Noob Question: Connecting a wireless router downstream from a modem/router combo?

LzeroKI

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Dec 4, 2013
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Hello, I am a bit of a noob when it comes to networking stuff, but Tom's Hardware was very helpful when I was researching for my laptop purchase a few months ago.

I have a question regarding connecting a router to a modem/router combo.

I have a modem/router combo from Time Warner cable, when the technician installed it he told me it is capable of being used for wireless networking for another $10/mo. I was curious if I could just connect my own wireless router (such as this one ) to the modem/router combo. Would this cause networking problems?

I would plan on only using 1 downstream port from the time warner modem/router, going straight into the "upstream" port of the TP-LINK router, then connecting my devices to the downstream ports of the TP-LINK router.

Like I said, I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to networking, so I turn to you guys and gals here for advice. Thanks for any help y'all can give me!
 

markwp

Dignified
Run an ethernet cable from the modem LAN out to your router LAN in. You should be good to go. If you are paying for an internect connection from TW, you can certainly use your router.

Mark
 

LzeroKI

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Thanks for the reply Mark! The only thing that concerns me is that my TW modem is also a router (with wireless capability, but the wireless is turned off by TW at the moment), I currently have 2 computers and an XBOX connected to it. I was unsure if running one router downstream from another router would cause problems.

What I would plan on doing is basically what you suggested: run an ethernet cable from the 1st LAN out of the my TW modem/router to the LAN in of the TP-Link router, then run all my devices from the TP-Link router. Does this sound like it could cause problems?
 

markwp

Dignified
How are the 2 computers and the xbox currently connected? Are they hard wired to the TW modem?

Think of the "downstream" modem as another computer that happens to have re-broadcast capability. In essence that's all you are doing - moving the signal x number of feet down the line to the area of dispersal.

The only problem you may have is limited bandwidth. What bandwidth are you paying for? 10mbs; 20; 30?

Mark
 

LzeroKI

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Hey Mark,

All three are currently hardwired to the TWC modem/router combo unit. The bandwidth I am paying for is 20, but I am actually getting about 23-25 down.

I found this sticky on the forums that gives easy instructions on how to cascade routers, that sounds like what I'd want to do. If I followed those instructions (using the TWC modem/router as the "master" and the TP-LINK router as the "slave") do you think I would be able to utilize the wifi capabilities of the TP-LINK router?

 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
If you cascade the router, that puts it on a separate subnet. You may just want to configure the second router as an AP. It really depends if you want one network that can communicate with all devices or want an isolated subnet.

A cascaded router would be connected from the LAN port of the primary router to the WAN port of the secondary router and the secondary router would do the routing on its own subnet and use the main router gateway as its WAN address. In AP mode, the secondary router would be connected LAN to LAN, would have its DHCP turned off, and would have a static address in the main router network range.

Either way, with an Ethernet cable connection you will be able to use the second router radio and wired ports for connections and it will not interfere with your current router wireless if you configure the channels properly. It will also not negatively affect your network speed, other than having more devices sharing your available plan connection speed.
 

markwp

Dignified
You can try that, but if you are planning to hardwire from TW to the downstream modem there is no need for all the different ip stuff. Set the downstream router as a "passthrough" if you are hardwiring, or set it up as a repeater if going wireless. Check out the DDWRT site (www.dd-wrt.com) for more info. I have my old linksys set up as a repeater.
 

LzeroKI

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I guess what I want is the LAN to LAN AP mode then. My TWC modem/router combo unit is not currently wireless right now, so I don't think the AP unit's radio will have any problems, from the sound of it.

Basically what I want to do is this: add wifi capability to my network at home, I was just unsure how it would work because my Time Warner modem is not just a dedicated modem, it is a modem and router (hardwired only) all in one unit.

So it looks like all I need to do is purchase a wireless router, and connect as an AP (via LAN to LAN) so that I can use the AP's wireless functionality to have a wifi network at home.

 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
It is very simple then.

Just attach the new unit with an LAN to LAN Ethernet cable, turn off DHCP in the new unit (the wireless AP), assign the wireless AP a static address and also enter that address in the TWC router static address table, turn the wireless security on in your AP unit (WPA2 personal with AES encryption is preferred), pick the radio channel that you want to use and enter a security passkey (write it down, all your devices will need it).

I would look at a concurrent dual band router to use as your AP so that you have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands available. An example would be the ASUS RT-N56U, unless you really want an AC capable AP assuming your devices are AC capable also.
 

LzeroKI

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Dec 4, 2013
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Hey RealBeast,

Thanks for your help! I think I understand what you are saying, and I should be able to do all of that. As far as the router to choose for the AP purpose, does the router I've linked to below seem to fit the bill?

TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless N600 Router

It has gigabit hardwired connections, WPA2 security, and simultaneous (which I believe is the same as concurrent) dual band wireless radio.

Thanks again for your help!
 

LzeroKI

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Dec 4, 2013
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Excellent, I've ordered the TP-Link router and will set it up as an AP this weekend. Thanks so much for your help RealBeast!

Interestingly, I was logged into my Time Warner router last night just poking around, and noticed that all I had to do to enable wifi was simply check the "Enable Wireless" check box; I thought about it, but since I'm not paying their monthly fee for Home Wifi, I was afraid of the consequences is TWC was to some how find out.

Thanks again RealBeast!! Is there any kind of "rep" or "thanks" system on this forum?
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator


There is a "pick this as the solution" button so others can find it quickly if they have a similar issue (it doesn't always show up though), but not to worry solving your issue is an adequate thanks. :)

 

LzeroKI

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Dec 4, 2013
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Hey RealBeast.

Just wanted to let you know, I hooked everything up this past weekend just as you described, using the TP-Link router as an Access Point and every works great! I now have dual band wifi in my apartment at the cost of $46 for the TP-Link router, instead of the $10-$20 per month Time Warner was going to charge me. I also can hookup my large external hard drive (full of media) directly to the TP-Link router and use it as a shared drive on my network (I haven't tried this just yet, but it seems like it will be handy). Thanks so much for your help!
 

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