Do you want to know how to connect one router to another to expand your Network? In this article, I’ll show you how to add a secondary router to your home.
Any router can be configured as just a “wireless access point”. You can create a separate private network (configuring a separate IP address range) or simply another broadcast/connection point for your larger home network (by disabling the router/DHCP feature at the new access point).
In a home, you would typically use the 2nd router as just a wireless access point to augment (or replace) your router’s built-in Wi-Fi feature. And if you require network isolation—because you are allowing guests to use your home network—you can best achieve this by configuring separate guest permissions).
The steps for configuring a router as a simple wireless access point (WAP) are slightly different for each router brand and model and good instructions can be notoriously hard to find. But, in general, these are the conceptual steps:
1. Place the 2nd router at a high-central point on your property and attach it to an Ethernet cable coming from one of the wired LAN ports on your main router. It will become your WAP. But…Do not connect to the special WAN port on your new access point. That port will not be used. Instead, connect the Ethernet cable from the main router to the first regular LAN port (typically, there are 4 or 5 of these on the back of the device). That’s because the new access point and all devices that connect through it are seen by the main router as ordinary connected LAN clients.
So both routers are connected using their regular LAN/device ports.
2. At your main router, configure a static internal IP address for your 2nd router (the one that will be your WAP). I chose 192.168.1.99. This IP address must be within the subnet range, but outside of the DHCP range that is used to assign local addresses to connecting gadgets.
3. Connect a PC directly to one of the LAN ports of the new router (the one that you will use as a wireless access point).
4. Disable the DHCP feature on the new access point. This is an option in the configuration menu. In this manner, the access point will not try to assign internal IP addresses to gadgets that connect through it (notebooks, phones, games etc). Instead, it will allow the main router to handle this function—just as it does for devices that connect directly.
5. Set the WAP to the same static IP address that you assigned it on the main router. Alternatively, you can set it to get its address dynamically ‘from the ISP’ (in this case, from the main router). Either setting should work. I prefer the 2nd option, because it presents fewer steps if you later decide to change the assigned address at the main router.
6. This is where it gets tricky. Typically, the access point should be set to a gateway address of the main router, but the two devices should be configured with the same Netmask. But on Netgear devices, set this to 0.0.0.0. * This is the one step that sometimes sets me back by an hour as I play with those two settings. Unfortunately, some manufacturers don’t seem to realize that use as a simple WAP is still a common consumer need, and they bury the settings that allow you to set these things appropriately.
Note:If things fail to work the first time, it is very likely that the problem is with one of the cable connections or with step #6 above.
The key to success is to recognize that you want the 2nd router to be dumb. It is just a radio and authentication mechanism. All of the router and address functions will be handled by the main router which must be configured to see the WAP and all its minions as additional clients on the network.
Once configured and working, you will rarely log into the admin screen of the 2nd router (the one used as a WAP). Instead, you can see all devices and even rename or selectively disable them within the admin screens of the main router.
* About Subnet Mask: These IP address fields define an operational range for the router function. On the main router, a home network typically uses 255.255.255.0. In theory, you shouldn’t need to configure a subnet mask for an access point, because you are not attaching anything to its WAN port. Unfortunately, in practice, routers used as wireless access points seem to be confused if this field is not configured with a valid IP address.
In a perfect world, router manufacturers would recognize that configuration as a wireless access point is not uncommon, and they would provide a one-button setup for this connection scenario. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. I hope that my quick tutorial saves you the many hours that I invested in perfecting this simple schema.
This is the thing shared in this article. If you have any question, please leave your comments.