Ever wondered where you will take your older router once you upgrade to a new router? Then wonder no more. The older router can be connected with the new router to expand the range of your wireless network. However, we need to learn how to connect a second router wirelessly.
When you have a home network, you will always need more than one router. The first router is the one that connects to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). This is the main connection. Then, there are routers that connect to each other wirelessly using DD-WRT. These are called secondary routers or wireless extenders.
Your house is divided into sections and these routers provide coverage to different areas of the home.
It’s important to know how to set up a second router in your house. There are two ways that this can be done: by connecting them with an ethernet cable; or by using a Wi-Fi connection.
Currently, there are some routers that can give you wide Wi-Fi coverage. These long-range Wi-Fi coverage routers may also be mesh network routers. Even with their long-range coverage, with thick walls and larger homes, you may require a Wi-Fi extender.
The new Wi-Fi router is placed in areas without Wi-Fi coverage in your home or office.
How to connect a router to a modem wirelessly
In order to connect one router to another wirelessly, you need to ensure that your routers are enabled for wireless bridging. The wireless bridging feature is not found in most routers’ default settings and thus needs to be enabled. By using third-party firmware such as DD-WRT if you can’t connect via an Ethernet cable.
One of the ways of enabling the wireless bridging feature in your router is by using the DD-WRT firmware. This firmware breathes in new life into old routers.
Using DD-WRT, a free Linux-based firmware that replaces the factory firmware in a router. This firmware thus gives an old router improved performance and new features.
Therefore when DD-WRT is installed into your router, it gives the router the wireless bridge features in –WRT in addition to other features. We will give you a guide on how to configure DD-WRT to enable the wireless bridge features.
How to connect a second router without DD-WRT
You can use a “Wireless Bridge” or “AP Client Mode” or “WDS Bridge” connection. In this setup, two routers are wirelessly connected to each other, allowing one router to act as a client or bridge to the other router’s network.
The connection extends the network’s coverage and enables devices connected to the second router to access the internet through the primary router’s network. This setup is useful for expanding Wi-Fi coverage in areas where running Ethernet cables is not feasible, and both routers should support the same wireless bridge feature for successful implementation.
To connect a second router wirelessly to your existing network, follow these steps:
- Configure the First Router for Wireless Bridge:
- Access the administration interface of your first router through a web browser using its IP address.
- Look for the option to enable “Wireless Bridge,” “AP Client Mode,” or “WDS Bridge” in the router settings. Enable this feature, and then scan for available wireless networks.
- Select and connect to the network of your main router (SSID) and enter the network password if prompted.
- Save the settings and allow the first router to restart.
- Before finalizing, you need to work on the Wireless Security part to set up a password.
- Therefore, go to Wireless and select Wireless Security.
- Then, choose WPA/WPA2- Personal(Recommended) option at the security option
- After choosing the security feature, set the wireless password that you prefer. This will be your password moving forward.
- select Save after setting your password.
- Configure the Second Router for Wireless Bridge:
- Access the administration interface of your second router using its IP address through a web browser.
- Look for the same “Wireless Bridge,” “AP Client Mode,” or “WDS Bridge” option in the settings, and enable it.
- Scan for available wireless networks and select the network of the first router (SSID) that you connected to in the previous step. Enter the network password if required.
- Save the settings and restart the second router.
After completing these steps, the second router should now be wirelessly connected to the first router, extending your network’s coverage. The second router will act as a client to the first router and allow devices connected to it to access the internet through the primary router’s network.
Keep in mind that the terms used in router settings may vary depending on the router’s manufacturer and model. Ensure that both routers support the same wireless bridge feature (AP Client Mode or WDS Bridge) for this setup to work effectively.
How to configure DD-WRT to enable wireless bridge features
Step 1: Check if your router is supported for installation of the DD-WRT firmware
Using the DD-WRT database, you can easily find if the router that you want to use as the bridge router is DD-WRT supported. You can also find out if there are files you can download to install DD-WRT on your router.
It is important to note that most of the router brands available in the market today are DD-WRT enabled or can be made to be DD-WRT enabled.
In case your router is not DD-WRT enabled, you can get a new or refurbished router that is DD-WRT enabled.
Step 2: For DD-WRT-enabled routers check the device-specific directions for DD-WRT installation
This step is performed for routers with DD-WRT capabilities. The database may have installation directions that are specific for different routers. It is important to check the notes for the installation too.
The installation process, as detailed in the DD-WRT installation guides, is as simple as installing a program into a computer. The process of installing the firmware is called flashing.
In the installation process, be keen on the installation guide as given. This is because if the installation is not done properly you might brick your router.
Step 3: Perform a hard reset to the router
This step is done once you have successfully installed the DD-WRT firmware. This is done using a pointed object and pressing the router reset/ restore factoring setting button.
This button is found at the back of the modem and is outlined in red on most devices.
While pressing the reset button you wait for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the router lights flash. It is good to refer to the device manual for a hard reset in case this process does not work.
Step 4: Using an Ethernet cable connects the bridge router to the computer
Connecting your computer using an Ethernet cable to the LAN jacks on the bridge router will give you a chance to set a static IP address on your PC.
You can set a static IP address of for example 192.168.1.10. The bridge IP address when the above static IP address is set will be 192.168.1.1.
Step 5: Change your username and password
On your computer, open a Web browser and enter 192.168.1.1 on the browser address bar. This will create a DD-WRT Web interface.
In the interface, you will be prompted to change the Username and password. Once the username and password are chosen, you should then click on the change password button.
Step 6: Configure the security settings
To configure the settings, go to wireless on the DD-WRT interface from which you should select wireless security.
This should be followed by selecting security mode, algorithm, and shared key as your primary router. After all, this is accomplished, click the save button.
Step 7: Setting the other basic settings on the DD-WRT interface
After changing the security settings, kindly move to the basic settings on the DD-WRT interface. In the basic settings, change the wireless mode to client bridge.
This should be followed by ensuring both the Network mode and SSID are similar for both the primary router and bridge router.
In addition, for N routers, there may be a necessity to change the wireless channel width to read the same for both the primary router and bridge router.
After all these changes, kindly press save and then apply settings button.
Step 8: Changing the basic setup settings
Changing the basic setup settings is the next step in how to connect a second router wirelessly. In this step, go to the basic setup on the main setup menu. After selecting the basic setup, key in the router IP information.
The IP address for the local router IP address should be in the same subnet as the IP address of the primary router. This means that for example if your primary router gives you an IP address on 192.168.1.n subnet, you can select the IP address as 192.168.1.11.
The subnet mask will still remain as 255.255.255.0 whereas the IP address of the primary router should be keyed in as the gateway address. After this, leave the local DNS settings blank but kindly ensure that you select your time zone.
However, another option would be to check the checkbox indicated as ‘assign WAN Port to Switch’. This will convert the WAN port to a LAN port. The change helps to give you an additional port on the bridge router.
After these settings are effected, then click on the apply settings button.
Step 9: Logging back into the bridge router
After you have made all the changes above, log back using the newly set address (192.168.1.11) into the bridge router.
Step 10: Enabling filter multicast on Security settings
After logging back into the bridge router, kindly go to the Security options on the DD-WRT interface. On the security settings select firewall.
Under the firewall head to Block WAN Requests and select ‘Filter Multicast’. Also kindly ensure that ‘SPI Firewall’ available under the firewall protection is disabled.
Once this is done, click save and apply settings.
Step 11: Setting the operating mode
Once you are done with the security settings, then move on to the advanced routing settings. On the advanced routing area, it is recommended that you set the ‘operating mode to ‘router’.
Click save after setting the operating mode.
Kindly note that if you are using MAC filtering on the first router, it means that you will use the second (bridge) router’s MAC address. This is different from the LAN MAC address that is normally indicated in the router label. You can easily find the MAC address by going to the status and then selecting the Sys-Info.
Step 12: Enabling the automatic IP address setting
After completion of the processes above, it is time to remove the static IP address and activate automatic IP addressing.
Once this is done, the second router (bridge router) should be able to pass along an automatic IP address from the first router (primary router) to the computer.
As soon as the automatic IP address is passed to your computer, you should be able to access the internet.
Step 13: Connecting other devices to the second (bridge) router
After checking and verifying that your computer can connect to the internet, as shown above, it is time to disconnect the computer.
This means that the bridge router is now ready to connect to the other devices in your home as long as it is placed within the Wi-Fi connection range of the first (primary) router.
Note that if your first router is a Wireless-N router and your second router is a wireless-G router, then you may be required to set the wireless mode settings to one that will enable b/g network support.
How to connect a D-Link router to another router wirelessly
If you have a D-Link router, you can follow these steps to connect it to another router wirelessly:
The first step is to identify the IP address of your current router. You can do this by clicking on the “IP Address” link in your browser’s navigation bar.
Next, find the IP address of the other router that you want to connect it with. This could be found on a sticker attached to the device or in its manual.
You will then need to input that new IP address into your browser’s navigation bar and navigate to the page for setting up a wireless connection. Write down the name or password for that second router as well.
Finally, input all of that information for the new connection and click “Add” on your browser’s screen. The device will now be connected wirelessly with your new device!
How to use an Ethernet cable to connect a WiFi router to another WiFi router (wired connection)
You can use an Ethernet cable to connect a second router to the first one. By connecting one end of the Ethernet cable to a LAN port of the primary router and the other end to the WAN port of the secondary router, you create a wired connection between the two routers.
This setup allows the secondary router to function as an access point, extending the network’s coverage and providing additional wired and wireless connections. To connect one WiFi router to another via a wired connection, you’ll need an Ethernet cable. Follow these steps:
- Disable DHCP on the Second Router:
- Access the administration interface of the second router through a web browser using its IP address.
- Find the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) settings and disable DHCP. This prevents conflicts between the two routers on your network.
- Connect the Routers:
- Power off both routers and connect one end of the Ethernet cable to a LAN (not WAN) port of the primary (first) router.
- Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the WAN port of the secondary (second) router.
- Configure IP Addresses:
- Power on both routers. Access the administration interface of the secondary router via a web browser using its IP address (usually printed on the router or provided in the user manual).
- Set the IP address of the secondary router to be on the same subnet as the primary router but outside the DHCP range of the primary router. For example, if the primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1, you can set the secondary router’s IP address to 192.168.1.2.
- Connect Devices to the Secondary Router:
- Devices connected to the secondary router can now access the internet through the primary router’s network. Connect devices to the LAN ports of the secondary router or connect wirelessly to its WiFi network.
This setup creates a wired connection between the two routers, with the secondary router acting as an access point, extending the coverage of your network. The primary router handles DHCP and assigns IP addresses to devices on both routers.
The final word
Following the guide above will enable you to use your router to create a bridge network on your second router. This way you can put to use your old router by either connecting wirelessly or through a wired connection.
The process will enable you to connect all wired devices too to the internet even if you are far away from the first router. This way, if your primary (first) router is in the living area of your home, you can connect to the internet in your study area next to your bedroom using the second router.
The wireless connection created between the first (primary) router and the second (bridge) router will enable communication from the devices to your primary router to the modem then to the ISP hardware.
Can you connect 2 routers wirelessly?
You can connect two routers wirelessly, but the second router typically functions as a wireless access point (AP) rather than a router. To set up this configuration, you need to change the first router’s operating mode to AP mode, and the second router should be configured in client mode, enabling it to connect to the first router’s network wirelessly and extend its coverage as an access point. This setup allows devices to connect to the secondary router, which then forwards their traffic to the primary router and ultimately to the internet.
Can you use another WiFi router as an extender?
You can use another WiFi router as an extender or repeater to improve your wireless network’s coverage. To do this, connect the old router to your main router using an Ethernet cable or use a wireless connection and configure it in AP (Access Point) mode to act as an extender. Alternatively, you can set the extra router to Repeater Mode to extend the WiFi signal without the need for a cable connection. The exact steps and settings may vary depending on the router model and manufacturer, so consult the user manual or online support resources for specific instructions.