Wireless Access Point Questions

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Wireless Access Point Questions

Postby Xenon » September 13th, 2013, 8:54 am

Ok, all you IT experts out there ...

Recently, we've started have wireless problems in the house. I think a Wireless Access Point as an extender is the best solution.

Problems ...
1) We've added several new devices in the last couple of months, and in the evening when EVERYONE gets on the wireless, we start having computers and devices drop off the network. Especially those farthest from the Wireless Router / Modem.
2) Because of the way the house is wired and laid out, the "best place" for the Wireless router / modem is more or less one far corner of the house
3) The problems seem to be most acute for the computer at the opposite corner of the house.

So, my solution ...
I have a Linksys WRT54G from before this new WIreless router / Modem combo from the ISP. I want to hook it up as a Wireless Access Point at the opposite corner of the house. (House is on crawl space, so getting under the house and pulling a LONG cat5 cable from one corner to the other is not too bad).

So, questions ....
1) Long Cat5 will be very long. I think it is about 75 ft pulled pretty tight corner to corner. SO I kind of wanted to get a 100 ft Cat5 cable so that I have some slack under the house to dodge plumbing, vents, supports, etc. BUT, I thought I heard that 100 ft was "too long" for Cat5. Will I have a problem with 100ft of cat5 and need to keep it closer to the 75 ft? Set up the WRT54G in the same room as the current modem with a 25 ft cable just to get all the setting right without having to run back and forth, and it worked fine.

2) SSID. Should I set both wireless routers to the same SSID or different SSIDs? I've seen articles both ways. The same seem to let you roam more freely, but different lets you see which is stronger in which room. (Also, channels? one at a low number and one at a high number, right?)

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Re: Wireless Access Point Questions

Postby Willie the Wildcat » September 13th, 2013, 1:01 pm

Honestly - I would ditch using the wireless part of the modem/AP combo. If its a leased unit, see if you can get it swapped for just a modem.

Then head to Wal-Mart/Office Max-Depot/Best Buy and get an "N" capable Wi-Fi access point in the $80 - $100 range. These units could have the oomph to solve your coverage problem just by themselves. If they don't, the NetGear brand sells extenders that pair up directly with the main AP wirelessly. No messing with running extra cables. They will also extend using a cable run as well if you really want to do that.

This will cost you more money upfront, but the end result will be much, much, much better. The Wi-Fi APs of the last year or so, in that price range, have really improved and are pretty solid. No real need to spend more than that on an AP, unless you want - and will use - the extra services that come with them.

And the spec limit on Cat 5 copper cable is 100 meters, so you're still well within spec at 100 feet. A practical working limit is about 150 meters depending on quality of cable, RF environment, and run bends.

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Re: Wireless Access Point Questions

Postby Xenon » April 22nd, 2015, 7:40 am


I have a home networking problem, and hope maybe someone out there with IT experience can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong. I did a combination of what I planned above and Willie's suggestion before, and it worked great. I pulled the cable from the old DSL Router/Modem combo unit to the WRT54, and it worked great for about a year. Then we did as Willie suggested and ditched the Combo unit and got a Netgear Modem (for OpenDNS parental controls) and Linksys EA3500 Router/WIFI. That worked great for a while as well (see below).

Now I have a new problem.

I have a NetGear Modem (DM111PSPv2) that we got mostly because of the OpenDNS parental controls.
I have a Linksys Router (EA3500) at one end of the house as the main router, and Linksys WRT54 as a wired network extender at the other end of the house.

I want the Modem to act like a modem to the DSL, and then let the EA3500 be the router and the wireless hub, and WRT54 be a wireles hotspot.

The Netgear modem wants to be, which is fine. It connects to the DSL just fine.
So I connect the Linksys Router to the Netgear modem, and the Modem assigns an IP address of to the router.
Then I log on to the EA3500 router, and turn on the DHCP, and have it assign IPs in the house starting with

Everything seems to work just fine (all the computers have internet connection)....'

BUT, the Linksys is a "smart" modem, and starts assigning addresses randomly .... sometimes on and then the next day on, etc etc etc. That is reeking havoc on things like wireless printing, network shares, etc. because all the IPs are different all the time.

In reading on the Linksys website, they say the modem does this when it recognizes a conflict on the network. So obviously something is set up wrong and making the EA3500 find a conflict it is trying to avoid.

So, my first though was that it might be that there are TWO DHCP servers, so I went into the Modem, and assigned the EA3500 an IP address of and turned off the DHCP server on the modem. It only connects to one device, so that was easy. That works for internet connectivity ... we can get online, but the Linksys is still seeing a conflict somewhere and going to or whatever.

So, what am I doing wrong?

Does something have to be in a "bridge" mode or something?
This all worked before when we using the QWest modem/router combo, but it doesn't seem to work the way I want it to now. I had it working they way I want it to when we first set it up about a year ago, but the modem reset recently in a thunderstorm, and I had to try to set it up again, and now I can't get it do it again. I THINK it is a modem set up problem because that is the one thing I had to reset recently before it stopped working, but I can't figure what is wrong.


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Re: Wireless Access Point Questions

Postby Domer » April 22nd, 2015, 9:51 am

My favorite computer programming joke: A programmer’s wife asks him to pick up a loaf of bread and, if they have eggs, get a dozen. The programmer comes home with a dozen loaves of bread.
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