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Home Network Setup Advice Please

JohnnyR2D2
Aspirant

Home Network Setup Advice Please

Hello,

 

Because I keep upgrading my routers I have now three Netgear routers in different places of my home (WNDR4500, R6300 and an R8000). Since I work from home and need redundancy, besides the 3 routers I also have a Load Balance router (Peplink Balance 20) with two ISP plugged on it.

 

Right now, all three Netgear routers are acting as AP and working fine although I don’t know if I did everything right or if can be improved so here is what I did.

 

  • All three routers are wired connected to the Load Balance using the LAN Ports.
  • In the Load Balance, I reserved a specific IP for each one of the routers so they do not keep changing all the time.
  • Disabled DHCP Server on all three. I read on some internet guides that I also need to disable NAT but I don’t know how to do it and even if I did it.
  • I recently noticed that all three routers have an AP Mode which I’m not using since I don’t know how that works. The way I learned was that I just need to connect the routers to the Load Balance using the LAN Ports and disable the DHCP on them.
  • I gave each one of the routers different SSID names. The reason I did that was more to identify to which router one of my devices were connected but I don’t know if this is the best.

 

Basically, my questions are:

 

  1. Should I use the routers AP Mode instead of what I’m currently doing or just doesn’t matter?
  2. Should I use the same SSID names for all three routers or keep using a different SSID for each like I'm using currently? And if yes, why?
  3. How can I disable NAT in the three Netgear routers?
  4. Any other advice?

Thanks in advance,

 

Johnny

Model: R8000|Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Smart WIFI Router
Message 1 of 9

Accepted Solutions
netwrks
Master

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

AP mode on the routers is a quick and dirty way to enable.... AP mode - turns off  pretty well all the features and makes tem layer 2 devices.. But, since you went through the excersise already, and disabled what needed to be disabled, you should be good to go. Except you probably do not have NTP working on the NG routers, as you would use the WAN port on the routers, if you used the AP mode selection on the routers, which is buggy with some of the NG routers, so, you would end up using a LAN port, worst case, anyway. 

 

There is no way to disable NAT on these routers..  If you are using different SSID's, that is probably the way to go, as I don't think any of these routers have an min RSSI setting, and there is no proprietary means to kick wireless client off of AP's that are sticking. They don't support 802.11.r/k/v, and alot of wireless clients don't work well with 802.1/r anyway.  I'm not sure if they have  a wirless TX feature to tweak your TX ouput, whihch is  key when trying to set up a wireless environment, to get wireless clients to correctly roam. If you want to check the manuals to your routers, go here.  

 

EDIT: Don't use auto channels ever. These routers are smart enough to pick the correct channel. They usually end up pick an overlapping 2.4ghz channels. Use 1,6,1 for 2.4ghz. You can call SSID anything you rwant. But, adding the _ext on the outdoor APisn't doing anything, as extenders do that for different reasons. 

 

EDIT2: If you want to get real experimental with your AP's (using one SSID for 5ghz and one SSID for 2.4gz, you could try one channel for 2.4ghz, and one channel for 5ghz, and see if your clients roam. Other vendor's tried this technique in the early days for Zero Hand Off (aka  roaming)

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Message 3 of 9

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JohnnyR2D2
Aspirant

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

I forgot two additional questions.

 

All three routers are using the Wireless Setup default settings. Channels are like this on each one of the routers

 

WNDR4500 - Auto for both, 2.4GHz and 5GHz

R6300 - 2.4GHz on Auto and 5GHz on 153

R8000 - 2.4GHz on Auto, 5 GHz-1 on 44 and 5GHz-2 on 153

 

Should I leave that way?

 

Last but not least I also have a WN3000RP in the backyard which is wirelessly connected to the R6300 and also using a different SSID. I just gave him the same SSID name used by the R6300 and added _Extend at the end of the name.

Message 2 of 9
netwrks
Master

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

AP mode on the routers is a quick and dirty way to enable.... AP mode - turns off  pretty well all the features and makes tem layer 2 devices.. But, since you went through the excersise already, and disabled what needed to be disabled, you should be good to go. Except you probably do not have NTP working on the NG routers, as you would use the WAN port on the routers, if you used the AP mode selection on the routers, which is buggy with some of the NG routers, so, you would end up using a LAN port, worst case, anyway. 

 

There is no way to disable NAT on these routers..  If you are using different SSID's, that is probably the way to go, as I don't think any of these routers have an min RSSI setting, and there is no proprietary means to kick wireless client off of AP's that are sticking. They don't support 802.11.r/k/v, and alot of wireless clients don't work well with 802.1/r anyway.  I'm not sure if they have  a wirless TX feature to tweak your TX ouput, whihch is  key when trying to set up a wireless environment, to get wireless clients to correctly roam. If you want to check the manuals to your routers, go here.  

 

EDIT: Don't use auto channels ever. These routers are smart enough to pick the correct channel. They usually end up pick an overlapping 2.4ghz channels. Use 1,6,1 for 2.4ghz. You can call SSID anything you rwant. But, adding the _ext on the outdoor APisn't doing anything, as extenders do that for different reasons. 

 

EDIT2: If you want to get real experimental with your AP's (using one SSID for 5ghz and one SSID for 2.4gz, you could try one channel for 2.4ghz, and one channel for 5ghz, and see if your clients roam. Other vendor's tried this technique in the early days for Zero Hand Off (aka  roaming)

Message 3 of 9
JohnnyR2D2
Aspirant

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

"EDIT: Don't use auto channels ever."

 

I don't know if I understand correctly the Channels Setup. So should I change the 2.4GHz channels in the routers like this?

 

WNDR4500 - 1

R6300 - 6

R8000 - 1

 

How about the 5.0GHz? Right now they are like this.

 

WNDR4500 - Auto

R6300 - 153

R8000 - 44 on 5GHz-1 and 153 o 5GHz-2

 

I couldn't find any setting to tweak the TX feature in any of the routers. The only mention to TX in all three manuals was under statistics that shows TxPkts and Tx B/s.

 

Just to confirm.

 

"If you used the AP mode selection on the routers, which is buggy with some of the NG routers, so, you would end up using a LAN port, worst case, anyway."

 

As for the AP mode, basically, my understanding of what you said is that the built in AP Mode in these routers is buggy meaning since everything is working fine the way I setup things I should leave that way and don't use the built in AP Mode correct? There is no gains or losses by using the built in AP Mode?

 

"If you are using different SSID's, that is probably the way to go".

 

As for the SSID names also the best is to give each router a different name which is the current setup I have correct? I mean, I know that you said that I can experiment although as an example it worth mention that both, my laptop and mobile phone which are the only things I move around my home has all the three routers SSID and passwords saved and every time they find that a particular router has a strong signal they change to the better connection automatically.

 

"EDIT2: If you want to get real experimental with your AP's"

 

The reason I asked about using the same SSID name was more to not have 6 available connections all the time (2 from each router, 2.4Ghz, and 5GHz) and try to make things simple, but what I really want to achieve is the best way to do it and not the simple way to use it 🙂

 

Thanks again. I'm learning a lot and from what I see so far I haven't done anything wrong 🙂

 

Message 4 of 9
netwrks
Master

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

You could set up the 2.4ghz channels, as you have shown,. If you can load a wifi analyzer app on your phone, it would give you an idea of how congested (or not) 2.4ghz is around your home, and configure accordingly. (channels 1,6, 11).

 

 

Same with 5ghz, pick the least congested channels that your router supports and configure (WNDR4500 - Auto). I wouldn't think you are gaining or losing anything the way you configured the AP's. If they work, then you're good. SSID's can be whatever you want. I used to use different SSID's when I was using the Netgear stuff, without any issue. Just disconnecting and reconnecting to a different SSID slows thing down, but it works. Label them whatever you want them to be.

Message 5 of 9
TheEther
Guru

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

There is a downside to using AP mode.  You lose hardware acceleration, so the maximum WAN<->LAN speed will drop by about 50%.  If you don't have Gigabit Internet and don't do a lot of big file transfers inside your network, then this may not be a big deal.

 

The downside of the "oldschool" AP setup (i.e. disabling the DHCP server and using a LAN port) is that the Netgear won't have the correct time.  As @netwrks mentioned, Netgear will only use the WAN port for syncing time via NTP.  If don't use any schedule-based controls, then this may not be a big deal, either. 

Message 6 of 9
JohnnyR2D2
Aspirant

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

Just before I close this thread I want to confirm one last thing pls just to not make any mistake.

 

In your first answer, you said that the best setup for the 2.4GHZ is 1,6,1 and in the last  1,6,11. Which one is correct, please?

 

For the rest, I believe I got it everything which is:

 

  • Keep the current/old school setup by disabling the DHCP server and wire connect the routers using the Lan Port.
  • Change the 5GHz Channels in the routers although keeping the WNDR4500 on Auto
  • As for the single SSID, I may do the "experiment" you suggested and try it with a single one for 2.4 GHz and another for 5GHz. But again, just to make it simple for my wife and family recurrent visitors. When visitors are not family I usually turn on the Guest Network just for the period they are around 🙂

 

Last but not least which one of your posts I should Accept as a Solution? The first one or the second one? I believe it's the first one but want to make sure.

 

Thanks,

 

Johnny

Message 7 of 9
JohnnyR2D2
Aspirant

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

One last comment...

 

While I'm going to do the experiment with a single SSID name for all the routers I believe that having different SSIDs makes easy for anyone to identify which router it's having a problem that sometimes an easy reboot can fix. Isn't that true?

 

Tks,

Message 8 of 9
netwrks
Master

Re: Home Network Setup Advice Please

1,6,1 was a typo. I was trying to type 1,6,11. 

 

While I'm going to do the experiment with a single SSID name for all the routers I believe that having different SSIDs makes easy for anyone to identify which router it's having a problem that sometimes an easy reboot can fix. Isn't that true? It will certainly help in troubleshooting problems. In a single SSID scenario, you will need to look at the AP's connected device list. you may see it on the AP's, (I'm not sure about all the different flavours of AP's you are using) or you will see it on the Base router, as to what Ethernet port it has connected to. The Ethernet port should correlate with the AP. So, if you know what AP is connected to what router port then that will also help with any troubleshooting that may be required.. Hope this helps.

Message 9 of 9
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