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Sluggy

Connecting two separate networks wirelessly

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Sluggy

Hi everybody, this is a long one!

 

I have a network in my house with a WHS2011 server which is working great. My next door neighbours (who just happen to be my inlaws, so I've gotta get this right!) would like to be able to access my server to backup their PCs and access my shared folders. We each have a satellite dish and modem (as we live 170km out of town), then into a router. In their house they have a laptop (wireless) and a PC (hardwired to their router). I'm planning on setting up an access point (an old wireless router configured as an access point) outside in my driveway (out of the weather) which has uninterrupted line of sight to their house about 50 metres away. From here I'm having a bit of trouble working out how to setup their house.

 

Their wireless laptop should be able to connect no problems (with no access point outside and my router deep inside my house they still get 2 bars out of 5) but I'd like my server to be able to be accessed via their own network so I can backup their PC and laptop. Basically their network (router/PC/laptop) needs to be a spur off my network, but each network retain access to their own satellite modem (indeed, not able to access the other modem at all).

 

Could I set up their router to recieve my access point signal and then share this connection throughout their network and still retain their own network config?

 

my server->my router->my access point--(wireless)-->their router->their PC

 

Would I be better setting up ANOTHER old wireless router as an access point at their house and connecting to their router?

 

my server->my router->my access point--(wireless)-->their access point->their router->their PC (I'm guessing this is a better bet as it doesn't interfere with the setup they already have)

 

Any comments and advice would be appreciated, and sorry for the rambling post. I'm guessing if I set up an access point at their house it will have to set up as a wireless bridge, right?

 

Thanks in advance, Chris

 

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schoondoggy

Several years ago I helped a small business connect two stores that were across the road from each other. We played with WiFi, Ubiquiti makes great point to point wireless devices, but in the end we made a wired connection using fiber. 100m fiber $100 and  two converters $50 each. The potentially expensive part is hanging or burying the cable in a weather proof casing. In the end we decided to keep it simple and put both stores on the same network with a single point for internet access.

In your situation, I would break it into two topics, connection and routing.

Connection:

A pair of Ubiquiti NanoStations should be able to handle the wireless bridge. There are many WiFi bridge solutions you could use. The more you spend the faster you go. Most cost effective bridges set up a 150Mb/s connection, but throughput will be a fraction of that. I would always consider the feasibility of a hardwired connection between the homes.

Routing:

Bridging or connecting two networks is not an easy task. I don't think standard home routers will do what you need to do. You may need to move up to a small business firewall or something like Pfsense or Smoothwall to get the routing capabilities you will need. Smarter switching and VLANs may be part of the solution as well. Routing is not my strength, hopefully others will jump in.

Here is a topic similar to yours;

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/28279-42-connect-seperate-networks-share-files-share-internet

If the only thing you want to share is server access, there may be a way to do that with no routing;

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/cd6b062f-f011-42c9-ba5d-4cc64e21a13e/two-lans-access-one-server-no-routing-needed-between-two-lans-?forum=winserverNIS

Here are some other resources;

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com

http://www.wirelessforums.org

Edited by schoondoggy

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schoondoggy

As I sit back and look at this, if the goal is to get them backed up, wouldn't it be best/cheapest to get them their own WHS2011 box?

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jmwills

Or use a VPN which would seem to be a easiest thing to do.

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schoondoggy

Or use a VPN which would seem to be a easiest thing to do.

Except it looks like they get their internet over satellite dish, if I am reading correctly.

Backing up over a dish connection may not be feasible.

 

 

but each network retain access to their own satellite modem (indeed, not able to access the other modem at all).

What is the speed of your connection?

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jmwills

My other question is "how close are the houses"?  Would it be possible to run cable between the two?  100 meters would be the limit without a repeater.

 

You could initially seed the data and backups on the wire or local and them let the incrementals run over a VPN.

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schoondoggy

It appears to be about 50 meters line of sight.

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jmwills

Time to run some wire !! ;)

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schoondoggy

Time to run some wire !! ;)

That is what I would do.

How would you handle the routing?

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Sluggy

Thanks for the replies. I'd prefer to run some wire, but there's a single lane road between the houses. Our satellite connection is not really feasible for backups or cloud 'stuff', but it beats dialup. The joys of living in the boonies!

 

I do understand that getting their own home server would be ideal, but they're not really into PCs or networks (at home at least; we're a RAAF radar site out in the centre of Australia) and as the family nerd/geek/cyberwarrior I thought this could be an easy way for them to access my DVD and CD collection, and I added the PC backup as an afterthought. My initial suggestion was for me to add the access point and them get one of those WDTV wireless media players, and that's the TV sorted (only 50 meters tops between houses) but once I added that their PCs could be backed up like mine they asked for that too (scope creep for the techs amongst us!). I might try and set up a trial tomorrow using these 2 old netgear routers configured as repeaters and see how that goes. Otherwise they're up for a couple of bridges, I guess.

 

Cheers, Chris

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