Using Multiple Routers

| April 16, 2009

using multiple routersUsing multiple routers on your network is easy, so dust off those old wireless routers and put them to good use by extending WiFi range throughout your house. If you have your primary connection on the first floor and are having problems reaching the far corner of the second level or even the basement, you can connect a second router in that area and have complete coverage throughout your home. The best way to do this is to hard-wire a line from an Ethernet port on the first router to the second router. This might require going through walls and ceilings or floors, but if you take the time and run the lines, you will enjoy high-speed broadband throughout. You can configure the second router to connect wirelessly to the first and act as a repeater to the outside world, but is difficult and could result in dropped signals. So buy a box of Cat5 and run the lines.

Using Multiple Routers To Wire Your Network

Mose Internet setups will have a modem of some kind and a router. Sometimes the router is built into the modem, but that is okay. The back of the router will have several ports for multiple PCs. The router is the gateway for the internal network and will supply IP addresses to computers if it is setup as a DHCP server as most are by default. You will want to run your extra lines from this router to the farthest corner of the house. While you have the wall open, you might want to consider running a line to the basement, as well, to future-proof your network. A good technique for going to upstairs areas is to go all the way up to the attic with a couple of lines and then run the lines down the wall from the attic access.

Using Multiple Routers Once Wiring Is Finished

Once the lines are run, you’ll need to terminate them with Ethernet plugs and attach them to the main router and the router you have put on the opposite end of the house. To get the second router to work as a WiFi access point, you’ll need to disable some of the features that make it a router. To do this, login to the router through a computer connected directly to it via a cable. Open your web browser and type in its address, which will be something like 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1–you may need to lookup your model to see what its default internal IP address.

  1. Disable DHCP- Once you are able to get into the router’s control panel, look for the DHCP settings and disable it. We do not want to second router to act as a DHCP server to PCs, as this will certainly cause confusion if both routers are supplying IPs on the network.
  2. Assign Static IP Address – You will also want the router to have a static IP address. Determine the rang of IP addresses your primary router assigns and give the second router a static IP address higher up the range. For instance, if your router gives out IP address between 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.100, consider assigning the second router an IP like 192.168.1.90. Be sure to set the Gateway to match the internal address of the primary router (probably like 192.168.1.1). The second router needs to know this so computers connected to it can reach the outside world.
  3. Assign the router an SSID – The SSID is a name that identifies the router. If router one is named Home1, consider calling the second router Home2 to keep it simple.

Once you power cycle all network, you can begin using multiple routers. The new router should show up to wireless computers in the area. You can even plug into them and it will act as a hub for multiple PCs in the area. So if you have a lot of routers lying around, put them to good use on your home network  and increase your wireless range. For more information on using multiple routers, be sure to read our other networking tutorials!

Category: Networking

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (3)

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  1. Ryan Furlow says:

    Keep in mind that once you disable DHCP on the second router, it may, depending on make and/or model, disable the “wan” port on the router, making it into a switch. You would simply remove the ethernet cable from the wan port and plug it into one of the other available ports. I have had this happen to me once or twice in the field, and it can cause some real headaches.

  2. fernand says:

    hello,
    i have a problem using my d link dir-300 wireless router
    my computer are one connect to the dsl.and i have a interconnected computer using my switch hub.up an using the wireless network .I connect my laptop to the wireless d link and it is connected but with out internet connection .I connect a cross over to the port 1 of the the d-link and the other side to the switch .con you help me for my problem

  3. deb says:

    At home is a shared compromised routered ne work……how can i use netk routers conect tn set up my own secure connect using other 2nd router?……prefer no ssid displayed & i have cat 5 but at opp sid hous?