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Online EV607797

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Bridging routers together?
« on: August 16, 2016, 08:57:02 PM »
I've been approached with a situation that leaves me searching for a solution.  The residential customer has Verizon FiOS service (the new version) that no longer uses existing COAX to feed their router.  They now feed it with Ethernet directly from the ONT, which really messed up my proposed solution.  To further complicate things, Verizon refused to install their router anywhere other than the MPOE in the basement.

The customer has a home office upstairs that requires a desktop PC and a wired IP phone.  In a perfect world, I'd put Verizon's router right there and use the COAX outlet in that room to feed it.  According to the Verizon technician who installed everything, we can't do this since they only run video over COAX in order to conserve bandwidth.  The only solution is to run a network cable down to their router in the finished basement.  Doing this is feasible, however, the customer doesn't want us drilling or fishing any cables since it is a rental.

What I'm hoping to do is to connect all of their office devices to another (non-Verizon) router and have it communicate wirelessly with the Verizon router via WiFi.  I left it set up this way, with all devices plugged into their router's LAN ports.  The customer says that he knows how to configure his router to communicate with Verizon's router wirelessly, providing me with several wired ports to use.  I'm not confident that he knows what he's doing, but I'm leaving it at that for now.

Can this be done?  I've often heard of routers being set up in the bridge mode, where it 'bridges' wirelessly to the other router and then the Ethernet wired ports can be used as if a copper cable existed between them.  Is that what bridge mode means?  Am I hallucinating?  Is this something that can be done by a telephone man in the event that I'm summoned to make this happen?
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Bridging routers together?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 09:09:47 PM »
Good to see you, Ed. 

The short answer is, "Yes, it can be done."

Just to clean up a little terminology though, what you're wanting, if I'm understanding you correctly, is a wireless bridge.  This is different than putting a router in "Bridge Mode" as you mentioned earlier.  When you put a router in bridge mode, you can think of it as just being another piece of the network cable.  It just passes along whatever it gets to a router or firewall that you placed on the inside.  With that said, putting the router (even the Verizon router) in bridge mode may be part of the equation for setting up your wireless bridge, but that's another discussion.

I just found this page which might explain things a little better:

http://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=132921

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Online hbiss

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Re: Bridging routers together?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 10:00:51 PM »
Looks like that Lynksys link has the information you need. I would suggest though that you ditch the Verizon supplied router/wifi and follow those Linksys instructions with one of their routers on each end.

By the way, Verizon has been using the ethernet port on their ONTs here since day one. For any kind of network beyond a simple residential WIFI setup we always throw away the piece of junk they provide and supply our own. I have never been able to get into the configuration to change even the SSID or password.

-Hal
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Offline NFCphoneman

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Re: Bridging routers together?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 03:55:49 PM »
If it were me... I would get two Ubiquiti Nanostation M5 units and program them as a P2P bridge. Configure it at your office and test. Then take to the customer site, plug one in at the Verizon router and the other end upstairs (feeding a switch). Cheap, and you'll know it works.

Online EV607797

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Re: Bridging routers together?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 08:43:09 PM »
Well, I thought I'd follow up to let you all know what happened.  We had to go back and run the cable anyway because they also needed their POTS lines up there that they had forgotten about.  If running one cable, why not run two, right?

The husband was at work (the one who insisted upon no holes) today, but the wife called and begged us to come out and do the work anyway.  I knew that we could fish everything in with zero exposed wire, but this guy wasn't having it.  Anyway, we got it done, no exposed wire, no holes, no blank plates, nothing.  Thank goodness for vinyl siding...

She was elated.  A triplex face plate with her two POTS lines and a network jack connected to the Verizon router.  Exactly what we should have been able to do yesterday.

As we were going to leave, I noticed that the IP phone was working.  Apparently, he went out to Best Buy last night and purchased another Linksys router (not an access point), got it programmed and had Internet working on the desktop PC and the IP phone.  The existing Verizon router was still in place in the basement, so I'm sure he didn't use two APs as outlined in the link that Trace provided.  I don't know what he did, but I verified that it worked by making a phone call.

Although we ran a second cable for network use, we didn't end up using it for now.  Two POTS lines and we were out of there.  Thanks for the information in case I need it next time.
Ed Vaughn

(910) 833-6000 (V)   (540) 623-7100 (C)
EMVaughn3@Outlook.com

Online MacGyver

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Re: Bridging routers together?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 10:17:38 PM »
Glad to hear it worked out, Ed.  Given the choice, I would have rather had it hard cabled anyway.  :054:
-I'm only here because my flux capacitor is broken.