Before we learn how to bridge two wireless routers, we have to understand the reasons for doing so. If you have just shifted to a new place and want to increase the reach area of your wi-fi signal. Then in such a situation connecting two routers is a good option. When two routers are connected it improves the signal strength.
Not only for improving the signal strength but also it is an efficient way to enable more devices to be connected to the internet. For connecting two routers there are a few things which should be kept in mind. Two routers can be connected via ethernet or also be connected through wifi.
What is a Wireless Bridge?
A wireless bridge is basically created by linking two access points together in which one access point acts as ‘access point’ and the other acts as a ‘client or station’. Wireless bridges are generally required to provide links over long distances.
There can be many situations when someone wants to increase the reach of the wifi signals.
In such a case, connecting two routers can improve the signal strength as well as it is also an efficient way to connect more devices to the internet. Now there are a few important things to remember while connecting two routers. They could be connected via ethernet or may be connected to wifi.
Reasons To Bridge Two Wireless Routers
Following are the common reasons when someone wants to connect two routers:
- For extending the wireless range of wi-fi so that more devices can be connected to the internet.
- For upgrading an existing ethernet connection to a wireless network.
- For bringing a wired device which is too far away from the original router.
- For establishing a dedicated subnetwork for some devices to stream online without effecting the connection much.
For connecting two routers, you will require two routers with an active internet connection. It can be done in the following steps-
- ISP<–>Modem<–>Router #1 (It may or may not have WiFi)
- Now to add another router,
ISP<–>Modem<–>Router #1<–>Router #2
There are two ways in which the second router can be used
- The first one is isolating devices connected to Router #2 from those on Router #1
- The second method is to make all devices visible to each other and support file sharing.
To Implement Case (1):
- Router #1 LAN address: Firstly you have to find out the Router #1 LAN address. For this, you just have to open command prompt. For opening command prompt in windows, press the key Windows+R, then type cmd and press enter. A command prompt will be opened. Now type the command IPCONFIG in your command prompt. Here you can find the LAN address for the Router #1
- Setting Router #2 LAN Address: Now set the LAN address of the second router to X+1. So suppose if the Router No.1’s address is 192.168.X.1 then you have to set Router No.2’s LAN address as 192.168.(X+1).1
After doing this connect the LAN port on Router #1 to the WAN port on Router #2.
This process will ensure that nothing from the internet will have any access to Router #2. So if you want to host any dedicated game or movie on your system, make sure it is connected to router #1.
To Implement the case (2):
For implementing this process, the very first thing you have to do is to disable DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) in Router #2. That will allow router no.1 to take control of all the addresses.
Now follow the below-given steps:
- Firstly connect your main PC to the LAN slot of any of the routers
- Then open any local browser on your system and log in the router using the default gateway.
- Now it will ask for the default username and password. Find the default username and passwords at the backside of your router’s box.
- As you get directed to the admin dashboard go to the router settings page and disable DHCP
- Then Save the settings and log out
Once the above things are done, disconnect the PC and connect router no.1 LAN slot to any LAN slot on router #2. Make sure that you leave the WAN slot empty on Router #2.
After completing these procedures any device on Router #1 will be able to hit or access all the devices on router #2
Connecting Two Wireless Routers
Wireless bridging is used to connect two wireless routers. A wireless bridge in networking is quite similar to a bridge in real life. Bridging of two routers connects two wired networks together over Wifi. There are many types of bridging. Bridging helps make possible inter-network connections.
Types of Wireless Bridges:
- WiFi to WiFi: This type of bridging is done for increasing the network coverage and is hardware which joins two wifi networks together.
- WiFi to Ethernet: This type of bridging is a hardware that allows Wifi clients to connect to an Ethernet network.
- Bluetooth to WiFi: This is a type of bridging where communication happens with consumer Bluetooth gadgets and interface with a WiFi home network.
How To Bridge Two Wireless Routers?
- Compatibility: Firstly ensure the devices you want to connect are compatible to be bridged. Check whether your secondary router has a bridge or repeater qualities. If it doesn’t possess either of those, then you have a solution to flash DD-WRT onto it. DD-WRT is basically an open-source firmware that resolves the issue of not able to bridge routers. Before trying to connect check the router’s manual to know if it can be used to bridge or connect and also to know if it supports DD-WRT.
- Place them near the PC: While setting up the whole process, it will become easier if you place both the routers near your PC. Doing this will make you have quick access to them. As you have configured them, then you can place them anywhere.
- Set up the primary router first: For bridging the first step will be to set up the primary router. So plug the primary router into the modem and then via Ethernet connect it to your computer. Keep a note of the router’s IP address, DHCP range, and subnet mask after configuration. PS: Before bridging make sure that the primary router is the one with the strongest antennas and the best one in firmware and have the strong signal. Disconnect when the configuration is done.
- Open the configuration page on the secondary router: Connect the secondary router with Ethernet to your computer to configure the secondary router. Now open the configuration page and look for the Internet tab or Wireless setup page after logging in to the dashboard.
- Enable bridge mode: Find out the option and select “Bridge mode” or “Repeater Mode“ in the Network mode tab, “Wireless mode” or “connection type” menu on the wireless page. If you are using DD-WRT, select “repeater bridge”. But if you don’t find any of either option, then your router may not support bridging.
- Specify the secondary router’s IP address: Enter an IP address within the primary router’s range. For example, if the primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1, you should enter 192.168.1.50, such that the number falls within the DHCP range of your primary router. Ensure that subnet mask is the same as that of the primary router.
- Enter a unique SSID: A SSID is the abbreviation of service set identifier. When you set your SSID it helps you differentiate which router are you trying to connect. For Ex: You can label the primary router as “Prime” and the second one as “Lobby”. While setting a password, always make sure the security type is WPA2 to provide more security.
- Place the secondary router: Once you have configured the secondary router, you can place it wherever you want to repeat and improve the signals. It is recommended to place it in such a position that it receives at least 50% signal strength from the primary router.