Last month, I extended my wi-fi network with a second router. My primary (main) router is a TL-WR1043ND and my secondary (auxilary) router is a TL-WR841ND. In fact, this network is not a WDS bridge, because it is not wireless, but wired. It means that these routers connected with UTP cable (LAN-LAN connection). This solution is more difficult, but more stable. Fortunately, it works properly, but I must make some changes, because I obtained a NAS server but my main router (1043ND) does not have any free ports now. So I must remove the auxilary router to make a free port.
But I realized that there is a free port on my modem provided by my internet provider. Can I connect my auxilary router (841ND) to this modem? Can this modem work as a bridge? Can these routers (1043ND and 841ND) communicate through a modem to establish a common and extended wi-fi network?
To make my situation more understandable, I created a network map:
Thank you in advance for your assistance!
If the routers were connected to on the LAN ports, and they are inside the same collision domain, and both APs have the same SSID/Credentials.. It would be like direct-backhauling between devices.
This would only apply if the ISP modem was acting as a Router, and not a Bridge, but if it is, just Static IP and Relay the APs. No?
Is there any control over the configuration of this fiber modem? Typically they give you one port for your router and the rest are a private VLAN for their TV boxes.
Correct, but ISPs and these ONTs won't give you this functionality (unless you use the ISP's CPE as router, with the OpenWrt devices being merely APs).
How much does a simple unmanaged 4 port switch cost where you live?
It does not matter which port I use for my modem / for their IPTV STBs. Theoretically, their modem manage 2 carefully separated networks. The first network can be used as internet access, and the second network is their private encrypted network for their boxes. It means that each port can manage both networks.
This would work, too.. Connect the 2 OpenWrt boxes LAN-port to the Switch on ports 1 and 2, and connect Port 3 or 4 to the upstream ISPs router LAN port. Set the OpenWrt boxes to use the ISP's box for DHCP/DNS and simply act as WAPs. Use the same BSSID/SSID/PSK on both boxes and different channels. New-ish wireless devices should hop from one to the other, depending on the signal strength.
On the 2.4ghz radio, you can cover all 3 primary channels (1/6/11) with all three WAPs without overlap (assuming you still use the ISP's WAP, and why not?)
If your auxiliary router currently has a free Lan port connect your NAS to that.
Otherwise your best option would be a 4 or 8 port switch which has already been suggested