This article understands how to setup a home network with multiple access points. A list of common FAQs related to this setup are included at the end of the post.
The below diagram shows a home network with a wireless router and laptops connected to it.
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Connect the access points to the LAN interfaces of the router using ethernet cable.
The wireless router would typically have DHCP server enabled on it. The access points would have the capability to be configured either with static or dynamic IP address. It is recommended that the access points are configured with a static IP address as it would help in the manageability of the device.
For example, if you want to connect to the web interface of the access point, a pre-configured IP address would be required (Static) compared with a dynamic IP address.
Assuming that the network address of the home is 192.168.1.0/24, allocate two static IP addresses 192.168.1.10 and 192.168.1.11 for the access points respectively.
Connect to the web interfaces of the access points using the default IP address and change it to the above IP address. The access points, by default would have factory assigned IP address which can be seen in the appropriate documentation from the vendor. This has to be changed to the the above allocated IP address.
Once the IP addresses are configured, enable appropriate security protocol (WPA) for the access points.
Some access points have DHCP servers. As there is already a router on the network which is also the DHCP server for the network, disable the DHCP servers on the access points.
The above steps would help to setup a home network with multiple access points.
1. How do I connect the access points with out network cables
The access points should be configured as repeater mode in this case and connected directly to the wifi router using air as the medium.
2. Is it mandatory to disable DHCP server on the access point
Yes. Having multiple DHCP servers on the network can create issues and communication problems. It should be ensured that there is only one DHCP server on the network at a time.
3. Is it mandatory to configure static IP address for the access points
No. it is not. But this would be better for manageability, since you need to know the IP address of the access point for logging into it. It would be a tedious task to find the IP address of access point since DHCP assigned IP addresses can change at any time.
4. Should access points work with the same SSID of the wifi router
No. It is not required. They can use different SSID. If same SSID is used, you would not know to which wireless transmitted (router or access point) the wifi client connects to since all of them have the same SSID.
5. Should access points work on the same frequency range as wireless router
No. They can work on any frequency range. For example, the router can work on 2.4 GHz and the access points on 5 GHz.