We moved to our new home about a year ago and I was really excited because I had it all connected with Cat 6 cable and Ethernet ports all over the place!
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize that all these connections would come from one place, and it turned out to be a closet in my master bedroom! Yes, when the AT&T guy came out to get my internet connected, he had to put a wireless router on the wall of my closet.
This was not ideal for several reasons:
1. Why would I plug my wireless router into a wall in a closet? I cannot access it to reset settings, check lights, etc.
2. The closet is not in the center of the house, so the signal barely reaches the opposite side of the house and does not work well at the top.
In the end, I decided that I needed to get another wireless router and somehow set it up as a second wireless router to complement my main wireless network.
In this post, I’ll show you how to add a second wireless router to your network, which will be on a different subnet than the first router, but will still connect to the Internet using the primary router as a gateway.
In one of the future posts, I will also write a guide on how to set up a second wireless router, which is just an extension of the main wireless router, meaning both will use the same subnet and the same IP range.
Set up the second wireless router
The first thing you’ll need is another wireless router. The reason this tutorial will use two separate subnets is because it’s easier to set up a second router and you can buy any wireless router rather than looking for a specific router to act as a wireless bridge or wireless repeater. P>
This is also an option, but often you need two identical routers or at least two routers from the same manufacturer.
Without worrying about setting up bridges and repeaters, setup is much easier and we can use any wireless routers we want.
If you want both routers to work on the same subnet, you should also worry about disabling DHCP on one router, etc. We can leave all the options at their default using this dual subnet method.
Also, since we will be using a router, both networks will be able to communicate with each other. So if you have a server on subnet A and you want to access files on that server using a computer on subnet B, you can do that.
In my case, I went ahead and bought a Netgear N600 dual band wireless router. I usually find that Netgear performs much better than the LinkSys and D-Link routers, but it doesn’t really matter.
Now comes the fun part! Remember that for this to work, you will need another Ethernet socket somewhere in your home that you can physically plug your second into.
The first thing you need to do is unpack your router and plug it in. Once launched, you should have an unsecured but working wireless network in addition to our current wireless network.
At this point, we need to connect to the router and visit the configuration page in the web browser. Go ahead and connect to a wireless router on your PC or Mac. Read the instructions that came with your router.
It should tell you which IP is the default and how to connect to the admin page using a web browser. This is usually something like 10.0.0.1 or 192.168.1.254, etc. It should look something like this:
Now, before we can go any further, we need to make sure the two networks are using different subnet ranges. If your primary router is using the 192.168.1.1-254 range, for example, you need to make sure the second router is using a different range, such as 10.0.0.1-254.
I am assuming that whoever is reading this has some technical knowledge and understands what I am talking about. If you need to change the IP range for the router, please go to the LAN TCP / IP setting on the configuration page:
IP is the IP of the router, in my case it is 10.0.0.1. This worked for me because my current wireless network was using the IP address 192.168.1.x, so there was no chance of a conflict.
If you would like to use a different range of IP addresses, check out this post, which lists the three main ranges of private IP addresses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_network.
Once you’ve made sure the subnets are different, we can configure the wireless router to use the first router (your primary router connected to the Internet) as the default gateway and DNS server.
Basically, the “Internet” for the second router will be the first router itself. The Internet for the first router is your ISP.
For this to work, we first need to physically connect the second router to the first router’s network. This can be done by connecting an Ethernet cable from the LAN port on the first router to the WAN port on the second router.
Of course, this only really makes sense if your home is connected to Ethernet ports throughout the house, otherwise placing your first and second routers next to each other doesn’t make sense. Or, if you have no other choice, you can buy a 100-foot Ethernet cable and then connect them together this way.
The yellow port in the diagram above is the WAN port on my Netgear N600 router, which acts as my second wireless router. I just took the cable and plugged one end into the Ethernet port on my wall and plugged the other end into the WAN port on the Netgear router.
Again, if you don’t have wall outlets, you will have to connect a cable from the LAN port (black ports in the diagram above) on the first router to the WAN port on the second router.
Once you have that physical connection, all we need to do is tell the new router to point to the first router to access the Internet. You can do this by going to the WAN setup in the router configuration for the second router.
Depending on what kind of router you have, you can’t call it that. Basically, you are looking for the section where you enter your Internet IP address. Typically this is set to Get Automatically from ISP, but in our case, we want the new router to point to the first router on our network.
First, you need to give the second router an “Internet IP”. This is different from the LAN IP you saw above – 10.0.01 for my router. The Internet IP address will be any available IP address on your first wireless network.
I randomly selected 192.168.1.145 because I knew there was no device on my first wireless network with that IP address. Just select anything from 2 to 253, but preferably something higher, such as 100. If you are a little technical, you can first check the connection with this address to make sure no device is responding.
The important part is changing the IP of the gateway and primary DNS server to the IP of the first router, which in my case is 192.168.1.254. This essentially tells the second router to route all Internet traffic to the first router.
The gateway IP address also points to the first router, which basically allows the second network to communicate with the first network and communicate with devices on the first network.
And it’s all! Nothing more special. You should restart the second router once and try to go online after connecting the laptop to the new network. You may need to restart your first wireless network for this to work.
If you’re having trouble getting this to work, please leave a comment and I’ll try to help. Don’t forget to provide detailed information about your network, configuration, etc. Enjoy!