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I'm a PC repair tech and this is a problem I've recently been trying to troubleshoot for a customer. Upstairs they have the main router which servers as the gateway and router, both hardwired and wireless. They have a dlink ethernet over power device (not sure if that's the proper term) which connects to the router/gateway upstairs which they then wanted to connect another router downstairs which they wanted to setup as a wireless repeater. Ideally the downstairs router should just be a repeater, but ignore that for now, if I can get the current situation working or understand why it doesn't then I can do that.

Ok, so the downstairs router connects to the upstairs router fine via dhcp. I would think disabling the dhcp server on the downstairs router would send the requests to the upstairs router since they're in the same subnet, but that doesn't seem to work. If I set the ips on the computers manually then they connect fine. So turning on the dhcp server the computer get addresses, they can speak to both routers, they can resolve dns queries, yet they cannot get the internet, basically they cannot get outside the upstairs router, and I'm confused as to why. Since they're getting their address information from the downstairs router the downstairs router is set as the gateway on these computers. If you change the gateway manually to that of the upstairs router then things work fine, however why would this be? What exactly is the hangup here? I get the same exact issues if setting the downstairs router to a different subnet which would rule out any possible ip conflicts, however I did verify that there were no conflicts anyhow, but checked that for good measure. I'm basically at a loss at this point. It's a fairly minimalistic router so there's not much to change, but there really shouldn't be. Am I looking at some kind of bug in the router or is there something I'm doing wrong here?

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closed as off-topic by joeqwerty, Grant, Ward, Falcon Momot, Dave M Nov 11 '13 at 1:05

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1 Answer 1

In short, it's because the downstairs router isn't acting as a router, it's acting as a switch. Without getting into the details of why what you have now doesn't work and how you should go about configuring things correctly, do yourself a favor and purchase a wireless repeater/range extender for downstairs and save yourself a lot of grief.

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For home use I particularly like the Asus routers - they have a simple switch or software setting to flip between router, AP, and repeater mode. And are easier to get at a local big box store than a dedicated repeater. –  Grant Nov 8 '13 at 19:57
    
I know it's acting as a switch, a switch should work perfectly fine. Or are you trying to say that I'm setting it up as a switch and it's NOT working as a switch, hence it's not working? –  kryptobs2000 Nov 8 '13 at 20:04
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It is acting as a switch but you have the clients configured to use it as a router (their Default Gateway). The Default Gateway for ALL clients is the upstairs router. –  joeqwerty Nov 8 '13 at 20:27

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