How to set up a second router on your home network

People will continue to work from home and attend classes from home in large numbers. That means more connected devices in more places in your home. It also means that more people share the Internet connection.

Also, it may mean that you need a wired or wireless network in parts of your home that you didn’t need before. We’ll show you some ways to connect two routers to make your home network more robust.

Why would I set up a second router?

There are several ways to add a second wireless router to your home network. You can use it as an access point or repeater to extend wireless coverage. You can set up a separate network for guests to use. Or you can use the second router as a switch to add more Ethernet ports to your network.

Requirements for setting up a second router at home

Not all Wi-Fi routers can be configured as a second router to extend wireless range or as an access point (AP). This is what you need:

  • Admin access to your primary and secondary router
  • To configure as AP or switch, an Ethernet cable to connect the two routers

If your second router cannot be used in these different modes because it is older, check for a firmware update. Upgrading can expand its capabilities.

For this tutorial, we’re using an Asus RT-N300 as our second Wi-Fi router. Your routers are likely to be different. However, the same concepts apply whether it’s a D-Link, tp-Link, Linksys, Netgear, or any of the many good router models available.

How to set up a second Wi-Fi router as a wireless access point

If your home is wired for Ethernet and you want excellent wireless coverage and Internet access everywhere on your home network, consider using the second router as an access point (AP). You’ll get excellent Wi-Fi coverage with a fast and stable Ethernet connection between your secondary router and your primary router.

  1. On the second router, log in and go to Management > Operation mode and select access point modeafter Save money.
  1. At this point, let the router configure the LAN-IPs and connect to the domain name server (DNS) automatically. Then select next continue.
  1. In Wireless Settingsleave the default value of Yes selected for Do you want to use the previous wireless security settings? This allows you to connect to the AP with the same SSID and password as the main router, allowing for a seamless transition between the two when you’re on the go.

If you want to make a guest network with a different SSID and password, select Nope and then change the values ​​as needed. The guest network would not be completely separate from your personal network; it would just mean that you don’t have to share your personal password. Select Apply continue.

The router applies the settings.

  1. connect the PALE router port 2 to a LAN port on router 1, either directly or through the wired home network. Now you have an AP.

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How to set up a second Wi-Fi router to extend the range

Often the wireless router is installed at one end of the house, where the services enter the home. Then the other end of the house has poor or no Wi-Fi signal. Setting up a second Wi-Fi router as a Wi-Fi range extender somewhere near the center of your house will give you a wireless connection anywhere in your home, without a wired Ethernet connection to the first router.

Fortunately, many newer routers have a wizard process to set it up as a wireless range extender. For example, the Asus RT-N300 provides a simple repeater mode option in the initial setup. To estimate where to place the second wireless router, use an app to measure the strength of the wireless signal and find where it starts to drop off. Move back a few meters to better signal strength and that’s a good place to put it.

  1. Select Repeater mode, then next.

Note the link to a Device Discovery Utility. That link is dead, however we found a new link to the Device Discovery Utility. There is also an ASUS Device Discovery app for iOS for iPhone and iPad. The Device Discovery Utility makes it easy and simple to find your router’s IP address after you configure it as a wireless repeater.

  1. The wizard scans nearby wireless signals and displays your networks. Select yours from the list. Enter the password used to connect to your Wi-Fi network, then select Connect.
  1. The wizard sets a static IP address and collects the subnet mask and default gateway of the local network. These settings are fine, leave them as they are and select next.
  1. the Wireless Settings the defaults are also fine for most people. Leave them as they are and select Apply. This makes your wireless password connect you to your home network through any router.

The router now connects to the main Wi-Fi router. When this completes, it does not return to the router admin page because the IP address of the second router has changed. This is where you need the Device Discovery Utility.

  1. Open the Device Discovery Utility downloaded in step 1 to get the new IP address of your second router. Enter that IP address into your web browser to access the router’s admin site and log in.
  1. To go Advanced settings > wireless and change roaming assistant of To disable a Enable. The default RSSI setting of -70 dBm is good for most situations. That means that when the second router sees a device with a signal strength lower than -70 dBm, it will disconnect from it. The device can now try to connect to your main router, providing a seamless transition between the two. It is similar to how your mobile phone call goes from one tower to another while driving. Select Apply.

It may take a few minutes to finish. You now have wireless coverage around your second router.

How to configure a second router to act as a switch

Most home networks have a modem/router combo with 4 or 5 Ethernet ports on the back for wired connections. Once those ports are full and you still want wired connections, what do you do? Use your router like a switch. You can also use an Ethernet router for this.

  1. Connect router 1 to router 2 with an Ethernet cable. One end is connected to a LAN port on the first router and the other to a LAN port on the router. Ignore the WAN port. Use another Ethernet cable to connect the second router to your computer.
  1. Login to the first router and make a note of the IP range it covers. In this example, the subnet is 192.168.2.0/24 and the range of IP addresses that can be given is from 192.168.2.10 to 192.168.2.254. IP addresses ending with 1 to 9 are not available to the DHCP server, so they can be provided as static IP addresses and not cause an IP conflict on the network.
  1. Connect to the administration page of the second router and navigate to Advanced settings > LAN > LAN-IPs To make it easier to find and connect to the router again, give the router a static IP that is different from your first router, but on the same subnet. We are using 192.168.2.2. Make sure the subnet mask matches the subnet mask of the first router. Select Apply. You will need to enter 192.168.2.2 in the browser’s location bar to reconnect.
  1. move to the DHCP server tab and disable DHCP. Only router 1 should act as a DHCP server and assign IP addresses.
  1. If possible, disable wireless access. To go wireless > Professional and establish Enable Radius a Nope. If your router doesn’t have that option, secure wireless access as much as possible by hiding the Service Set Identifier (SSID), also known as the name of your Wi-Fi, and by setting up ridiculously strong access passwords. This prevents someone from connecting to it as a wireless device, either accidentally or on purpose. You can now connect more devices via Ethernet to your home network by connecting them to the remaining LAN ports.

Connect

Now you have a use for at least one thing in your e-waste pile, and your home network is even better. Do you have any other ideas for using a second router? Let us know.


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