Daisy chaining routers and finding all the computers in the network.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Impreza, May 28, 2005.

  1. Impreza macrumors member


    Mar 17, 2003
    So, I have one Netgear router hooked up to a cable modem via cat5 cables upstairs which my Mac dual G4 is connected to. Then I hooked up a wireless Belkin router to one of the Netgear ports and hooked up a couple PC computers to the new Belkin router via hardwire (cat5) downstairs. My Powerbook uses the wireless Airport connection. Now, I want the dual G4 computer on the Netgear router to talk to the Powerbook that's wirelessly connected to the Belkin Wireless G. Basically, how can I get two computers talking to each other that are on the same daisy chained internet, but on two different routers? I tried "go" -> "network", but each computer couldn't find each other. Any help? I hope I addressed my issue clear enough. Thanks.
  2. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    If you're using OS X, you should be able to access you other Macs with their Rendezvous (now Bonjour :eek: ) name. Say your PBook is named "mypowerbook". Open the server connect dialog window in Finder (command K) and type in the following adress:

    I don't know how to connect to the PC though. I guess would need to set up a single DHCP server on one of the routers.

    Edit: you'll find you computer's Rendez-vous name in the "Sharing" pane of System Prefs (it's in the small paragraph just below your computer's name).
  3. Impreza thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 17, 2003
    Did that, couldn't find it. They connected fine when I was just using one router previously. Don't bother trying to figure out how to connect to the PC's cuz I just want the two Macs to connect to each other.
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Disable DHCP on your Belkin so all your machines pick up local addresses from your Netgear. If you don't know how to disable it (cause I don't), RTM.
  5. weldon macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Short answer: You might be able to turn off DHCP on the Belkin and connect it to the Netgear via one of the hub ports rather than using the "WAN" port. If that doesn't work, you need to configure the Belkin wireless router to operate in "bridge" mode where it's acting as a simple access point and not a router. You'll have to read the manual to see how to do this for your router.

    Long answer: The reason that the computers can't find each other automatically is because there is a router separating them. By definition, routers connect traffic between two or more different networks. They decide to forward traffic only when a message is sent to an address that is not on the local network, sort of like a toll booth that checks that the message has permission to leave the network. This feature is important in wide area networks like your cable modem or DSL connection. You don't want the router to send all the local traffic between all your home machines onto the cable companies network as well because that will saturate your link when you really just want to use that connection for Internet-related traffic. In other words, it's a waste of bandwidth on your cable connection to send messages that only belong on your local network.

    Rendezvous/Bonjour and other automatic discovery protocols work by sending broadcasts to the entire local network. Your computer broadcasts, for everyone to hear, a message something like "my name is 'powerbook' and I can be found at x.x.x.x address." Because routers are trying to be efficient, they do not forward this kind of broadcast traffic by default. Therefore, the computer on the other side of the router never receives this broadcast and doesn't know about the 'powerbook'.

    You can configure most routers to forward broadcast messages by setting them to operate in "bridge" mode where they will forward all traffic to the other network. The other feature that you can use is that the "LAN" side of the router (which is really just a normal ethernet hub) will listen to all of these broadcast messages. You can connect your wireless router by using its LAN port to connect to the LAN port of the Netgear router. Just be sure to turn off DHCP on the wireless router so that you don't have two devices trying to hand out the same range of IP addresses.

    The wireless router WILL send broadcast messages that come in on the LAN port to the wireless devices because it is just an extension of the local network. It will not forward those broadcast messages to the WAN port (at least not by default). You could try to connect the wireless router to the Netgear router by plugging the ethernet cable into the LAN ports of each device. Since the traffic coming from the Netgear router is now on the LAN side of the wireless router, it will forward broadcast messages from the other computer to any wireless devices because the wireless network is an extension of the local network.
  6. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Good idea, I wish someone would have told me that when I was trying to set my routers up. I had to click every option until that worked. :p

    I have a linksys wrt54g with DHCP and then a netgear MR814 plugged into one of the Linksys' ports with DHCP turned off (on netgear). I can access all the computers using SSH (enable in sys prefs-->sharing) and everything works great! Might want to give that a try. :)

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