Use both TC and regular router's wifi

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Muldert, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Muldert macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #1
    I found a couple of posts on the subject, none was able to satisfy my question.

    I have a Time Capsule and a regular router. My ISP (UPC) sends me a signal via cable, it enters the regular router via coax. The regular router is connected to the Time Capsule with an ethernet cable. We have an iMac upstairs and a living room downstairs, the upstairs wifi is pretty lousy unless you're directly above the router.
    What I want is to place the TC upstairs (it currently sits next to the router) and the regular router downstairs, give them both the same network name and let the TC be in bridge mode.

    I thought that a device connecting to our wifi would then simply connect via the strongest signal e.g. it would use the TC when it's upstairs and the router when it's downstairs. Is that an accurate assumption?

    I want the TC to be upstairs for safety reasons and to be able to connect drives to it.

    Would love to hear your thoughts!
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    I would consider turning off wifi in the cable modem. Have a new TC or Extreme connected by ethernet to the cable modem to be the wifi network main base station. Then I would put a the other Airport unit upstairs extending the coverage of the prime airport unit. The newer airport units can do beam forming and do AC spec wifi if any of your devices can do AC spec wifi.

    If you already have a separate backup solution, use an Extreme on each floor.

    A slightly less expensive approach would be an Extreme downstairs and an Express upstairs.
     
  3. Muldert thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #3
    And WHY would you turn off the regular router? You're giving options which (no offence) cost money. I'd rather I don't have to buy a new product for this.
     
  4. asriznet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    I'm assuming you are setting up the TC as a roaming network - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4145

    I had the same thought as well however after lots of test I realize the client device will not auto-switch to the AP unless the signal to the main router is totally ZERO. To switch, I had to turn off the wifi from the client device and back on again.

    It's the mystery of not knowing which device I'm connected to exactly. On a mac I can get the BSSID easily but other devices like iPhone May need some apps to check.

    so instead, I configured different SSIDs for the main network and the AP so at least I know which device I'm connecting to. With that I can switch around different network easily.
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Get two Extremes (or one TC and one Extreme). Put one on each floor with the cable modem wifi turned off. Set up the Extremes as one extended network.
    Compare the coverage and signal strength of the new wifi network to the one from the cable modem. If the Extremes do not create a network with better signal strength/coverage, take them back within 14 days and get your money back.

    Empirical test results in your home speaks louder that any theories.
     
  6. Muldert thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #6

    What are the downsides of not knowing which device you're connecting to? Are there any?
    Would I be able to start a youtube upload downstairs and take the laptop upstairs?
     
  7. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    Not sure why others keep suggesting you buy more gear because what you intend to do is a very viable configuration using your existing gear. My only input, as you weren't specific, is to attach the bridged TC to the ISP router via Ethernet cable. As wireless extending will not work between an Apple router and non-Apple router.
     
  8. Muldert thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #8
    I wasn't sure either ;-)

    Wireless extending doesn't work, check. So attaching the TC to the ISP router via ethernet with both having the same network SSID and password would create a larger wifi in which devices can switch between the two internet sources easily?
     
  9. asriznet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    The downside is if you connect to the main router downstairs then move up to a location that's still within the routers range but very weak signal. So you will have a very bad network speed.

    I have not tested that youtube theory but i have a very strong feeling the upload will be disrupted when it switched device/network. And even if it didn't switch, you get slow upload because of the weak signal from the main router. And with the same SSID, it's harder to tell.

    I believe the automatic switching can be done on the client side, just havent researched that part yet...

    ----------


    Am i included in others? I only see 1 person :p

    Roaming network is cable connection, have a read the article in my last reply.
     
  10. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    Switch, yes. Easily? That will require some testing. Take a roaming device and move between floors, see if your speed becomes intolerably degraded. If so, you may simply have to toggle your roaming device's wifi off and on to reconnect to the closer router. But I'd at least try it first, before I bought any more gear.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11

    Yes. The difference that people are trying to point out is that a roaming network will work indeed with different hardware, it isn't always seamless like AirPort and AirPort, Cisco and Cisco, Netgear and Netgear. If you are willing to accept this turn off then there is no reason you can't use the ISP router and AirPort together!

    If you want to make roaming work half- well at all I recommend you mess with the transmit power of the ISP router. This way some clients should say "Whoa, this is a multi-AP network let me jump to the AirPort". The ability to jump easily is called "Roaming Aggressiveness". Windows may have this as a configurable option, but OS X does not to my knowledge.
     
  12. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #12
    I use to do this with some Linksys routers and no it did not work like that. Even though they both had the same SSID (different channels though), the device still had to actively switch between the two routers which would cause interruption. And as mentioned, the device would cling on to that weak network signal as long as it could.

    The Apple extended network really is seamless, but is quite expensive. I was able to get 2 5th generation extremes from Microcenter for $99 each, which wasn't terrible, but still hurt. One of them recently died due to a power spike so I got the latest extreme which was $190.

    Do not get the airport expresses for extending, because they do not communicate over a CAT5 wire like the extremes do, so you loose some bandwidth due to that. It also limits where they can be as they both have to be able to see each other over wifi. Where as with CAT5, there is less limit.

    Maybe newer routers handle the extended or roaming network mode better. But it used to be a real pain and the quality was not good.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13

    The Expresses have a 10/100 Mbps port. The Extremes are Gigabit Ethernet. They will communicate but only at a 100 Mbps speed.
     

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