Although the majority of private networks use only a Wi-Fi router, it is useful to add a second router in certain situations:
- Improve a wired network to accept wireless devices (Wi-Fi)
- Extend the range of the wireless network to reach a white area
- Connect a wired device too far from the main router
- Create a separate subnet in the house to manage video streaming of some devices without interfering with the connection of others.
To make all this work, you will have to follow a few simple steps:
Position the second Asus router
To install your new router, install it next to a Windows PC or machine where you can do the initial setup. Although the majority of recent routers offer Wi-Fi, I advise you to use a device connected in Ethernet to perform the initial configuration of the device. You will be able to move the router once configured to its final position.
Connect the second router
Whether your router has Wi-Fi or not, I advise you to use an Ethernet cable for this part (Wi-Fi connection explained below). Plug one end of the cable into your router’s input port, usually labeled “WAN” or “Internet,” and the other end into any free port on your conventional router.
When it comes to connecting two routers in Wi-Fi to extend the connection, we lose a little usefulness of the second router; in fact, it will only serve as a Wi-Fi access point. The second router must be installed in client mode in order not to lose its routing features, a mode that many routers for individuals do not support.
Which Wi-Fi channel to use?
When it comes to Wi-Fi, especially the nearby Wi-Fi networks, it is important to address the problem of Wi-Fi channels that can create interference, causing interruptions in connection, unpredictable loss of speed. All Wi-Fi routers use specific frequencies to communicate with other devices, to facilitate exchanges, many of these frequencies or “channels” have been standardized; you will learn more about the subject on this page where I address this issue more in details. The problem is that when two or more networks broadcast on the same frequency, interference can occur and reduce the browsing quality of the other two networks.
Depending on the Asus router setup model, the default Wi-Fi channel to use may vary, but it is often easy to change by accessing the router settings. To avoid Wi-Fi interference between your two routers, I advise you to use two different bands (the band 1, the band 6 and the band 11 in particular).
IP configuration of the second router
Private routers also have a default IP address that can change depending on the model. You will have nothing to change in the IP settings of the new router unless you want to configure your new router as an access point or switch.
Use the second router as an access point/switch
The above procedure allows you to use a router to support a subnet in your home network. This is useful if you want to keep control of some devices connected to the subnet, for example, to place internet access restrictions.
Otherwise, it is possible to configure your router to act as an access point or network switch. This allows devices to connect to the second router but does not create a subnet. If you are simply looking to expand the network at home to connect your devices, a switch/access point will be sufficient, however, the setup procedure is different from the one described above.
Configure a second router without creating a subnet
To put a router in switch mode, the procedure is even simpler: You connect an ethernet cable to a free port of the new router and you connect the other end of the cable to any free port of the main router (except the port WAN). This is your Switch is in place!
To set up a router as a wireless access point, activate the bridge or repeater mode before connecting it to the main router. I advise you to bring documentation of your new router to achieve this because the procedure changes for each device.
Whether your connection is wired or wireless, you will need to make changes to the IP configuration:
Check the IP address range allocated to the second router to see if it is in the same IP range as the primary router and does not conflict with other devices on the network.
Set the new router’s DHCP to match the IP range of the primary router (you can also disable DHCP to manually assign the IP addresses for each device).