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OT - wireless networking access point

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  • OT - wireless networking access point

    I have cable internet with a wireless router for the laptop and netbook. Also have one wire ran upstairs and to my CAD/CAM computer in the basement.

    I need to run a wire to the garage, which isn't a big deal as I left an empty conduit when I trenched.

    The garage is however outside of the range of the house wireless.

    If I install another wireless router in the garage, will I be able to access the internet from my laptop/netbook in the garag? If so, do I run the line to the WAN port or do I make a crossover cable and run it to one of the 4 wired connections, essentially using the router as a hub.

    Are crossover cables even necessary anymore? I sort of remember thinking that most modern routers/hubs have built in switching option so it automatically detects what kind of line it is.

    Guess what I am asking is how do I obtain wireless internet in the garage, while also having a wired line to one desktop computer (my CAD/CAM/CNC machine).


  • #2
    You might be able to get away with just a better/remote antenna on your current router/modem, depending on how far away your shop is and say the heck with running another cable. (that's the plan for my shop anyway.)

    edit: If it's less than 300' your wireless shoud reach with a better antenna.
    I cut it twice, and it's still too short!


    • #3
      You may be able to reach the garage by just relocating the existing wireless router. Or rotate it. Higher would be better, or another corner of the room. Another room that is closer to the garage. By a window where the garage is visible. Remove any metal window screen. Look for any metal that may be shielding/blocking the signal. Experiment with it.

      As for using the laptop on either/both wireless systems if you do wind up installing a second one, yes, your laptop should be able to access both. Windows 7 has an Internet Access icon in the Taskbar. If you click on it, you will see a list of all possible internet connections, wire and wireless. You simply choose the one you want. I see about three or four of my neighbors wireless routers on mine. I am sure older versions of Windows have a similar facility, probably also in the Taskbar. Just search for it.

      Not sure if you need a straight or a crossover cable. Check your routers' documentation or ask at the store where you buy the new one.
      Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 09-23-2011, 12:41 AM.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.


      • #4
        You mean your wireless router doesn't have enough Ethernet in/out socket ?

        Just gang a router off the 1st wireless router and an ethernet cable to the garage for the other wireless router. Don't know if self-configuring routers have things like "Reverse Poison" to prevent packet collision between the 2 wireless routers should they be able to see each other on a clear day.


        • #5
          Not to sound like a smart ass, but what you want is called a wireless access point. It has an ethernet cable that runs thru the conduit and plugs into your router. (This is assuming your router has more than one ethernet port on the back) No, you don't need a crossover cable. IT has an antenna that beams out the wireless signal, and you can configure it so that it looks the same as the signal from your original router, so when you move your laptop from one area to the other it will be a seamless transition. Before buying, download and read the instruction manual to make sure it does what you want. Sometimes it can also be called a "router" or "wireless range extender/expander". All of these devices have an antenna and a ethernet point, so sometimes one can do the role of another. But I think you want to be sure it can run as an access point.
          Last edited by beanbag; 09-23-2011, 04:47 AM.


          • #6
            If your Garage is less than 100m (300ft) from your router you can run a Cat5 / 5e / 6 straight through cable from the router then connect it to one of the "network"/"lan" ports on the back of the garage access point.

            Ethernet cable has a maximum range of 100m before the signal gets too much interferance from the world.

            The connection of Switchport to Switchport will allow you to maintain a network connection to the rest of your house (If your sharing files / documents etc) You can also connect the cable to WAN (If you want) but that invokes the use of the routers firewalls and NAT (Address Translation) which prevents any form of file sharing.

            One thing to note is that you need to check that the new router does not have the same IP address range as the existing one because that opens a massive can of worms and will most likely bring your network down. Easiest thing to do is change the network number (ie: 192.168.x.1 ) before connecting switchport to switchport.

            IF you have any problems, let me know as i have just completed a Networking Diploma and i should be able to give you some pointers


            • #7
              Adding to above, you can also try the positioning of the existing router. Moving it as little as 100mm in any direction can have a massive effect on the WiFi signal range. Sometimes, even twiddling the antenae can have a similar effect


              • #8
                I just completed putting a wireless access point in my garage based workshop.

                I used an Apple Express wireless router which connects via CAT to, and supplements, my internal home wireless router. The Airport Express includes a stereo mini audio output jack, which allows me to stream my audio collection (iTunes) residing on computers in my home, or Internet based sources, Sirius/Pandora/etc., to my shop based stereo system.

                Available remote control programs for my IPhone allow me to control the streaming audio wirelessly from my shop. I can also output directly from my iPhone into my shop stereo and use the shop wireless access point to feed the phone. This technology is not limited to Apple. The Apple Express can be mixed with MS OS based systems, although I have no idea how seamless that marriage would be.

                Good Luck!


                • #9
                  Directional WiFi

                  Here's what I did when faced with the same issue: I made a directional WiFi antenna out of a USB WiFI and a clamp on lamp reflector.
                  The beauty of the lamp reflector was: 1) I already had it, 2) it was easy to mount, 3) the build in gimbal made it easy to aim.

                  I removed the lamp socket and turned down a plastic barb type pipe fitting to be a snug fit. I then cut a slot in the barb portion to hold the USB WiFi adapter and hooked up a USB extension cable. To tune the system I clamped the relector to a solid mount point, and watched the signal strength as I moved the reflector. Once I had it aimed for maximum signal strength, I slid the plastics pipe in and out until I found the maximum strength again.

                  Out of pocket cost was about $6 for the barbed plastic pipe fitting and USB extension cable.

                  Before, I could see the router in my study, but could not pull an IP from it. After, a solid connection at ~9MBS. Enough to surf and listen to Pandora

                  The distance to the router is about 100 feet by rough estimation through several internal wall and aluminum siding exterior on the house, and vinyl siding on the workshop.

                  Not a highly engineered project -- but it works!



                  • #10
                    My garage sits about 75 feet from my house and at the head of my driveway. I have a day/night ip camera on the garage that watches my driveway and for years I tied the garage to the house with a wireless bridge in the garage and a wireless access point in the house. I was nothing but trouble. The connection constantly dropped and reconnected for no apparent reason. I tried relocating the access point and the bridge to various locations without success. Since I record the video it was driving me nuts with all the drops and reconnects. Finally I invested in a pair of powerline networking adapters. On in the house is plugged into a power strip and connected to my ethernet switch. The one in the garage is in a corner somewhere, plugged into a spare outlet and in my case connected to a cheap switch along with the camera and an old laptop I use in the shop. The connection is fast and rock solid. Should have done that to start with.


                    • #11
                      Continuing on regarding networks.....
                      I have a question. I have a DSL feed into a modem , then a router, and that is connected to several computers and a playstation too, All down in the basement. I am moving the playstation and 1 computer upstairs, but don't want to run 2 lengths of cat 5 up there. Can I run 1 cat5 upstairs and then hook a switch/hub , then hook in my 2 components to the switch/hub ....? Is that how that works ?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Uncle O
                        Continuing on regarding networks.....
                        I have a question. I have a DSL feed into a modem , then a router, and that is connected to several computers and a playstation too, All down in the basement. I am moving the playstation and 1 computer upstairs, but don't want to run 2 lengths of cat 5 up there. Can I run 1 cat5 upstairs and then hook a switch/hub , then hook in my 2 components to the switch/hub ....? Is that how that works ?

                        That shouldn't be a problem. Don't use a hub - if you can still find one. it shares the bandwith and small switches are super cheap. But when I pull cable, I always pull a spare Cat 5. The cable is cheap, you're already pulling the first one (pull them together) and you can never have enough tool holders or data circuits.