How to Connect Two Routers on One Home Network
By David Weedmark
Connecting two routers in your home network, called, cascading helps you expand your network or manage network resources. You can create two local area networks -- LAN to LAN -- or a local area network inside a wide area network -- LAN to WAN. Use a LAN-to-LAN connection when you want to share files and resources throughout the network. A LAN-to-WAN connection makes it easier to identify which router your devices connect to, but devices connected to one router can't communicate with those on the other router. You must have administrative access to both routers.
Determine which will be the main router -- the one connected to the Internet -- and which will be the secondary router -- the one connected to the main router.
Connect the main router to your high-speed Internet connection and configure it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Connect a computer to the main router using an Ethernet cable and open the administrative panel. Make a note of the router's IP address and subnet mask. As an example, the IP address might be 192.168.1.1, and the subnet mask is often 255.255.255.0. Disconnect the computer from the router.
Connect the computer to a LAN port on the secondary router and open the administrative panel. Look for the router's IP Address, often under the Basic Setup section. Change the IP address so that it is the same as the primary router's IP address, except the last number, such as 192.168.1.2. Ensure the subnet mask is the same as the one for the main router.
Locate the DHCP settings in the admin panel and disable the DHCP Server option. Save your changes and disconnect the computer from the router.
Connect an Ethernet cable to any LAN port on the main router. Connect the other end to the WAN port on the secondary router to create a LAN-to-WAN connection. Connect the cable to a LAN port on the secondary router if you want to create a LAN-to-LAN connection.
Restart the secondary router and wait a few seconds for it to connect to the main router.
- Connecting two wireless routers is called bridging. You need to enable "Bridge Mode" on the secondary router to connect them. This option is not available on all wireless routers.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.