We all like to have good wireless signal throughout our house so that we can freely roam between the rooms and use our iPhones or Laptops. But if you live in multi-storied concrete houses (like the ones we have in India) then getting good signal strength with one Wireless Access Point will be a challenge.
In my case, I have Broadband connections (one from Airtel and a manual failover from BSNL) terminating in my study room in the first floor. A NETGEAR Wireless Router connects to Airtel Modem and acts as the firewall. An 8 port Ethernet Switch connected to the NETGEAR Router and makes more LAN ports available. Two desktop PCs in the same room are connected through a wire (CAT-6) to the Ethernet switch, apart from wired connections from other bedrooms (2 in each floor) and living rooms (1 in each floor) in the house. The two XBOX 360s that we (primarily) use as Media Center Extenders are in the two bedrooms (1 in each floor) connected through Wire. I get good signal strength if I am in rooms that are near to the Study, but as I move away and go to my bedroom, the signal drops to zero at one point where there are two solid wooden doors between the Wireless Router and the Mobile Device.
The solution I figured will be to have one wireless access point installed in my bedroom, connect it via the wired connection coming from Study, then connect the XBOX 360 in the room to the Wireless AP. When I looked around in the shops, I found only Wireless Routers, no plain Wireless Access Points – but in this case, I don’t need Routing or Firewall. Just a Wireless Access Point will do, as a connection to the Airtel Modem, Firewall, etc will be provided by the NETGEAR Router. Finally, I bought a wireless router itself (LINKSYS WRT54GH) from CROMA for around Rs.2500. Initially, I tried to connect the wire from Study Room to the Internet Port in LINKSYS Router, then tried out different settings in the web console. Nothing worked. After few trial and error, I figured how to get this done.
Steps to do in the second Wireless Router (Linksys) (In my case the Linksys router in my bedroom, first one being the NETGEAR Router in my study Room):
- Connect the wired connection from the Study Room (NETGEAR Router which acts as the primary gateway for my house) to one of the 4 Ethernet (LAN) ports
- Connect the XBOX 360 console to one of the other ports in the same LINKSYS Router
- Leave the Internet port in Linksys Router to be empty
- Turn off firewall & DHCP server in the Linksys Router
- Give it a static IP, Configure Gateway and DNS to be the IP address of the NETGEAR Router
- Configured the wireless settings with an SSID and a WPA2-PERSONAL passcode
- Add the new wireless access point and the passcode in your iPhone, mobile phones and Laptops
That’s all. Voila!. Now my XBOX 360 is able to connect to the PCs in the house, go to the Internet; I get an excellent signal in my iPhone whether I am in my bedroom or study room or any place in the first floor. This way I have avoided using cellular network and hence save on the costs of data transfer. Now I am thinking of a third access point on the ground floor so that I can cover all the areas in my house with a Wi-Fi umbrella!