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 Post subject: Multi-WAN Router - Combine Wireless and Wired Connections
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:41 pm 
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I've spent a lot of time searching for an answer to my question below, but I'm still not quite sure how to go about it. I have a few ideas, but I’m hoping to get feedback.

I have two internet connections available to me. I have a wired connection which has latency issues (4G technology) and a cable internet connection only available via a wireless router too far away to run an Ethernet cable to my room.

I currently access the cable internet connection through a Hawking HWREN1 300N Wireless Extender. That works fine most of the time, but the connection isn't very well managed (outsourced IT department that isn't actually on site except when it breaks), and it goes down too frequently for me to rely on it for school projects\Xbox live. I have thus purchased a 4G (clear.com) connection as well.

I'd like to combine the two connections and have a router manage them. For gaming I obviously need to use the cable connection due to latency on the 4G connection. If however the cable connection goes down, I'd like the router to pick up the 4G connection.

My thoughts are:

Cable Modem -> Router -> Wireless Extender -> Wireless Bridge -> MULTI-WAN ROUTER <- 4G Modem

The Wirless Bridge is where I’m confused. I found a Multi-Wan Router that claims to accept Ethernet and Wireless connections (www.workman-engineering.com/elephant.html). It is however out of my price range. Do you all know of any technology similar to it? If not, will a wireless bridge be able to transfer the internet connection to a multi-wan router via an Ethernet cable? The only thing I see wireless bridges being used for are printers, DVRs, gaming consoles, etc. I have never seen one used to feed a router an internet connection.

Sorry for the length, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. If anyone has any ideas, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:21 pm 
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For a wireless bridge, you can use any wireless router that can run DD-WRT, Tomato or Open WRT. These 3rd party firmwares can allow supported routers to function as a bridge. You can also look at devices such as the Linksys WET54GS5 if you're looking for something a little less manual to get going.

And as far as a more affordable multi-WAN router, how about the Xincom XC-DPG502 for $160? Your other option is a DIY box running ClarkConnect or some other type of Linux router distro.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:47 am 
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Thanks for your help. I think I need to clarify my two questions. If I am extending a wireless signal, what do I use to convert that wireless signal back to Ethernet so that a dual-wan router will accept the signal as the 2nd wan input? Does a wireless bridge work for this?

And if I do convert the wireless signal back to Ethernet, will I run into issues running one router into a dual-wan router if I have no control over the settings on the first router? I don't know what happens when you have a connection that goes Wireless Router -> Wirless Extender -> ?Wireless Bridge? -> Dual-Wan Router. I'm fairly certain that the first Wireless router's DHCP option is turned on.

-Kyle


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:36 pm 
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I think I was misinterpreting your setup. The way to go is:

Cable Modem ---> Wireless Bridge ---> Extender ---> Wireless Bridge ---> multi-WAN router <--- 4G Modem

Ensure that you use wireless bridges rather than just access points, since AP's often cannot communicate directly to each other. You can buy dedicated bridges, or use wireless routers running the DDWRT or Tomato firmware to act as bridges if you already have one or two you can use (not all routers can run this, I dont know off hand if the one you already have can).

And yes, the wireless bridges convert wired Ethernet to wireless Ethernet and back.

Plug the Ethernet cable from the second wireless bridge and the one from the 4G modem into the WAN ports of the Xincom router, then your computers, printers, etc. into the LAN ports.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:44 pm 
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alan2308 wrote:
Cable Modem ---> Wireless Bridge ---> Extender ---> Wireless Bridge ---> multi-WAN router <--- 4G Modem


I really appreciate your help with this. I'm good with everything you said, except that the diagram is actually slightly different. It would be this:

Cable Modem ---> Wireless Router ---> Extender ---> Wireless Bridge ---> multi-WAN router <--- 4G Modem

As you see, there is a wireless router between the Cable Modem and the multi-WAN router not a wireless bridge. Before I buy a multi-WAN router, I wanted to know if I will run into conflicts trying to run the cable connection into my multi-WAN router knowing that the input will be coming out of the other router which uses DHCP. I have no control over the first router, because it is a shared connection (I'm not stealing it, but it is a public connection, so no luck on changing router settings.)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Its not ideal, and may cause you a few headaches in the process (for example, adding more latency to the cable connection), but it's doable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Thanks for your advice. As soon as I can aford the dual-wan router and wireless bridge I'm going to give this a shot.


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