I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
The range of our home network routers is too low.
As a result, there happen to be some dead spots in our houses where wireless signals just can’t reach. Worse, if that dead spot happens to be in someone’s bedroom, he/she has no choice but to take his wireless device and sit right next to the router.
To shield you from this nuisance, this article comes into play.
Once you connect two routers to the same network, you’d be able to expand your wireless range. Also, if you happen to be a wired device user, the second router would help networking it. Finally, an extra router would let you create a sub-network which you can use to stream videos seamlessly.
- What to do before Starting?
- Choosing a Router
- Placing the Second Router
- Method # 1: Ethernet Connection Method
- Step 1: Selecting the Main Router
- Step 2: Selecting the Secondary Router
- Step 3: Position both routers near your Laptop
- Step 4: LAN-TO-WAN or LAN-TO-WAN?
- Step 5: Configure
- Step 6: Connect the secondary router to your computer
- Step 7: Configuring the DHCP server on your secondary router
- Step 8: Changing the Wi-Fi Channel
- Step 9: Connect both routers
- Method # 2: Wireless Router Bridging Method
- Step 1: Is your Equipment Compatible?
- Step 2: Position both routers near your laptop
- Step 3: Setting Up the Primary Router
- Step 4: Setting Up the Secondary Router
- Step 5: Enable Bridge Mode
- Step 6: Setup the Secondary Router’s IP Address
- Step 7: Entering a SSID
- Step 8: Final Placement of the Secondary Router
What to do before Starting?
For the success of the whole process, you need to take a few steps BEFORE connecting the second router to your network. Don’t worry as these steps won’t consume a large portion of your time.
Read Also: Best Wireless Routers to Buy in 2018
Choosing a Router
There are three main types of routers available in the market: 802.11ac, 802.11n, and 802.11g. As a rule of thumb, you should AVOID selecting the router similar to the one already installed in your house. For, in case you forgot, it didn’t fare well at the first time of asking.
Talking about 802.11ac routers, they belong to the fifth generation of Wi-Fi. By using technologies such as Beamforming and MU-MIMO, these routers provide better speeds, have an increased wireless range and an extended battery life. On the negative side, however, they don’t come cheap.
As for the 802.11n routers, they offer slow speed than their 802.11ac counterparts. While the former has a top speed of 1300Mbps, 802.11n routers offer a paltry 450Mbps. Apart from that – and especially when it comes to range, there aren’t many differences between both these routers.
Finally, if you aren’t at all concerned about speed, you can go for the 802.11g model. This wireless type has a maximum theoretical speed of 54Mbps, which is much less than what the other models offer.
Placing the Second Router
While you are setting up the second router, it is recommended you place it near a computer or Windows PC for the initial configuration. For better configuration, it would be great if you configure the second router from a computer with an Ethernet cable.
Remember, this is NOT the final location of the router. Once you have configured it, you can place it in its permanent location.
Method # 1: Ethernet Connection Method
Step 1: Selecting the Main Router
The main router is the one which you’ll connect to your modem. Hence, if you follow the rule of thumb, the newest and feature-rich router should serve as the base router. That said, if you have two routers with similar characteristics, your pick won’t matter as much.
Step 2: Selecting the Secondary Router
In contrast to the main router, this router won’t connect to your modem. Rather, it will be used to extend your base network by connecting to the primary router. Since it won’t play a major role in wireless range and speed, you can select an older router for this purpose.
Step 3: Position both routers near your Laptop
During the setup process, the laptop may demand some technical information regarding both the routers. Place both routers near your laptop for you to access them easily. After the final step of this process, you can place the routers in their final positions.
Step 4: LAN-TO-WAN or LAN-TO-WAN?
There are two wireless connections which will be available on your router. A LAN-to-LAN network would allow the connection of more devices by extending the network size. Also, if you are into sharing, sharing files and resources across other devices is supported on this network.
A LAN-to-WAN network operates by creating a subnetwork (LAN) within the major network (WAN). If you want to place restrictions on the number of devices which can connect to your network, you might want to use this network.
Step 5: Configure
For simplicity, we have decided to disseminate the whole configuration process into steps. Take a look.
- First, connect your modem to your main router. Afterward, connect the router to your computer via Ethernet.
- Access your router. Once there, write down your router’s subnet mask and IP address.
- For creating a LAN-to-LAN network, leave the DHCP settings at default. For a LAN-to-WAN connection, allocate the primary router’s service to provide addresses ranging between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.50.
- Disconnect your computer from the router.
Step 6: Connect the secondary router to your computer
Just like we did with the primary router, access your secondary router. Once there, if yours is a LAN-to-LAN network, change the IP address. Note that the entire IP address should match that of your primary router except the last digit which is to be increased by one digit.
For a LAN-to-WAN connection, change the IP address so that it matches the entire IP address of the primary router except for the second-to-last digit, whose value you should increase by a single digit.
Step 7: Configuring the DHCP server on your secondary router
For LAN-to-LAN network users, there should be no DHCP service on the secondary router, so deactivate any DHCP service from the router’s configuration webpage. For LAN-to-WAN network users, the DHCP service should give out addresses from 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.50.
Step 8: Changing the Wi-Fi Channel
Having the same Wi-Fi channel as your neighbor will result in signal interference, resulting in reduced speed. To avoid signal interference, make sure that your primary router has channels ranging between 1 and 6. As for the second router, its channel should be 11.
Step 9: Connect both routers
After you’ve placed your routers in their final position, connect them. Regardless of the network you are using, plug one side of the Ethernet cable in the home network router’s LAN port.
- For LAN-to-LAN network users, plug into the LAN port the vacant end of the Ethernet cable.
- For LAN-to-WAN network users, plug into the WAN port the vacant end of the Ethernet Cable.
Method # 2: Wireless Router Bridging Method
Step 1: Is your Equipment Compatible?
For two routers to bridge, the second router should be compatible in “bridge” and “repeater” mode. If your router doesn’t support these modes, you might flash an open source firmware onto it, as it enables your router to activate bridge mode.
Step 2: Position both routers near your laptop
Just as in the first method, you need to position both routers near your computer for easy access. Similarly, you need easy access to the modem as well during the configuration process. Place all these three items – two routers and modem – near you.
Step 3: Setting Up the Primary Router
Plug the home network router (first router) into the modem. Connect your computer to the main router via Ethernet cable. Finally, note down the first router’s DHCP range, IP address, and subnet mask
Step 4: Setting Up the Secondary Router
Using an Ethernet cable, connect your second router to the computer. Open the router’s configuration page WITHOUT connecting it to the model. Once there, search for the “Wireless” or “Internet” setup page.
Step 5: Enable Bridge Mode
Once on the wireless page, you may encounter menus such as “Network Mode”, “Connection Type” or “Wireless Mode”. All three are the same. Once inside these menus, search for bridge or repeater mode. If you can’t find a “bridge” or “repeater” mode, your router doesn’t have the bridging option.
Step 6: Setup the Secondary Router’s IP Address
Always remember that the IP address of your secondary router should fall in the range of primary router’s. For instance, your second router’s IP Address should be 192.168.1.50 if the IP Address of the Primary Router is 192.168.1.1.
Note: To check the Primary Router’s range, check its DHCP range inside its configuration page.
Step 7: Entering a SSID
Both your routers need to have unique IDs. For example, if your primary Router is labeled “Living Room”, you may label the secondary “Bedroom”.
Step 8: Final Placement of the Secondary Router
The final placement of the secondary router shouldn’t be arbitrary. Rather, you should place it in an area where the signal strength of the first router is at least 50%.
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It doesn’t matter which brand your home network’s router can belong to, all you need to do to increase its Wi-FI speed, signal range and the number of users is to connect it to the second router of better quality.
Provided you do that – and using the methods provided above, you’ll get all the nice features without even replacing your first router.