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Question Connecting 2 separate wifi routers to one computer?

May 6, 2021
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I have a specific situation that could be solved if this is possible.

I am a musician and for livestreams on stage I use multiple phone cameras as webcams (with an app called IVcam). They all connect to the laptop via the venue's wifi.
The Venue's internet is good enough for livestreaming, but not good enough to stream the phone cameras in realtime to the laptop. I get loads of artifacts and latency issues, before it gets to the internet.

My idea is to have a separate router that I connect to the laptop via LAN, and the phone can connect to that, and then use the laptop's wifi to connect to the venue's internet.

Is there any way this can be done? or is it impossible to have 2 seperate wifi routers to connect to one pc? I really hope there is a solution, because the only other option I can think of is to connect the phones with usb cable, and that would be so messy and limit where I could put the phones.

Thanks in advance!
 
In your case it is pretty simple it is a much harder problem if you want it actually connected to 2 different networks that are both on the internet.

There are still some details that can be frustrating to setup.

First you need to use different subnets for the 2 network. So if one network is 192.168.1.x the other needs to be 192.168.2.x or something. Since you have no control over what the venue uses I would choose something not common and hope it does not ever conflict. You could use 192.168.238.x for example.

So to make this work you really want to run your second router as a AP. You would plug the pc into one of the LAN port leaving the WAN unused. Your phones would connect via wifi. The problem is that unless you want to manually assign IP addresses to all your phones you are going to have to leave the DHCP function active. The problem comes on your pc. Because the DHCP function also gives you a gateway and DNS server it will cause a conflict with the information you get on the other network connection. It would be best to manually configure the pc IP address and leave the gateway and dns fields blank
 
May 6, 2021
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Thank you for your reply bill001g. Sounds complicated but doable. I will look into trying it out and see if its too much of a hassle or not.
If I did assign manual IP addresses to all my phones, would those be permanent or is it something that I will have to do every time?
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Thank you for your reply bill001g. Sounds complicated but doable. I will look into trying it out and see if its too much of a hassle or not.
If I did assign manual IP addresses to all my phones, would those be permanent or is it something that I will have to do every time?
I think DHCP sounds easier.

But the phones needs to find the Laptop IP and you probably need to have routing and NAT running in the Laptop depending on whats needed. And it probably would be easier to let the Laptop do the DHCP (through "Internetsharing"?). The AP is a bridge device so it might not matter what IP/LAN config the AP is running. But make it part of your LAN anyway.

The second LAN (provided by you/the AP/Laptop) needs to have the Laptop as the gw/router IP and so does all the phones. The venues LAN will not know about your LAN, that's why you probably will need NAT. Depending on if the Laptop is "relaying" the traffic from an app or if the phones needs to send the data directly to Internet. A second NAT could be a problem.

You can use any of the available private IP networks as long as it doesn't use the same as the venue is using for it's LAN. So if using IPv4 anything starting with 10. or 172.16. to 172.31. is also OK. The netmask used decides how large a subnet is. IPCALC is available online to help you figure this out, for example you can use http://www.jodies.de/ipcalc

HTH
 

jasonf2

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Oct 11, 2015
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You can set multiple subnets, but I have no idea why you would. From the sound of it you are trying to connect everything to the venues wifi and are simply over taxing an unknown and probably throttled network. I would purchase a good 802.11ax (wifi 6) router and wifi 6 range extender (I have used Netear EA series with success, you can disable the extender networks and just bridge the wifi to the ethernet lan) with integrated switch. Make sure to upgrade the pc to a full wifi 6 card or connect via GBE Ethernet port (to the router switch, not the extender). After that connect all of your devices to your router. Use the range extender to connect to your venue network and hard wire the range extender to the internet port on the router. This should give you a dedicated high bandwidth network to pass your phone data to your pc and share the internet connection without having to setup static subnets. That will more than likely give you your best chance at this working. Venues with lots of smartphones running wifi are iffy at best and you still may have issues. In this case Wifi6e may not be a bad idea for the fact that the 6ghz channel should be clearer for lack of devices. For that to have benefit the pc and router would have to support it.
 
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jasonf2

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Oct 11, 2015
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Also to my knowledge most, if not all wifi devices are only able to connect to one access point at a time. So while your routing trick with subnets will work you will have to hardwire the laptop to the router. While you end up with a little more hardware I have found that the extender bridging the wifi internet to the router and letting it handle the routing and nat is a much more elegant and reliable solution than trying to work with the windows internet connection sharing and manual subnet setup.
 

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