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ct36
Newbie
967 Views
Message 1 of 10

Connecting two home networks

Hey guys,  

 

It's my first time on the boards so apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place.

 

We live out in the sticks with connection speeds of little over 1.5mbs, so my brother and I both have our own connections to avoid congestion (and fist fights because we both can't watch Netflix at the same time). So, we both have our own separate connections for our own use, but we would still like our devices to be able to communicate with each other for media servers and smart home integration etc

 

below is a very crude drawing of our current setup, green and blue boxes represent each of our home networks, the question is how to I make the red lines happen without using each other's internet connections? 

 

IMG_0002-2.png

 

I'm fairly sure I can't just ethernet the two networks together, do I need some kind of bridge or additional router to make this work? Any help would be a massive help guys.

 

thanks!

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9 REPLIES 9
Liam_
Expert
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Message 2 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
947 Views
Message 3 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

If we assume the media servers and the smart home are static devices that don't need to initiate a connection, connect those to their respective hubs via Ethernet and  just make everything else wifi. All you need to do then is to connect to the appropriate SSID for the specific device you wish to connect to. No interconnecting of networks required as such. You would obviously only be able to be connected to devices on one or other of the networks at a given time.

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sjonez
Contributor
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Message 4 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

You need to keep the networks seperate so the easiest way is by using a router with a couple of interfaces (the best would be something you can install dd-wrt or tomato firmware on).

 

You and your brothers networks need to be subnetted too, e.g. for simplicity you on 192.168.0.x and him on 192.168.1.x. The router would have an interface and IP address on each network and you simply tell both networks to use that router to get to the other network.

 

The main problem comes with routing it all automatically, as the home hub AFAIK doesn't allow you to alter the routing table, unlike lots of other brands. The easiest way to solve that would be to turn DHCP off on the home hubs and let the new router handle that too and make itself the default route, and you just configure each interface to route via each respective homehub for everything other than those 192 networks. It'll add an extra 1ms hop to all your internet traffic, but I'm guessing on 1.5Mb you're not going to notice 🙂

 

And just for a fun alternative, some flavours of dd-wrt and tomato are made with a "Multi-WAN" capability, in that they provide a single internet route by load-balancing multiple DSL connections (so in your case you'd effectively have a 3Mb link)

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ct36
Newbie
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Message 5 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

This I think is probably the solution I've been looking for! Do you have any recommendations of a router that would do the job? I've a couple of apple airport routers lying around but afaik they won't let me alter the routing tables either!

 

i already have the two networks running on different subnets, is there anything else I would have to change on the existing networks other than disabling DHCP or is all other configuration done on the adjoining router?

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sjonez
Contributor
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Message 6 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

Anything that supports dd-wrt, there's lots of linksys routers that do. It doesn't need to support WiFi or DSL as your homehub can still handle that.

The only reconfiguration you need is to make your devices aware of the new routes, but as you can't do that on the home hub all of the configuration would be done on the new router (so it would be providing DHCP and routing for 2 separate networks)
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sjonez
Contributor
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Message 7 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

I forgot to mention - if you want to do any port forwarding with that kind of setup you'll need to do it on both routers due to the double hop.

The easiest thing to do would be to add the router into the DMZ configuration of both home hubs and turn off UPnP, then you simply configure port forwarding as normal on the new router (and enable UPnP if desired)
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brianhes
Aspiring Expert
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Message 8 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

Could use a TP-Link TL-R470T+ to connect to both homehubs, make one network with wifi access points as required, then use traffic management and load balence settings to choose/limit who uses what connection.

Use one here to more equitibly share just one line, stopping just one user hogging the connection.

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ct36
Newbie
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Message 9 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

OK so i got myself a new router, installed DD-WRT, i have the two networks subnetted and static ports setup and the new router handling DHCP and all works fine - thank you for your help!

 

Now is the next question.... you mentioned multi-WAN and load balancing... this may sound long winded or illogical or maybe impossible, but currently we can each connect to our own individual networks and that works fine, would it be possible to create a new wireless network from the new router (like a 3rd network) and have that network and only that network load balance the two connections without altering any of the route of traffic on the other networks? just thinking for when everbody is out of the house and you want a little bit more juice... Smiley Very Happy

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sjonez
Contributor
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Message 10 of 10

Re: Connecting two home networks

It would be possible (but not trivial) to configure with dd-wrt. You'd probably end up with 3 networks with load balancing rules setup to direct 2 of the networks out of specific WAN interfaces, with the 3rd having a round robin between both.

 

However, multi-WAN is better suited for allowing multiple people to use the internet at the same time as you can't split a single connection across two WAN's (e.g. a single file download or video stream can't utilise both). For the use case you've described I don't think it'd be worth the hassle.

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