Picture this, you got a new home or have just moved to a new place. Your first task is to set up the Wi-Fi router while ensuring you improve the signals’ reach. The most optimal approach is to connect or bridge two wireless routers. Bridging is also an efficient way to enable more devices to stay connected to the internet.
In this post, you will learn how to bridge two routers to enhance your Wi-Fi signal’s strength.
Four Reasons Why You May Want to Connect Two Routers:
- You want to extend the wireless range so more devices can be internet-enabled.
- Upgrading an existing ethernet connection to a wireless network.
- Bringing a wired device that is too far away from the original router.
- Creating a dedicated subnetwork to stream online stuff for some devices without bothering the connection too much.
To connect two routers, you will require two routers, active internet connection. Here is how it will be done:
[su_box title=” Current Scenario:” style=” glass”]
ISP—–Modem—–Router No.1 (It may or may not have Wi-Fi)
Now you wish to add a second router with Wi-Fi, so it will be:
ISP—–Modem—–Router No. 2——Router No. 2
Two Ways to Put Router No. 2 to Use
- Either you isolate devices connected to No. 2 from those on No.1, which means there will be no file sharing
- You can make all devices visible to each other and support file sharing
To Implement A:
- The initial step is to find out Router No. 1’s LAN address. Use the command IPCONFIG in your command prompt. Windows/MAC users can see here how to find the IPConfig.
- Now set the LAN address of the second router to X+1. If Router No. 1’s address is 192.168.X.1, then Router No. 2’s LAN address will be 192.168. (X+1).1
- Finally, connect the LAN port on Router No.1 to the WAN port on Router No. 2
Once you finish performing the process above, all the devices connected via Router No. 2 will access the internet. However, nothing from the internet will have any access to router 2, so if you are thinking of hosting any game or movie on your system, be sure that it’s connected to router No. 1.
To Implement B:
To implement this method, the first thing you should do is to disable DHCP, a dynamic host configuration protocol in router No. 2 that will allow router no.1 to take control of all the addresses. Do as follows:
- Connect your main PC to the LAN slot of any of the routers
- Open the browser and log in to the router using the default gateway.
- Use the default username and password. Find the default username and passwords here.
- Go to the router settings page, disable DHCP.
- Save the settings, then log out.
Once you accomplish the steps above, disconnect the PC and connect router no.1 LAN slot to any LAN slot on router No. 2. Make sure to leave the WAN slot on Router No. 2 empty. Now any device on Router No.1 will be able to ping all the devices on router No. 2.
Connecting Two Wireless Routers
To connect two wireless routers, we will use Wireless Bridging. This method connects two wired networks over Wi-Fi. Bridging helps make possible inter-network connections. There are multiple types of bridging; below are a few types.
- Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi: This is done to increase the network coverage and is hardware that joins two Wi-Fi networks together.
- Wi-Fi to ethernet: it is hardware that allows Wi-Fi clients to connect to an Ethernet network.
- Bluetooth to Wi-Fi: This type of communication happens with consumer Bluetooth gadgets and interface with a Wi-Fi home network.
How To Bridge Two Wireless Routers
- Compatibility: The first thing is to ensure if you have devices that are compatible to be bridged. See if your secondary router has bridge or repeater qualities. If it doesn’t have either of those, the solution is to flash DD-WRT onto it, an open-source firmware that resolves the issue of not being able to bridge. See the router’s manual to know if it can be used to bridge and see if it can support DD-WRT.
- Place them near the PC: When setting up the whole process, it will be easier if you place both the routers near your PC so you can have quick access to them. Once you have configured them, you can place them anywhere.
- Set up the primary router first: You will have to set up the primary router first, plug the primary router into the modem, then connect your computer to it via the ethernet. After configuration, note down the router’s IP address, DHCP range, and subnet mask.
Note: Ensure the primary router has the most robust antennas and the best one in the firmware. Disconnect after you finish the configuration.
- Open the secondary router’s configuration page: To configure the secondary router, connect it with ethernet to your computer. Open the configuration page. See the Internet tab or Wireless setup page after logging in.
- Enable bridge mode: On the setup page, select “Bridge mode” or “Repeater Mode “in the Network mode tab, “Wireless mode,” or “connection type” from the menu. If you are using DD-WRT, select “repeater bridge.” If either of these options does not appear, your router may not support bridging.
- Specify the secondary router’s IP address: Here, you are required to enter an IP address within the primary router’s range. An example is if the primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1, you should input 192.168.1.50, a number that falls within your primary router’s DHCP range. Double-check that the subnet mask is the same as that of the primary router.
- Enter a unique SSID: SSID means Service Set Identifier. Setting an SSID helps you differentiate which router on the router you are trying to connect to. For example, you can label the primary router as “Hall” and the second one as “Lobby.” When setting a password, always make sure the security type is WPA2.
- Place the secondary router: Now that you have configured the secondary router, you can place it wherever you want to improve the signals. We recommend you position it to repeat the primary router’s signals easily.
Bridging may seem complicated for first-time router users, but this guide hopefully showed you how to properly bridge two wireless routers. Let us know in the comments if this tutorial helped improve your networking experience at home.