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Hello,
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I am building a small business-home network (with a cable modem high-speed, and 8 wifi access points). I have one static external ip, in order to do remote maintenance and troubleshooting to the network; and I have basic wep security for the wifi access points.

Basically I want/plan to have a router connecting to the outside internet, then the eight wifi access point connecting to this router and receiving dhcp ip from parent router.
I disabled lan dhcp on the wifi access points, and enabled dhcp on the belkin backbone router. I gave static lan IPs to the access points. I have one dedicated pc connected to the belkin router to automatedly troubleshoot the network and refresh wifi access point when needed.
Is this a good configuration for general internet usage?


In my trial run, with two wifi access points, (linksys and netgear) connecting to a belkin router, I get some network instability.
-2 questions
1--Sometimes, I am unable to log into the google/yahoo website, and I have to try several page refresh of the site to complete the page load (other times I am completely unable to load up the website, even though I am able to successfully ping yahoo, at this time, I am having at least 25% ping packet loss). Is this DNS info getting confused? What could be the cause?

-2--I am writing scripts that does some trouble shooting and simulates logging into the router and refresh the router. But I am interested in automating network command line tracert /ping/pathping etc. But I am not sure of the command syntax to issue a command line, that checks connection to the outside internet and arbitrarily choose the gateway in between. For example, when I have some pack loss, I would like to automatedly check internet connectivity to yahoo, then from main troubleshoot pc (the one connected belkin router), try ping routing to yahoo from each access point router. Do you know some of the complex command line syntax to do this?

Please feel free to offer any extra observation. Is pretty late in the night, I hope my words weren't to jumbled up. Thanks for your help.
-rj

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Last Post by rj08
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8 access points? that's a pretty large small business network

also, are the access points connected to the router with cable, or are they acting as repeaters?

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thanks for response. Yes, the access points are connected to the belkin router with cable. also, no network printer or filesharing is involved/required since the network services an apartment building and free wifi for basic browsing. tell me more...
--rj08

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basically make sure you get good equipment for this. I'd go with cisco, or at least linksys.

also verify the power supplies for the APs are not overheating, and that there is some air circulation around them

how many users do you expect to allow through that router? if the number is three or more digits - get a real router, not SOHO. I'd go with CheckPoint SPLAT R65 or Cisco PIX

when you experience that error, describe how exactly that happens? have you passed with a laptop from the coverage zone of one AP to another?

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thanks for the hardware recommendation, i will have to buy some.
-this is what happens, i go the google email website and the site responds with a white page, i reload, (still no resolution), and there is some packet loss when testing pinging to yahoo.

sidenotes:
the test environment (that I originally mentioned, a belkin router, and two wifi access point, netgear and linksys) with default channels 6, 11, are wifi access points (utilizing lan port).

the production environment, are eight wireless routers, using the wan port.

in either case, how best to pinpoint the connectivity issues?

also, would fixes to either environment, include adding statics routes?

thanks for your help.

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I would set up one serious router, and attach enough access points to cover the area. the APs in AP mode of course.
the APs should be transparent to the client, they are not supposed to be the gateway, the router is.

configure the security on the APs, the dhcp on the router (or a dhcp server)


when you experience the connectivity issues, try to repair the wireless connection and see what happens.
also, when you don't see the internet, try ro ping the AP and the gateway - see where the bottleneck is

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Thanks for responses. I wrote a scripts doing pinging of www.yahoo.com and the gateway 192.168.1.10. They both would return successfully, but browsing websites were impossible.

Finally, the issues is turning out to be linked to ip forwarding and triggering. I enabled and configured port forwarding and triggering on on the netgear router and included http/ftp/etc.. ports; and now I am getting better results. The website browsing can get corrected after I reload the browser. But, some browsers don't respond fully, (on mac leopard) firefox, safari works, but ie5.2 doesn't pull up www.msn.com. On win xp, firefox requires over 4 reloads and in the span of 5 minutes, before the site fully loads (mind you, the page improperly loads, i.e., page fully loads but empty).

problems that remain;
1, to fix it so that the page loads up on first try; do i have to do more port forwarding?
2, configure linksys access point for ip forwarding/triggering, (linksys is more complicated than negear); any advanced warning on the linksys advance routing configuration?
3, pick up a good lan-to-lan router, i have eyed linksys 4 port gigabit router, from which, the access points will receive dhcp stuff. this is soho hardware, hopefully, if you could advice of a better mid-end quality...let me know.

thanks for your help.
-rj08

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simple cisco 800 series should be enough. or a checkpoint/sofaware s-box router.

consider actually getting a CheckPoint SPLAT R65 box - this one has excellent functionality.
another way to go will be a windows server with ISA, or even sonicwall (I personally am not too keen on them, but people use them a lot)

as for the disconnects, you will probably need to go the extra mile and run tcpdump on that network, analyse it with wireshark afterwards - to see what is happening to the http communications.

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im new to the thing and i would like to learn about little of everything, First--- whats access point?

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8 access points? that's a pretty large small business network

also, are the access points connected to the router with cable, or are they acting as repeaters?

Just wondering, I can't seem to find best practice for defining or limiting wifi health hazards. Basically, what transmit power is decidedly harmful to human health? I often read of precautions about burning out the wifi box but that's it? I am concerned about having too many wifi box in too small proximity. I know the basic, 30 meters (90 feet) for b/g protocol; but, if 2 access points exist at same location, on channel 1 and 6, and but near humans, will it be bad for health condition.
lastly, dd-wrt version 24 changed transmit power to 70mw from version 23, 28mw, is this safe?
any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance. -rj08

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