How to connect two routers together: adding WiFi AC to your home

So earlier at the beginning of the year, BestBuy had these cheap Dlink 1200 AC routers on sale for $42, normally in the $100+ range, so I thought what the hey, why not, buy one and extend my wireless AC to my room which is blocked by a corner making me lie on my left side with my iPad just to get some wifi. edit: I also wanted AC Wifi of which my old modem/router did not have.

The only problem was I thought I knew how to connect these things together since I was a retired IT/programmer guy. So I connected them together by plugging one of the 4 ethernet output from my modem into my WAN input of my new router and started to search for bridge mode in the menu.

Ok no bridge mode. So for almost half a year I had this two zone ip mode going on at my Apartment. The clouds were on the wired ethernet zone - 199 and my Apple TV, iPhone, iPad were on the ip wireless zone.

Two routers, two sets of ip. The problem was that I could not reference my clouds by their DNS names but thankfully I could reference them by their ip numbers. The same with my wireless laser printer of which I had to connect to Wifi before I could print.

Thus with the changeover of my 3x4TB clouds over to a single 8TB cloud, I vowed to figure this router to router connection once and for all and to put everyone back into a single ip zone.

and the answer was so simple… that it really didn’t warrant a large post like this but nevertheless it had a good backstory, so here it is…

  1. plug the modem ethernet cable into one of the router’s ethernet outlet instead of the WAN input, thus changing the router into a switch.
  2. de-activate the DHCP on the new router.

All wifi and ethernet DHCP ip will be generated from the original modem router thus unifying all the ip’s.

I hope this helps anyone that needs this information. If you need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask.

If you already knew this it is too bad you did not speak up earlier, saving me the hassles of typing up this post :stuck_out_tongue: unfortunately this last tongue in cheek statement dragged a bunch of linked posts by Bennor that may seem related and embedded within other posts that all had to do with bad AT&T equipment, slow modem speeds and other unrelated topics. This topic is strictly on connecting two routers and/or adding AC Wifi to your network. So I’ll rephrase my last statement, if you know this already, good for you. If you have a problem with my sharing as typing up posts like this does take time both in effort and support of the post afterwards, I’ll go back to my recluse mode of which I’ve been doing for the last year and a half.

Anyways, this was on my to-do list and it wasn’t done until yesterday and I’m so glad that it was finally done.

If you had used the forum search feature you’d see that setting up a second router behind the first one has been explained several times. Including as recently as five days ago… :wink:

Some other threads where I’ve given brief directions on how to setup a second router behind the first:

so what are you saying Bennor? that I should search before posting… right…

I shall do that next time… better yet… I think I’ll simply go back to my quiesce mode.

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Seems to me that range extenders could have done the job just fine. They do for me in a two-story house. I have one for 2.4G and another for 5G signals. (mostly use 5G for everything; especially for video streaming on iPad, etc.). 2.4G is used for my audio devices (like Amazon Echo products) and devices that do not have 5G. WD made some dual-band range extenders that can still be found new from liquidators and at bargain prices, too.

The problem with some (many?) wireless range extenders is they cut the bandwidth in half because they are both sending and receiving from a single band. For some this may not be a problem, for someone streaming HD video or copying large files it will be an issue. The other factor with wireless range extenders is their placement. They typically have to be placed close enough to the access point to get a good signal.

I wanted the 1200 AC wifi :slight_smile: for my new iPad, new Macbook and new iPhone, all which uses the new AC wifi which my modem didn’t have.

OK, Bennor, so what is the alternative, lousy or no signal? I have a MPW that when I use it at home connected to home network (rarely – it is for my use away from home) and it transmits and receives on 2.4G only, so when I view a video from it, my iPad is connected to 5G, and it is a noticeable improvement over using 2.4G on the iPad.

My router is in middle of house, and the three range extenders I use are about midway between the router and other things. I even have a range extender set up exclusively dedicated to a FireTV and Chromecast only sitting by a TV. This range extender has a different SSID called “My SSID”_5G._EXT. so it is on a separate signal from the regular 5G signal, and it does not degrade the 5G bandwidth/speed as it does if connected to the regular 5G signal.

Bottom line: the pluses of using range extenders outweighs the minuses, if one knows exactly how to set them up and use them. I highly recommend their use when necessary. I use WD range extenders, and even have a few new ones in waiting as spares if I need them.

AC routers (aka Tri-band routers) are more hype than performance improvements. A quality dual-band router can be better than some tri-band routers. I do very well with a quality Asus dual-band router.

I even have an AC Bridge connected to the router’s 5G signal for use by some devices that cannot be hardwired due to location in house, and the bandwidth is the same as being wired for these devices. (Speedtest shows same speed as my wired d/l signal (120+ Mbps)

Need convincing to save your money and not get an AC router yet? See this PC Mag article:

yup, I totally agree and I found out by actually doing the performance test expecting a megabit Wifi.

I had another post regarding the fake hype of AC :stuck_out_tongue:

but the AC router was cheaper than a wifi extender plus the fact that it has ports on the back for my Cloud to plug into, so it was a win/win for $42.

That’s the key; if one knows how to set them up and use them. While you or I will have no problem setting them up, we’re talking about a general public who cannot even be bothered to RTFM and understand the potential issues and limitations they may experience with the units.

Like I indicated, for some the bandwidth issue, if it happens on their local network using a wifi extender, may not be a problem. But for others it may be an issue. For some its better to run a wire and setup a second access point or a switch even if that means pulling wires through walls and multiple floors. There are a many factors that influence how well a WiFi Range Extender can/will work. Existing wireless router/gateway equipment, home construction, existing WiFi interference, etc. While a WiFi Range Extender works perfect in your case, may not work for your neighbor or the person down the street.

Yep, I used a Wi-Fi signal at someone’s house this weekend where the name of the router was Linksys and the guest signal was Linksys_guest.

Duh. just this info told me how “well” the Wi-Fi was likely setup. The owner was not home; they had lent the house to relatives while they were on vacation. I didn’t even bother signing in with the password. I saw there was also free xfinitywifi there, so just connected to it!

I cannot tell you how many home networks I have seen that were marginally functional. The people are not stupid, but they have no clue of how to set these things up.

This is why mesh networking and eero, luma and amplifi are on the market. It was thought separate SSIDs 2.4 and 5 bands was the way to go. No more. I have a router and repeater bridge with one SSID and my devices work perfectly.

Place the second router near a Windows PC or another computer that can be used for the initial configuration. A second (new) router that doesn’t have wireless capability must be connected to the first (existing) router via an Ethernet cable. This might help you fix the problem:

Connecting a Second Wireless Router Home wireless routers can be connected to each other via Ethernet cable the same as wired routers Connecting two home routers via wireless is also possible, but in most configurations, the second one will only be able to function as a wireless access point instead of a router. If you want to know more I recommend CISCO Support team.

Thank you to this option