Here’s an answer to a question we hear a lot! Many of you, just like Mike from New Milford, CT want to know how to extend the range of your wireless network. Mike writes:
“I have a modem/router from ATT UVERSE in the basement. The wireless performance in the kitchen is poor. Can I connect another router in the kitchen from one of the feeds of the ATT router. If I can then does it need to have the same SSID and security settings, including password? “
Yes, you actually can use a second router to extend your wireless network’s range and cover blind spots with poor coverage, although honestly it’s much simpler to buy a wireless range extender instead. These are frequently cheaper than routers and they just plug into an outlet and automatically extended the range of your existing router. If you already have an extra router handy though, you can set your second router to work as a secondary access point, which will increase the network’s range.
You are still going to have to buy an extra long Ethernet cable to connect the two routers together however, (a problem not present by using a range extender) so the savings are minimal, but for those who want the challenge or already have a 16 – 25 foot Ethernet cable laying around, its only a matter of manually changing some settings in the secondary router.
Before getting started converting the second router, you first need to grab some settings off the primary router. In most cases you can access your router’s settings by typing the address 192.168.1.1 into your web browser’s address bar and hitting Enter (if this doesn’t work, check the router’s manual for specific instructions). Your router will have a username and password set by the manufacturer (which is not the password you set for your wireless network) and is usually “admin” and “password.”
After accessing the settings, take note of the “Name (SSID)” and “Channel” settings, which are typically found by navigating to the “Advanced” tab.
Close the browser and disconnect your main router entirely. Grab your secondary router and plug it into a wall outlet, and then ensure all the settings are at their factory defaults by holding down the “reset” button on the back of the device for 15 seconds.
Connect the secondary router to your computer with an Ethernet cable and then access the settings page just as you did with the main router. Change the “Name (SSID)” field to exactly what you noted down earlier from the main router’s settings (if a prompt appears asking to take you through an automated setup wizard, simply close it) and then change the “Channel” setting so it’s something different than the main router’s channel – for instance if the first channel was 6 you could set the extra router’s channel to 1.
Next you need to assign the secondary router its own IP address and ensure that address won’t change, which means you have to turn off the dynamic IP address feature (titled “DHCP”) by unchecking the appropriate box. There may be a tab actually labeled “DHCP,” otherwise this setting is usually located in the “LAN Setup” section.
With DHCP turned off, you can now manually change the IP address of the secondary router. You’ll want to use a high number that’s unlikely to be assigned to any other device on your network, like 192.168.1.60.
Plug an Ethernet cable into any of the LAN ports on the back of the extra router and run the opposite end to any of the cable to any of the LAN ports on the primary router. Unplug your computer from the extra router and then place the device near your kitchen (or wherever your home’s dead spot is located). Turn the main router back on and your network will now be extended to included the secondary router’s range.
~ Ty Arthur