How To Use 2 Routers With One Modem

You’d want to connect two routers to one modem for several reasons. Adding a second router can act as a range extender, improving your ability to connect to the internet. Another bonus is the additional Ethernet ports.

How To Use 2 Routers With One Modem

Although not entirely common, you can use two routers with one modem. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of this setup.

Using 2 Routers With One Modem

There are many benefits to using two routers with one modem.

Backup Router

Technology sometimes fails us. Losing your ability to connect to the internet or to your LAN could turn into a catastrophe. By connecting two routers to your modem, if one fails, you’ll have a backup.

Increased Connectivity for Wired Devices

Your primary router has a limited number of available LAN ports. Adding another router will increase the number of available ports. If your network runs many different hardwired devices, you’ll have plenty of ports available. This type of setup eliminates the need to install a network switch.

Ability to Isolate Devices

Dual routers can be set up to isolate the devices that require heavy network traffic. Isolating a PC, gaming device, or a TV that streams online content can be connected to one router, leaving the other for additional devices.

Mixed Wired/Wireless Setup

With two routers, you can use one solely for wired connections such as gaming devices, and the other for wireless connections. Doing so could result in improved performance for all attached devices.

How to Set Up 2 Routers With One Modem

Improving your home or office network doesn’t require extensive IT knowledge. However, it does involve several different steps. Depending on which type of router you have, the process can differ slightly. Here we’ll discuss the most common way to set up two routers with one modem.

Check Router Compatibility

Before you begin the set-up process, you’ll need to ensure that your routers are compatible with your needs. Your second router will need to support WDS (Wireless Distribution System) bridging. If the new router you want to add doesn’t support this, adding it won’t help to extend your Wi-Fi network. Check the new router’s documentation to see if it supports WDS. If it does, you’ll see “bridging mode,” “repeater function,” or “WDS” in its documentation.

Decide Which One Will Be the Main Router

If you’re setting up your system from scratch, you’ll need to determine which router will be used as the main router. The one that’ll be connected directly to the internet is considered the main router.

Ensure Your Ethernet Cable Is Long Enough

Unless both routers are from the same manufacturer and model, you’ll want to use an Ethernet cable. Some models allow for wireless bridging, but you’ll need to hardwire them in most cases. Please note that the cable should only be long enough to connect the modems. Using an excessively long cable could degrade network quality. For that reason, measuring the distance between the two routers and purchasing a cable of the appropriate length is recommended.

Connect Your Main Router to the Internet

If you’re setting up for the first time, you’ll need to connect your main router to the internet. First, ensure that your modem is indeed connected. Next, you’ll need to connect an Ethernet cable from your modem to your main router WAN or internet port.

Connect Your Computer to the Main Router

Now that your main router is connected to your modem, it’s time to connect it to your computer. Even if your main router has Wi-Fi, it’s best to use an Ethernet cable. Insert one end of the Ethernet cable into a LAN port on the main router and the other end into an Ethernet port on your computer.

Set Up Your Main Router

Before setting up your secondary router, you’ll need to make some adjustments and write down some settings. This is required before you can add the secondary router. First, you’ll need to determine your main router’s IP address.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the “Start” icon and then tap on the “Gear” icon to open up your settings.
  2. Select “Network & Internet.”
  3. Using the right-side panel, choose “View hardware and connection properties.”
  4. Next to “Default Gateway,” you’ll find your main modem’s IP address. Write this number down.

Now that you have the IP address, you’ll need to get to the router’s admin website.

  1. Open a browser on your computer.
  2. In the address bar, type in the IP address, and hit “Enter.”
  3. Locate “DHCP Server” and tap the button that says “Enabled.”
  4. Write down the following information that you’ll find on this page:
    • SSDI (Network name and password)
    • Security, network, or encryption mode
    • Frequency
    • Internet IP address and subnet mask
  5. Once you have all of the information written down, hit the “Save” button.

You can now disconnect the Ethernet cable from your computer.

Set Up Your Secondary Router

Now that you have the necessary information from your main router, you’ll need to configure the secondary router.

  1. Plug the Ethernet cable into the secondary router and into your computer.
  2. Locate this router’s IP address by using the same method described above.
  3. Open a browser and type in the IP address and hit “Enter.”
  4. Locate “Connection Type” and select “WDS,” “Bridged,” “Repeater,” or “Bridge Mode,” depending on which options you have.
  5. Press the “Save” button.

Please note that not all routers have the exact same menus, so the following steps could vary depending on your model. These instructions are generic in nature due to the number of available options based on each models’ user interface.

  1. Locate the heading that says “Wireless Basic Settings.”
  2. Using the information you wrote down, make the appropriate changes to match the main modem.
  3. Once you’ve done this, click “Save” or “Modify,” depending on what options you have.

Getting Both Routers Online

With both routers properly configured, you’re now ready to get them online. You’ll first need to place the routers where you want them. Once you have everything situated, follow these steps to complete the process:

  1. Connect the two routers by attaching them with an Ethernet cable.
  2. Unplug and restart both routers.
  3. Once they have powered back on, both will be accessible and connected to the internet.

Extend Your Wi-Fi and Isolate Devices With 2 Routers

Using two routers, you can quickly extend your Wi-Fi to hard-to-reach locations in your office or home. With two routers, you can dedicate one to devices that require a lot of bandwidth and use the other for those that don’t have a high demand. Although it can take a bit of time to get them set up properly, once installed, you’ll have a much more efficient internet and LAN setup.

Have you ever used two routers with one modem? Did this article give you the necessary information to set them up? Let us know in the comments section below.

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