audio. Up until
    that point it was fine. However, the signal does have to pass through a
    floor and four walls to get to my computer. iStumbler usually shows
    signal strength at about 40% and noise under 10%, which is marginal but
    adequate.

    > , and a second
    > network connection that's essentially an ad hoc connection directly to
    > the ATV? That wouldn't be my recommendation, (because it doesn't
    > address the weak wireless signal at this end of the house)


    I am not too concerned about the present network beyond trying to stream
    audio.

    > but sure,
    > with the right equipment and configuration, that could work. Heck, if
    > the computer has an unused Ethernet port, you could simply run a cable
    > from the computer to the ATV, assuming, of course, that the ATV isn't
    > limited to a wireless connection. You'll still have the flaky wireless
    > connection from the computer through the house to the main router,
    > though. The Powerline devices should be able to help there.


    The ATV can accept cable, but I am trying to avoid a cable from one side
    of the room to the other. You indicate a wireless approach could work
    with the right equipment and configuration? What would that be? My
    thought was to leave the current network alone and to buy an inexpensive
    wireless router simply to feed audio from the computer to the ATV across
    the room. It sounds like it might be more complicated than that.

    OTOH, if I wanted to locate the powerline device in another room and
    connect it to a router extending the range of my current network how
    would I do that? How automatic is it? In particular, could both
    routers have the same name or do they need different names to
    differentiate them? In the latter case, I would have to tell the
    computer and ATV to connect to the second router. Would the computer
    still have access to or through the primary network? I am a real novice
    at this so any help would be appreciated.

  6. #6
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    I connected the D-Link powerline ethernet devices between my router and
    the Apple TV. Results are much better. It is always difficult, at
    least for me, to tell which is the weak link in a chain. It appears the
    MacBook Pro is pretty robust, which is why I have had no trouble until
    now. The ATV, on the other hand, must have a weaker receiver and the
    direct connection really helps. Meanwhile, with the router upstairs and
    in the rear-center of the house, the iPod works great across the back
    porch. I have to test this a few days but right now a wireless access
    point may not be required.

  7. #7
    Char Jackson
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    On Sat, 28 Aug 2010 13:00:28 -0400, Robert Peirce
    <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:

    >I connected the D-Link powerline ethernet devices between my router and
    >the Apple TV. Results are much better. It is always difficult, at
    >least for me, to tell which is the weak link in a chain. It appears the
    >MacBook Pro is pretty robust, which is why I have had no trouble until
    >now. The ATV, on the other hand, must have a weaker receiver and the
    >direct connection really helps. Meanwhile, with the router upstairs and
    >in the rear-center of the house, the iPod works great across the back
    >porch. I have to test this a few days but right now a wireless access
    >point may not be required.


    Do you have more computers in the part of the house where the wireless
    router is? If not, how/why did you put it there when it might have
    been much better to bring it to the side of the house where the
    desktop computer and the ATV are located?


  8. #8
    Char Jackson
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    On Sat, 28 Aug 2010 09:46:19 -0400, Robert Peirce
    <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:

    >I was not clear enough. Allow me to elaborate -- below.
    >
    >In article <3d2h765r2qh2ur8rm6j4t428783q2745hm@4ax.com>,
    > Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> I assume you're streaming audio from the computer to the ATV, in which
    >> case the long distance wireless path needs to be traversed twice. Not
    >> a great scenario.

    >
    >Three times for internet radio!! [just an aside]
    >
    >> >I discovered the ethernet kit has the same problem as the wireless
    >> >network. The signal drops off with distance.

    >>
    >> How do you figure? If it's working properly it shouldn't do that.

    >
    >It doesn't drop out but it does drop off. There is a three light speed
    >gizmo: green > 20Mbps, amber 6-20 Mbps and red < 6 Mbps. Mine is green
    >at idle but drops to amber when streaming audio. I called D-Link and
    >was told this is a function of length of run and what else might be on
    >the line. I said it is probably 60-80' or more of house wire from my
    >router to my computer, because both lines have to go back to the breaker
    >panel. The tech said reduced speed at that length of run would not be
    >unusual.


    Interesting, thanks for clarifying.

    >> You're proposing that the computer have two network connections, a
    >> wireless connection through the house to the main wireless router,
    >> (which has historically been subject to dropouts!)

    >
    >It only started to drop out when I started streaming audio. Up until
    >that point it was fine. However, the signal does have to pass through a
    >floor and four walls to get to my computer. iStumbler usually shows
    >signal strength at about 40% and noise under 10%, which is marginal but
    >adequate.


    I wonder if it has always been dropping out, but that it was simply
    going unnoticed until you started streaming audio. Momentary
    interruptions of a data flow when downloading something or when
    retrieving web pages and email will normally go completely unnoticed,
    but those same interruptions when music is playing will become obvious
    and annoying.

    >> , and a second
    >> network connection that's essentially an ad hoc connection directly to
    >> the ATV? That wouldn't be my recommendation, (because it doesn't
    >> address the weak wireless signal at this end of the house)

    >
    >I am not too concerned about the present network beyond trying to stream
    >audio.
    >
    >> but sure,
    >> with the right equipment and configuration, that could work. Heck, if
    >> the computer has an unused Ethernet port, you could simply run a cable
    >> from the computer to the ATV, assuming, of course, that the ATV isn't
    >> limited to a wireless connection. You'll still have the flaky wireless
    >> connection from the computer through the house to the main router,
    >> though. The Powerline devices should be able to help there.

    >
    >The ATV can accept cable, but I am trying to avoid a cable from one side
    >of the room to the other. You indicate a wireless approach could work
    >with the right equipment and configuration? What would that be? My
    >thought was to leave the current network alone and to buy an inexpensive
    >wireless router simply to feed audio from the computer to the ATV across
    >the room. It sounds like it might be more complicated than that.


    I think I mentioned some ideas in another post, but I'll summarize.
    First, if all of the computing devices are near this end of the house,
    I would definitely bring the wireless router over here. If that
    premise is incorrect, I would set up an access point on this end of
    the house to service the PC and the ATV. At that point, the only
    unresolved issue is backhaul between the new access point and the
    existing wireless router. Powerline networking is usually recommended,
    or see if you can run a Cat5 cable either through the attic or
    basement, or perhaps use a separate wireless link for the backhaul,
    although that last option typically requires (or at least benefits
    from) additional hardware so that the new access point doesn't have to
    be used as a repeater.

    >OTOH, if I wanted to locate the powerline device in another room and
    >connect it to a router extending the range of my current network how
    >would I do that? How automatic is it?


    The new router should have DHCP disabled and its WAN port left
    disconnected, forcing it to take on the role of Access Point versus
    router. Set it to a different non-overlapping channel to minimize
    interference with the main wireless router. Non-overlapping b/g
    channels are 1, 6, and 11.

    Simply connect an Ethernet cable from a LAN port to a Powerline
    device. At the other end, near the existing wireless router, connect
    an Ethernet cable from a LAN port to the Powerline device. I don't
    know how much configuration the Powerline devices require, but once
    that is done, the rest should 'just work'.

    >In particular, could both
    >routers have the same name or do they need different names to
    >differentiate them? In the latter case, I would have to tell the
    >computer and ATV to connect to the second router.


    There are pros and cons to both scenarios. My recommendation is to use
    different SSID's so that you can differentiate them and connect to the
    one that you want. If you keep the SSID's the same there is a
    possibility that you'll have seamless roaming as you move around the
    house, but you run the risk of hanging onto a weak signal even when
    the other signal is far stronger. Seamless roaming is typically not as
    good as it sounds.

    >Would the computer
    >still have access to or through the primary network? I am a real novice
    >at this so any help would be appreciated.


    Yes, the new access point would connect back to the main router and
    from there to the Internet.


  9. #9
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    In article <d9ll76143oa4bf6tl6d5hkdasbonlh84qv@4ax.com>,
    Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:

    > The new router should have DHCP disabled and its WAN port left
    > disconnected, forcing it to take on the role of Access Point versus
    > router. Set it to a different non-overlapping channel to minimize
    > interference with the main wireless router. Non-overlapping b/g
    > channels are 1, 6, and 11.
    >
    > Simply connect an Ethernet cable from a LAN port to a Powerline
    > device. At the other end, near the existing wireless router, connect
    > an Ethernet cable from a LAN port to the Powerline device. I don't
    > know how much configuration the Powerline devices require, but once
    > that is done, the rest should 'just work'.
    >
    > >In particular, could both
    > >routers have the same name or do they need different names to
    > >differentiate them? In the latter case, I would have to tell the
    > >computer and ATV to connect to the second router.

    >
    > There are pros and cons to both scenarios. My recommendation is to use
    > different SSID's so that you can differentiate them and connect to the
    > one that you want. If you keep the SSID's the same there is a
    > possibility that you'll have seamless roaming as you move around the
    > house, but you run the risk of hanging onto a weak signal even when
    > the other signal is far stronger. Seamless roaming is typically not as
    > good as it sounds.
    >
    > >Would the computer
    > >still have access to or through the primary network? I am a real novice
    > >at this so any help would be appreciated.

    >
    > Yes, the new access point would connect back to the main router and
    > from there to the Internet.


    Thanks. That's just the info I need. I know almost nothing about this
    stuff and I was afraid it might be beyond my capabilities.

  10. #10
    Robert Peirce
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    In article <34kl76lb4egs98ieoccn7kphhdc29t92be@4ax.com>,
    Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:

    > Do you have more computers in the part of the house where the wireless
    > router is? If not, how/why did you put it there when it might have
    > been much better to bring it to the side of the house where the
    > desktop computer and the ATV are located?


    My office is at one end of the house and my family room at the other.
    The kitchen is in the middle. The kitchen and family room need to be on
    the network and I also wanted signal on the back porch, so it seemed
    like the best place to put it was in the middle of the back of the
    house. I chose the second floor over the first to keep it out of
    frequent living areas. From this location I have access throughout the
    house, even in the basement.

    One problem with the office is it is my music room and there is a
    double, non-connected wall between it and the rest of the house. That
    tends to attenuate the signal a bit. It wasn't a problem until I
    started streaming audio from my computer in the music room to my Apple
    TV in the music room. The router is only 20-25' away but the signal has
    to go through a floor and three walls, twice. If I want to listen to
    internet radio it has to make three swings.

  11. #11
    Char Jackson
    Guest

    Re: wireless access points?

    On Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:37:30 -0400, Robert Peirce
    <bob@peirce-family.com> wrote:

    >In article <34kl76lb4egs98ieoccn7kphhdc29t92be@4ax.com>,
    > Char Jackson <none@none.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> Do you have more computers in the part of the house where the wireless
    >> router is? If not, how/why did you put it there when it might have
    >> been much better to bring it to the side of the house where the
    >> desktop computer and the ATV are located?

    >
    >My office is at one end of the house and my family room at the other.
    >The kitchen is in the middle. The kitchen and family room need to be on
    >the network and I also wanted signal on the back porch, so it seemed
    >like the best place to put it was in the middle of the back of the
    >house. I chose the second floor over the first to keep it out of
    >frequent living areas. From this location I have access throughout the
    >house, even in the basement.
    >
    >One problem with the office is it is my music room and there is a
    >double, non-connected wall between it and the rest of the house. That
    >tends to attenuate the signal a bit. It wasn't a problem until I
    >started streaming audio from my computer in the music room to my Apple
    >TV in the music room. The router is only 20-25' away but the signal has
    >to go through a floor and three walls, twice. If I want to listen to
    >internet radio it has to make three swings.


    Got it, thanks. Well good luck with everything. Just when you think
    you have it all figured out, a neighbor fires up a new wireless router
    and the interference has you rethinking things, or the technology
    changes and leaves you behind, etc. :)


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