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Probably easy networking question, and pubs

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    Probably easy networking question, and pubs

    My question is about pubs, wifi, routers and stuff.

    Local pub wants to offer WiFi to customers but there have been problems when lots of punters connecting to WiFi the poor old BT Business Hub doesn't cope with the number of connections. They are in the process of upgrading to BT Infinity, but the new hub apparently won't handle many connections either.

    It occurred to me that if they had a wireless router in the bar area providing the WiFi, then connect that router to the BT Infinity router (using a LAN cable), then the "bar" router would (as routers do) 'concentrate' all the mobile phone connections into one connection to the BT hub.

    Does this make sense? I'm talking about the bar router not having a modem, not being connected to fibre or ADSL, but having a WAN connection to one of the LAN ports on the BT hub with all internet traffic from the bar area routed through there.

    Comments? Recommendations for a wireless router that would do this? I've looked on broadbandbuyer and they do have some wireless routers which don't have modems, so I assume that this is what they're designed for... provide a wireless access point and router capabilities.

    This might then be extended by adding further local routers (e.g. to cover the outside area, to cover the guest rooms) to provide WiFi to those areas, with each one of these satellite routers connected to the BT hub over the LAN.

    #2
    Fanbio time but sounds like a job for Apple Airport Extreme - they always work and work well, a but unconfigurable for a nerd like me, I keep ripping them out for something more geeky (Cisco Aironet FGS...) but I end up putting the Apple stuff back.

    Plus em into the router as you say.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Platypus View Post
      My question is about pubs, wifi, routers and stuff.

      Local pub wants to offer WiFi to customers but there have been problems when lots of punters connecting to WiFi the poor old BT Business Hub doesn't cope with the number of connections. They are in the process of upgrading to BT Infinity, but the new hub apparently won't handle many connections either.

      It occurred to me that if they had a wireless router in the bar area providing the WiFi, then connect that router to the BT Infinity router (using a LAN cable), then the "bar" router would (as routers do) 'concentrate' all the mobile phone connections into one connection to the BT hub.

      Does this make sense? I'm talking about the bar router not having a modem, not being connected to fibre or ADSL, but having a WAN connection to one of the LAN ports on the BT hub with all internet traffic from the bar area routed through there.

      Comments? Recommendations for a wireless router that would do this? I've looked on broadbandbuyer and they do have some wireless routers which don't have modems, so I assume that this is what they're designed for... provide a wireless access point and router capabilities.

      This might then be extended by adding further local routers (e.g. to cover the outside area, to cover the guest rooms) to provide WiFi to those areas, with each one of these satellite routers connected to the BT hub over the LAN.


      Um, how about grabbing an old broadband router and reconfiguring it?


      Last week I picked up 2 Home Hub 3s on ebay for £2.99. Configure them by switching off their DHCP and setting their IP addresses to 192.168.1.251 & 252, rename them, switch off their encryption (or set it to whatever password you want) and then run a network cable from one of the 4 output ports on them to one of the ports on the main router. Takes about 10 minutes to do.


      Hey presto, new wireless points. You can also daisy chain them, so they don't all need to be connected directly to the router.
      I'm perfect, in a very specific and limited way.
      Hands... out infractions
      Face... the music
      Space... between the ears

      Comment


        #4
        What's the limit on "number of connections" exactly? You've got the number of WiFi connections that might be supported, the number of IP addresses, and the number of NAT connections the router(s) will allow.

        As you describe it each of the satellite routers (they're routers and not access points) will allocate an IP range and will then NAT everything together down one wire to the main router which will then NAT it on to the internet. But that doesn't help you if the main router is limited in the number of simultaneous NAT sessions it can handle.
        Will work inside IR35. Or for food.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks, but Apple Airport Extreme is not a router.

          The BT hub thingy is an interesting idea, and I have a spare HH5 lying around, so I tried it. Switch off DHCP (not sure why this step is necessary if a different DHCP range is being used) and switch off the firewall. Plugged the WAN port of the HH5 into my network, but nada. Plugged one of its LAN ports into my network and it worked, but that of course means that the HH5 was just acting as a wireless access point, not a router.

          The idea of using a router rather than a wireless access point to do this is to minimise the number of connections to the BT hub.

          Make sense?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Platypus View Post
            Thanks, but Apple Airport Extreme is not a router.
            It is!

            The AirPort Extreme is a residential gateway product from Apple Inc. combining the functionality of a router, network switch, wireless access point and NAS as well as varied other functions

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Platypus View Post
              Thanks, but Apple Airport Extreme is not a router.

              The BT hub thingy is an interesting idea, and I have a spare HH5 lying around, so I tried it. Switch off DHCP (not sure why this step is necessary if a different DHCP range is being used) and switch off the firewall. Plugged the WAN port of the HH5 into my network, but nada. Plugged one of its LAN ports into my network and it worked, but that of course means that the HH5 was just acting as a wireless access point, not a router.

              The idea of using a router rather than a wireless access point to do this is to minimise the number of connections to the BT hub.

              Make sense?


              No, doesn't make sense to me, but that could just be me - I'm not a network specialist. If you are using a different range, then you should be able to leave DHCP on.


              How many wireless devices are we talking about? 10? 50? 100? 500?


              Are you sure your current issue isn't caused by the broadband speed and an old router - which model of hub is it?
              I'm perfect, in a very specific and limited way.
              Hands... out infractions
              Face... the music
              Space... between the ears

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by VectraMan View Post
                What's the limit on "number of connections" exactly? You've got the number of WiFi connections that might be supported, the number of IP addresses, and the number of NAT connections the router(s) will allow.

                As you describe it each of the satellite routers (they're routers and not access points) will allocate an IP range and will then NAT everything together down one wire to the main router which will then NAT it on to the internet. But that doesn't help you if the main router is limited in the number of simultaneous NAT sessions it can handle.
                Good question. I don't think it's the number of IP addresses since the DHCP pool is large (190 addresses in the pool). I suspect that there is a limit to the number of simultaneous Wi Fi sessions that the Hub can support (but I don't know what the limit is, although on older business hubs I seems to remember it was 50).

                As for "the number of NAT connections that the router will allow" well you got me there because that didn't even occur to me. Is there any way to know? Is it too much to hope that the second router would could as just one NAT session?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by WTFH View Post
                  No, doesn't make sense to me, but that could just be me - I'm not a network specialist. If you are using a different range, then you should be able to leave DHCP on.


                  How many wireless devices are we talking about? 10? 50? 100? 500?


                  Are you sure your current issue isn't caused by the broadband speed and an old router - which model of hub is it?
                  I thought that DHCP should be able to be left on, but I saw some guide on t'internet which talked about doing this, and it said to switch DHCP off. Maybe I could do another test.

                  Number of wireless devices? I should think that 150-200 would do it.

                  The issue at the pub could be slow BB and old router, but I tried to get this working as a test here at home using my Draytek Vigor 2820 router (reasonably new) as the primary router and a 2015 BT HH5 as the secondary "bar" router. I assumed that plugging the HH5's WAN port into one of the Vigor's LAN ports would get me the routing functionality I was looking for, but that just didn't work at all. The HH5 though there was no internet connection. Plugging one of the HH5's LAN ports in to the one of Vigor's LAN ports worked, but I assumed that was just giving me a wireless access point rather than the routing capability I'm seeking.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    P.S. Airport Extreme specs say that it supports 50 users.

                    Something like an Airport Extreme but with support for more users would be ideal, but not very many router specs seem to include a 'number of users' figure :-(

                    Comment

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