Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How To Setup a 2nd Router as an Access Point & Extend Your Wireless Network

Do you have two routers in the house and need to use one of them wireless access point (WAP) instead of a router? You may want to do this would to extend the reach of your wireless or wired network or simply to have a second access point on the router.

Here's how to set up your second router as an access point. We'll use the Linksys Wrt54G router for this example:

  • First take a network cord and hook one end up to your PC (laptop or otherwise) and the other end up to a numbered port on your wrt54g (second) router. The numbered ports are the ones bunched together on the right side of the router (looking at it from the back of the router - see photo below). Make sure you aren't connecting to the internet port.

  • Open the web browser on your PC, type in (assuming the wrt54g is set at its default ip) and hit enter. This will bring up the setup page for the router.

  • In the router setup page, disable the DHCP server (again, this is on the second wrt54g of course)

  • Now in the router setup page, renumber the second WRT54G local IP Address to be with in the subnet of the main router, but outside it's DHCP server range. Like (dhcp starts with up to

  • Set up your wireless ssid and other wireless settings the exact same as on your main wireless router.

  • Save Settings and unhook the network cord from your PC and wrt54g

  • Now you can connect the incoming lan cable from your main network (or main router) to one of the numbered ports on the wrt54g. This basically turns your wrt54g into a switch or wireless access point. Do not plug anything into the internet port on this second router.
That's it. For my house I have two Linksys wrt54g wireless routers. The first one is used as a router and wireless access point and the second one is just an extender of that wireless (and wired) network. Since they have the same SSID, I can drag my laptop from one end of the house nearer the main router to the other end of the house nearer the second router (access point) and always have a very strong wireless signal. For other models of routers the steps and concept would be basically the same. There is no need for a hackable firmware updated like DD-WRT, but you can still do this with that firmware also of course. I use the DD-WRT on my main router for now and the standard Linksys firmware for the second router (now a Wireless Access Point :)