You can connect two routers to a LAN network. But why would you want to do that? One of the main reasons is to use the second router as a switch, which would enable you to expand an Ethernet network. Using 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 connect two routers 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 Cat5e and run the lines.
How To Connect Two Routers To A LAN
Most 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 how to connect two routers, be sure to read our other networking tutorials!
If you have any questions about adding another router to your network, let us know.