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 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 router’s 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 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 in 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: Changing 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.
Decide on your wireless router
Before you can connect a second router wirelessly, you’ll need to decide on the type of wireless router that you want.
There are many different types of routers, so there are a lot of things to consider when deciding which one to purchase. The most important thing is what type of internet connection your home has and what types of devices will be connected.
For example, if your current internet connection is DSL but you want to connect your TV and gaming console wirelessly, it would be best to purchase an ADSL modem with built-in Wi-Fi.
If you have cable internet and all the devices in your home need WiFi access, you’ll need a cable modem with built-in Wi-Fi.
Connect to the existing Wi-Fi network
Before you can connect a second router wirelessly, you will need to make sure your existing Wi-Fi network is working correctly. This means that your computer or laptop should be able to access the internet through your current router.
Once you confirm this is the case, go ahead and connect the second router to power and then turn it on. Next, find its own SSID (network name). You will want to choose a different SSID than what you are using for your main router.
For example, if the main network name is “Smith House,” you might want to set up the new network as “Smith House 2.”
Once you have chosen a new SSID, enter it into the field that asks for it. Once this has been completed, all of your devices should be able to get on either Wi-Fi network without any problems.
Set up your second router
First, you’ll need to set up your second router. Begin by connecting the power cord and waiting for the device to boot up.
Once the device has booted up, enter the default IP address of your router (usually 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) into a web browser on a computer or mobile device connected wirelessly to the first router and log in with admin as both user name and password.
Select ‘Wireless’ from the menu on the left-hand side of the page and then select ‘Basic Wireless Settings’.
Select ‘Add wireless network’, enter a name for your new network (e.g., “NewWiFiNetwork”), and make sure that both radio button options are selected in order to make this network available to all wireless devices that are not currently connected to it.
Make sure that you enter a regulatory domain code in case you live outside of North America, which will be needed if you want good coverage of public Wi-Fi networks while traveling abroad, then click on ‘Apply’.
Connect wirelessly to the second router
First, you’ll need to set the second router up by connecting the Internet cable from your modem to it. You’ll also want to connect a power cord to the back of the second router and plug it into an available wall outlet.
Next, you’ll need to inform your existing router that you have a new wireless connection and set it up on its Wi-Fi settings. If you are not sure how this is done, simply consult your existing router’s manual for instructions.
Once you have changed the Wi-Fi settings on your current router, return to check that the second router has been successfully connected.
Finally, disconnect your computer from the first router and connect it instead to the second one using an Ethernet cable. Turn on both routers and wait for them to sync up with each other before concluding that they have been properly connected.
How to connect two WiFi routers without cable
First, make sure the second router is close to your existing Wi-Fi router.
Next, make sure the second router is plugged in to power and turned on. Then, set it up by following the on-screen instructions on the screen.
Once you’re done setting up the second router, select the “Wired” or “Wireless” option for your new network name and password.
Finally, select “Set up my connection manually.” This will prompt a list of available networks to connect to. Select your primary Wi-Fi router’s name from this list. Repeat these steps for any other routers that are set up in your home.
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 connect two routers wirelessly to extend the range
Here are the steps to follow to connect a second router wirelessly:
- Connect the second router’s power cable and wait for it to boot up.
- Connect the new router to your computer via an ethernet cable or wirelessly.
- Log into the new router with the administration password you selected when you first set it up.
- Open a browser window on your computer, type in “192.168.1.1” and press enter, which will take you to your new router’s login page (if it is not pre-programmed).
- Type in the username and password that you created when setting up the new Wi-Fi network or that was provided in this guide and press Enter on your keyboard.
Second router as access point
If you have an extra Wi-Fi router and need to expand your house’s wireless capabilities, you can use the second router as an access point.
First, connect the second Wi-Fi router to a power outlet via an Ethernet cable. Next, turn on the Wi-Fi on both routers.
With the first router still connected to the internet, log into it by typing in the web address and password. After you’re logged in, click on “Wireless.” Under “Wireless Network Name (SSID),” type in a new name for your network.
As you proceed with this, make sure that all devices are disconnected from the original access point before proceeding to the next step.
Now, log into your new access point and click on “Wireless.” Under “Wireless Network Name (SSID),” type in a new name for your network and then click “Apply.”
This will now allow you to broadcast two different wireless networks at the same time: one using your original internet connection; one using your new wireless signal.
Make sure that both networks have their own unique passwords so that they don’t interfere with each other.
How to connect wifi router to another WiFi router with wire
To connect a second router wirelessly, you need the following:
- Two routers with WiFi capabilities
- An Ethernet cable
- A computer with internet access
- A strong signal from your existing router
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.
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.
In the process, you can be able to connect many wired devices to the computer using one router connected to another router wirelessly or using a wired connection.
Do I need to be connected to the internet via a cable or wire to set up my second router?
You do not need to be connected through a wire in order to set up your second router. The only requirement is that you have an active connection with at least one Wi-Fi device.
Can I use my phone as a hotspot if it has a SIM card in it
You can use your phone as a hotspot if it has a SIM card in it. The next step would then be turning on the hotspot and connecting your second Wi-Fi router.
I don’t know which password to connect my new wireless network, what should I do?
If you are unsure of which password to connect your new wireless network, then try typing in the default password for most routers, which is usually either “admin” (without quotes) or “password” (without quotes).