I help host a LAN several times a year. At our last event, our wireless router kept resetting, we suspect due to the heavy load (roughly 20 high-demand, gaming machines simultaneously pulling traffic). Our connection is 100Mbps / 100Mbps.

After some research into the issue, we think the best solution is to provide two access points for the same connection. My question is, do we need two routers for this? Or would one router and then just an access point suffice? Are there guides to load balance these two? I tried looking on google, but just kept getting directed to companies selling load-balancing hardware.

In general, are we thinking about this the right way?

  • 100Mbps / 100Mbps. typo? try getting a gigabit router? – Outdated Computer Tech Feb 22 '14 at 2:42
  • No, not a typo - we have a local fiber company provide us the connection. It's not the speed of the connection (in fact, we had a decently high-end gigabit router) - it's a load issue on the internal hardware I think... i.e., the CPU on home routers can't handle that many continuously active connections. – ctote Feb 22 '14 at 2:43
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    You're hosting a LAN party over wireless? Why?!? Just get some quality gigabit switches and run some Ethernet cables. – Christopher N. Boisjoli Feb 22 '14 at 4:27
  • No. People hook up to wireless when they're unable to reach the switches because they didn't bring long enough cords, etc... – ctote Feb 24 '14 at 3:43
  • You're not actually routing the wireless traffic, are you? – Daniel B Feb 24 '14 at 9:14

I currently have a setup that I think would work well for you. I use 3 routers to balance constant heavy usage. The best part about this is that you can do with this 2-4 routers. So here is what I suggest:

  • Setup your one main router that connects to your modem with DHCP range of xxx.x.x.5 to xxx.x.x.255
  • Take note of your subnet mask and the wireless channel it is running on
  • Connect a computer (in order to configure the second router) to your secondary router via an ethernet cable
  • Turn off the DHCP on the second router, and set its LAN IP to something not in the DHCP range of the main router
  • Change the subnet mask in the LAN settings of your second router to match that of the main router
  • Change the WiFi channel to something different than the main router's channel
  • Now run an ethernet from your main router to your secondary router. Make sure to connect it via one of the LAN ports not the WAN port
  • You're all setup with two routers that are not conflicting.

Additionally I would make sure your main router (the one that connects to your modem) is your best and that it is one of good quality. Using at least one dual band router would also benefit you (so some people that have 5ghz supporting devices can use it). This should balance the load pretty evenly and also stretch is great for stretching your wifi range

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