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Support Second router help needed

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by PrinceCorwin, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Android Expert
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    I know this probably isn't the right forum to post this, but since my end desired result is to speed up my Android devices and I can't seem to get any help from the Comcast forums or the internet because everything posted is years old I decided to come back to Old Faithful and talk to my Android gurus here. So here goes...
    I have an Xfinity gateway with xbox one, 2 pcs, 3 tablets and 3 smartphones connected. To get better speed for the phones and tablets, I bought a belkin 1200 dual band router and simply plugged it into the lan1 port on the gateway (no bridge mode). I now have my original signal and the belkin signal available on my wifi list. I left the xbox connected to the gateway via ethernet (lan2) and connected everything else via wifi to the belkin signal. Did I go about this properly or should I just use bridge mode and connect everything to the belkin? I've read conflicting posts about disabling DCHP. I did that at first but could get no Internet connection so it is currently enabled. I've also read about making sure both routers are not on the same subnet but I have no idea what that means or how to do it. My current setup gives me Internet access on either signal but I just don't know if I'm using the most efficient /productive method. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    I can't really offer 100% reliable advice as I'm not familiar with how Comcast deliver their service, but over here on VDSL fibre I'd use do the same. You definitely want both routers on the same subnet, and DHCP disabled on the Belkin so that the Xfinity acts as the sole DHCP server i.e. it provides IP addresses to every device.

    If your current setup works then I say leave it. I've done something very similar, using an old router as a simple cabled switch.
     
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  3. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Android Expert
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    Thanks but, again, I have no idea what the subnet is or how to make sure both routers are on the same one.
     
  4. Slug

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    It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is.

    Your Xfinity gateway will have an internal IP address, as an example 192.168.1.1.

    The 192.168.1.* part denotes the subnet, and the final octet (*) is unique to each node (device) on that subnet and can be any number from 1-254. All nodes on the same subnet can see each other and pass traffic between them without any further configuration being necessary. IOW, if the Belkin router has a static IP of 192.168.1.2, and the DHCP server assigns addresses in the same range, everything on the LAN should see and communicate with each other smoothly.

    Problems can arise if there are two DHCP servers though, as it's perfectly possible for each to assign the same IP to different nodes, which is why it's important to ensure only one router is acting as DHCP server, or alternatively configuring each to assign addresses from different ranges e.g. 192.168.1.11 - 192.168.1.21 and 192.168.1.211 - 192.168.1.221.

    Does this help any, or have I just muddied the water even more? Apologies if so... I've probably spent way too many hours tinkering with (and then fixing) my own LAN. :oops:
     
  5. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    A lot of my comments are just repeating what Slug has already written but just to add:
    As far as speeding things up, that's not possible, at least as far actual bandwidth numbers. Whatever Comcast is allowing you, that's the fastest you're going to see on your home network set up. Just as an example, if Comcast is giving you 65 Mbps, no devices or PCs connected to your home network will be getting anything faster than that. In fact, as far as WiFi it will always be a little less than that. There is no setting or option in a wireless router to increase the speed that the router is receiving from the modem. Even if you flash your Belkin router with a better third-party firmware, if you're receiving a 65 Mbps signal from Comcast nothing can increase your home network to 100 Mbps. On one of your phones you might check your WiFi connection in the Settings >> WiFi option and see that your 'Link speed' might be something like 1100 Mbps but that's just an indication of the maximum speed your router is capable of (the speed at which you can transfer files only within your home network) , but again, your phone is still not going to be using that fast a connection to the Internet, it's always going to be based off of your Comcast connection. Adding a second router won't increase 'speed' but it does have the potential to expand your coverage area. So while your home network won't be getting any faster than what Comcast is allowing you, since distance from a wireless router does affect signal strength and reliability areas farther away in more remote parts of your home will see a 'speed' increase, especially if you position your Comcast modem/router and your Belkin router effectively (in different rooms).

    Also keep in mind that WiFi will always take a little a little speed hit. A wired connection using a standard Ethernet patch cable provides 'synchronous' connectivity, it transmits and receives a signal at the same speed. WiFi is based on 'asynchronous' transmission of data. It's a one-way pipe as opposed to two-way. In real world usage it's not anything most of us notice because all those data packets flying back and forth from our routers to our devices is still really, really quick even with WiFi where it's either receiving or sending. It's just that in one-to-one comparison a physical patch cable is faster than a WiFi signal.

    This is one reason to avoid using bridge mode if you can. Sometimes it's a necessary thing because you might be in a situation where a patch cable just can't be involved so bridging is a better option. But since bridging involves two wireless routers to connect to each other over a WiFi signal, that's where that asynchronous speed hit comes into play. Your current set up with your Xfinity box connected with a patch cable to your Belkin is more optimal.

    As Slug already mentioned, you really do need to turn off any routing functions in your Belkin router and just let your Xfinity modem/router be the primary source for things like DHCP. You just don't want to have to DHCP servers on the same network. You should be thinking of having your home network as being a singular one, not two separate ones. Currently you have a situation where any of your devices using WiFi are continuously being exposed to two different wireless networks more or less at the same time depending on where you're standing and the signal strength tied to which router is closest. That's just not very efficient nor optimal. Your phone is constantly flipping back and forth between the connectivity of two separate WiFi networks, each with their separate settings. Instead, make your Belkin to be more of just a simple wireless access point, disable it's DHCP so your Comcast modem/router is your primary control point.

    From a hardware set up aspect you've already got that set up network port. Now you just need to adjust some settings in your Xfinity box and your Belkin. Your Xfinity modem/router is probably set to use automatic channel selection, go into it's settings (using a web browser on one of your PCs, the login name and password should be on a label on the side or bottom of the modem/router), and change it to a specific channel (11 for example). Now on your Belkin change it's settings so it is using the same SSID as your Xfinity named network name, and the same SSID password, but give it a different specified channel (1 for example). AND BE SURE TO TURN OFF DHCP. When your Belkin router reboots it should essentially be just a network switch (with wired and wireless capability), all it will do is expand your home network with your Comcast box doing all the routing functions. With both of them using the same SSID and password your wireless devices are able to use your single home network in different places throughout your home (the difference being the different channels). You should be able to walk from one room to another and your phone should stay connected to your WiFi network with a minimum if any hesitation (WiFi channel changing isn't as drastic as a device getting its IP address changed.)

    Finally, if you live in a well populate area there will probably a lot of other wireless networks within sensing range of your mobile devices. If you're in a house it might not be as much of an issue because there's at least some distance of separation but a condo or apartment it might be. Channel interference can hamper your own home network's WiFi so it's a best to try and avoid conflicting channels by not using the same ones your neighbor might be using. So it might be helpful to use something like the 'WiFi Analyzer' app to gauge your surroundings. Install it on one of your phones and test your home WiFi signal strength and let it show you what channels other nearby wireless networks are using.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer&hl=en
    As far as measuring your Comcast bandwidth speed, try using something like this site:
    http://speedof.me
    It's an HTML5 based speed test so you can use it with just about any web browser, computer or mobile device. By using a common way to check your bandwidth speed you can get a better idea of your home connection. If you use something like a speed test app on your phones and different speed test sites on your computers (some still rely on Flash) because they use different protocols to measure with, you're going to get different numbers. Not a significant difference but at least by using a singular gauge you can at least get a more stable benchmark number. (Bandwidth is going to be a variable anyway, it'll change from morning to evening.)
     
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  6. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I will reiterate that http://speedof.me

    is the only dependable, repeatable Speed Testing website out there because it is the only one using HTML5.
    Flash is a joke for speed testing. Too much compression fake business going on.

    My local WiFi router gives me 150 mbps to the phone/laptops, but that is all pointless because my internet is strung on Barbed Wire running at the ADSL speed of 10.5 mbps
     
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  7. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    A number of speed test web sites are hampered by the need for a Flash or Java plugin but there are several other HTML5 based test sites besides speedof.me. I only suggested speedof.me because of my own preference for its interface and its URL is easy to remember but here's just some other viable HTML5 sites worth checking out:
    http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest
    http://testmy.net/
    http://www.bandwidthplace.com/
     
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  8. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I have used the 1st and the 3rd one, but back when they were also using Flash...

    I never went back to try them again, after I found speedof.me

    .
     
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  9. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Android Expert
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    Still dealing with this issue. When I turn off DHCP on the Belkin, nothing will connect to it
     
  10. Crashdamage

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    My thoughts....

    Of COURSE nothinng works when you turn off DHCP on the Xfinity while connected via WIFI to the Belkin. Nothing is being fed a usable signal.

    Get Wifi Analyzer or WFi Overview 360 .Use it to determine the least crowded channels, IOW, the best to use, and find this weak and strong signal areas.
    .
    Avoid using WiFi to connect the routers if possible. It will slow the system down. Use Ethernet for best best results. Either way, use a static IP for them and Belkin, not DHCP. Anything like the Xbox that's hard-wired I would assign a static IP.

    So now you should have each router setup in a favorable location, connected by static IP, wired or wireless. You have 4 separate bands. Give each band a different SSI. There's no reason to make them the same and giving a different SSID to each band on each router makes for easy identification of which you're connecting to. For 5GHz bands use high channels, 150 > is best.

    Set the routers for the most of optimal channels as determined with analyzer earlier. Turn off DHCP in the Belkin router, the Xfinity handles all that.

    As for speed tests, there are several HTLM5 sites most already mentioned. I've tried most of them using Google Fiber gigabit internet. I lean toward DSL Reports site but the most accurate, repeatable results are the Google Fiber test site which runs Flash. Go figure. Online Speed tests are just approximations anyway.
     
    #10 Crashdamage, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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  11. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    If nothing is will connect to your Belkin router, make sure the Ethernet patch cable plugged into your Xfinity modem/router's LAN port is also plugged into an open LAN port on your Belkin. If it's plugged into the Belkin's WAN port this kind of set up won't work.
     
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  12. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Android Expert
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    I turned the DHCP off on the Belkin, not the Xfinity... and I couldn't connect to the Belkin unless I turned it back on for both.
    Strangely enough though, my laptop would connect to the Belkin but none of my android devices would with DHCP off on the Belkin.
     
  13. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    Did they fail due to an àuthen5ation error or...???
    Do you have the same security settings on both routers? (WPA2/WPA)
    Did you do the setup as I outlined?
     
  14. svim

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  15. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Android Expert
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    Thank you all for the help but it became more of a problem than it was worth. Seemed like a simple project to me but customer service at both Belkin and Xfinity were all dumbfounded and had no idea what I was Trying to do or how to do. I returned the router for a refund.
     

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