wireless router vs access point

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by CrazyBoy-1, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. CrazyBoy-1

    CrazyBoy-1 LI Guru Member

    I need a little help here. I have a wired router set up that runs to two PCs and one gaming system. I'm moving the one PC downstairs, and instead of worrying about running wires, I figured I'd just go wireless. I've wanted to do that for a while anyways for my Nintendo DS ans Wii. I went to Circuit City and purchased a wireless router (wrt54gs) and a pci adapter (wmp54g). However, my understanding was that I'd need to mess with the settings to be able to piggyback the wireless rounter onto the existing router. In trying to do some research on that, I found out about access points. All I want to do is have wireless internet access for my PC and gaming devices (and possibly a laptop if a friend brings one over). It seems like the access point will do just that will less hassle, but from what I've read they also have some downsides with speed, security, etc. So my questions are thus:

    1. Should I return the router and just get an access point instead?

    2. If I should stick with the wireless router, what do I need to do to get the whole system to work.

    I currently have the PC still upstairs and wired, but I need to move it asap. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Note: I'm not very tech-savvy. I'm not stupid and can generally pick things up fairly well, but I don't have a lot of experience in this area, so please keep it simple.
  2. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    I'd say it's a personal preference.

    You might want to keep a separate AP if you want to place it in a hard to reach spot (ceiling) to improve coverage, but if your computer downstairs can receive a good signal from your new wifi router when it's placed next to your old router, you can probably have one power-consuming unit instead of two.

    If your ISP won't help you set up a new router, folks here are usually very keen to help, you might want to start with saying who your ISP is and what kind of equipment you have from your ISP.

    Good luck with your endeavor! :)
  3. CrazyBoy-1

    CrazyBoy-1 LI Guru Member

    Well, if it's not that much difference, and I can get help here, I might as well just use the wireless router.

    My ISP is Earthlink (Sprint)
    The modem just says "Sprint" on it with the model number SP-645ME-A1
    The router is a Linksys model BEFSR41 ver. 3

    Any tips would be appreciated. I did previously have another wired router piggybacked on top of the current one, but I don't remember how I did that quite frankly. It was a while ago.
  4. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    The biggest question at the moment is do you want to "piggyback" is there actually a need? Are you going to just replace your current router with the new wirelesss? You can really do just about anything you want to do just need to decide what it is you want and we can get started on getting you down that road.
  5. CrazyBoy-1

    CrazyBoy-1 LI Guru Member

    The existing router needs to stay since it is feeding another PC that isn't moving and won't be going wireless. So yes, as far as I know the wireless router needs to be piggybacked. Unless of course there is another way to set things up.

    I was originally in an apartment that was having some work done to it. During that time we put in some hard lines through the walls, and also ran one over into the main house that the apartments are built onto. I'm now moving down into the downstairs apartment, but the router and modem need to stay where they are because that's where the DSL line comes in and also the router needs to stay there because there is a PC using the internet off of the hard line plugged into one of the LAN ports. The apartment below that I've moved into doesn't have any cable run to it, so that's why I wanted to go wireless. My computer is still upstairs until I can get the wireless set up, so that I can still get online.
  6. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    I was thinking initially that you might be replacing the wired router with the new wireless. Ok a couple more questions then we can go from there. Are you wanting to use the new router as just an access point and let the old router handle all the dhcp or are you wanting to use the new router as a full blown router/firewall?
  7. stangri

    stangri LI Guru Member

    Most of the wireless routers do have 3-4 LAN ports on the back for connecting your wired PCs. So no, if you only have 1 PC which needs to stay wired, you don't have to keep the old router for that.
    PS. Sorry, I'm outside of the USA, can't help you with the Earthlink.
  8. CrazyBoy-1

    CrazyBoy-1 LI Guru Member

    You know what, I hadn't even thought to look at that. You're right, the router does have four wired ports on the back. In that case, I could just replace the wired router with the wireless. I think I might just do that.

    Just for future reference though. Say that I would want to piggyback the wireless onto the wired and use it as a router/firewall. How much more involved is that than just using it as an access point?
  9. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Thats the easy part, you just plug one of the router lan ports into the wan of the wireless and make sure the wireless router is using a different IP range then your wired and your set. The part that is a little more tricky is if you want to use the new router as more or less an access point and have your current router still act as the dhcp server.
  10. CrazyBoy-1

    CrazyBoy-1 LI Guru Member

    Ok, I tried to just replace the wired router with the wireless with no success. There where big stickers everywhere when I opened the package saying "Run CD First!" So, I ran the CD and followed all the instructions in the little help wizard. Apparently the router is talking to the computer, but the there is no internet connection detected. I tried the suggested "unplug modem and router wait 10 seconds blah blah blah" stuff a couple times and even tried disabling and reenabling my network connection on my computer too. Nothing worked. So I unplugged the cables and plugged the old wired router back and the internet is fine. All the lights on the new router were lit up, including the "internet" light, so I'm puzzled as to where the lack of connection is.

    Any ideas?
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