I have a wireless router at point of entry, on a property that has hardwired ethernet. I tried to configure some older wireless routers to appear like they are the same network so that devices wouldn't have to switch networks when moving from zone to zone, but I was unsuccessful and am now looking at buying some new hardware.

When I search on "repeater" I get lots of options for wireless-only repeaters, not ones that are hardwired to the source router and replicate the network. I suspect there is a better term for this, but I don't know what it is. Can anyone help me out? What filters should I use on my hardware site of choice, to limit results just to wireless access points/units that can connect to the base station via hardwire, and appear to devices to be the exact same network?

I realize my hardware may be too old to do this (easily enough for me to figure out), so that's why I was looking for newer hardware. I'm not jumping on the smart home bandwagon, I'm just looking for a cheap solution so I can quit constantly pulling out my phone to switch to a stronger network when the current connection signal gets too low.

a picture of my network

Diagram of network

  • What's the old router you tried to configure? You should be able to do this without too much bother. – user3788685 Dec 17 '17 at 16:20
  • a DLink DIR655; It is currently hooked up as a second network so I don't have easy access to the admin page, but my recollection is that I found instructions on the web for a different version of the default bios, and my attempts to follow those instructions were unsuccessful because the settings/screens were different. I have not tried flashing anything, just because I haven't done it before and was worried about bricking the router – K ATL Dec 17 '17 at 16:35
  • You don't need to flash it - there's a couple of options. Are all your devices in the same IP subnet? (Same address range) – user3788685 Dec 17 '17 at 19:13
  • I'm guessing the answer is yes, if that is the default (I haven't intentionally changed anything) Thanks! – K ATL Dec 17 '17 at 19:16
  • Is it connected via a LAN or the WAN (Internet) port on the DIR-655 ? I may be able to help you with an answer but you will need access to the admin page and you will need to test it works since its a while since I've done this with D-Link kit (And I remember trouble once before) – user3788685 Dec 17 '17 at 19:20

Clients cannot switch between routers, you have to set that up in the routers themselves. Essentially, it looks like you want to load balance your network between the routers. I would reccomend having a shared access point that can handle load balancing between the routers that connects to your internal clients, and then the routers NAT the request and send it to a modem.

Going to add to this in case I understood the question wrong. If you want to switch to a network with the highest signal, then you need some sort of application on the device that can manage that transfer. I'd reccomend setting up your old router somewhere else in the home as an access point that wirelessly connects to your main router (a signal booster so to speak), and give it its own name (SSID). Then install an app like Wifi Switcher on Android to autmativally switch between the strongest network.

The old router will eventually have to connect to the main one either wirelessly or through the walls via ethernet.

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  • I apologize, I think your answer is above my pay grade? So you are saying that there is no way that a tablet can "See" both routers as being the same network and switch automatically to whichever one is the strongest signal? I don't need it to maintain a link to both routers at the same time, just whichever is stronger. Thanks! – K ATL Dec 17 '17 at 17:04
  • I don't even have a pay grade yet so I doubt that my answer can ever be above your expertise, but I apologize if I worded it wrong. Let me confirm your question, are you trying to automatically connect where signal is stronger or distribute requests between two routers? – ytpillai Dec 17 '17 at 17:19
  • Cause clients can see whatever beacon's if you give both routers the same SSID and security settings the clients should hope between the 2. Its a little more complex than that but at a basic level it will work. – user3788685 Dec 17 '17 at 19:12
  • @ytpillai, I am trying to automatically connect to the strongest signal while walking around the property. At the moment, I have to manually change which network I am connected to, so better to make it all one big network if possible :) – K ATL Dec 17 '17 at 19:17
  • @user3788685 does the downstream router automatically do this, or are you saying they need to independently connect to the ISP? – K ATL Dec 17 '17 at 19:18

This answer presumes you have access to the admin page on the DIR-655 and physical access to the device cabling.

Presuming all of these devices share a common IP subnet (Address range) then you should be able to do the following;

  • Configure the DIR-655 with a static IP Address on the same network (If its not already)

  • Disable the DHCP server on the DIR-655

  • Connect the DIR-655 via a LAN Port (Not the WAN/Internet port)

  • Change the SSID on the DIR-655 to the same as your 'main network'

  • Check and ensure the security settings on the DIR-655 match those on your Belkin router.

You will need to test this - I'm basing it on the fact the D-Link will forward the DHCP requests from the clients to the Belkin. If it does not and you can't get an IP address or find your self disconnected then you could configure the D-Link DHCP server to issue address at the higher end of your network - You will need to check at the Belkin is configured to do so you can avoice any address conflicts.

This should at a very basic level allow you to 'roam' between the wifi routers as you want. You may have to have a play with the channel settings as well - if they are far enough apart not to interfere they can both be on the same fixed channel.

The English product manual can be found here.

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