Build 1 home Network using 2 wifi connections?


Sep 7, 2012

Hoping for some technical assistance setting up a single home network in my apartment that will be able to connect to and use 2 separate wifi internet connections to provide stability and reliable bandwidth for a home network.

Situation: I have recently moved into an apartment complex that has 2 separate wifi connections that are available to the residents free of charge. (yes i am authorized to use both) I do have the option of paying for and having my own personal DSL line installed but I would much rather use the free wifi and not have the monthly bill.

The Problem: My apartment is located far enough away from each of the routers (One wifi at each end of the building and I am in the middle) that my signal strength is poor most of the time and sometimes heavy traffic on one wifi requires that I disconnect and connect to the other. Wifi A is farther and has very low signal and low or no connectivity. Wifi B has good signal most of the time but gets very slow during peek usage times of the day.

I understand that I need one or more high gain antennas in order to receive adequate signals from either Wifi connection.

Between me and my son we have 2 laptop PCs, 1 Desktop PC, 1 network printer, 1 Xbox, 1 HDTV and my smartphone. I don't want to try to equip each device with its own high gain antenna and try to figure out which device should be connected to which Wifi depending on available signal and bandwidth. Rite now I do not have a Home network set up at all and we are only using 1 laptop and the Xbox and each is directly connected via wifi (usually to Wifi B).

If I could connect to either Wifi A or B with decent bandwidth and reliability and then be able to network or connect all my devices via wireless or wired to my own router/extender etc. I would be happy. However.. Given that I must share bandwidth with the other residents and at times one Wifi has heavy use while the other does not. I have been trying to research how to connect to both wifi signals for load balancing, reliability and hopefully greater bandwidth.

I am looking for equipment recommendations or any suggestions to solve this problem. I would much rather buy equipment and have fun creating a "free" home network than contract with an ISP and pay a monthly bill!!!

Not really a simple things to do.

Option 1

You need 2 bridge devices that will associate with the apartment AP and give ethernet.
You need 2 routers only 1 needs to run wireless disable DHCP on both.
You connect the LAN ports together.
connect a bridge to the wan port of each router and let them learn a wan IP.
Assign 1 router say and the other
Give your PC address from 192.168.1.x and MANUALLY set the gateway to either .1 or .2 to select the path.

Option 2
Same 2 bridges
Buy something like a linksys RV042 which is a dual wan router
Buy AP or router running as AP and plug that into the LAN port on the RV042 (none of the linksys dual wan routers have wireless).
You now control which clients use which provider by modifing the configuration in the is not possible other than a unplugging the lan cable to make it move back and forth automatically.

Unfortunately anything automated requires you to be able detect and measure performance on 2 links. It can be done with commercial equipment. Most any cisco router that has SLA support can do this but I will not go into details. To a point this can also load balance the traffic but it has no way to actually detect the utilization

Combing or bonding the connections lets just say it will be much cheaper to buy a internet connection.