Jul 15, 2011
The old configuration was a Linksys/Cisco WRT120N plugged into a NETGEAR ProSafe VPN Firewall FV336GV2. I will list the settings below, but the short of it is that the WiFi router was in charge of getting the wireless clients but the Firewall was the one that assigned IP addresses and all that. This setup worked out just fine except that the WiFi router was in the basement and clients could only connect to it while still in the basement. They wanted to be able to connect to the network wirelessly while on the third floor, but couldn't even see the basement router from there. We shipped out an identical router configured beforehand exactly the same way, save for its MAC address and local IP address (those having premonitions, during troubleshooting I try setting different radio channels as well). The client plugged an Ethernet cable from the wall to port #2, and a desktop to port #3.
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The desktop has internet access. Wirelessly, however, had issues The client only had a single laptop to test with, an XP SP3 machine. Unfortunately I couldn't pull specs from it as of this post, so I don't know if it connected by G or N. This laptop, which worked fine in the basement, wouldn't connect upstairs (it would sit trying to get an IP address forever) until I had him "forget" the basement network. At this point, he was able to connect to the upstairs router and access the internet. However, he could then no longer use the access point in the basement. I tried the same troubleshooting steps, like having him delete the wireless profiles from his network card and rebooting the router, but he couldn't even see the basement router while down there anymore.
Occasionally, it would show up for a moment, then disappear before he could connect to it. To make sure it was the basement router that was briefly appearing, I renamed the upstairs router to something else; this confirmed that indeed it was the basement router that was doing the "now you see me, now you don't" act. I then tried setting the basement router to Channel 1 while leaving the upstairs one at Channel 6. Still nothing, even though the laptop was about 25 feet away from the basement router and I had him wipe the wireless profile again. Rebooting the computer didn't solve the issue either. After this, I named the upstairs router back to the same as the downstairs one and had him go upstairs to test; he could connect to it right away.
I figure this is either a configuration issue on the laptop or routers (or firewall). Unfortunately, there weren't any other wireless clients to test with, and I'm not sure there will be when I continue troubleshooting on Monday. By the way, I looked for a "bridge mode" option on the WRT120N and couldn't find one; I'm told that the firmware doesn't support it. I don't feel comfortable putting on alternative firmware unless it's literally the only thing that will solve this. The configurations for the networking equipment are listed below.
NETGEAR ProSafe Firewall:
IP Address: 192.168.50.1
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
DHCP Server: Enabled
Starting IP address: 192.168.50.50