Networking 2 homes

Sotiri

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My Sister and her family will be moving in across the street and 2 houses down.
I'm estimating the distance between routers will be approx. 250'.
I have an ASUS RT-N66U and the signal is pretty weak when I stand in their lot.
So what are my options for networking our 2 homes together?
Are there outdoor antennas that can boost the signal and vice versa? With outdoor antennas on the corner of our homes it will be roughly 150'.
My router has a dual-WAN function. If I can get a good signal could I see a big improvement in broadband speed? We have AT&T U-Verse in my neighborhood at 65Mbs.
Or, is this all just useless and I should be looking at VPN?
 

/usr/home

Supreme [H]ardness
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2 Ubiquiti Locos. This is assuming you have a clear Line-of-Sight between houses.
 

Track Drew

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Directional wireless antennas bridging the two locations would be ideal. Something like a Ubiquiti Nanostation/Loco on each end.

What are your actual goals for networking the two together? Only needing to pay for one internet connection? Sharing files/media? You mention the dual-WAN - Do you want to pay for an internet connection at both locations and utilize both at your house? You won't be able to utilize all the bandwidth for a single connection (like speedtest.net), but depending on your router model/config it could be shared among the clients, it also could just be for a fail over mode.

Not sure how a VPN plays into this unless you're trying to share content...
 

wizdum

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If you plan to share residential internet access you should know that this is almost certainly against your ISP's TOS agreement.
 

Lost-Benji

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2 Ubiquiti Locos. This is assuming you have a clear Line-of-Sight between houses.
+1
Directional wireless antennas bridging the two locations would be ideal. Something like a Ubiquiti Nanostation/Loco on each end.
Only Loco's needed, the Nano's are for much longer hauls.

If you plan to share residential internet access you should know that this is almost certainly against your ISP's TOS agreement.
No, if the OP wants to share his connection and network, that's his/her business.

The second house doesn't need a connection, smart thinking if you ask me.
 

aaronearles

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No, if the OP wants to share his connection and network, that's his/her business.

I certainly wouldn't worry about it in the OP's case, but it almost definitely IS against the ISP's TOS. For instance, my provider is Wide Open West, from their TOS:

"E. Customer shall not resell or otherwise offer or make the Service available to other users, locations or tenants, and shall not charge others to use the Service, in whole or in part, directly or
indirectly, or on a bundled or unbundled basis. Customers are specifically prohibited from
permitting other users and/or locations to access the WOW! Internet service, whether through
wireless or other means. Except as specifically otherwise provided in a separate written
agreement (e.g., in the WOW! Business Customer Agreement) between Customer and WOW!,
the Service is to be used solely in a private residence; living quarters in a hotel, hospital, dorm,
sorority or fraternity house, or boarding house; or the residential portion of a premises which is
used for both business and residential purposes. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
and except as otherwise specifically provided in a written agreement between Customer and
WOW!, the Service is for personal and non-commercial use only and Customer agrees not to use
the Service for operation as an Internet service provider, a server site for ftp, telnet, rlogin, e-mail
hosting, "web hosting" or other similar applications, for any business enterprise, or as an end-
point on a local area network or wide area network."

 

Sotiri

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What are your actual goals for networking the two together? Only needing to pay for one internet connection? Sharing files/media? You mention the dual-WAN - Do you want to pay for an internet connection at both locations and utilize both at your house? You won't be able to utilize all the bandwidth for a single connection (like speedtest.net), but depending on your router model/config it could be shared among the clients, it also could just be for a fail over mode.

I run a Windows Home Server that I share with my family to preserve all our media and it's a real pain uploading/downloading remotely. Obviously, having them on my network will make things much easier.
We will each have our own internet service so I was wondering if I could use the dual-wan feature to increase speed on either end. My options are Fail Over and Load Balance. I think Load Balance might be what I'm looking for.

Not sure how a VPN plays into this unless you're trying to share content...

Just something we played around with before to make sharing our content more seamless but it was a real pain too.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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I run a Windows Home Server that I share with my family to preserve all our media and it's a real pain uploading/downloading remotely. Obviously, having them on my network will make things much easier.
We will each have our own internet service so I was wondering if I could use the dual-wan feature to increase speed on either end. My options are Fail Over and Load Balance. I think Load Balance might be what I'm looking for.

Neither will work properly, I'm thinking. With failover connections to hosts not on your local subnet will always go out the primary WAN connection (probably your ISP connection), even those to the subnet of the other house. With load balance, half of your connections will end up going over the link to the other house regardless of whether that's the final destination, and again there;s no provision to make sure connections destined for the other house actually go the proper path.

Your best bet is probably going to be to set up each site with a "real" router. This may be as simple as installing OpenWRT/DD-WRT on the existing routers and setting up proper routes on each to direct traffic between the two homes over the direct wireless connection (haven't looked into/tried this myself with these releases). Alternately, you may need to pick up something like a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter or MicroTik RouterBoard for each site. Those definitely can do the proper routing between the two homes' subnets, while also properly forwarding over the local internet connection as needed.
 

dandragonrage

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If you plan to share residential internet access you should know that this is almost certainly against your ISP's TOS agreement.

I doubt anyone would feel bad about it. They sell me "unlimited" internet only to redefine what "unlimited" means in the small print (why is it legal to redefine words in contracts?). They sell me "50Mbps" internet and then slow down Netflix to the point that I can't watch HD Netflix at all. Why should we care what they have to say? Just don't make it obvious.
 

wizdum

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I doubt anyone would feel bad about it. They sell me "unlimited" internet only to redefine what "unlimited" means in the small print (why is it legal to redefine words in contracts?). They sell me "50Mbps" internet and then slow down Netflix to the point that I can't watch HD Netflix at all. Why should we care what they have to say? Just don't make it obvious.

I know what you mean. I pay property taxes and the government wont allow me to build a nuclear power plant in my back yard. They tell you one thing, then put all kinds of ridiculous restrictions on it.
 

Sotiri

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An update to my OP.
My sister and her family moved in Friday and I seem to have the network issues figured out.
I tried using an ASUS EA-N66 in Bridge Mode but the signal is too weak. When I ping my Home Server I only get 25-50% success.
As a last resort I'm looking at a couple Ubiquiti NanoStation loco M2's but I'd like to avoid drilling holes in our houses. Are there any range extenders for indoors that can reach 250 feet?

Here's how I setup the network. It seems to work but I won't be sure until I get a good signal.
My router is configured as 192.168.2.1
My Sister's router is configured as 192.168.2.254
I thought of disabling the DHCP server on one of the routers but I'm not sure how that will affect the wireless clients. Instead I made the range on my router 192.168.2.2 thru 127, and my sisters 192.168.2.128 thru 253.
I also had to manually config the gateway address on each PC so that my clients go through my router on 192.168.2.1 and my sister's clients use here router at 192.168.2.254.
Perhaps someday I'll look in to some more exotic options to aggregate our broadband connections through a RADIUS server or something, but for now I'll be happy just getting the LAN going.
 

Raekwon

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Why are you manually configuring PCs when you are using DHCP? Wouldn't your PCs grab an address and gateway from your router and be good? Am I missing something?

I would just go with the Ubiquiti solution but that's because it sounds fun to play with.
 

vr.

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No need to drill into your houses. Just use whatever outdoor panel antenna is cost effective for you and set them in a window at both locations.
 

stormy1

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If neither house has aluminum siding and a clear line of site it will reach inside to inside with enough power and if the spectrum isn't totally overloaded.
I have done longer distances using cantennas inside to inside.
Without blocking dhcp between the networks one of the dhcp servers will shut off and only one will be providing addresses so doing it as you outlined will not work without more configuration.
 
D

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LOL, op was told what to use, went his own way, came back saying it didn't work.

All routing and DHCP can be done at one end, use a pair of M5's and point them at each other, even with that short of a distance, if you are off should still be fine. Use M2's if there are trees in the way. http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-US-FCC-NSLOCOM5-NanoStation-loco/dp/B004EHSV4W/ A pair of those configured are basically a cordless lan cable. Use these all over. A+. Drop a switch at the other end, add a wap and BOOM.
 

wizdum

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LOL, op was told what to use, went his own way, came back saying it didn't work.

All routing and DHCP can be done at one end, use a pair of M5's and point them at each other, even with that short of a distance, if you are off should still be fine. Use M2's if there are trees in the way. http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-US-FCC-NSLOCOM5-NanoStation-loco/dp/B004EHSV4W/ A pair of those configured are basically a cordless lan cable. Use these all over. A+. Drop a switch at the other end, add a wap and BOOM.

This solution is way to simple and professional. We need a typical home setup here with duct tape and aluminum foil.

For some reason people don't want to use the cheap and simple device that was designed to do exactly what they're asking, they want to shoehorn in some device that was designed to do everything except what they actually need it to do.
 

dandragonrage

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Why are you manually configuring PCs when you are using DHCP? Wouldn't your PCs grab an address and gateway from your router and be good? Am I missing something?

Looks like he set the DHCP range just fine, so... you seem to have no idea what you're talking about on this one. DHCP and static IPs are VERY commonly combined and it is perfectly okay to do so as long as the ranges used don't overlap.
 
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Sotiri

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Why are you manually configuring PCs when you are using DHCP? Wouldn't your PCs grab an address and gateway from your router and be good? Am I missing something?

From my sister's PC, when I first hooked it up, it got assigned to my router. I can only assume my ASUS RT-N66U was quicker to respond than her AT&T router. So I manually entered the gateway address to make sure her PC only uses her gateway.

I would just go with the Ubiquiti solution but that's because it sounds fun to play with.

Yeah, I'm going to try that next but I thought I'd give the EA-N66 a chance to see what it can do.
 

Liger88

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Looks like he set the DHCP range just fine, so... you seem to have no idea what you're talking about on this one.


He has a point. Two routers working in tandem running DHCP in their respective scopes shouldn't require a gateway to be configured per PC. That would be picked up along with the other information in the DHCP negotiation.

Disabling DHCP on one of the devices and letting the other do all the work and functions of a router wont affect the Wireless clients. The Wi-Fi on every routing device is actually bridged with one of the ports so it's seen as nothing more than an extension.
 

dandragonrage

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He has a point. Two routers working in tandem running DHCP in their respective scopes shouldn't require a gateway. That would be picked up along with the other information in the DHCP negotiation.

Disabling DHCP on one of the devices and letting the other do all the work and functions of a router wont affect the Wireless clients. The Wi-Fi on every routing device is actually bridged with one of the ports so it's seen as nothing more than an extension.

What he said was that it was wrong to use static IPs and DHCP together. And he is incorrect about that.
 

Liger88

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What he said was that it was wrong to use static IPs and DHCP together. And he is incorrect about that.


Oh that flew right over my head lol. Yeah so long as they're outside the DHCP scope indeed you're correct. Looked much different at first glance.
 

Sotiri

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No need to drill into your houses. Just use whatever outdoor panel antenna is cost effective for you and set them in a window at both locations.

Thanks, I thought that too. I would still need to run network cables to the front of our homes though. I might try setting it up with another EA-N66 to see if I can get away without having to run cables. I always wanted another one for my son's bedroom if it doesn't work.
 

Sotiri

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If neither house has aluminum siding and a clear line of site it will reach inside to inside with enough power and if the spectrum isn't totally overloaded.
I have done longer distances using cantennas inside to inside.

Thanks, that's encouraging. I'd rather not run anything outside.


Without blocking dhcp between the networks one of the dhcp servers will shut off and only one will be providing addresses so doing it as you outlined will not work without more configuration.

I found that if I left the PC to obtain an IP address automatically it didn't get assigned to the right gateway. We each have our own internet gateways and I'd like each home to use their respective router. Manually assigning an IP address and gateway on her PC seemed to do the trick. Is there something else I need to do?
 
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Sotiri

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LOL, op was told what to use, went his own way, came back saying it didn't work.

Not true. I don't have a problem buying a couple antennas but I thought I'd give it a try with hardware I already had. I was at least able to confirm I could successfully create the network I wanted.

All routing and DHCP can be done at one end, use a pair of M5's and point them at each other, even with that short of a distance, if you are off should still be fine. Use M2's if there are trees in the way. http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-US-FCC-NSLOCOM5-NanoStation-loco/dp/B004EHSV4W/ A pair of those configured are basically a cordless lan cable. Use these all over. A+. Drop a switch at the other end, add a wap and BOOM.

I don't want her internet traffic routed through my gateway. She has her own internet access and I'd like to keep it that way. I believe what you are proposing would work if we were trying to share internet access.
 

Sotiri

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This solution is way to simple and professional. We need a typical home setup here with duct tape and aluminum foil.

For some reason people don't want to use the cheap and simple device that was designed to do exactly what they're asking, they want to shoehorn in some device that was designed to do everything except what they actually need it to do.

Wow, that's a lot of conjecture there, you're even worse than the last guy.
Congratulations, you're a winner!
 

Sotiri

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He has a point. Two routers working in tandem running DHCP in their respective scopes shouldn't require a gateway to be configured per PC. That would be picked up along with the other information in the DHCP negotiation.

Please see my earlier post where it seemed her PC was trying to go through my gateway.
If my DHCP server (192.168.2.1) assigns the IP address to her PC, it seems to also assign my router as her gateway. How do I get her PC to go through her own gateway at 192.168.2.254?

Disabling DHCP on one of the devices and letting the other do all the work and functions of a router wont affect the Wireless clients. The Wi-Fi on every routing device is actually bridged with one of the ports so it's seen as nothing more than an extension.

Good to know, thanks!
 

Sotiri

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Oh that flew right over my head lol. Yeah so long as they're outside the DHCP scope indeed you're correct. Looked much different at first glance.

I have static IP's on PC's connected to routers with DHCP servers on the same subnet.
Are you guys saying that's a bad idea?
Everything seems to be working OK, but obviously I'm in way over my head here.
 

dandragonrage

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I have static IP's on PC's connected to routers with DHCP servers on the same subnet.
Are you guys saying that's a bad idea?
Everything seems to be working OK, but obviously I'm in way over my head here.

No, it's not a bad idea in general unless you do it incorrectly. It's fine to set your DHCP range as 128-253 and use 1-127 and 254 static. You just don't want to assign .128 as a static IP if it's included in your DHCP range.

Since you don't want to share one internet connection, though, I think everything discussed in this thread is essentially wrong. You should probably just configure static routes on your routers and use separate subnets and put the static route on each router for the other subnet. Unfortunately your routers probably don't have an option to enable DHCP only for certain ports, though, which makes doing this the right way difficult. You may need to step up at least one of those routers to something more professional, or otherwise you may need one of your networks to use static IPs (but still a different subnet)... or a PC used as a router (could be an old or low-end - even Intel Atom) would be able to do this flexibly.

All the information in this thread otherwise seems geared towards you two sharing an internet connection (which is what I initially thought the request was as well).
 

Sotiri

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Thank you! That's very helpful.
My RT-N66U seems to have Static Route capabilities. I guess I need to read up on that.
I've been itching to get the newer AC version, this may be my excuse and then give my current N66 to my sister.
 

dandragonrage

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Thank you! That's very helpful.
My RT-N66U seems to have Static Route capabilities. I guess I need to read up on that.
I've been itching to get the newer AC version, this may be my excuse and then give my current N66 to my sister.

Look into a router/firewall (professional "firewalls" can typically be used to do the functions consumer "routers" do) for yourself that has 3 interfaces and not just 2 (with one of them being switched). That way you can put your internet connection on one interface, your local network on another (which can go to a switch), and the connection to your sister's house on another. You can then set up your internet connection and create a static route for your sister's network while also setting a firewall rule to block DHCP (both directions) between your sister's network and yours. Then on the Asus router you give to your sister you would need to also set up the static route to go back to your own network but you would not need a firewall rule to block DHCP because your own unit will be doing that.

The reason you want at least one router/firewall with 3 interfaces (again, the switched interface on your consumer routers don't count because you can't control those ports separately) is because you need to be able to firewall off certain things like DHCP.

You could also use 2 consumer routers and a separate firewall between them to block DHCP.

There are two downsides to doing this over using 2 consumer routers: (1) You'll need to pay probably more like $200-350 for an enterprise grade firewall - a standard one is the Cisco ASA5505 but you can find units from Juniper or other companies that may be available for cheaper. And (2) the enterprise stuff will be harder to set up.

This would also be easy using a PC that has 3 NICs. You could use something like pfSense and just use that as your own router/firewall. It will actually be better than any Asus consumer router as far as features and flexibility and versatility go (though you will still need a wireless access point or use a consumer router as just an AP). Downsides of using a PC are that they are typically larger (though you can get some pretty small PCs these days) and they draw more power (but with careful hardware selection you can still get a pretty low-power machine).

Personally I would use pfSense. pfSense is also reasonably easy to set up, especially compared to Cisco or Ubiquiti etc.



You can try to set gateways manually and use static routing with that, I guess. I wouldn't personally like this because any new device you put on the networks - say your sister's friend goes over her house and wants to connect their phone - the behavior will be unpredictable.
 
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stormy1

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Thanks, that's encouraging. I'd rather not run anything outside.




I found that if I left the PC to obtain an IP address aromatically it didn't get assigned to the right gateway. We each have our own internet gateways and I'd like each home to use their respective router. Manually assigning an IP address and gateway on her PC seemed to do the trick. Is there something else I need to do?
Setting up static ips will do the trick but a bit of a pain particularly if using phones etc.
blocking dhcp from going over the bridge and using dhcp on each end and routing is better but more involved.

The advantage of running it outside is you could use 5ghz with less interference as 5ghz is usually less congested than 2.4.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

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This solution is way to simple and professional. We need a typical home setup here with duct tape and aluminum foil.

For some reason people don't want to use the cheap and simple device that was designed to do exactly what they're asking, they want to shoehorn in some device that was designed to do everything except what they actually need it to do.

Of course, don't forget the use of questionable gear:eek:
 

Sotiri

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Look into a router/firewall...

Wow, awesome post! Thank you very much.
You've certainly given me a lot to consider. I like the idea of using a professional router but I fear my networking skills may not be up to the task. Maybe pfSense would be better for me. I do have a lot of old PC parts laying around. Thanks again.
 

Sotiri

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Setting up static ips will do the trick but a bit of a pain particularly if using phones etc.

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.

blocking dhcp from going over the bridge and using dhcp on each end and routing is better but more involved.

I can see that now. What have I gotten myself into?

The advantage of running it outside is you could use 5ghz with less interference as 5ghz is usually less congested than 2.4.

There's a tree between us so I'm hoping the LocoM2 (2.4GHz) can punch through it. It's all single family homes around me so I don't think it's too congested. I'm hoping 2.4GHz won't be a problem.
 
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