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Access Point or Router?

by thergenrader / February 23, 2005 12:17 AM PST

Hi there,

I currently have a cable modem that's connected to a Belkin DSL/Cable gateway/router that acts as a DHCP server with the subnet 192.168.2.x. My desktop computer is connected directly the gateway/router. I have a Netgear wireless router (MR814) connected to the gateway that dishes out an IP address to my notebook computer on the subnet 192.168.1.X. Theoretically, things work fine.

In reality the MR814 is terrible. It regularly drops the IP assigned by the gateway/router and loses connection to the Internet. I've tried static IPs, I've tried connecting the MR814 directly to the modem, and nothing fixes the problem. It continues to drop the IP and it takes several physical reboots to force it to get a new IP. The notebook keeps its connection to the router but it's useless if the router keeps disconnecting from the Internet.

Long story short, I want to get a new router that isn't awful but should I get an access point or a router? I want the wired computer and the wireless notebook to be on the subnet, but can't I just plug the wired computer into one of the ethernet points in the back of the wireless router?

In other words it would look like this:
Internet-->Cable Modem-->Gateway-->Wireless Router-->wired desktop & wireless notebook

Or am I missing something here? Also, I was using the gateway for security. Am I kidding myself by including it in the above scenario or is really adding another level of protection to my home network?


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Try this first.
by runscape / February 23, 2005 1:42 AM PST

Try this first before you spend money on new equipment. Turn off DHCP in the wireless router. Connect the wireless router to the Gateway/router (ethernet-to-ethernet). Your computers will pick-up IP addresses from the Gateway/router DHCP server as you stated above. Hope this help.

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agree with runscape
by spilkus / March 2, 2005 7:30 AM PST

use the following for good how to instructions:

just bought a wireless router (after rebates 19.99) and have attached it to my wired network (much cheaper than an access point at 100+). Once you disable DHCP on your wireless router, it will get its address from your main router as will any wireless devices. Everything will be on the same subnet, so you can share, etc. Recommend using MAC address access control on your wireless for security (and changing password from default if you already haven't). Cheers!

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Doesn't Work
by thergenrader / March 15, 2005 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: agree with runscape

Thanks for the suggestions. It sounds good but it doesn't work. The Netgear router requires the wireless cards to be on a separate subnet from the LAN.

The gateway/router I'm using assigns the wireless router an IP address but the wireless PC cards can't find a wireless network to connect to unless the wireless router's DHCP service is turned on. With the DHCP service turned off, it's as though the router is unplugged--the laptop doesn't "see" the router at all.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 15, 2005 2:31 AM PST
In reply to: Doesn't Work

Can you supply the model number of the Netgear router that requires this?

I need to add that to my list of bad hardware.

All the routers I've used (that do NAT and DHCP) allowed me to add a WAP and... the IP range was on the 192.x.x.x or such LAN.

What a bizarre router this one is.

In closing, without DHCP "ON", the WAP will not function... Par for the (network) course.


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RE: Wowser
by thergenrader / March 15, 2005 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: Wowser.

This is the Netgear MR814 wireless router.

I should add that the Netgear tech support answer was "try reinstalling the firmware."

And the escalated support answer was "hmmm. Try resinstalling the firmware again."

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I ran into the MR814.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 15, 2005 4:07 AM PST
In reply to: RE: Wowser

We could add a WAP and it worked just fine. There was no need for another subnet or any Mulligans on this game. Someone has lead you astray.

Again, it would be proper for the WAP and Wifi clients in a normal setup to not function if you turn off the DHCP server. Why would you do that?


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one dhcp server.
by runscape / March 17, 2005 9:07 AM PST
In reply to: I ran into the MR814.

You only need one DHCP server. If you have two routers, you need to turn off DHCP on one of them.

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The problem
by thergenrader / March 17, 2005 11:32 PM PST
In reply to: agree with runscape

Runscape said "Once you disable DHCP on your wireless router, it will get its address from your main router as will any wireless devices."

When I disabled the DHCP on the wireless router the wireless devices could no longer detect a wireless network to connect to. Multiple refreshes of the wireless network list showed everyone's network in my neighborhood but not mine.

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try this.
by runscape / March 18, 2005 3:08 AM PST

Try internet->cable modem->wireless router->computers.

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RE: try this
by thergenrader / March 22, 2005 4:43 AM PST
In reply to: try this.

This was actually the original configuration when the router first started dropping the IP address. I only stuck the gateway/router in the mix when I read somewhere online that putting the MR814 behind a hub helped someone.

I've tried a number of configurations with the cable modem, hub, wireless router, and gateway/router and I still come up with nothing, or rather solutions that last less than a week. I never got it to work by turning off the DHCP server on the wireless router.

I appreciate you all trying to help me work through this. I've successfully set up about a half-dozen other wireless networks--go figure that mine is the only one that doesn't work!

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Let's take from the beginning...
by Dick White / March 22, 2005 10:58 AM PST

of your original post.

1) You are having trouble with the Netgear dropping out on you. I've heard of that. Some have solved it by returning the faulty unit for one that works. Others never got it to work right and punted for a different brand. You indicate you are willing to do that, and that might be your easiest (and possibly most effective) solution.

2) I have tried a Netgear in a slightly different configuration that had some of the same attributes as yours. The internet was satellite via a proprietary modem with an internal DHCP server. The configuration of the satellite modem cannot be addressed in any manner, just the way DirectWay does it. The Netgear default IP was the same as the satellite modem but unlike the satellite modem, the Netgear had apparent configurability. However, I could not get it to stick. I turned DHCP off in the Netgear, set it to a new gateway address, set a new DHCP range, and as soon as I connected it to the satellite modem it went dark. Finally had to disconnect it from the satellite modem, reboot the computer, adjust every possible setting I could think of, and then plug it back into the satellite modem and pray. The first couple of times I didn't get everything set right (normal with wireless equipment) and so had to find a paperclip to completely reset the NetGear firmware to factory default and start over. Don't beat your head against the wall - been there done that and it wasn't fun. Buy one that behaves properly.

I'm a big fan of the Buffalo line of wireless routers and clients, but others may have good recommendations for other brands.


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