Access point? Wireless Bridge? Reverse Router? What is it?

Discussion in 'Ask DACS' started by dragonbite, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. dragonbite

    dragonbite Well-Known Member

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    I have a situation where I have wireless internet access in a public building and I want to be able to connect a number of laptops to a local web server (running on my laptop) and have internet access for running credit cards.

    I don't know if it is called an Access point, but in essence I am looking for something that will

    1. connect to the wireless internet connection wirelessly,
    2. connect on the other side (by wire) to a router for specified people to connect to (wirelessly) in order to access my local laptop running a web server (web app)
    .

    So what is it called that I am looking for (or are they all the same)? Access Point? Wireless Bridge?

    I've looked at a couple, but am not 100% if they are going to do what I want them to, and whether there are features that are better or worse than the others. One requirement is that it MUST work with Linux and should be able to access the G band at minimum (preferably N as well, as I may one day move up). Also hoping to not spend an arm and a leg.

    Buffalo Technology Wireless-G High Power Router and Access Point with High Gain Antenna WHR-HP-G54
    D-Link DAP-1522 Xtreme 4-Port GigaBit Selectable Dual Band Draft 802.11n N Duo Wireless Bridge/Access Point
    Cisco-Linksys WAP610N Wireless-N Access Point with Dual-Band
     
  2. BPreston

    BPreston New Member
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    Drew -

    You need to look at WDS - Wireless Distribution System. Not all router/access point devices support it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_distribution_system

    The good news is that the Tenda W268R Wirelsss-N Broadband Router with Internal Antenna & 4 ethernet ports supports WDS. Even better, the thing is currently available from MicroCenter.com for $14.99 + S/H. This is the router that Richard donated as the raffle at the October meeeting. We (DACS) had purchased it against the possibility of needing to provide our own WiFi at Broadview Middle School.
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0316231


    Setting up a WiFi link between two routers requires that both support WDS. I have never done it, but I understand that the link is established by providing one of the routers with the MAC address of the other router.

    Now let's look at your other requirements. For that I am going to have to make some assumptions:
    a) Let us say that the public WiFi is running DHCP and that the subnet is 10.1.--.--, i.e. the subnet mask is 255.255.0.0
    b) Activate the DHCP server in your router but give it a different DHCP pool, such as 192.168.0.100 to .149
    c) Set your router's gateway to the same gateway as the public WiFi
    d) Set your router's DNS Server(s) to the same as the public WiFi
    e) Name your WiFi something unique by setting the ESSID to DRAGONNET
    f) Machines that connect to DRAGONNET via wired or WiFi will get an IP address in the 192.168.0.__ pool. They will will get Internet access via a hop over WiFi bridge and out through the public circuit.
    g) Because your subnet is not the same subnet as the public network, your computers will be invisible to those logged into the public network. (The three private network pools can not be routed - the NAT firewall in the router blocks inbound connections.) However the machines in your local subnet (192.168.0.__ will be able to see each other.
    h) If you assign a static IP address to your laptop since it is running server (assign 192.168.0.10) then for the others in the subnet to see you they would ask for http:// 192.168.0.10
    and they should be visible.

    There is NOTHING here that is dependent upon the OS of the client machines.

    I have one of the Tenda routers, but my 'primary' router does not support WDS, at least I don't think that it does. I don't know if the public router in your building supports WDS either. That might have to be replaced. If you want to experiment, we could simulate it here in my office if you provide the second WDS capable router. At $14.99 + S/H it isn't much of a gamble.

    For what it's worth, I frequently use the Tenda router when I set up a computer lab for the Ridgefield Men's Club. The difference is that I use the WAN port of the router to establish a wired connection to our host's LAN. That works beautifully. If you were to have access to a wired jack for the hosts LAN it would be a lot simpler. I can provide a long CAT-5e cable if that's all you need.
     

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