Replacing ethernet bridge with wireless bridge in home LAN

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by HunterZ, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. HunterZ

    HunterZ Network Guru Member

    Currently I have my Internet connection's cable modem connected to the WAN port of a Linksys WRT54g in the guest bedroom, which in turn is running Tomato to provide QoS, firewall, DHCP and DNS. I have an old, mostly-unused Tivo connected to the WRT54g, and sometimes the phones, eBook readers, etc. in the upstairs bedroom will connect to it wirelessly as well.

    However, I also run an ethernet cable from the WRT54g across the downstairs level of the house and into the family room (to deal with signal loss from a laundry room in between), where it connects to a LAN port of a Netgear 802.11g router that is configured to be a LAN switch and wireless AP (with same SSID as the Linksys to make roaming easier/possible). The bulk of my family's devices connect either wirelessly or via ethernet to this Netgear in the family room.

    This has been working fine for us for a year or two, but we've often lamented the ethernet cable running down the hallway. I've thought about trying to use a wireless bridge between the two locations (bedroom where the Internet comes into the house, and family room where we really need it). Secondarily, it would also be nice to get gigabit ethernet connections between my wired machines in the family room, and 802.11n for my wireless devices. However, I have a number of concerns:
    • My biggest concern is related to throughput/bandwidth. If I use a wireless bridge, will all traffic between two computers on the LAN be routed over the bridge since the bedroom router is managing the LAN? Or, will the routers be smart enough to route LAN-to-LAN traffic through the shortest path, thus avoiding the wireless bridge most of the time?
    • I've thought about putting the family room on a subnet to avoid using the wireless bridge for anything other than Internet access when possible, but wouldn't this also complicate LAN-only connectivity between devices on the bedroom router and devices on the family room router? I've never, ever played with subnetting.
    • Are there routers available now that can act as both a bridge and a wireless AP without cutting throughput in half for wireless clients? Or, should I just buy a third router to separate out the bridge and wireless AP functions? My internet connection is around 24Mbps downstream if that helps.

    Any suggestions or other thoughts would be much appreciated.
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