How to set up a wireless router as an access point via powerline?
August 29, 2013 5:37 PM   Subscribe

I have: two D-Link D655 routers, and two D-Link PowerLine AV+ adapters (DHP-309AV). I understand that I can plug the cable modem into one of the wireless routers, and that router into one of the powerline adapters, and then stick the second adapter in another room, with a second router as an access point, to share the cable connection across the house. Both the internet in general and previous questions suggest that this is a simple thing to set up. Difficulty: I am neither a network guy, nor a tech guy, and the tutorials I am finding online have really irritating gaps in their instructions. Need help getting this set up!

For reference: the internet settings page and the network settings page on the router. These shots are from the second router, which is currently reset to defaults. The main router uses and the - range as well, so I know those have to get changed on the second/AP router.

I am actually okay on the wireless settings part. What I'm not sure on is how to link these two routers up. All the tutorials say to disable DHCP.. except as soon as I do that, I can no longer connect to the router to check other settings. For obvious reasons! What numbers need to go in which boxes?
posted by curious nu to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, get things working with the two routers connected to each other directly with an ethernet cable (some will say you need a crossover cable but you shouldn't need one on new gigabit routers like these). Make sure the two routers are connected via the LAN ports, not WAN. On the second router, change the router IP address to and disable the DHCP server. Leave the DHCP server enabled on the first router and keep it at And that should be it, really. To get to the second router's settings, go to See if you can get to both, then see if it still works over the powerline adapters.
posted by zsazsa at 6:00 PM on August 29, 2013

You're trying to do two things at once, it'll be much easier if you divide these tasks into two steps:

1)Set up router 2 to act as a WAP attached to router 1
2)Attach a power line bridge to router 1 in order to provide a network connection a remote location

You definitely want the WAP unit to use an IP outside the DHCP range of the router unit, and you want the WAP unit to have its own DHCP server turned off. This would most easily be done as follows:

-note the DHCP range of the router unit if haven't already
-plug your computer into the WAP unit with nothing else plugged into it, let it pull an IP from the
still-running DHCP server, then log into the WAP and change it to a new IP that you pick; if the router is the WAP can be Make sure this change has been applied to the WAP
-now disconnect your computer from the WAP and plug it into the router, letting pull a DHCP lease from the router's pool
-next, plug a LAN port from the WAP unit directly into a LAN port on the router. You should now be able to log into the WAP at the new IP you chose.
-at this point you MUST MUST MUST disable DHCP on the WAP. I run into troublesome residential networks all the time, and 9 times out of 10 the problem is that somebody introduced or left running an extra DHCP server that was handing out broken useless addresses.

Once all this is done and working you can move the WAP to the remote spot and start dickering with the power line setup.
posted by contraption at 6:09 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Alright well that was RIDICULOUSLY simple. I thought I had to change all kinds of IP and gateway and DNS and such, but.. nope. Set it to, turn off DHCP, and it's golden. We are so happy now! Thanks so much.
posted by curious nu at 6:20 PM on August 29, 2013

You say you know what to do with the wireless, so forgive me if this is stuff you're familiar with already, but just in case:

The right way to configure a wireless network is with all the WAPs on different channels (you'd pick two from 1, 3, and 11, preferably trying to avoid channels used by your close neighbors) but sharing the same ssid (network name) and security settings. This way client devices (computers, phones, etc.) can maintain their connections as they are moved between WAPs within the house. It's very common to see houses with multiple WAPs each set up as little separate networks, with names like "MyHouse 1", "MyHouse 2" etc. This will work (you'll just have to make sure you set up the names and passphrases for both anytime you connect a new device) but it's typically much simpler to just have one name spread across multiple WAPs that devices can roam between.
posted by contraption at 10:29 PM on August 29, 2013

Yeah, that is what I set up. Works pretty well! It doesn't always seem to auto-switch to use the stronger signal as we move through the house, but just turning a device's wifi off and then on again fixes that very quickly.
posted by curious nu at 10:50 PM on August 29, 2013

Yes, in this case it's each individual device making the call about when it wants to change over, and some devices are stickier than others (Apple stuff is notorious for waiting until the original signal is almost completely gone before latching onto a closer WAP with a stronger signal.) Controller-based WAP systems with multiple distributed antennas that present to client devices as a single WAP do exist, but they cost lots and lots of money and aren't really practical unless you have very important people walking around with VOIP phones or moving from place to place with a laptop in the middle of a video conference.
posted by contraption at 11:04 PM on August 29, 2013

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