How to create a possible mesh network with existing routers?

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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It is a 3-floor building where the Ethernet wire (Cat 6) runs on each room of every floor. All the wires are then brought to a single point. It is connected in a switch and the switch is connected to my main router's lan port where I have my internet connection. The cat6 coming from the switch is then connected to each indivual routers, where routers has same ssid and password.

I am getting a stable equal speed at all my secondary router in each rooms only I have to disconnect and connect again.
But the reason I wanted to have wifi was that I wanted it as a single wifi network. Like, If I have wireless printer connected to wifi router (suppose A), I am able to give print command even If I am connected to another router B.

Or, I have smart tv in one room, I am able to cast from device present in different floor.
 

cml37

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May 19, 2019
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It is a 3-floor building where the Ethernet wire (Cat 6) runs on each room of every floor. All the wires are then brought to a single point. It is connected in a switch and the switch is connected to my main router's lan port where I have my internet connection. The cat6 coming from the switch is then connected to each indivual routers, where routers has same ssid and password.

I am getting a stable equal speed at all my secondary router in each rooms only I have to disconnect and connect again.
But the reason I wanted to have wifi was that I wanted it as a single wifi network. Like, If I have wireless printer connected to wifi router (suppose A), I am able to give print command even If I am connected to another router B.

Or, I have smart tv in one room, I am able to cast from device present in different floor.
Ya.. I tried to do this myself. In the end, I just found it easier to throw away my existing routers and move to Google WiFi. It's been great!!
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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Ya.. I tried to do this myself. In the end, I just found it easier to throw away my existing routers and move to Google WiFi. It's been great!!
Its's the best way but considering the availablity of mesh routers in India, ( Google one is not even available yet), and I have minimum 15 routers always in use, It could be very expensive.
 

bladamson

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Oct 23, 2019
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Depending on your router, I've been able to flash them with 3rd party firmwares and get a pretty decent mesh setup working for wireless SIP phones (we didn't use it with computers though, just SIP phones, but they had to be able to move between nodes on a wireless network like you describe). It was some time ago, and I don't remember all the details anymore, we were using WRT-54G routers and I *think* DD-WRT firmware. Or maybe it was tomato. We tried one and then threw it out for the other, and I *think* DD-WRT was what we ended up with, but I don't recall for sure.
 
May 22, 2019
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If all the routers have wired connections, you do not need or want a mesh network. Mesh networks use WiFi for the backhaul, and you already have a better solution in place. You just need better hardware.

The best thing you can probably do for yourself is switch to something like Unifi access points, which are designed to allow roaming between APs. I have a system running on 4 Unifi APs in two buildings, and my computers and smartphones seamlessly roam between buildings.

However, it's also possible that the problem lies not with your access points but with your client device. I have seen smartphones that refuse to roam between access points, and the person had to disconnect and reconnect WiFi when moving between locations. If that's the problem, there's no good solution for that other than to upgrade to a smarter smartphone.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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Depending on your router, I've been able to flash them with 3rd party firmwares and get a pretty decent mesh setup working for wireless SIP phones (we didn't use it with computers though, just SIP phones, but they had to be able to move between nodes on a wireless network like you describe). It was some time ago, and I don't remember all the details anymore, we were using WRT-54G routers and I *think* DD-WRT firmware. Or maybe it was tomato. We tried one and then threw it out for the other, and I *think* DD-WRT was what we ended up with, but I don't recall for sure.
If it will solve my two main issues of having one network in entire building, I am willing to do that. Can you let me know any links/resources from where I can read more about it.

Thankyou
 

ak841994

New Member
Mar 22, 2020
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If all the routers have wired connections, you do not need or want a mesh network. Mesh networks use WiFi for the backhaul, and you already have a better solution in place. You just need better hardware.

The best thing you can probably do for yourself is switch to something like Unifi access points, which are designed to allow roaming between APs. I have a system running on 4 Unifi APs in two buildings, and my computers and smartphones seamlessly roam between buildings.

However, it's also possible that the problem lies not with your access points but with your client device. I have seen smartphones that refuse to roam between access points, and the person had to disconnect and reconnect WiFi when moving between locations. If that's the problem, there's no good solution for that other than to upgrade to a smarter smartphone.
Hii

Actually my all routers are configured as simple routing, having the wires from switch connected to the WAN port and the internet option selected as Dynamic IP in all . I have manually changed all the lan IP address in all. I believe configuring them as AP would surely solve my issue of having a one network but my speed would be reduced 50% whereas in the current setup I am getting equal speed in all.
 
May 22, 2019
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I believe configuring them as AP would surely solve my issue of having a one network but my speed would be reduced 50% whereas in the current setup I am getting equal speed in all.
I don't know where you got that idea. You should not see any reduction in speed by setting up the routers as access points.

In fact, using them as simple routers is probably your problem. All of your WiFi networks should be on the same IP subnet. By using simple routing, you're forcing your client device to pick up a new IP address when it moves to another network. That's likely your problem right there - generally, a device will not acquire a new IP address until it's forced to or until the DHCP lease expires. Moving to another zone on the same network is not necessarily enough to trigger a DHCP renewal, so when you move from router A to router B, your device may actually be connecting to router B but still be trying to use the address it was assigned on A.

Try doing the proper AP style setup, with your network cable going to the LAN port on all of your routers, except for the one connected directly to the modem.
 
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ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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I don't know where you got that idea. You should not see any reduction in speed by setting up the routers as access points.

In fact, using them as simple routers is probably your problem. All of your WiFi networks should be on the same IP subnet. By using simple routing, you're forcing your client device to pick up a new IP address when it moves to another network. That's likely your problem right there - generally, a device will not acquire a new IP address until it's forced to or until the DHCP lease expires. Moving to another zone on the same network is not necessarily enough to trigger a DHCP renewal, so when you move from router A to router B, your device may actually be connecting to router B but still be trying to use the address it was assigned on A.

Try doing the proper AP style setup, with your network cable going to the LAN port on all of your routers, except for the one connected directly to the modem.
I am attaching two pictures of speed test, 1st case Normal routing technique where I am getting around 80+ mbps speed, Here my cat6 cable from switch (main router is connected to switch) is connected to the wan port of child router and Internet option is set as Dynamic IP and I have changed my child Router's LAN giving each router unique lan address. eg. 192.168.67.1 then other is 192.168.56.1 and so on.

Other picture is of AP style, where I have connected cat6 cable coming from the switch to the lan port and configured router's operation mode as AP. My speed is reduced to 45 mbps. Might be I am not configuring it properly, anything I should keep in mind ?Screenshot_20200326-135221.jpgScreenshot_20200326-140438.jpg
 
May 22, 2019
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I am attaching two pictures of speed test, 1st case Normal routing technique where I am getting around 80+ mbps speed, Here my cat6 cable from switch (main router is connected to switch) is connected to the wan port of child router and Internet option is set as Dynamic IP and I have changed my child Router's LAN giving each router unique lan address. eg. 192.168.67.1 then other is 192.168.56.1 and so on.

Other picture is of AP style, where I have connected cat6 cable coming from the switch to the lan port and configured router's operation mode as AP. My speed is reduced to 45 mbps. Might be I am not configuring it properly, anything I should keep in mind ?
did both tests run against the same server? Were they both using the same router? Are your channels set up to avoid co-channel interference? What speed was your phone connecting to your router at? Which band was in use?

if this was on 2.4GHz, there are a bunch of things that can cause slowdowns and have nothing to do with which port the network cable is connected to. I have also tested routers with both setups, and I’ve found that double routing is slower than bridging (using the LAN port.) so this is almost certainly a setup issue or some really weird hardware.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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did both tests run against the same server? Were they both using the same router? Are your channels set up to avoid co-channel interference? What speed was your phone connecting to your router at? Which band was in use?

if this was on 2.4GHz, there are a bunch of things that can cause slowdowns and have nothing to do with which port the network cable is connected to. I have also tested routers with both setups, and I’ve found that double routing is slower than bridging (using the LAN port.) so this is almost certainly a setup issue or some really weird hardware.
Both test ran against same server. Yes it was the same router, I checked speed then reset the router and configured as AP then did the speed test. The channel selection was setup as auto. Both setting done in 5ghz band.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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Hii, I got to know about Double NAT problem and googled it. This is exactly the problem I am facing. Will Port forwarding ( have no idea about it) will help in any way?
 
May 22, 2019
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Both test ran against same server. Yes it was the same router, I checked speed then reset the router and configured as AP then did the speed test. The channel selection was setup as auto. Both setting done in 5ghz band.
it sure sounds like you ticked all the right boxes. I’ve never seen that happen before, with WiFi being slower on the LAN ports than on the WAN. That certainly seems like something weird is going on.

as to the double NAT... if you’ve turned off NAT on your inside routers, then there is no double NAT happening.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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it sure sounds like you ticked all the right boxes. I’ve never seen that happen before, with WiFi being slower on the LAN ports than on the WAN. That certainly seems like something weird is going on.

as to the double NAT... if you’ve turned off NAT on your inside routers, then there is no double NAT happening.
I haven't turned off NAT in inside routers explicitly. I am not sure wether it was done automatically by router, If any means I could check ?
 
May 22, 2019
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I haven't turned off NAT in inside routers explicitly. I am not sure wether it was done automatically by router, If any means I could check ?
Earlier, you said you set them up as simple routers. Turning off NAT is how you do that. What router do you have and what did you do to set it as a simple router?
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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Earlier, you said you set them up as simple routers. Turning off NAT is how you do that. What router do you have and what did you do to set it as a simple router?
Well sorry for being not clear, with the simple routing I meant, Simply connecting the cat6 from switch to my inside routers in the wan port and changing the lan of all my inside/secondary router such that if My main router is 192.168.1.1 then my inside router A is 192.168.43.1 , inside router B is 192.168.44.1 so on. I did nothing else, like disabling NAT or anything else
 
May 22, 2019
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Well sorry for being not clear, with the simple routing I meant, Simply connecting the cat6 from switch to my inside routers in the wan port and changing the lan of all my inside/secondary router such that if My main router is 192.168.1.1 then my inside router A is 192.168.43.1 , inside router B is 192.168.44.1 so on. I did nothing else, like disabling NAT or anything else
Ok, that makes sense.

You can experiment with disabling NAT on your units, which will turn them into standard routers. (ie: traffic goes both ways and hosts on the WAN port see the internal IP address of hosts on the LAN port.)

Port forwarding doesn't really do much in your scenario, unless you're trying to enable a specific computer as an Internet server.

But to fix your original problem... you need to get off of using multiple routers and use access points on the same subnet.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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Ok, that makes sense.

You can experiment with disabling NAT on your units, which will turn them into standard routers. (ie: traffic goes both ways and hosts on the WAN port see the internal IP address of hosts on the LAN port.)

Port forwarding doesn't really do much in your scenario, unless you're trying to enable a specific computer as an Internet server.

But to fix your original problem... you need to get off of using multiple routers and use access points on the same subnet.
I tried to find out ways of disabling NAT on my routers but most of the forums I came across said that the NAT couldn't be disabled. I use TPLink Archer c20 , C50 routers, Can you let me know How can I disable it.
 
May 22, 2019
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I tried to find out ways of disabling NAT on my routers but most of the forums I came across said that the NAT couldn't be disabled. I use TPLink Archer c20 , C50 routers, Can you let me know How can I disable it.
I have an Archer C7, and the setting is named “Disable firewall.” That apparently disables NAT and enables standard routing.
 

ak841994

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Mar 22, 2020
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I will try that and let you know, Also out of curiosity what is the difference between connecting to LAN port or to WAN port on my secondary routers if they are configured as an AP.
I know generally the router configured as an AP the ethernet cable goes from LAN port to Lan port of main router, but even if I connected the WAN port of secondary router to lan port of main router ( not directly as described above it is connected to switch and then switch is connected to main router) I was getting internet with same speed.