Consider in this article two options by which you can connect routers to each other on the same network. The first option is to connect two routers via Wi-Fi, and the second option is to connect routers via a network cable. In any case, the routers will work on the same network, and everyone will distribute the Internet both via cable and Wi-Fi.
Why even set up such a scheme and why connect one router to another? There are different situations. Most often, this is an extension of the Wi-Fi network coverage area, although, for such tasks, I recommend using repeaters, or routers that can work in repeater mode. Everything is very simple here. We have already installed and configured a router, or a modem that distributes the Internet. We connect the second one to this router, either wirelessly or using a network cable. By installing a second router in another room, or on another floor, it will distribute Wi-Fi further.
Or in this way you can connect the Internet from a neighbor. Pay for one connection, and divide it into two routers. In fact, there are a lot of options. And if you have already visited this page, then most likely you already know why you need to connect one router to the second. Therefore, let’s get to the point.
Two routers on the same network: connection options
There are two options:
- Connect Routers over Wi-Fi network. In WDS mode, or bridge mode. This is the same. In this case, you can install them at a relatively large distance. Well, you do not need to lay the cable. But there are also disadvantages, the Wi-Fi connection is not very stable, the speed over the wireless network will also drop. If you can’t use a cable for connection, then the option with a wireless connection will suit you. Well, not every router supports WDS mode (especially from older devices)
- The second option is to connect two routers using a network cable on the same network. The method is reliable, proven, but it does not always work, because you have to lay the cable, and the cable itself, as a rule, needs a long one and you need to either buy it or make it yourself. You can use the one that comes with the router, but it is short.
I think you have already chosen a suitable connection method. Now consider them in more detail.
We connect two routers via Wi-Fi (in WDS mode)
We will consider the example of the most popular manufacturers: Asus, Tp-Link, Zyxel, and D-link.
So, you should have a main router, which should distribute a Wi-Fi network, to which we will connect the second. It can be any. In the sense that it is not necessary that they are for example two Tp-Link routers (although it is desirable)
All, no more settings of the main device need to be changed.
Configuring WDS connection on a Tp-Link router
To configure such a scheme on Tp-Link, we have a separate, detailed instruction: Configuring a Tp-Link router in bridge mode (WDS). We connect two routers via Wi-Fi. If you have Tp-Link (TL-WR740ND, TL-WR841N, TL-WR941ND, TL-MR3220, TL-WR842ND, etc.), then you can safely follow the link.
Everything is very simple there: we go into the settings, change the IP address of the router, and configure the WDS mode. I will not describe everything here in detail, since the link above has a very detailed instruction. With Tp-Link sorted out, let’s move on to models from other manufacturers.
Setting the bridge mode on the Asus router
I just sat for more than an hour, figured out what was going on with the bridge mode on Asus routers, and I can say that they made everything there very complicated and confusing. As I understand it, setting up WDS on an Asus router is only possible if your main router is Asus as well. There you need to register MAC addresses on both routers, etc. Maybe I’m wrong, correct me (in the comments) I checked on Asus RT-N12, and RT-N18.
Here at Tp-Link without all these troubles everything works. I give a link to the setup instructions on the Asus official website: https://www.asus.com/ua/support/faq/109839. And I’ll definitely deal with these settings and prepare a separate article on setting up the bridge mode on Asus routers.
Or I advise you to configure it in repeater mode. Everything is much simpler there, and everything works. Checked.
Connecting a D-Link Router to Another Wi-Fi Router (Client Mode)
I figured out D-Link. This mode is called there. "Client mode". Configured, and everything works fine. I have Asus as the main router, and I connected D-link DIR-615 to it (with new firmware 2.5.20)
To get started, connect to our D-Link via cable, and go to the settings at 192.168.0.1. Go directly to the tab Wifi. Client. Check the box next to Enable, in the list of networks, select your network (main router), in the field WPA encryption enter the password for your network and click on the button To apply. And if there is still a message about changing the channel, then click Ok.
Next go to the tab Network. Wan. Check off all profiles that are there and click on the button. Delete.
Then, click on the button Add, select from the list Dynamic IP. In field Interface select item WiFiClient, and click on the button To apply.
After that, you need to save the settings by clicking on the item System, and choosing Save. Then, hover over System and select Reload.
After these settings, our D-Link will connect to the main router via a Wi-Fi network, receive Internet from it, and distribute it further via Wi-Fi, or via cable. Do not forget to put the password on the Wi-Fi network. Everything works, verified.
Connecting two routers over Wi-Fi on Zyxel
On Zyxel Keenetic devices, everything is perfectly done. There, to use the Zyxel Keenetic router in bridge mode, you need to configure it to connect to the provider via Wi-Fi. This mode is also called WISP. In our case, the main router, which already broadcasts a Wi-Fi network, will act as a provider. I already wrote detailed instructions with pictures on setting up this circuit. See article: client mode (wireless bridge) on Zyxel Keenetic router.
Well, or set up your Zyxel Keenetic as a repeater. He does an excellent job with this job. The difference between these modes is that in the first case (when setting up WISP), the second router will distribute the Internet via its Wi-Fi network, that is, there will be two of them. And you can use all the functions of the router. And when setting up in repeater mode, the wireless network will be one, just amplified by the second device.
How to connect two routers by cable?
Let’s take a closer look at the second option – a network cable connection. It will be perfect if there are no problems with cable laying, or when your modem (which, for example, your provider gave you) does not know how to distribute Wi-Fi. In this case, you can simply connect a Wi-Fi router to it according to this scheme.
I’ll show an example of connecting a Tp-Link router to D-Link (we have the main one and the black one). Then we take the cable and connect it to the main router LAN connector (in one of four, if you have 4 of them) And on the second router we connect the cable to WAN connector. See the screenshot below. My routers are connected by a black cable. The white cable is the internet that is connected to the main router.
It turns out that Tp-Link will receive Internet from D-Link, and distribute it wirelessly, or via cable.
If after connecting, the Internet from the second router does not work, then first reset the settings on it, and then check that the settings of the router we are connecting to are set to automatically obtain an IP address (Dynamic IP) On Tp-Link, this is done So:
On other routers, these settings are set in the control panel, on the WAN, Internet, etc. tab.
Here’s an example of another cable connection scheme for two routers: Tp-Link to Zyxel. In this case, we have the main Tp-Link. Internet is connected to it.
Exactly the same scheme connects the router to the ADSL modem.
Everything that I wrote in this article, I checked it myself, and everything works. I tried to prepare the simplest and most understandable instructions. But, if something did not work out for you, then you can describe your case in the comments, I will try to advise something.
Well, you share your experience. If there is useful information, be sure to update the article.