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  >> Home Networking, Internet Connection Sharing, etc.


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Standard User swayzak
(learned) Mon 24-Oct-11 19:58:10
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Possible daft question - is it possible to merge networks ?


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Hi

Is is possible to merge 2 networks in my house e.g. network 1 from b/g O2 router/modem & network 2 from Devolo AV Wireless starter kit ?

The Devolo is a homeplug extension of the O2 internet connection & has a wireless unit.

I'd like them to appear as a single unified network covering the whole house, with single password & name.


thanks
Standard User pmb00cs
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 24-Oct-11 20:17:59
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: swayzak] [link to this post]
 
If you set them to use the same SSID, and password, but set them up on different chanels, as long as the devolo wireless is simply an extension of the O2 router's network, and does not perform any router functions this should be fine, and the wireless devices that connect to your network should swap between them fairly happily.

happily chugging along on plusnet and Virginmedia (yes I am greedy)
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Standard User swayzak
(learned) Mon 24-Oct-11 21:29:41
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: pmb00cs] [link to this post]
 
Thanks

Actually it was having them on 2 different channels that has caused interference problems - I was hoping to have this as a single network on a single channel but broadcast from 2 sources.

If I give them same the SSID, won't they still appear as 2 different networks because the Devolo is a separate WAP ?


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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 24-Oct-11 21:38:29
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: swayzak] [link to this post]
 
The channels should be separated from each other to prevent interference; 1, 6 and 11 for example.



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Standard User swayzak
(learned) Tue 25-Oct-11 08:09:11
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
OK - so I can't really merge these into a single (larger) wireless network on a single channel ?

When I tried to run on different channels before it caused dropouts / connection problems - due I think to many other networks in my neighbourhood, and the fact that the Devolo appears to span 2 channels even when set to broadcast on 1 (although Devolo support say this unit does not channel bond),

These problems disappeared as soon as I disabled the Devolo network & left my original O2 box network running on it's own again.
Standard User pmb00cs
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 25-Oct-11 19:02:44
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: swayzak] [link to this post]
 
You could put them on the same chanel if you wish, however they will interfere with each other, much like the other neighbouring wireless networks interfere with your network.


Ideally you want to find a space in the available band and use two separate, none interfering, channels. This is made more difficult by the fact that wifi signals spread out over neighbouring channels, and so you cannot really use neighbouring channels in close proximity, and should, if possible, find channels that have at least two other channels between them. So if the O2 wireless is on channel 5 (for example) you would want to use channel 2 or lower, or channel 8 or higher. Obviously this would depend on how noisy the channels are around you. Pick channels with the weakest/fewest other networks that fit into these requirements, and you should be good to go.

happily chugging along on plusnet and Virginmedia (yes I am greedy)
My web server
Standard User prlzx
(committed) Tue 25-Oct-11 19:47:17
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: swayzak] [link to this post]
 
As pmb00cs says, if you give them the same SSID+password you are merging them into one network. Giving them the same channel is not generally an advantage unless there is a distinct gap at that channel, and even then may limit the wireless bandwidth.

If you have some channel scanning software (e.g. InSSIDer on Windows or Wi-Fi Analyser on Android) you can investigate. If they are mostly on 1,6,11 stick to that. If they are mostly on 1,5,9,13 (less likely) follow that instead.

At each AP location, if all of 1,6,11 are occupied by neighbours, choose the weakest and/or least occupied channel of those three.

When you give 2 or more access points the same SSID, you are telling your client devices that it is one network that they can join via either AP and roam as needed. How long they hold a weaker connection before roaming to the stronger is down to the drivers on each client device.

Giving them different SSIDs usually means there is an order of preference, such that it won't switch to the 2nd choice unless the 1st drops out completely or you choose to.

More strictly, when you give them the same SSID and password, the security / encryption modes also need to be the same. For example you should not have WEP on one and WPA on the other, or Open on one and encrypted on the other. This may cause an SSID to be listed twice depending on the client software because they are not interchangeable.

Where possible use WPA2-PSK (WPA2-Personal) on both, and if there is a further option, choose AES on both (rather than TKIP). Some wireless chips provide hardware acceleration for AES.



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Standard User swayzak
(learned) Tue 25-Oct-11 20:20:41
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: pmb00cs] [link to this post]
 
Thanks all

If I give them the same SSID but different channels, will they appear on inSSIDer as 2 networks with same SSID ?

My slight concern is that the Devolo network appears across 2 channels in inSSIDer (thereby having a much broader "curve"), even though I've set it to a single channel.

As I said, Devolo insist this must be an error with the network monitoring software - but the O2 router only shows a single channel, narrow curve when single channel selected for it.

Therefore it is difficult to keep these merged networks' channels separate (taking into account the other networks I have to try & avoid) to minimise interference.

I confess to finding this a little confusing wink
Standard User prlzx
(committed) Tue 25-Oct-11 22:30:30
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: swayzak] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by swayzak:
Thanks all

If I give them the same SSID but different channels, will they appear on inSSIDer as 2 networks with same SSID ?

My slight concern is that the Devolo network appears across 2 channels in inSSIDer (thereby having a much broader "curve"), even though I've set it to a single channel.

Yes on InSSIDer it will show as 2 curves (one per AP). But it is still one network, just multiple APs.

On Wi-Fi Analyser, where multiple APs have the same settings it has the option to group into a single (expandable) entry in the list view.

If the Devolo appears across 2 channels in 2.4GHz (b/g/n) mode it is probably operating as a 40MHz (double width) channel. If you have any neighbouring networks you probably want it to be in 20MHz mode, mainly not to swamp the band but also as some client devices can be confused by 40MHz in 2.4GHz, which can lead to intermittent connectivity.

Whereas if an 'n' device operates in 5GHz (a/n) mode it has to recognise 40MHz channels, and there are still enough other channels to choose from to make this practical.

Do Devolo devices all come supplied with the same default SSID or can I assume you have changed it? (otherwise could a neighbour have the same kind of unit?). Also, how many Devolo units do you have (do they each have wireless?)



prompt $P - Invalid drive specification - Abort, Retry, Fail? $G
prlzx on n e w n e t: ADSL2+ / 21CN at 2.5Mbps / 800k

Edited by prlzx (Tue 25-Oct-11 22:34:16)

Standard User swayzak
(learned) Wed 26-Oct-11 11:50:46
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Re: Possible daft question - is it possible to merge network


[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by prlzx:
In reply to a post by swayzak:
Yes on InSSIDer it will show as 2 curves (one per AP). But it is still one network, just multiple APs.

On Wi-Fi Analyser, where multiple APs have the same settings it has the option to group into a single (expandable) entry in the list view.

If the Devolo appears across 2 channels in 2.4GHz (b/g/n) mode it is probably operating as a 40MHz (double width) channel. If you have any neighbouring networks you probably want it to be in 20MHz mode, mainly not to swamp the band but also as some client devices can be confused by 40MHz in 2.4GHz, which can lead to intermittent connectivity.


That could explain my previous problem with connection dropouts !

The main issue was running my Logitech Squeezebox wireless music system, which has units both downstairs & upstairs. I wanted to ensure strong wifi signal throughout house. The wifi strength has dropped since I had to move my O2 router from centre of hallway to a corner of the house due to fitting of a master socket by OpenReach. Enabling the additional Devolo network achieved this but made the Squeezebox wireless connection unstable.

If the Devolo is 40MHz & swamping other networks then I'm probably stuck with this problem - therefore I may have to stick to the single O2 network & leave the Devolo unit ethernet only (I have XBox etc. plugged into this).

This is what I was (and am currently) doing - and it works OK, although the wifi signal in bedroom above Devolo is 1 to 2 bars only with the O2 network alone. This still works though.


**EDIT** Just realised - isn't "40MHz" synonymous with "channel bonding" ? If so then Devolo told me this unit doesn't support channel bonding. So may be the double channel detection on inSSIDer remains unexplained ...


Whereas if an 'n' device operates in 5GHz (a/n) mode it has to recognise 40MHz channels, and there are still enough other channels to choose from to make this practical.


Do Devolo devices all come supplied with the same default SSID or can I assume you have changed it? (otherwise could a neighbour have the same kind of unit?). Also, how many Devolo units do you have (do they each have wireless?)


Yes I changed the network names to "network1" (O2) and "network2" (Devolo).

I'm using the N Wireless Starter kit so just the main homeplug (connected to modem/router to distribute internet connection around mains) & the N Wireless unit (also with 3 ethernet sockets).

One plus factor I tested the other night is that the mains wiring in my house allows the single Devolo homeplug to distribute network upstairs as well. So if I can't get stable dual network setup to work then I guess I can just by another homeplug to ethernet the PC upstairs (if it's network connection becomes flaky).

Edited by swayzak (Wed 26-Oct-11 11:57:52)

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