How to get three different routers into one cohesive network?
October 24, 2013 3:44 PM   Subscribe

I have three different wireless routers on my home network, and they are not inter-operating well...

So I have three different wired/wireless routers in my home network and they're causing me some headaches.
  1. An older Verizon FIOS MI424WR router that acts as a gateway between the internet and my home network. Since it's only capable of 80211.g, the wireless is disabled and it's only purpose in life is to provide data to the second router.
  2. A Western Digital N900. It has a few devices connected via Ethernet, but it also provides my wireless network. This is my main router in my living room, and runs in the 192.168.6.* subnet.
  3. A Tenda W368R that is configured to operate as a wireless network bridge (WDS mode), and it has a few devices connected to it via ethernet. It's in my office, all the way on the other side of my house, and any wired device connected to it is in the 192.168.10.* subnet.
The end result is that anything that is connected via ethernet to the Tenda device in my office cannot see the rest of the wireless. From the reading I've been doing, it seems like this is because they're on different subnets. So it means I'm having some annoying issues, like my Roku device connected to the wireless network in my living room can't see the Plex server that's on a machine in my office. Or my wife's laptop being unable to see my office computer in Windows.

What is the best way to set up a home network with the above configuration so that ALL devices can see each other? Is there any way I can configure the routers to be visible each other across subnets? Should I get rid of the Tenda (which is not the greatest router, but it was cheap)?
posted by Fidel Cashflow to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
What network mask are you using on the Tenda and the WD? If it's 255.255.255.0, change it on both to 255.255.0.0 and everything should be able to see everything.
posted by bac at 4:13 PM on October 24, 2013


Have you tried disabling DHCP on the Tenda? Having it enabled might be what's causing the WLAN and LAN to be partitioned into separate (and in the case of the local ethernet, NATed) networks.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:14 PM on October 24, 2013


Yeah, this gets complicated. Most routers have an option to operate in "AP mode" where they act strictly as wireless APs and let another router on the network handle DHCP assignments - this is probably where you want to start. You want a single device handing out IP addresses across all 3 APs.
posted by kbanas at 4:52 PM on October 24, 2013


Have you tried disabling DHCP on the Tenda? Having it enabled might be what's causing the WLAN and LAN to be partitioned into separate (and in the case of the local ethernet, NATed) networks.

I thought the same thing, so I disabled DCHP on the Tenda. It didn't help, unfortunately. The handful of devices I have plugged in via ethernet are all configured using static IPs in the 192.168.10.* subnet.

What network mask are you using on the Tenda and the WD? If it's 255.255.255.0, change it on both to 255.255.0.0 and everything should be able to see everything.

Neither the WD nor the Tenda's Web UI's will accept a 255.255.0.0 subnet mask.

Yeah, this gets complicated. Most routers have an option to operate in "AP mode" where they act strictly as wireless APs and let another router on the network handle DHCP assignments - this is probably where you want to start. You want a single device handing out IP addresses across all 3 APs.

I thought setting the Tenda in WDS mode would accomplish that, but it apparently does not. The Tenda get's an WLAN IP in 192.168.6.* subnet, but all ethernet devices are restricted to the 192.168.10.* subnet.

I'm beginning to think the Tenda is just a piece of crap. I tried to do some port forwarding to poke holes in for a few services via the WebUI, but I still couldn't get anything to see each other. I actually did a port scan using zenMap, and it reported that all ports on the tenda were closed!

Anyone have a suggestion for a decent wireless N router that can operate in AP mode and provide at least a consistent 50Mbps of throughput? Even better if I could put DD-WRT on it...
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 8:38 AM on October 25, 2013


what is the subnet between the Verizon and the two routers?

A Tenda W368R that is configured to operate as a wireless network bridge (WDS mode),

So my understanding is that means this device is configured to just pass traffic through to (I assume) the Verizon device? If so you've got statically assigned 192.168.10.x devices attempting to talk to the LAN side of the Verizon device, which I'm guessing is assigned to some other subnet.

Post some ipconfigs from the working and not-working clients.
posted by banshee at 4:50 PM on October 25, 2013


what is the subnet between the Verizon and the two routers?

The Verizon router is running at 192.168.5.1. The wireless is turned off, and only the WD router is connected to it via ethernet.

So my understanding is that means this device is configured to just pass traffic through to (I assume) the Verizon device?

It should be configured for WDS, which I think essentially 'forwards' the packets to the WD router.

Post some ipconfigs from the working and not-working clients.

This is from the non-working computer in my office that's behind the Tenda.

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Qualcomm Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30)
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 90-2B-34-3D-EE-B4
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::709b:72c1:52fe:c012%2(Preferred)
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.10.100(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.10.1
DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 361769780
DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-17-CB-3B-8E-90-2B-34-3D-EE-B4

DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.6.1, 8.8.8.8
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 9:32 AM on October 26, 2013


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