You got a new home or have just shifted to a new place and wish to increase the reach of your wifi signals.
In such case, connecting two routers makes sense since it would improve the signal strength and is also an efficient way to enable more devices to be connected to the internet. Now there are a few things to keep in mind when connecting two routers. They could be connected via ethernet or may be connected to wifi.
Here are the 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 which 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 wifi)
Now you wish to add a second router with wifi so it will be like
ISP—–Modem—–Router No.2——Router No.2
There are two ways in which you can put router no.2 to use
A. Either you isolate devices connected to No.2 from those on No.1 which means there will be no file sharing
B. You can make all devices visible to each other and support file sharing
To Implement A,
- First thing to do is to find out the Router No.1’s LAN address. The process is very simple, 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. So 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 the above process has been done, all the devices connected via Router No.2 will be able to access the internet, though nothing from the internet will have any access to router 2 so if you are thinking to host any dedicated game or movie on your system, it should be connected to router 1.
To Implement B,
To implement this way, the very first thing you should do is to disable DHCP which is dynamic host configuration protocol in router No.2 that will allow router no.1 to take control of all the addresses.
- Connect your main PC to the LAN slot of any of the routers
- Open the browser and log in 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 and log out
Once the above things are done, 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 make use of something called wireless bridging. A wireless bridge in networking is similar to a bridge in real life. It connects two wired networks together over Wifi. There are multiple types of bridging. Bridging helps make possible inter-network connections.
Types of Wireless Bridges:
- Wifi to Wifi: This is done to increase the network coverage and is a hardware which joins two wifi networks together.
- Wifi to ethernet: it is a hardware that allows Wifi clients to connect to an Ethernet network.
- Bluetooth to wifi: This is a type where communication happens with consumer Bluetooth gadgets and interface with a wifi home network.
How To Bridge Two Wireless Routers?
- Compatibility: The very first thing is to ensure if you have devices which are compatible to be bridged. See if your secondary router has a bridge or repeater qualities. If it doesn’t have either of those, the solution is to flash DD-WRT onto it which is basically an open source firmware that resolves the issue of not able to bridge. See the router’s manual to know if it can be used to bridge and also to know 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, so plug the primary router into the modem and connect your computer to it via ethernet. After configuration, note down the router’s IP address, DHCP range, and subnet mask.
- PS: Ensure the primary router is the one with the strongest antennas and the best one in firmware. Disconnect after configuration is done.
- Open the configuration page on the secondary router: 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” menu. If you are using DD-WRT, select “repeater bridge”. If you don’t see either of these options, 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. As an example, if the primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1, you should enter 192.168.1.50, a number that falls within the DHCP range of your primary router. Make sure subnet mask is same as that of primary router.
- Enter a unique SSID: A SSID means service set identifier. Setting an SSID helps you differ which router on the router are you trying to connect. Ex: You can label 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 place it at such a position such that it can repeat primary router’s signals easily.