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My employer wants wifi on three sides of the building outside.

First question: Would I be able to chain 2-3 routers with one modem plug and an Ethernet splitter? As long as the signals don't overlap and I set IP ranges to avoid conflicts with requests?

Second question: what would your recommendation be to extend wifi to the outside area of my building? The parking lot is a large square. The building is a square in the middle of that big square, with thick concrete walls. I doubt my employers will be ok with a pole sticking out of the top of their business. I need wifi to be accessible on only 3 side of the lot, and it is OK if they're different networks. It would be cool to have them all be the same network, though. That way people could walk around the building without being disconnected. Suggestions?

  • Hi, Welcome to HW Recs! In general, our site is designed to give purchase recommendations for hardware rather than technical support. If you need a purchase recommendation for a long range outdoor router this is considered on-topic but you will need to specify your desired range, target price, etc. so we can find a setup that best suits your needs. – Bennett Yeo Jul 12 '19 at 2:54
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I can answer your first question:

Yes, it is possible to attach several routers to an ethernet switch (not a splitter) and have that switch also connected to an internet gateway.

If you set up all of the routers as "Access Points" (no DHCP, no NAT) then they can all share the same wifi SSID and allow clients to hop between them while keeping their IP addresses. This still requires one DHCP server running somewhere on the network, which is probably the main router serving as your internet gateway already.

If you set up all of the routers normally (WAN -> Switch -> Gateway) then each SSID/router will be its own network and you do not even need to set their IP ranges to be different. A device that has all 3 SSIDs remembered will automatically connect to the SSID that it prefers and this might be a simple and "good enough" solution.

Make sure each router/AP is set to a unique channel (not auto) and ensure that those channels are spread out as much as possible to ensure good performance. (i.e. 1, 6, 11)

For your second question:

I suppose that you may really need to look for "Access Points" rather than routers. You can definitely find access points intended for outdoor installation that will have much higher signal power than a normal home/business router.

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  • Thank you, your answer is helpful. – user12949 Jul 8 '19 at 18:20

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