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I needed a local wireless network to connect a set of notebooks for local multiplayer gaming with separate notebooks/PCs. In order to keep latecy low, I wanted to connect the notebooks to my old wifi router, situated in the same room as the clients ("local wifi router"), and create a wireless uplink to the internet of the "main wifi router", to provide internet for the guests.

Several related questions showed that directly connecting the two wifi routers wirelessly was unfeasible or difficult (e.g. installing unsupported third-party firmware). Since there was a cable-based alternative solution based on existing hardware no new hardware was allowed.

What I did have around was old notebooks and said old wifi router.

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  • What is your question? – gronostaj Dec 23 '14 at 11:35
  • First, WiFi for a LAN party should only be used if there is no possible way to do a wired network. Latency and throughput will both be much higher across any wireless connection compared with a wired connection. So I'd recommend against doing that unless, like I said, there's no alternative. – music2myear Dec 23 '14 at 14:38
  • @gronostaj: My intent was to post in the FAQ format, i.e. post the solution I found to a question I had not posted yet. Hence I formulated the question as a statement of intent and circumstances rather than a question; Sorry if this is not intended. – kdb Dec 23 '14 at 20:33
  • @music2myear Wired connections were an option, but I wanted to give wifi a try to avoid the usual cable-chaos, and also to test the limits of this common-knowledge. I actually expected having to give up due to latency issues, but it worked quite well. The only device that experienced lag, still experienced them after connecting to the router by wire. I suppose it would break down for a larger LAN party (ours encompass 8 people usually). – kdb Dec 23 '14 at 20:36
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-Log into your old router

-Configure your old router to be a unique SSID

-Disable DHCP of the old router

-Connect Port 1 of your old router into port 1 of your new router

Router Diagram You do not want to connect the "Internet" Port of your old router to the LAN port of the new router. This can cause all sorts of NAT & port forwarding issues. Also your old router likely has a slower WAN/Internet port wich would limit the speed of traffic between devices.

Shutting down DHCP and connecting the LAN to LAN port of both routers effectively turns your old router into an access point only.

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  • I agree that this would be the better solution, if a sufficiently long cable is available. In my case it wasn't. Hence the intent was explicitly to connect the routers through a wireless connection. When bridging the wireless connection to an ordinary LAN port, no internet access was possible in the old-router wifi network though. – kdb Dec 23 '14 at 20:31
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  1. I configured the local wifi router to provide a wireless network with a separate SSID to make sure that devices connect to the correct router. Both local and main wifi router were configured to provide IP address, gateway and DNS servers through DHCP.
  2. An old notebook was connected to the "Internet" port of the local router.
  3. The LAN connection of the notebook was bridged with its wireless connection. At least in all Windows versions from XP to 8 this is done by opening the adaptor options, selecting two connections and choosing "bridge these connections" (german: "Diese Verbindungen überbrücken") from the context-menu.
  4. The local router was configured to obtain its internet connection configuration via DHCP.

Effectively the network now behaved as if the local router was plugged into the main router via cable as a client, which also meant that the bridge-notebook was unable to use the internet or access other network devices (hence the use of a separate notebook).

The notebooks/pcs in the room now where able to connect to each other with reasonable ping times. Only one user experienced major lags, curiously the only macbook on the network. Since the internet connection to the main router was handled by a separate notebook, none of the actively used devices suffered increased latency from the internet use of other devices.

 +--------+                   +--------+
 |  Main  |    connects to    |  old   |
 | Router |<------------------|Notebook| 
 +--------+     Main wifi     +---.----+ 
                                 /|\           
                                  |plugged in  
                                  |by cable    
                                  |("internet" port)
+---------+                   +----------+
| gaming  |    connect to     |  local   |
| devices |------------------>|  Router  |
+---------+    local wifi     +----------+

On the other hand the internet connection was slow (the equivalent of 1 MBit total across all devices), presumably due to the connection between old notebook and main router. Also such a setup would be wasteful as replacement for a permanent wifi repeater, since the old notebook had to remain online at all times. For the purpose of one evening of gaming with internet connection however it was sufficient. It is unclear if playing games against other players over the internet would have worked, since we didn't need it.

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    This setup creates a "Double NAT" and can cause all sorts of annoying havok. – Honk Dec 22 '14 at 17:25
  • I was just about to come here to say you needed one other wireless device to make this work. Basically, as you discovered, you need one device to handle the uplink, and one to broadcast the new network. – music2myear Dec 23 '14 at 14:39
  • @LightlySalted I suppose that might be part of why I wasn't able to connect to Battle.net from within the secondary network. – kdb Dec 23 '14 at 20:27

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