Wireless Access Point help!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by GelleCC, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. GelleCC macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Hi all,

    I searched through the forums and used google, but I'm still not quite clear on how to use an access point.

    What I thought an access point did, was: if I had a wireless router connected to a modem, I could set up a wireless access point (say downstairs) and that would receive AND SEND the wireless signal.

    But now I'm confused and think that it just receives the signal, but to get it, you have to hook up your wireless device through a cat 5 cable to the access point.. Which scenario is right?

    Here's what I'm trying to do. The main desktop (mac of course lol) is upstairs next to the modem and wireless router. The signal is horrible in my room, downstairs at the other end of my house. I would like to be able to set up an access point so I can get wireless in my room for my macbook and ps3. I have an extra router that has the option to set it as a wireless access point instead of a router. I selected this option, but nothing happened. I set the SSID to the wireless routers SSID (upstairs) so thatthey were the same, still nothing. I don't want to use any ethernet cables if I don't have to (because I thought an access point would receive AND send the signal).

    Any help is much appreciated!


  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    an access point in this case goes from wired to wireless.

    The difference in the modes is that in router mode it will handle traffic on 2 different networks (inside you home (both wireless and wired), and the internet) and how those 2 interact, and pass out IP addresses.
    in access point mode it only handles the inside part. and will act as a wireless bridge, to connect wireless clients to the wired network.

    you want to wirelessly extend the network (WDS - wireless distribution system). which can be tricky to setup. Apple has made it easier, but only if all of the base stations are apple gear.

    without knowing specifics on your routers, it would be hard to say if it would even be possible to set up WDS.

    also with WDS, the base station in the middle uses half of it's bandwidth to talk to the main router, and half to talk to your computer. so the speed is basically cut in half.

    with wired, you will not see the speed drop. There are ethernet over power adapters, that you can use so you don't have to string ethernet cables around the house.
  3. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have two extra wireless routers. none of the gear is apple, just the computers. Wouldn't I be able to set up one router as a access point and then (theoretically) make the wired connection go the "modem" section on the other router..making a wireless access point connect to another wireless router?

    I'm going to eventually be taking this set up to college as well, I leased a house with some friends but there are three floors and even with the wireless router on the middle floor it can't reach everybody. I guess I'm looking for a wireless repeater..? Is that a real thing? lol What's the easiest and most cost efficient way of making this happen? I have several extra routers (wireless and lan) but none from apple (I would go apple, but they are so darn expensive - and to a college kid..money is tight lol)

    Right now, the router that is set up to the modem is a (very old) gateway router. Pretty sure it is a wireless B too. I have a belkin that is a G. and one linksys wireless and several linksys/netgear wired. Hope that helps.

    Also, I wouldn't want the speed to be cut in half.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    with multiple floors, and multiple people, you would be better served by running a wire to each floor, and putting a router in access point mode. with all of the base stations set up with the same SSID and security settings, but different channels, your devices will switch to the stronger signal automatically as you move around the house. Plus the wireless traffic will be split between the different units.
    also in this setup you would want channels 1,6, & 11. As those are the only ones that don't overlap.

    and i guess you could have one router join the network from the main router then run a cable to another router. The second router would need to be broadcasting a different SSID. meaning you would probably have to manually switch to the stronger signal.

    what you want is WDS, but you will see your speed cut in half, and if your main base is B, then you will have 1/2 B speeds unless you are connected to the main.
    You might want to replace that if you can, because one B device on the network, will drop the entire network to B speeds, even if it's G compatible.

    you could look into dd-wrt. It's a linux based firmware designed to replace the stock firmware on several different routers, you'll have to check the list to see if you have ones that are supported. It should be able to do what you want, I've been running it for a few years with no problems.

    there is a big list of how to link routers and the different methods of doing it.
  5. Deepshade macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    Just an option....

    Not sure if its the same for US as UK. But the homeplug (ethernet over mains wiring) works really well (UK). Saves running any new cable and is easy to set up.

    Purchase a pair of homeplugs (with or without wireless - depending on how you want to connect at the final destination)

    Connect homeplug A to router - (ethernet)
    Plug homeplug A into mains socket
    Go upstairs (or wherever you need network access)
    Plug homeplug B into the mains
    Depending on weather you purchased a wireless or non wireless homeplug
    either connect homeplug B to your computer by cable or wireless

    In theory, run up to 10 homeplugs over the same ringmain (yes , it needs to be the same ringmain and the sockets need to be turned on. Also remember to get the same speed homeplugs - don't mix and match - they wont work)

    Internet browsing, PS3 network and BBC iPlayer all run fine.
    2 x 200mbs + n wireless approx £110

    real easy
    no mess
    no - I don't sell them :)
  6. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Whoa...I thought this would be a simple task. hahaha. I thought wrong!

    I might have to skip out on this plan for the home, but I plan to take this setup to college. Here's the plan for college.

    My brother and I have two separate apartments that are located (literally) right next door. He has one roommate and so do I. All of us being (poor) college kids, we had the great idea of using one internet and split it four ways. I just signed the lease and wont move in till september whereas he's been there for a year already so he has internet and tv. Here's our plan.

    When I move up, I need a way to get a stronger signal through the wall so my roommate and I can get internet in our house. They have a linksys wireless g that I set up (and I still have all my old extra routers). So it's kind of the same problem - We'll need to get internet in our apartment from his router/modem. The other problem: I'm the only one with a mac, the other three have pc's so the apple product you were talking about (waw74) I don't think would work. And deepshade, I appreciate the advice, but unfortunately, I'm looking for a cheap and cost effective measure. lol 110 pounds is equivalent to approx 220 USD. Lol.

    Waw74, according to this site you gave me:http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linking_Routers "Wireless Access Point - Extend Wi-Fi & LAN (Requires physical ethernet connection between routers)"

    This is exactly what I wanted to do isn't it? set up an access point and connect the access point to another wireless router through ethernet. thus, extending the wifi capability? or would I have to run an ethernet cable from main router to access point to another wireless router..?

    As far as the linux firmware, what is the difference of doing that vs the regular fw? Here's a picture of the router I set up as an access point (but couldn't get to work) in my house. http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k313/Coremeister/64d63639.jpg

    Sorry for the picture.. I was in a hurry. And I'm sure with that picture alone, it wont do much good to you. Let me know if you want better pictures so you can see what the goods of the router.

    Thanks for the help you guys. I really appreciate it.
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Actually it's quite easy, but that requires a bit of money.

    If you're broke and trying to use random bits of leftover networking gear that you have around, you're likely to end up with a poor performing mess.
  8. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Sorry for bringing back a dying thread, but you guys were tons of help. Any way, new plan. Finally moved in and the one router in my brothers apartment was fine to send internet to my apartment.

    Now my question is what is a good internet speed for us? We have 4 laptops (only one macbook :/ ), two ps3's and 3 smartphones (iphone, motorola cliq xt and htc droid incredible).

    I went to those "speed test" sites to check my download and upload speeds. One said Download was 22.48 Mbps and the other said 22.56 Mbps. Upload was 2.77 Mbps and 2.92 Mbps. So pretty close to each other. We have comcast TV and internet. Is this a good enough speed for all of us? I'm afraid that if we have All four laptops on and ps3's and phones, it might get slower. Should we get more bandwidth? The better question is would it be worth it to get a higher download speed?


Share This Page