Tags: extend wireless network

07/09/11

  07:12:06 pm, by The Dreamer   , 913 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi

Airport Express service for Lunatic Haven

That's right, I got an Airport Express to go with the two Airport Extremes that I have in my home.

As I mentioned before, I had gotten the second Airport Extreme to extend my 'wired' network to a room where the CAT5 to that room was bad and not wanting to try to fix it. The problem is that I run separate SSIDs on my main Airport Extreme for a/n and b/g/n frequencies. Since things that can use 5Ghz, tend to work better around here. And, there didn't seem to be a reliable way to ensure that 5Ghz was always chosen unless it had a different SSID. Something I learned about doing from LISA &#59;D

Well, the second extreme was set to extend my network, and I told it to go for the 5GHz SSID. But, in extend wireless mode...there's no option to set different SSID(s)....so it was advertising my 5GHz SSID for both frequencies. Wanting to keep things straight, I ended up turning off allow wireless clients to use the second Airport Extreme.

But, increasing number of wireless devices in my home....I wanted to have a better WiFi signal in the bedroom.

Now I did have some older 802.11g access points, and they were on and using a different SSID. Hadn't noticed that I had set the Airport Extreme to do only WPA2 personal until today. The old 802.11g access points originally only did WEP....there was an upgrade to get WPA personal, but it broke the WDS feature that I was using then. But, when I stopped using WDS...I did upgrade but left them on their own SSID because it didn't seem to work too well otherwise.

Though wonder if WPA vs WPA2 would explain it...the other was at the time the Airport Extreme wasn't doing access control and the old Belkin APs had a list of MAC addresses would allow...though it wasn't getting updated that well...

So, I was liking the use of RADIUS to control access on my home network...and wanting to use the same RADIUS to control whatever method I extended my network. So, that pretty much meant....another Airport Extreme or an Airport Express.

I knew there were differences, but I tried to decide if the differences were that important. Apparently, I didn't get it right...but an Airport Express being cheaper than another Airport Extreme...meant that I could try this sooner than later. Plus I there's always the possibility of it becoming part of my arsenal for travel use (except for its dependence on Airport Utility...which is current difficult because I run an Ubuntu laptop....though I am considering a Mac laptop [now instead of a Windows laptop]).

The first difference is that it only has a 10/100 port on it....which was important for extending my network (to TARDIS), but didn't seem important for extending the reach of my wireless now. The other difference (I missed) is that its 2.4GHz or 5GHz....rather than both at the same time.

Was trying to decide if I would have it extend my wireless network by wireless (or wired)...if it were simultaneous dual band....wired would likely be the only choice. Though decided that wired would remain the way to extend my 2.4Ghz network...since the lack of reach of 2.4GHz was kind of why I was doing this.

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05/29/11

  10:48:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 930 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Printers

Another Airport comes to Lunatic Haven

That's another Airport Extreme....

The corner where I put TARDIS and my HP Photosmart 8450xi printer have been having switch problems, or at least I that's what I thought. But, I have replaced the only cable to replace, and both switches. But, still the link will drop out of gigabit after a while. And, then it wouldn't go into gigabit at all anymore.

And, then PRTG reports that things over there disappear every night. What's strange is that its always around the same time.

I thought about buying some network testing equipment, and figuring out what it would take to run a new line in place of the existing one (should be easier than what it would take to run one to a new location). Or doing the ugly and stringing wire along the ceiling....

But, things started adding up....and I wondered just how much I needed the speed. Sure gigabit would help TARDIS backup faster, but that's about all over 100Mbps would get me. The printer is only 100Mbps, so no advantage there. And, likely would be the case for any network printer I were to put there. And, likely not much else is going in the corner any time soon that would need gigabit. So, I wondered about revisiting the WDS option using 802.11n now. I had survived for some time with 802.11g WDS both here and in the past.

Looking at WDS options with my Airport Extreme, it pretty much came down to two options....an Airport Express or an Airport Extreme. Express only has a 10/100BaseT port on it and its a big plug type thing, so if I wanted better than 100Mbps, it would have to be an Airport Extreme. I did look at other routers, but hard to tell if it would work or not, and I'd probably want something using OpenWRT or something and things started getting complicated again.

I do someday think I'll get an Airport Express...though it would require that I have Linux solution to manage it, some way to set it up in a turnkey solution....as a travel router.

But, while I was looking at other WiFi router options...I was looking on eBay, so I wondered about an Airport Extreme that way (instead of using my Educational discount on another).

And, I found some pretty reasonable prices for refurbished units, so I went for one.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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