Why can't the networked devices just get along?
September 17, 2009 6:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to set up my parents' home network. The easiest way to describe it is with a diagram. They have a DSL router in a closet, and that's connected (ethernet) to mom's desktop pc. There is a wireless router (D-Link DI-524) that's also connected to the DSL router via ethernet. There is a printer connected to the D-Link via ethernet. And finally, dad's laptop connects via wifi. If the DSL router is connected to the wireless router's LAN port, mom can surf the web and print to the printer, but dad can't connect to the internet. (see the "lan port connection" diagram) If the DSL router is connected to the wireless router's WAN port, mom can surf the web but can't see the printer, but dad can connect to the internet. (see the "wan port connection" diagram) I've tried tweaking the D-Link's settings to both accept a DHCP address or have a hardcoded address, and also to pass out or not pass our a DHCP address to dad's laptop. What I can't seem to accomplish is: 1. mom can access internet 2. mom can access printer 3. dad can access internet 4. dad can access printer Any suggestions? Can I even do this with this equipment?
posted by edjusted to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're setting up too many different layers. The DSL router and your mom may be ending up on a different subnet than your wireless, your dad, and the printer. Try changing the router to be simply an access point.

Are the DSL router and wireless router in the same place? If so, plug the wireless router into the DSL, then your mom's lan connection into the lan out on the wireless router. that might fix everything.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 6:08 PM on September 17, 2009

Just have the wireless router (which presumably also has an ethernet switch) do DHCP serving for both PCSs and the printer. Allow the wireless router's config page to control the DSL device.

.........................................../------------------Mom PC via ethernet
DSL device-----Wireless Router|--------------------------------Printer via ethernet
...........................................\------------------Dad PC via wifi
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:12 PM on September 17, 2009

It seems to me that the right thing to do is to turn the D-Link router's router brains off, and just have it operate as a simple wireless access point.

However, I've just had a squiz at the DI-524 manual, and can't actually see a way to do that. So you'll probably need to turn the DSL router's router brains off, have that operate as a simple modem, and put all your ISP settings inside the DI-524 instead (see manual page 76 forward).

Once you've done that, make sure the only thing coming out of the DSL router is the cable linking it to the DI-524's WAN port. Use DI-524 LAN ports for all the rest of your wired connections.
posted by flabdablet at 6:19 PM on September 17, 2009

I don't understand your diagram.

Here's how you have to do it:

Plug only a computer in the DI-524.

Set that computer to have static IP

Login to router at and configure the wireless the way you want, then disable its DHCP server.

Put your computer back to obtain ip address automatically.

Plug the DSL modem/router into any of the 4 LAN ports of your router, also your dad's pc, mom's pc and printer.

They will get a DHCP address from the DSL modem/router, effectively using your DI-524 as a switch and an access point.

Very similar to Inspector.Gadget's suggestion, except his would involve being behind two NATs, which would only confuse you more when forwarding ports.

Nearly identical to flabdablet's answer, however plugging the DSL modem/router in the DI-524's WAN port will not work. It has to be in one of the LAN port for the computer's DHCP request to go through. WAN and LAN interface on the router are separate.

I worked in a place doing support for D-Link's products, so I know there is a way to disable the DHCP server.
posted by PowerCat at 7:24 PM on September 17, 2009

Response by poster: @JuiceBoxHero: Physically, all the devices are pretty far away from each other and that can't change.

@Inspector.Gadget/flabdablet/PowerCat: Interesting idea. I think I understand what you're all suggesting. I'll have to see if I can wire it that way. (There's a patch panel involved and it's next to the DSL router. Maybe I'll dig up a spare hub or switch and see if that helps)

And yeah, I did turn off the DHCP on the D-Link during my experimentation so it won't be a problem to do that.

posted by edjusted at 10:11 PM on September 17, 2009

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