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How To Improve Wireless Performance

Everyone knows that for best wireless performance with a digital media receiver, especially when streaming HD video, one has to use an wireless "n" router.  What people usually don't know is that a wireless router needs to meet requests from all clients (including the legacy b, g, and a devices) so any client with a legacy receiver (say a printer with wireless "g", or a laptop with wireless "b") can in effect slow down or downgrade your overall performance.

The easiest solution is of course to buy an "n" router with DUAL and simultaneously working radios (one at 2.4 GHZ and one at 5 GHz).  You use two separate SSIDs and you can use one (the 5 GHz) in dedicated "n" mode and the other (2.4 GHz) in legacy "b/g/" mode.

However, even if you have an "n" router with a single radio (or two radios but only one can be up - like the Apple Airport), there is a way to improve performance by still using your OLD wireless router.  In other words - don't throw away your router. 

The following picture shows the basic setup:

You use your "n" router as the primary router for all "n" devices, including your MediaSmart Connect or MediaSmart TV. This is the primary DHCP server for the whole network, and use it in its best performance mode (dedicated "n" at 5 GHz if available).

You connect your old router to one of the LAN ports of your wireless "n" router, and you configure it in "bridge" mode.  Bridge mode means that there is no DHCP server running on this router (all IP's will be provided by the "n" router" and connects to the Internet via your "n" router).

Some routers have an explicit bridge mode, some others you may need to ask tech support of your router company for some help.  You use the old router for legacy b/g devices like printers and old laptops.

Make sure that every router has a different SSID (say home-n and home-g), but they can certainly share a common security password.

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-3 of 3 | Latest Comment

December 6, 2008 8:16 PM

Good suggestion. Here is what need to be done on most WiFi router tu turn them into an access point (WAP). This applies to both Linksys and D-Link and probably most other routers.

1) turn off DHCP server. Two DHCP servers on the same network cause conflicts.
2) turn off UPnP functionality. Two UPnP routers on the same network cause conflicts.
3) Connect one LAN port of the WAP-configured router into one LAN port of the main router. The WAN port on the WAP-configured router is not used.
4) All optiosn such as VPN tunelling, port forwarding, etc. can be left alone but they won't matter since they have no effect if the WAN port is not used.

Good luck.

View unverified member's comment - posted by MikeM

July 18, 2009 1:20 PM

This is great.  I have been looking to improve my wireless connection in order to stream high def video to my Mediasmart Connect x280n.  I am currently using a Linksys WRT160N router.  I have a Linksys WRT54GS router which I do not use anymore but could use it for this purpose.  The problem is I am a noob to this and I'm totally lost as to how to add the WRT54GS to my current setup which includes the main computer in my bedroom, a 2nd computer in my daughter's room, the Mediasmart Connect x280n in the living room, and Wii in the living room.  All of these items are currently on the same network and are connected wirelessly.  I want to be able to dedicate the the WRT160N for the Mediasmart Connect, add the 2nd router and run everything else off of the WRT54GS.  Will this allow better performance when viewing 1080 videos?  Is anyone willing to provide step by step instructions on how to add the 2nd router (WRT54GS)? 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-3 of 3 | Latest Comment

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