How to Connect Two Wired Routers

Connecting two wireless routers together doubles the size of a wireless network and provides a total of seven local area network (LAN) ports to connect computers directly to the network. This is a huge benefit in larger homes where one router might not offer adequate coverage on other floors. It also helps in offices where a tethered connection is needed to more than four desktop computers. Before connecting two routers together, convert one router to an extender.

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Two routers together doubles the size of a network.

Setting up the First Router

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Connect the main router to a laptop computer via an Ethernet cable. Plug one end of the cable into the LAN port of the router and then plug the other end into the Ethernet port located on the side of the laptop. The main router remains a traditional router and assigns Internet protocol (IP) addresses to other equipment on the network.

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Access the router settings to obtain the necessary information to set up the second router. To access router settings, type the router’s IP address into a web-browser address bar. For example, the default address for a Dell router is 192.168.1.1. If not sure of a router’s default IP address check online for a list. (see Resources)

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Enter the default user name and password for your router. For example, most Linksys routers require “admin” for a user name and require a blank password field for accessing the router’s settings.

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Write down the router’s IP address, service set identifier (SSID) and channel. These settings are usually found on the “Basic Setup” tab of the settings page. Write down the router’s pass phrase needed to wirelessly connect to the router.

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Remove the Ethernet cable from the computer and the router.

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Connect the main router to the computer modem by plugging the Ethernet cable into the “Ethernet” port of the modem. Plug the other end of the cable into the wide area network (WAN) port located on the back of the router. The main router is set up and ready to broadcast the Internet.

Setting Up the Second Router

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Connect the second router to a laptop. Plug one end of the cable into the LAN port of the router and then plug the other end into the Ethernet port located on the side of the laptop. The second router connects to the first router to act as an extension of the first router.

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Access the router settings in the exact same manner as the first router. First, enter the router’s IP address into a web-address bar and then enter the default login information.

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Locate the “Basic Setup” section of the settings page and replace the SSID with the one from the first router. This gives both routers the same name on the network so you only have to store one wireless profile in computers.

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Change the local IP address to have one digit difference from the first router. For example, if the first router’s IP address is 192.168.0.1, make the second router’s IP address 192.168.1.1. Each piece of equipment on a network must have a different address.

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Make sure the channel used on the second router matches the channel used on the second one. Usually, the default is channel one. If it is different, change it to match the first router.

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Locate the setting for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and disable it. The DHCP server assigns temporary IP addresses to all of the equipment on a network. If both routers have this ability, this creates connecting issues.

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Locate the “Wireless Security” tab and change the pass phrase to the one used on the first router. This allows computers connected wirelessly the ability to seamlessly connect.

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Click on “Save Settings” to update the router and then unplug the router and the computer.

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Plug an Ethernet cable into one of the LAN ports located on the back of the first router. Plug the other end of the cable into the WAN port located on the back of the second router. The second router is now extending the signal being sent from the first router.