Bridging Multiple Routers to Extend WiFi Range 

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WiFi range and performance is often one of the biggest complaints of any network. If a wireless network needs to service an area larger then a medium sized house, or must operate on several floors, which are separated with concrete or other material that is known to inhibit WiFi signal. As such bridging two or more routers together, so they operate as a singular network, but have massive range.

 

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Bridging Networks versus Separate Networks:

Bridging and separate networks both have distinct advantages over one another, and one may be better then the other, depending on a given network situation.

 

Bridging Advantages:

  • Only need a single internet access point 
  • Operates as a singular network (don’t need to disconnect and connect to other networks) 
  • Saves electricity due to having less routers

Separate Network Advantages:

  • Higher performance (lower latency) 
  • Multiple Internet access points means higher bandwidth
Wireless Bridging

How to Bridge Routers:

The process by which two routers are bridged depends on the specific router in question. Unfortunately there is no set standard for bridging two routers, as such the implementation will differ between router manufacturers. The following is some software that can get the job done*:


DD-WRT: Easy to use with its simple web user interface. It works with several types of routers, including Linksys. DD-WRT hardware database

 

OpenWrt: OpenWrt is not just firmware but a complete Linux distribution for embedded devices. OpenWrt provides a fully writable filesystem with package management. This firmware is recommend for advanced users only. OpenWrt hardware database

 

Tomato: Another simple and easy to use replacement firmware for Linksys, Buffalo, Asus and other Broadcom-based routers. It features an efficient GUI, bandwidth usage monitor, QOS and access restrictions, WDS and wireless client modes, raises the limits on maximum connections for P2P, allows you to run your custom scripts or telnet/ssh in and re-program the SES/AOSS button, adds wireless site survey to see your wifi neighbors, and more. This is recommend for new users as it comes with easy to use web-gui. Tomato hardware database

 

*Image and Software list from cyberciti.biz

 

Conclusion

Bridging routers requires some work to get setup, but can drastically increase a networks range and performance. The experts at Packetworks are highly skilled in advising and setting up networks, as well as providing the fastest internet available. Talk to one of our network specialists today to get your bridge network setup.

 

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