Home Ethernet – Connecting a second router to extend wifi


My primary router has trouble extending wifi coverage to some bedrooms in the house so I am planning to add a second router to extend the wifi network using the wired Ethernet ports in one of the areas of poor coverage. Basic layout –

The ISP's router is in my family room downstairs (fiber connection) and the internet connects to the fiber via a box in an upstairs closet.

I purchased and installed an unmanaged Ethernet switch/splitter. In the upstairs closet where all of the Ethernet wires meet, the family room Ethernet cable was plugged into the ISP's box. I disconnected this wire and replaced it with a CAT5 cable running from the ISP's box in the closet to the Ethernet switch's port 1. I think connected the family room Ethernet cable to port 2 and did the same in order for all the remaining Ethernet cables to various bedrooms.

So far, the switch is working fine. I have wifi working with internet coming off of the router in the living room so I believe the switch is installed correctly otherwise that wifi should not have internet coming off of the living room jack.

Here is where things go awry – I took my second wifi router and connected the WAN/Yellow port to the Ethernet wall jack in another bedroom. I then connected a lap top to one of the Ethernet ports on this router and found "no internet" after connecting. On a whim, I changed the connection so that the router was connected to the Ethernet wall jack in one of the white ports but with the same results.

I don't think this counts as cascading and I don't really need a new network since I do not share the connection with any non-family members. The router has been reset to factory settings to clear out any old instructions – but I still can't get it to connect to the internet or access the router to change the settings even – it's a netgear and the routerlogin.net will not let me access the router even when I am on the working WIFI for internet and have a cable running from the laptop to the netgear router.

I could use some help – just trying to extend the wifi range and it seems like it should be much less complicated. Tried following instructions in several other posts and they did not work for me – because I cannot access the router to change any settings.

Best Answer

It's highly likely the problem is because the additional router is using the same network address as the existing network. There is a conflict.

There are a few issues here to be addressed.

I'm going to give a bulleted list of what needs to be done and leave you to do some research as how to implement that on your own devices.

  1. The additional router should NOT be connected via the WAN port to your existing network. It should not be hooked in to your existing network at all right now.
  2. Login to your existing ISP router and determine it's LAN IP address and DHCP address range. i.e. Your ISP router might be and the DHCP range might be .100-.200.
  3. Reset the additional router, and then plug your computer directly in to one of it's LAN ports. Do not use routerlogin.net to access the router. Use the router's IP address, which is probably
  4. Set the additional router's LAN IP address to an address that is on the SAME network as the ISP router, but is NOT within the DHCP range. If we use the example on step 2 you would set your additional router to use the LAN IP address of or any IP address between and If your ISP router uses the entire range for DHCP (i.e. change it and free up some address space so you can accomplish this step.
  5. If you changed the IP address of the additional router, apply the changes and reboot the router if necessary. Connect to the router using the new IP address you assigned.
  6. Disable the additional router's DHCP server. DHCP services should be completely disabled.
  7. Configure the additional router's wifi settings to mirror, exactly, your existing wifi connection EXCEPT for the channel. i.e. It should have the same SSID, encryption settings, and passphrase but should exist on a different channel. Note: If you are using 2.4Ghz the only 3 acceptable channels to use are 1,6, and 11.
  8. Now, plugin your additional router to your existing network via one of the LAN ports on the router. i.e. A network cable should run from one of the LAN ports on the additional router to the wall jack that connects to your existing network. The WAN port will not be used and should not be plugged in.

A router is the wrong equipment to do this, and it should be said that you have actually converted your router into a wireless bridge.

That's it.

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