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first of all, I have no idea how I should phrase my question in the title.

My setting is this: I live in a student home in a block of flats, and we get our internet access from the wall with an ethernet cable (like the upper one in the image below).

enter image description here

What I would like to do is connect a router to this network, and make it distribute addresses from the 192.168.*.* address space to other computers connected to my router. At the moment I get addresses from the 88.192.*.* address space, which is the network my router is connected to. I have the ethernet cable go into one of my router's LAN sockets, and so it seems to be working as a mere switch. This router has been acting up lately, and I'm going to replace it soon, so I'm looking for answers that tell me how I should do this and what hardware I should get.

I'm a newbie to networking, and haven't really wrestled with something like this before. If I'm being unclear, I'll try my best to clarify. I'm unsure whether or not I'm asking the right questions, and my terminology is a bit lacking.

Anyway, thanks for helping.


My current router is the Buffalo AirStation WBMR-HP-GN. It's really old, and buffalo no longer has support for it.

  • You may be able to get by with current equipment. How many computers/devices are we talking about? Your 88.192.*.* seems to be registered to SONERA-FINLAND-BBNET TeliaSonera Finland Oyj (Amsterdam), public IPv4 addresses. If your internal devices use 192.168, you'll need to have a device perform NAT so the 192.168 addresses get converted to the 88.192.*.* address(es) that you use. So you need NAT if that is what you're trying to do; NAT is commonly supported by many routers (or even Wi-Fi access points). Another option might be to just use multiple 88.192 addresses. How many do you get? – TOOGAM Dec 16 '15 at 1:51
  • you could call up the most reliable ISP in finland and ask them what routers they recommend – barlop Dec 16 '15 at 2:39
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A (typical home grade, consumer router) has 4 LAN ports and 1 WAN port.

The idea is to plug your Internet connection (ie from the wall) into the WAN port, and then use the other 4 ports to connect your computers and similar devices to. The 4 LAN ports do, indeed, act like a switch.

The idea is that the router "logic" sits between the LAN ports and WAN port and translates the address (using "NAT").

BTW, when you have WIFI on a router, it is usually treated like a LAN port with the addition of the bits needed to make it talk the wireless protocol.

Additional note: If the WAN port is labelled DSL you probably have a DSL router which is not suitable for what you are trying to do. Your best course of action is to probably go out and buy a new ETHERNET router. If you are a real masochist, you MIGHT be able to flash DD-WRT onto your router and reconfigure one of the LAN ports as a WAN port - but DD-WRT does not work well at all on DSL devices and reconfiguring a LAN port to a WAN port is not trivial.

  • That's pretty much the ports my router has, yeah, except the WAN port is labeled "DSL". I don't have a subscription with my ISP; there is a building-wide network where I can connect by plugging an ethernet cable into a LAN port in the wall, ie I don't have a straight-up phone-line connection. – Olavi Mustanoja Dec 13 '15 at 18:27
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    If the WAN port is labelled DSL you probably have a DSL router which is not suitable for what you are trying to do. Your best course of action is to probably go out and buy a new ETHERNET router. If you are a real masochist, you MIGHT be able to flash DD-WRT onto your router and reconfigure one of the LAN ports as a WAN port - but DD-WRT does not work well at all on DSL devices and reconfiguring a LAN port to a WAN port is not trivial. – davidgo Dec 13 '15 at 18:32
  • Great! thanks. Since I'm going to buy a new router anyway, that's just the information I needed. – Olavi Mustanoja Dec 13 '15 at 19:21
  • Just to confirm this is exactly the case, you need to shop for what is commonly called a "cable router". Side note, if you live in dorms 2.4Ghz will be very congested, so its strongly advised to by a dual band unit to get decent performance. – Linef4ult Dec 14 '15 at 10:58
  • @Linef4ult 2.4Ghz will be very congested - that, and then there's this: superuser.com/questions/637594/…. Anyway, thanks for the heads-up. – Olavi Mustanoja Dec 14 '15 at 16:32
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All you are describing is a regular NAT router.

If you have a router with a DSL modem you deserve a medal if you can find one that won't do NAT.

Maybe one that doesn't do NAT might be a PCI DSL modem or USB modem I once saw, and if they don't do NAT, then even then perhaps some will do NAT.

Looking for a DSL router that does NAT is like looking for a dog, but not just any dog, a dog with a tail. It's almost a joke question. An you know jolly well that you're looking for a router 'cos you've mentioned the word "router" in your title.

And when you are that new to networking, you can go into any big computer store and ask and get info.

And you're talking about subnetwork and "address space" and using the terms correctly. Like a great student of networking that is not familiar with what regular routers do. If you ever set up your own router and maybe one for your cousin, and have seen your friend's, then you'd know what you have how normal what you have is.

The hardware you want, is as you wrote in your title. A Router. You probably want one with a DSL modem in it..

You even managed to figure out that your router has a network switch inside it. That is absolutely correct.

It is a router but one might "more accurately" call it an "network device" as it does so many things and its routing isn't that developed. It also does "switching". It may have a modem in it if it can connect directly into the wall. If it is wireless then it has a wireless access point in it as well. It has a DHCP server which is handing out IP addresses in a particular address range. It runs a DNS server as well. An HTTP server for you to view its web interface. Its router aspect is not very impressive, its router aspect has only 2 ports or 2 sides, the LAN side and the WAN side. The LAN side has a network switch attached. Essentially the router only two subnets. One for WAN and one for LAN. The majority of home routers and small business routers only support one subnet for LAN and one subnet for WAN. For a more advanced router one might have to one made by cisco or juniper. So it'd take some effort for you to find a router that doesn't do what the one you have does.

There are some rare NAT routers that have only one socket for the LAN. But hardly anybody would buy them. They're hard to find. And i've seen cable modems that don't do NAT though i'm sure many do NAT. But DSL routers, they'll do NAT unless you've really made an epic hunt for one that doesn't, in which case it'd be interesting if you share the name of the one that doesn't(and even then you may find that it does).

Sometimes routers have a "bridge" mode. Bridge is a switch functionality. Meant to turn the router off, probably does, and that mode turns NAT off too. Some may have an option to turn NAT off. But they'll have NAT on by default.

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