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I'm going to be moving in the next month. The new residence will have Wi-Fi available. My current network setup involves:

  • modem
    • router
      • desktop PC (wired)
      • laptop PC (wireless)
      • printer (wired, can be USB or wireless)
      • NAS (wired)

The modem is one provided by my ISP, the router is a D-Link WBR 1310.

If I use the provided Wi-Fi at my new location, is there a way my router can use the wireless signal to serve my computers, printer, and NAS?

(It may be possible for me to keep my own Internet service, but at the new location, which I believe would nullify the issue, I need to investigate that idea.)

UPDATE: I appreciate the responses so far. I'm not much on network terminology or technology, so having this assistance available is great. I'll add some clarifying remarks here:

  • I'll be a tenant in a house, the owners use passworded Wi-Fi and will give me access. I don't imagine it will be heavily loaded.
  • My laptop has a wireless card, so that's not an issue. It has been suggested to get a Wi-Fi dongle for the desktop. That would be the simplest solution, but I have a network printer and a NAS that need to be connected via router.
  • Using Wi-Fi on my laptop would be ideal, but I can compromise on that and use just wired connections to my router, if that makes a difference.
  • I'm willing to purchase a new router if that would be the best solution, and not too expensive.
  • It may be possible for me to use my own Internet service at the new location, which I believe would be the simplest and best solution. I need to discuss with the landlord.
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Are you wanting to extend your wireless network with your router? –  Brian Aug 31 '10 at 2:36
    
@brianbolton I'm not sure what you mean...I will be in a new place that offers wifi, and wonder if my own router can piggyback off that to serve my own devices. If you mean would I still want to use the wireless on my router, then perhaps, for my laptop anyway. –  Grant Palin Aug 31 '10 at 2:50
    
So, you want your existing D-Link WBR 1310 to: 1) act as a wifi-to-wired bridge, and 2) provide wireless to your laptop (to connect to your own network to use the printer and NAS, while not sharing those over the wifi as provided by your new place). I doubt those can be combined using that single router. –  Arjan Sep 3 '10 at 12:40
    
With the conditions that you have just updated, then I would suggest purchasing a DD-WRT flash-able router. Using DD-WRT is not extremely complicated, and flashing the router isn't either as long as you follow the instructions. You can then bridge the properties wireless connection to your router, and thus to your other devices. –  KronoS Sep 3 '10 at 16:43
    
@Arjan I can compromise on the second point regarding using my own wifi on top of the landlord's. If I have to go all wired, I can do that. Not my favourite, but doable. –  Grant Palin Sep 3 '10 at 17:42
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9 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Even if you manage to somehow connect your router to the the WiFi available in your new dig, your total bandwidth might still be slowed down by the fact that the router is counted as only one WiFi-user.

The simplest and most efficient solution is to put your computers on two networks.

You don't have to use the WiFi for to establish an internal network. While connecting through the WiFi to get to the Internet, you can also use the router to connect all your computers and devices on another WIRED network. The router doesn't need to be connected to the Internet to create the internal network.

This way all you computers are connected to the Internet at WiFi speeds, but communicate between them at the speed of the router.

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If you want your router to be a client on their network, AND serve wifi, chances are this is not a feature of the default firmware. You can try something like DD-WRT which supports wireless bridge modes.

Or get a "game adapter" (wifi <> ethernet) and use it as your "internet connection" on your router :)

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"If you want your router to be a client on their network, AND serve wifi" - given the last few words, would the situation be simplified if all my devices listed above would be wired to my router? –  Grant Palin Aug 31 '10 at 5:44
    
Yeah, or you could use a "game adapter" and a switch, or your router as a switch only. etc. The tricky part is getting a device to be a client on their wifi - either custom firmware or a game console adapter –  Garrett Aug 31 '10 at 6:12
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His router is not listed in the DD-WRT database. –  pattern86 Sep 3 '10 at 3:27
    
It might still be worthwhile to find a cheap router on eBay or craigslist that IS dd-wrt capable, and use that. It would certainly be cheaper than paying for an internet subscription that you don't need. –  nhinkle Sep 3 '10 at 3:44
    
I'd recommend the game adapter to a switch rather than DD-WRT simply because I use DD-WRT and find I'm always questioning it when something goes haywire. The simplicity of the task doesn't demand the complexity of DD-WRT, unless you like to play with that kind of thing anyway and are comfortable with it. :) –  Garrett Sep 7 '10 at 15:58
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If you mean what I think you mean (you have wired devices that you want to use with a wireless signal), that is very well possible (theoretically) to plug a WiFi-Ethernet adapter into the 'internet' port on your router, but it's like using a PS3 to make toast.

Another option, if you have some money burning in your pocket, is to buy 3 of those and connect them accordingly.

If I were you, I would opt out of the available WiFi because you can't do what you want with it, i.e. port forwarding for your NAS, content blocking etc. And you don't know what they do with the data.

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Or buy one, and plug it into your WAN port on the router. Use their wifi as your "internet" –  Garrett Aug 31 '10 at 4:51
    
I guess my first sentence wasn't clear enough. I'll edit it. –  digitxp Aug 31 '10 at 12:49
    
Your edited version reads better than it did before :) Regarding this remark: "...but it's like using a PS3 to make toast", do you mean it is overkill, or an awkward solution? –  Grant Palin Aug 31 '10 at 21:04
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Lol, I meant both. –  digitxp Aug 31 '10 at 22:35
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He's also going to have to worry about bandwidth from all the other bums using the free wireless. –  KronoS Sep 3 '10 at 5:09
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What you need is router that support client mode, more info on client mode either by default or by installing dd-wrt version which has client mode

Bear in mind that host router (one that transmits wifi signal) is not relevant; you don't need to configure it.

so options:
1) buying router that is supported by dd-wrt -- you can check list here
2) buying router that has client mode by default; i haven't found any list; you would need to check manual of potential routers.

also you can use your computer to share internet; but it can share only to X number of devices; where X is number of ethernet cards you posses

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Another guide at wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/3639271 The new router can even just replace the existing modem, and then you can connect the whole existing thing to that. (Hence using the existing router for wireless access of the notebook, with full access to the local network, including the NAS and the printer.) –  Arjan Sep 3 '10 at 19:59
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Grant, there is not a BEST solution to this with your current hardware.

The only way to make this work with your current setup and not purchase anything else is to connect to the wireless network with your laptop and then enable internet connection sharing over the ethernet port to the WAN port of the router. From there you can plug in all of your other wired equipment to receive internet.

Again, this is definitely not the best route to take and would require that your computer be on and connected when you'd like to use any other device.

It sounds like purchasing a cheap router that can run DD-WRT is your best bet if you really don't want to pay for your own internet plan. I was in this situation once in undergraduate school and it was definitely a better experience having my own ISP connection--faster and more reliable.

EDIT: Here's another article on internet connection sharing in Windows XP.

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If your router is a wireless router, it's possible to configure it in such a way that it would extend the wifi signal from the property router. However this will require configuration on both routers and if you don't have admin access to the property router, it can't be done.

Also, if you manage to get admin access and config both routers, I believe your wired connections should function for the most part.

Routers can do a lot of things if you simply know how to configure them.

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The only way that I know that he can do that is if he already has the option in the router, which i doubt, or to flash the router to DD-WRT or some other open source software. I checked already and DD-WRT doesnt support his router –  KronoS Aug 31 '10 at 4:47
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I used a NetGear WNR3500L open source router with great success. It was around $ 75 CDN, and I installed DD-WRT successfully. I then did a setup of the router to become my Wireless access to the home wireless network, while havingm ultiple ethernet connections to the back of the router. This gave me a high-speed connection between MY computers (as opposed to my wife's), while having an 802.11N connection to the internet, which none of my computers had available.

The DHCP addresses are still provided by the base router. I just had to use an IP address for the NetWear router that is not within the DHCP scope of the base router. I also setup the usual WPA2 protection parameters. The WNR3500L comes with this functionality built-in, but only supports WEP, and does not have as many options as DD-WRT. This router also has a USB port at the back, which can beused in several different ways to share devices on the network.

I used the following to configure DD-WRT to get it working:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Repeater_Bridge

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I'm willing to purchase a new router if that would be the best solution, and not too expensive.

Then you'd better keep the current router and get an additional one. So: keep everything like you have it now, but replace the modem (not the router) with an additional wireless router that runs in some wireless-to-wired mode.

For example, you might be able to use a recent model of the Apple AirPort Express (new: US$ 99). You can set it up as a wireless-to-wired bridge by using its ProxySTA feature. But beware: maybe this needs your landlord to be using Apple equipment too. (I am not sure, see Can I use an Apple AirPort Express as a wireless-to-wired bridge? for details; I guess it's better to use some non-Apple solution just to avoid issues.)

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I have this setup at home.

  • Internet
    • Wireless Router

==============

  • Accesspoint D-Link DWL 2100AP
    • Switch D-Link DGS 1005D DGS
      • Desktops / NAS / Printer

In your case you could of course put your current wireless router where I have my Switch to create your own wireless subnet.

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