Guide: Expanding Your Wireless Network With a D-Link Access Point

by Damian on July 2, 2010 · 26 comments

in Guides

For some time now I have had on my to do list looking at how to expand the wireless network in my house. My wireless router (Linksys WRT610N) is located in a corner of the basement of my house where my cable modem is. On the first floor of my house I can get the wireless signal, although it gets weaker as I move across towards the opposite end of the house from where the router is located. Once I go to the second floor the signal is either very weak or cannot be accessed at all. About a week ago NewEgg had a great deal on the D-Link DAP-1522 Xtreme N Duo Wireless Bridge/Access Point (for $65) so I decided to purchase to finally cross one item off my to do list. As seems to be the case with many tech products, the provided instructions were about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop (great movie). After doing some digging on the DLink forums and the web (and not being too savvy when it comes to networking) I was able to get everything up and running.

Specs:

The D-Link DAP 1522 has wireless N streaming in either Bridge or Access Point mode. In bridge mode it lets you connect up to 4 Ethernet-enabled devices such as set top boxes, game consoles, or computers to an existing Wi-Fi network for on-demand broadcast, online gaming, or media streaming throughout the home.  In Access Point mode you can either add a wireless N network to your existing wired network or expand your current wireless network. The DAP 1522 can run on either the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz band (not simultaneously). The 4 ports in the back are Gigabit.

Setup:

Since I am just looking to expand my current wireless network I will be using the DAP 1522 in Access Point mode. I will have it connected to a wired switch in my office to help expand the wireless signal to the top floor of my house.

1. Using a networking cable (Cat5 or Cat6) connect the DAP-1522 directly to your PC (I am using Windows 7). Since I want to use the Access Point mode on the back of the DAP-1522 set it to “AP”

2. From the Start Menu go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center.

3. Click on “Change adapter settings” on the toolbar on the left hand side. This should show all network adapters available. In my case I have two network adapters, the one without the red “x” through is the one to use.

4. Right click on the network adapter and select “Properties”. You should now see the Local Area Connection Properties for the network adapter. Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the “Properties” button.

5. You should now be in the properties for TCP/IPv4. By default “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically” should be selected. To allow the DAP 1522 to be recognized by your PC you need to select “Use the following IP address” and enter the following values:

IP address: 192.168.0.99
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.0.50

6. Now open up your web browser and go to http://192.168.0.50 or http://dlinkap. The D-Link web admin page should now show up. By default the User Name is “admin” and the password is left null. Click the “Login” button to proceed.

7. Once logged in the default screen should be the “Setup” screen. Select the “Launch Wireless Setup Wizard” button.

8. Choose a device name to be used for your DAP-1522

9. If you want to change the login password, do so here.

10. Next you will have the option to automatically set up the DAP-1522 (this would be used if you have another wireless router in your house that you want the DAP-1522 to connect to, and it supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup) or set up manually. Since I am looking to set up my DAP-1522 connected to a wired switch I chose “Manual”

11. Next step is  to set up the Network Name (SSID) you want to use, which band (2.4GHz or 5GHz), choose a channel, decide whether you want a network key automatically or manually assigned, and decide whether to use WPA or WEP encryption. If you have several wireless Access Points that you want your wireless devices to move back and forth between an easy way to do so is to make sure the settings (i.e. SSID, etc…) are universal with each Access Point.

12. You should now see the details of the DAP-1522 setup. Either write down or print this information as it will be needed to connect wireless devices to the DAP-1522. Click “Save” to finish the process. You can always  go back into the D-Link web admin page to change any settings.

13. Once done with the D-Link setup you can disconnect the DAP-1522 from your PC and place it the area of choice ( I connected it via cat6 to my network switch in my office). Make sure you go back into your PC adapter setting and change the TCP/IPv4 settings back to their original settings (in my case both Obtain IP address and Obtain DNS server should be set to automatic)

As the final test, try connecting a wireless device to the new wireless network created by the DAP-1522. If everything went well your wireless device should see the SSID and be able to connect once the network key is input.

Final Thoughts:

I have had the DAP-1522 up and running for several weeks now without a hitch. I mostly use it to connect my iPod Touch to the internet/network and to date I have had zero drop outs and have been able to successfully stream video content from my Windows Home Server via AirVideo. The one potential drawback of the DAP-1522 is that there is no antenna(s) which may limit the wireless range. I like the option to turn the DAP-1522 over to Bridge Mode to access my network in rooms in my house that aren’t wired, but for right now I don’t have a need for that option. I was also looking at the D-Link DAP-2553 AirPremier PoE Access Point or the Hawking HW2R1 Repeater, but decided with the price of the DAP-1522 and favorable reviews it was the right now. My next project, get a PoE switch so I can set up networked surveillance cameras!

For anyone who has expanded the wireless network in their house, please feel free to leave comments on how you accomplished, what gear you used, etc…

EDIT (6/18/2012): Writeup for the newly released DAP-1525 has just been posted:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2012/06/18/guide-setting-up-the-d-link-dap-1525-to-extend-your-wireless-network/

Model
Brand D-Link
Model DAP-1522
Spec
Standards IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE802.11n Draft 2
Device Management Internet Explorer v6 or Later; Mozilla Firefox v1.5 or Later; or other Java-enabled Browsers
Security WPA & WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WPA/WPA2 WPA2
Frequency Band 2.4GHz/5GHz
Antenna Internal Antenna
Interface Ethernet Port
LEDs Power
Bridge
AP
4 LAN (Wired Connection)
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
Dimensions 4.4″ x 5.7″ x 1.3″
Weight 0.5 lbs.




Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 26 comments }

peterwhsguru July 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I use apple Airport and work great… one in each corner of the home…

Chris July 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Old wrt-54g with DD-wrt works well. i’m sure most people have one of these old blue clunkers sitting around.

Damian July 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I think I have an old wrt-54g lying around somewhere funny enough. I wanted to stick with Wireless N which is why I decided not to use the wt-54g

Swpnclr July 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Interesting little article. I too am a bit of geek when it comes to my WHS EX475.. I also use an AP in addition to having my wireless router, both being DLink as well. For my main router its the DLink DGL-4300 then for an Access Point I use the the DLink DIR-655 set up as an Access Point. The main router is Wireless-G and which all my “G” devices connect to it, and my “N” devices connect only via the DIR-655. The cool thing is that both of these are Gigabit on the ports which allows me to connect my WHS & Buffalo NAS Devices which are also Gigabit and have a Gigabit backbone to my network. My encryption on everything is WPA2, I live in a pretty geeky neighborhood and I have to keep my encryption up as there are people all around trying to crack into anyones WIFI signal if possible.
I chose to stick with DLink because of the DGL-4300 can handle up to 64 MAC Address rules meanwhile other models can either handle only 24-32 of these, so besides WPA2 encryption I use the MAC Address Filter as well, for double security, though Wired Connections do not depend on these rules. I have also all my devices on the DHCP Reservation List so I don’t have to configure the device itself so the router takes care of making sure that each device has the specific IP.
I tried using the DIR-655 as the main router, though I noticed the signal would drop after about 24-36 hours almost daily, but set up as a AP it is very reliable and never has to be independently restarted, and the DGL-4300 is just awesome, set it up & forget it because its a Rock Solid device. I had to setup only 2 Advanced Virtual Server rules for HTTP & HTTPS; TCP 80 & TCP 443 which was very easy to set up rules.
DLink is a great brand and after using many other brands, I stuck with DLink.
The link to my website is a link to my network layout as well with names of each device within it.

Geek Boy July 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I also have a Linksys WRT610N (Firmware 2.x) and I liked this article. A few tips and thoughts.

1. The router runs way to hot for long term use and stability. After I sat the little puppy on a laptop cooler it’s been rock solid for my wired gig network which includes WHS, Samsugn BD player, DirecTV, and Eva 9500. I use a couple of Netgear gig switches and have never had to hard boot the router. My “sence” of the issue with respect to wireless is that a coooler router probably produces a stronger signal but I’ve never tested this. :)

2. Two channnel wireless is another story :) Even with the cooler the 2 GHz G band for my iPhone and Wireless Picture frame work fine but the G signal is significantly weaker than my old Linksys G router.

3. N on the 5 GHZ band for one of my laptops is a crap shoot. It sits the farthests from my router with no drops and it not reliable since the signal is so week and this router only has 2 interal Antenas. I’m headed to Frys so I can test the Hawking Range Exstender.

HTH and keep up the great work.

Seth July 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

Linksys gear provides some really interesting options in regard to doing something like this. To use a Linksys router as an additional access point simply log into the router web page, turn off DHCP, choose “router” mode instead of “gateway” mode on the “Advanced Routing” page, and then give the router a fixed IP address inside the reserved address range you’re using (for my particular setup, my main router is 192.168.1.1 and the access point is 192.168.1.2). After that remember to plug the cable into one of the regular networking ports on the back, *not* the WAN port, as this allows DHCP to pass through from the main router to any other devices connected to that access point, either wired or wireless. I have my network setup in this fashion to isolate 802.11g devices from 802.11n devices.

You can also do as I’ve described above but leave DHCP enabled on the access point, choose a different address range from your existing router (like 192.168.1.x for your main network and 192.168.2.x for this access point) and plug the cable into the WAN port of the access point. This creates an isolated network in your house seperate from your main network, useful if you have the need to have devices distinct from the rest of the network. For example, if you have share living arrangements with others and want your devices unreachable from their computers this setup puts their computers on the other side of the hardware firewall built into your access point, making it unreachable for them (you can even choose which protocols or machines are reachable depending on how you configure the firewall and port forwarding).

Linksys gear is also generally well supported by third-party firmware which add all kinds of other useful features and allows things like client mode, AP isolation, etc… Plenty of people have older routers laying around, it’s nice that they’re generally flexible enough to allow for further uses like this.

Neville July 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Great article. I have been running the DAP-1522 for about 5 months now. It is hands down the best hardware purchase I’ve made in a while. I have it in bridge mode to connect my NAS, HTPC and Xbox 360 to my home network. It works great with other D-Link products (My router is the DIR-655) and I may buy another one for my home office.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I did see a noticeable speed increase through the bridge over my HTPC connecting via wireless N on it’s own. If you need to expand your home network this would be a great buy.

Marsha July 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

Quote Damian “My wireless router (Linksys WRT610N) is located in a corner of the basement of my house where my cable modem is.” and “I think I have an old wrt-54g lying around somewhere”

A simpler and more economical solution would be to use the WRT-54 as your router (turn off the radio), and use the 610 as your access point. No D-Link needed at all.

Damian July 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm

@ Marsha,

Thanks for the suggestion but I can’t do that for 2 reasons:

(1) The old WRT-54 router I have is 10/100 where the 610 is gigabit. I need the gigabit because I have 4 cat6 connections that run through my house that connect to the 610 router

(2) The WRT-54 is not wireless N. I have a finished basement, so I use the wireless N from the 610 to connect to devices in the basement

Bon July 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

What a timely and informative article!

I’m also interested in extending my mixed wireless network so my A-200 NMT can connect with the EX490. Does a wireless-N bridge with 10/100 ports have sufficient bandwidth to handle HD streaming? Or, perhaps a better question, what’s the best quality video I can expect to stream with that setup?

Damian July 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

@ Bon,

Maybe the better question, what do you consider HD? It seems many have a different concept of what HD is which can affect how well wireless streaming performs. For me HD is full Blu Ray 1:1 which I would think you would have an extremely difficult time streaming full BR over wireless N. Others may consider HD possibly BR content encoded down, HD content recorded on tv, or other, which should have a considerably lower bitrate then BR. I have never done any substantial testing, but I have been able to stream wirelessly videos up to around 10 mb/s, but I don’t know how much luck you would have getting beyond that (I think a full BR can average 30 mb/s or greater).Obviously other factors will influence success (housing layout, distance b/w router and player, etc…). It would interesting to hear back from others who stream wirelessly about what success they have.

AWT November 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

I’ve been using eight of the DAP-1522 units for a while. They have been superb, I use three in AP mode and the rest in Bridge mode.

In the article you mentioned POE. The last two Panasonic cameras I purchased came with an adapter to take the regular network cable and send POE over it to power the camera. That way it makes it easy to use your existing equipment. I only wish my seven other cameras had POE. But those are older versions of the two new ones I got earlier this year.

Damian November 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to look more into POE and some Cameras. I plan on doing some work in my backyard next summer and at that point I hope to set up some cameras as well.

Davidj January 29, 2011 at 6:02 am

Hey, really good article. I recently came across the whole concept of extending my wireless network whilst pulling my hair out with only 1 bar at the other side of my house. I’ve tried 3 different routers that were supposed to offer the best range on the market, and have had no success. I was using an asus rt-16n which offered great range, but it had a really crappy streaming capabilities. I’ve gone back to my original dir-655 and am about to use the dap-1522 as an AP to increase my signal. The purpose of my comment was to say thanks for spelling it out so well. I’m not really a networking person, but this looks pretty easy to do. I’m presuming by looking at a few of the comments that I could add extra DAP if I wanted to increase my range. I wonder if they would pass the signal from one to another or if they would all need to connect to the original router.

Damian February 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

It depends on what mode you are in. If you are just looking to expand your signal (Access Point mode) each AP needs to be connected to your network (I believe this can be either wired or wireless, I only tested via wired). One thing to make sure is that each DAP-1522 has the same SSID so your devices can seamlessly connected between.
In bridge mode you would be connecting wireless to your network, with wired devices connected

Pras October 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm

A very dumb question. Can the AP device be connected wirelessly to the Router or do I have to run an ethernet cable to the AP device to extend my range (signal) in the dead zones. My basement is almost a dead zone and I am trying to improve coverage (signal) there.
Hope the answer is that I can connect to it via wireless in the Passthrough or AP mode.

Damian October 6, 2011 at 6:46 am

No, if you run in bridge mode you connect wirelessly to your router. In AP mode you need to be hardwired. It sounds like you are looking for a wireless repeater

Pras October 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Thanks Damian. Yes, I am looking for a wireless solution. So if i use it on bridge mode, I guess i dont need to run a wire and will that help me extend my wireless range or just act as a better wireless router (given that my current wireless router is bad). Is my understanding correct?

Damian October 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

No, that is not how bride mode works. With bridge mode you connect wirelessly and then connect devices (i.e. PS3, Xbox, etc…) wired to the Dlink. You want a wireless repeater, something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833281003

Pras October 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

oh.. thanks Damian. I will look to buy one of those.
whats the use of the AP feature though? If i put in AP mode and run a wire down (trying to solve a weak signal in my basement) from the modem/router in my main level, will it work as a repeater?

If i dont run a wire and still need a better signal in my basement, it sounds like the only solution is the repeater (hopefully that doesnt require me to run a wire).

Damian October 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Yes, if you hard wire it it will work as a repeater. That is how I use it. The key is that it needs to be hard wired, whereas something like that repeater I linked you to can repeat the signal from a wireless connection

Pras October 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Gotcha. Thank you very much for the information. I am going to pick a repeater soon.

Ashton May 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Nice accurate article. One problem I have though is that I can’t access the web interface via the access point’s (DAP-1522) ip address (192.268.0.50) when connected wirelessly, even though I can connect to the Internet. My set up is similar to yours. I have a DIR-615 router in the basement that is hooked to a switch that ports to all of the bedrooms. My DAP-1522 is hooked to the port in my bedroom upstairs. The only way I can access the web interface is if I hook my PC directly to the DAP-1522 and configure a static ip address as you explained. It just seems like I could wirelessly access the access point’s web interface. Have you noticed this?

John May 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Why can’t the instruction book that comes with this be written like this? I bought this for $10 sealed at a garage sale and if I didn’t find this article I would not have been able to get it working!!!!

Thanks!

Damian June 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

For anyone interested, I just posted my writeup for the DAP-1525, setup is much simpler then the DAP-1522 :D

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2012/06/18/guide-setting-up-the-d-link-dap-1525-to-extend-your-wireless-network/

TM January 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I have a network between two buildings using the DAP-1522 in bridge mode…I’ve been searching fruitlessly around the internet trying to find out if I can add another DAP-1522 (or other access point) to the one already installed and running in bridge mode as a wireless access point…

Due to the space between the two buildings, the bridged unit performs well but the building has poor wireless signal from the router.

Help!? This write up and discussion is the closest I’ve come to finding someone who may be able to help me…

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