My house has unique networking challenge. I have a primary single-story structure built in 1915, and a separate, secondary structure that we have remodeled into an entertainment/game room. Running ethernet cable throughout the old house was problematic enough. The studs, wall plates, and headers were not standardized and predictable like newer homes. Running ethernet outside of the house was required for some rooms. I then ran a 150-foot shielded category 6 ethernet cable (suitable for underground installation) along with the power lines that feed the game room. I had two D-Link DIR-655 Wireless N routers, and I wanted the first one to be the router connecting to our Time Warner broadband connection. I wanted the second DIR-655 to act as a switch and wireless access point in the game room. This sounds like it should be easy enough to accomplish, but by default the two routers want similar IP addresses and do similar things, so if you have them both powered on the same network at the same time, you might find yourself administering one router one second and the other router the next!
I found a post on the D-Link forums that provides step-by-step direction to make this configuration as simple as possible. It’s such a useful set of instructions I am going to summarize it here:
- Plug the power into the access point router. Connect one of your computers to the router (LAN port) using an Ethernet cable.
- Open a web browser and enter http://192.168.0.1 and press Enter. When the login window appears, set the user name to Admin and leave the password box empty. Click Log In to continue. (Note: these are the D-Link default values. If you have changed the default IP address or Admin password, substitute the appropriate values)
- Click on Advanced and then click Advanced Network. Uncheck the Enable UPnP checkbox. Click Save Settings to continue.
- Click Setup and then click Network Settings. Uncheck the Enable DHCP Server checkbox. Click Save Settings to continue. Ensure to disable all of the following options as they will be no longer needed or usable while using this mode: Virtual Server, Application and Port Forward Rules, Access Control and Web Filters, SPI and Firewall, WISH and WPS.
- Under Setup or Basic/Networking, enter an available IP address (192.168.0.50-.59 is recommended by D-Link) and the subnet mask of your network, usually 255.255.255.0 or .255. Click Save Settings to save your settings. Use this new IP address to access the configuration utility of the access point router in the future. Also turn off or disable other features on the access point router (Port Forwarding, Firewall, WISH, WPS and any email logging). Save the settings. Close the browser.
- Connect an ethernet cable in one of the LAN ports of the access point router and connect it to one of the LAN ports in your host router. Do not plug anything into the Internet (WAN) port of the router that your turning into an access point. Use the LAN ports only.
- You may now use the other 3 LAN ports of the access point router to connect other ethernet devices and computers (it acts as a switch). To configure your wireless network, open a web browser and enter the IP address (192.168.0.50) you assigned to the access point router. Recommend using Mixed G and N or Single G or N modes. That’s it!
The author provided another good tip: You can use the same SSID between the host router and the access point router. Make sure you do not use the same channel. Host router set for 1 or 6 and the access point router set for 6 or 11. This works perfectly at all times and your wireless card will select the AP with the best connection. This will enable you to walk around with your laptop/wireless device and only have 1 connection configured and always have the best signal strength connection where ever you are located in the house.