How to set up a network with multiple routers?

Set up a network with multiple routers is always possible. But, the need for adding another router to a network must be clear. Adding a router to an existing network is usually done either to extend the range of the network or to create a new network within the existing network. While using more than one router in a network to extend the range of the network, the additional router acts as a range extender, switch, bridge, or an access point. Most of the routers have the bridge or access point feature built-in so that when it is enabled, the regular DHCP feature gets disabled automatically. Also, in a network with multiple routers, only the primary router acts as the gateway. There is also a difference in the Ethernet connection between these routers.

LAN-LAN vs. LAN-WAN:

  • Step 1:If multiple routers are used to extend the network range, then the Ethernet must be connected between the LAN port of the primary router and the LAN port of the secondary router.
  • Step 2:If a secondary router is added to create a local network within a network, then the Ethernet connection should be made between the LAN port of the primary router and the WAN port of the secondary router.

Want to set up a network with multiple routers?

Using an Ethernet connection:

The steps to set up a network with multiple routers, a primary and a secondary router, using an Ethernet connection are given in this section.

Step1:

  • Step 1:Set up the primary router of your network, since it will function as the gateway. Connect the primary router to your computer using an Ethernet cable.
  • Step 2:Log in to the configuration page of the router on a web browser using its default username and password.
  • Step 3:Make all the network settings like a usual router.
  • Step 4:Make sure that DHCP is enabled, after that set up a network with multiple routers.

Step 2:

  • Step 1:Connect the secondary router to your computer and log in.
  • Step 2:Go to the Network settings and change the IP address, so that it is within the range of the primary router.
  • Step 3:LAN to LAN: If the Ethernet connection is going to be established between the LAN ports of both the routers, then go to the LAN settings and change the LAN IP address of the secondary router.
  • Step 4:LAN to WAN: If the Ethernet connection is going to be between the LAN port of the primary router and the WAN port of the secondary router, then go to the WAN settings and change the IP address.

Step 3:

  • Step 1:Go to the DHCP setting of the secondary router.
  • Step 2:If you are establishing a LAN to LAN connection, then disable the DHCP server of the secondary router.
  • Step 3:On the other hand, for a LAN to WAN connections, enable the DHCP server for the secondary router, and make changes accordingly so that the IP addresses assigned by the secondary router do not interfere with the IP addresses assigned by the DHCP server of the primary router.

Step 4:

  • Step 1:Go to the wireless settings of the secondary router.
  • Step 2:Enable the wireless LAN option.
  • Step 3:Set the SSID and password. Configure the wireless settings of the secondary router the same as the primary router, except the SSID.

Step 5:

  • Step 1:Connect an Ethernet cable between a LAN port on the primary router and the LAN or WAN port of the secondary router as per the settings you have configured above for set up a network with multiple routers.

Using a wireless connection:

The steps to connect multiple routers in a network using Wi-Fi are given below.

  • Step 1:Set up the primary router as usual. Set the wireless channel setting of the primary router to static instead of automatic.
  • Step 2:Make a note of the primary router’s SSID, password, and security type.
  • Step 3:Now, connect the secondary router to your computer and log in to its configuration page.
  • Step 4:Go to the LAN settings of the secondary router and change the LAN IP address. It should be within the range of the primary router’s IP address.
  • Step 5:For example, if the IP address of the primary router is 192.168.1.1, and its subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, then set the LAN IP address of the secondary router as 192.168.1.2. You can also set it to any other IP address within the range of the primary router, but it should not be assigned to any other device on the network. Save the changes. Usually, the router reboots when the IP address is changed.
  • Step 6:Now, log in to the secondary router by entering its new IP address in the address bar of your computer’s web browser.
  • Step 7:Go to the wireless settings page and enable WDS or Bridge mode. Then, type the SSID, password, and other wireless details of your primary router and save them. These settings may vary depending on your router’s model. You can refer your router’s user manual to make the WDS or bridge mode settings.
  • Step 8:Also, ensure ‘Wireless’ is enabled on the secondary router. Enter an SSID for it and set the channel the same as the primary router.
  • Step 9:Now, check the wireless status of your secondary router, whether the WDS or Bridge mode is enabled.
  • Step 10:The next main step is to disable the DHCP function of the secondary router. Go to the DHCP server settings and click disable.
  • Step 11:Now, your secondary router set up a network with multiple routers will be connected to the primary router over Wi-Fi, and you can connect your devices to the secondary router through Ethernet or over Wi-Fi.