How to set up a second router on your home network

People will continue to work from home and attend homeschooling in large numbers. That means more connected devices in more places in your home. It also means more people sharing the internet connection.

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

Why configure 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 a repeater to extend wireless coverage. You can configure a separate network for guests. 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). Here is what you need:

  • Admin access to your primary and secondary router
  • To configure as an access point 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. Updating can expand its capabilities.

For this tutorial, we are using an Asus RT-N300 as a second Wi-Fi router. Your routers are probably different. However, the same concepts apply whether it is a D-Link, tp-Link, Linksys, Netgear or one 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 anywhere in your home network, consider using the second router as an access point (AP). You’ll enjoy 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 navigate to Administration > Operating mode and select Access point modethen to safeguard.
  1. At this point let the router set the LAN IP and log in to domain name server (DNS) automatically. Then select Next Continue.
  1. In Wireless settingleave the default of Yes selected for Do you want to use previous wireless security settings? This allows you to connect to the hotspot with the same SSID and password as the main router, allowing seamless transition between the two while on the go.

If you want to make a Guest network with a different SSID and password, select Nope then change the values ​​as needed. The guest network would not be completely separate from your home 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 one local network port on Router 1, either directly or through the wired home network. You now have an access point.


How to Set Up a Second Wi-Fi Router to Extend Range

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

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

  1. Select Repeater fashion, then Next.

Note the link to a Device Discovery Utility. This link is dead, but 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 simplifies and facilitates finding the router’s IP address after it is configured as a wireless repeater.

  1. The wizard analyzes nearby wireless signals and displays their networks. Select yours from the list. Enter the password used to connect to your Wi-Fi network, then select Relate.
  1. The wizard sets a static IP address and collects the local network’s subnet mask and default gateway. These settings are correct, leave them as they are and select Next.
  1. The Wireless setting the defaults are fine for most people as well. Leave them as they are and select Apply. So your wireless password will connect you to your home network through either router.

The router now connects to the main Wi-Fi router. When it’s done, it doesn’t return to the router management page because the second router’s IP address 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 for your second router. Enter this IP address into your web browser to access the router’s management site and log in.
  1. Go to Advanced settings > Wireless and switch Traveling assistant of Disable at Enable. The default RSSI setting of -70 dBm is suitable for most situations. This means that when the second router sees a device with a signal strength lower than -70 dBm, it disconnects from it. The device can now attempt to connect to your main router, allowing a seamless transition between the two. It’s similar to how your cell phone call is passed from tower to tower while you’re driving. Apply.

It may take a few minutes to complete. 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 combination 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 as 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 plugged into a LAN port or the first router and the other end is plugged into a LAN port on the router. Ignore the WAN port. Use another Ethernet cable to connect the second router to your computer.
  1. Connect to the first router and note the IP range it covers. In this example, the subnet is and the range of IP addresses that can be given is to IP addresses ending in 1-9 are not available to the DHCP server, so they can be given as static IP addresses and not cause an IP conflict on the network.
  1. Log in to the management page of the second router and navigate to Advanced settings > local network > LAN IP To make it easier to find and reconnect to the router, give the router a different static IP address than your first router, but in the same subnet. We use Make sure the subnet mask matches the first router’s subnet mask. Select Apply. You will need to enter in the browser address 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. Go to Wireless > Professional And put Activate radio at Nope. If your router doesn’t have this option, secure wireless access as much as possible by hiding the Service Set Identifier (SSID) also known as your Wi-Fi, and setting access passwords ridiculously strong. This prevents anyone from connecting to it as a wireless device, accidentally or on purpose. You can now connect more devices via Ethernet to your home network by plugging them into the remaining LAN ports.

be connected

Now you have a use for at least one thing in your pile of electronic woes, 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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