How to Extend Wireless Internet Service With a Router
Wireless routers automatically assign an IP address to computers attempting to use them. Having two routers means there are two different sources trying to assign every computer two different IP addresses. This can cause a lot of confusion and hassle. One way around this is to use your second wireless router as a Wireless Access Point (WAP). In other words, you want to alter certain functions of the second router so that you don’t have two routers trying to do the same job.
Things You'll Need
- 2 wireless routers
- Computer with Ethernet port and web browsing software
- Ethernet cable
- Your second router's IP address (in the manual)
Plug your computer into a numbered port (not the Internet/WAN port) on the second router (the router you want to use to extend your network). Do not yet connect it to your main router (the router that already provides your wireless signal).
Open a web browser and type in the router's IP address in the address field (refer to your router's manual). If you're using a Linksys router, type everything inside the brackets [http://192.168.1.1/]. The router's set up page will appear.
Disable DHCP. This will prevent the second router from assigning IP addresses to computers using the network, causing conflicts with the main router.
Change the second router’s IP address to a number that is both within the range of the subnet of your main router and outside its DHCP range. For example, a Linksys router’s subnet is 192.168.1 and its DHCP range is between 192.168.1.100 and 192.168.1.150. In this case, you would be fine to change the second router's IP address to 192.168.1.2 or 192.168.1.151.
Set your SSID and other wireless settings the same as your main router.
Save your settings and disconnect your computer from the router.
Connect one end of a network cable to one of the numbered ports on your main router and the other end to one of the numbered ports of your second router. Do not plug anything into the Internet/WAN port of the second router.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider upgrading at least one of your routers’ antennas to “high-gain.” Routers typically come with omni-directional antennas, meaning they broadcast in all directions. If your router is next to an outside wall, you’ll broadcast part of your signal outside your home. High-gain antennas send the signal in one direction, allowing you to focus it where you choose.
- Make sure that the IP address you gave to your second router (192.168.1.2 in the example) is not used by anything else in your network.