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Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

My house is lacking in phone and cable TV connections.  I have two phone jacks and one cable jack on the main floor.  I want to run phone, cable TV and wired ethernet connections to each room in my house.  I already have a 4-port router hooked up directly to my modem.  To wire the rest of the rooms (and still have a few connections available in the office), I need to add at least one more 4-port router.  This is much cheaper than buying an 8 or 12 port router and will allow each room on the main floor to have 1 wired connection.  I like using wired connections when I do shopping or banking online.  For general surfing, I don't mind using wireless.

I set up a new wireless router by connecting port 4 of the original router to the WAN port of the new router.  My configuration is now:
Modem ---->   Router 1 (no wireless ability)  ---> Router 2 (wireless). 

This worked great for about a day or two.  Then, when I turned on a PC connected wirelessly to Router 2, I was connected to the router, but had a message telling me that there was limited or no connectivity.  I could access the router, but could not get out to the internet.  I powered down the PC and Router 2.  This time I connected a wire from port 1 of the router to my PC.  I turned of the wireless card to make sure that I was only using the wire connection.  This lasted for 1 day.  The next day, I had the same error. 

Both times, if I disconnected the cable that went into the WAN port of Router 2 and plugged it directly into my PC, I was able to immediately connect to the Internet. 

Do you think that this problem is caused by trying to run two routers hooked together, or do you think I need to set up something special on one of the routers?

I can get specific router model numbers when I get home tonight. 

Thanks in advance!

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

You can have only one DHCP server in your LAN. So turn off DHCP server in the second router and use it as a switch. You could replace the second router with a switch.
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

There shouldn't be any problem with connecting routers in series like this. This is actually how the entire Internet works -- routers connected to routers connected routers (the only significant difference being that the ones on the ISP infrastructure don't usually do NAT). One thing: make sure that you have different subnet ranges configured for the LAN segments of each router; if Router 1 uses 192.168.1.X, use 192.168.2.X for Router 2.

It sounds like Router 2 is having a problem renewing its DHCP lease from Router 1. You might try configuring Router 2 with a static address on its WAN port. Make sure it's in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN ports, but outside the range of DHCP addresses. For instance, if Router 1's DHCP range is 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.100, use 192.168.1.254 for Router 2's WAN, and set the DNS address to Router 1's LAN address (192.168.1.1).
Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]
Since I already have the routers, I don't want to buy a new switch.  I'll see what I can do about turning off the DHCP server.



FishMan wrote:
You can have only one DHCP server in your LAN. So turn off DHCP server in the second router and use it as a switch. You could replace the second router with a switch.



Message Edited by Firesbane on 01-02-200702:15 PM

Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

FishMan said to turn off the DHCP server on my 2nd router.  I'm not sure how to do that.  I'll need to poke around in the router's screens.  I do remember seeing something about the IP ranges.  I think I can do this quicker. 

Does anybody else have any ideas, or reccomend one solution over the other?



Barmar wrote:
There shouldn't be any problem with connecting routers in series like this. This is actually how the entire Internet works -- routers connected to routers connected routers (the only significant difference being that the ones on the ISP infrastructure don't usually do NAT). One thing: make sure that you have different subnet ranges configured for the LAN segments of each router; if Router 1 uses 192.168.1.X, use 192.168.2.X for Router 2.

It sounds like Router 2 is having a problem renewing its DHCP lease from Router 1. You might try configuring Router 2 with a static address on its WAN port. Make sure it's in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN ports, but outside the range of DHCP addresses. For instance, if Router 1's DHCP range is 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.100, use 192.168.1.254 for Router 2's WAN, and set the DNS address to Router 1's LAN address (192.168.1.1).


Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]
FishMan is wrong. You need a DHCP server for each LAN segment, since home routers do not act as DHCP relays.

Message Edited by Barmar on 01-02-2007 02:23 PM

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?



Firesbane wrote:
FishMan said to turn off the DHCP server on my 2nd router.  I'm not sure how to do that.  I'll need to poke around in the router's screens.  I do remember seeing something about the IP ranges.  I think I can do this quicker. 

Does anybody else have any ideas, or reccomend one solution over the other?



Barmar wrote:
There shouldn't be any problem with connecting routers in series like this. This is actually how the entire Internet works -- routers connected to routers connected routers (the only significant difference being that the ones on the ISP infrastructure don't usually do NAT). One thing: make sure that you have different subnet ranges configured for the LAN segments of each router; if Router 1 uses 192.168.1.X, use 192.168.2.X for Router 2.

It sounds like Router 2 is having a problem renewing its DHCP lease from Router 1. You might try configuring Router 2 with a static address on its WAN port. Make sure it's in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN ports, but outside the range of DHCP addresses. For instance, if Router 1's DHCP range is 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.100, use 192.168.1.254 for Router 2's WAN, and set the DNS address to Router 1's LAN address (192.168.1.1).




Barmar's suggestion will work as well. I was going for the easy solution :smileywink:
Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]


Barmar wrote:
FishMan is wrong. You need a DHCP server for each LAN segment, since home routers do not act as DHCP relays.

Message Edited by Barmar on 01-02-200702:23 PM


I didn't read in the OP where there was a need for two segments. Did I miss something? And I'm using a LinkSys WRT54GL as a DHCP relay router so why do you say you can't use home routers in this way?

Message Edited by FishMan on 01-02-200711:34 AM

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
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Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

He doesn't NEED two segments, but since he doesn't want to replace his second router with a switch, he HAS two segments -- each router's LAN is by definition a separate segment (unless there's some way to configure the router to act as a switch). And therefore they each need their own DHCP server.
Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?



Barmar wrote:
He doesn't NEED two segments, but since he doesn't want to replace his second router with a switch, he HAS two segments -- each router's LAN is by definition a separate segment (unless there's some way to configure the router to act as a switch). And therefore they each need their own DHCP server.

So I'm not "wrong" as you stated. He can turn off DHCP server in his router and use it as a switch as I said.
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Turning off DHCP won't make it act as a switch, it just means you have to configure static IPs on all the PCs. Each router will still be hosting a separate subnet.

Firesbane didn't say what kind of routers he has. I just checked my Linksys WRT54G, and it doesn't appear to have any way to run as a switch. My old router, a Belkin, could operate as a wireless Access Point, but I don't think that made it switch between the wired LAN and WAN ports.
Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Thanks for all of the advice!

One other question came up from Barmar's comments about having two different segments.  Can a computer connected to Router1 see a computer connected to Router2?

It's not a big deal if they cant.  I have a few 512MB flash drives, so any file sharing I want to do is easy enough.

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?



Firesbane wrote:
FishMan said to turn off the DHCP server on my 2nd router.  I'm not sure how to do that.  I'll need to poke around in the router's screens.  I do remember seeing something about the IP ranges.  I think I can do this quicker. 

Does anybody else have any ideas, or reccomend one solution over the other?



Barmar wrote:
There shouldn't be any problem with connecting routers in series like this. This is actually how the entire Internet works -- routers connected to routers connected routers (the only significant difference being that the ones on the ISP infrastructure don't usually do NAT). One thing: make sure that you have different subnet ranges configured for the LAN segments of each router; if Router 1 uses 192.168.1.X, use 192.168.2.X for Router 2.

It sounds like Router 2 is having a problem renewing its DHCP lease from Router 1. You might try configuring Router 2 with a static address on its WAN port. Make sure it's in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN ports, but outside the range of DHCP addresses. For instance, if Router 1's DHCP range is 192.168.1.2 through 192.168.1.100, use 192.168.1.254 for Router 2's WAN, and set the DNS address to Router 1's LAN address (192.168.1.1).




Here is an expansion of what I would try:
 
I would suggest to use one of the routers a simple switch. To do so, configure that router: turn off the DHCP server and give it an IP address which does neither conflict with the other router's nor with the DHCP server range of that router. Connect the second router through a LAN port. Do not use its internet/wan port and simply ignore the settings for the internet connection.

For example: Router1 as gateway, Router2 as access point/switch

1. Configure the internet connection on Router1
2. Assign Router1 network address 192.168.1.1/255.255.255.0 (which should be the default)
3. enable DHCP server on Router1 for range 100-149 (the default)
4. Connect modem to internet port of Router1.

5. Assign Router2 network address 192.168.1.2/255.255.255.0
6. disable DHCP server on Router2
7. connect a LAN port of Router1 with a LAN port of Router2

All computers will then be on the same "segment" and will ease file sharing etc.
Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Thanks for the tips. 
I'll let you all know how it works out.


FishMan wrote:

Here is an expansion of what I would try:
 
I would suggest to use one of the routers a simple switch. To do so, configure that router: turn off the DHCP server and give it an IP address which does neither conflict with the other router's nor with the DHCP server range of that router. Connect the second router through a LAN port. Do not use its internet/wan port and simply ignore the settings for the internet connection.

For example: Router1 as gateway, Router2 as access point/switch

1. Configure the internet connection on Router1
2. Assign Router1 network address 192.168.1.1/255.255.255.0 (which should be the default)
3. enable DHCP server on Router1 for range 100-149 (the default)
4. Connect modem to internet port of Router1.

5. Assign Router2 network address 192.168.1.2/255.255.255.0
6. disable DHCP server on Router2
7. connect a LAN port of Router1 with a LAN port of Router2

All computers will then be on the same "segment" and will ease file sharing etc.



Most Valued Poster
N3tb0y
Posts: 2,662
Registered: ‎04-18-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?



Firesbane wrote:
Thanks for all of the advice!

One other question came up from Barmar's comments about having two different segments.  Can a computer connected to Router1 see a computer connected to Router2?

It's not a big deal if they cant.  I have a few 512MB flash drives, so any file sharing I want to do is easy enough.



Yes, a computer on R1 can see and share files with computer on R2.  This is configured in your software firewall, just by trusting the other's network subnet address.
But don't take my word for it, ask a Comcast Forum Expert, or goto http://www.dslreports.com/
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Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Thanks!


N3tb0y wrote:

Yes, a computer on R1 can see and share files with computer on R2.  This is configured in your software firewall, just by trusting the other's network subnet address.

Firesbane wrote:
Thanks for all of the advice!

One other question came up from Barmar's comments about having two different segments.  Can a computer connected to Router1 see a computer connected to Router2?

It's not a big deal if they cant.  I have a few 512MB flash drives, so any file sharing I want to do is easy enough.







Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

To allow file sharing between the segments, you'll need to turn off the firewall on Router 2. If you don't, machines on Router 2's LAN segment will be able to access machines on Router 1's LAN, but not vice versa. Yuo really only need the firewall on Router 1, since it's protecting you from the Internet, and there they be dragons.

Also, while sharing will work, I don't think you'll automatically see the machines on the other segment in your Network Neighborhood, because this depends on broadcasts, which don't pass through routers.

As FishMan said, things would be much simpler if you replaced Router 2 with a switch.
Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]
Switches may be simpler, but since I already have the router, I'm gonna try to make it work.  Everybody has given me some great advice, and I think that I'll be able to do what I need to do. 

I'm not worried about automatically seeing the other machines.  We don't see each other right now, so we have shortcuts on each computer that point to the other one.


Barmar wrote:
To allow file sharing between the segments, you'll need to turn off the firewall on Router 2. If you don't, machines on Router 2's LAN segment will be able to access machines on Router 1's LAN, but not vice versa. Yuo really only need the firewall on Router 1, since it's protecting you from the Internet, and there they be dragons.

Also, while sharing will work, I don't think you'll automatically see the machines on the other segment in your Network Neighborhood, because this depends on broadcasts, which don't pass through routers.

As FishMan said, things would be much simpler if you replaced Router 2 with a switch.


Message Edited by Firesbane on 01-02-200707:05 PM

Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-02-2007

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]
If your still not getting your router dialed in, you can pick up a 4 port switch for $7.99/$6.99 at COMPUSA/PC Club after rebates.  Its a great addition to your nework and its simple. Good luck.

Message Edited by bruce3681 on 01-02-200710:49 PM

Message Edited by bruce3681 on 01-02-200710:55 PM

Networking Expert
kevj
Posts: 4,822
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

I'm not sure if you are using this model, but the Linksys WRT54g has this info in the Advanced Routing page...
 
+++++++++++++
Operating Mode: If the router is hosting your Internet connection, select Gateway mode. If another router exists on your network, select Router mode.
+++++++++++++
 
I believe that if you put the router that is logically furthest away from your modem into Router mode, and assign a static IP to the WAN port that is in the same range as the LAN IPs used by the 'gateway mode' router you might have better luck.
 
Also remember that the LAN IP range you use for the 'internal' network on the router in 'router' mode needs to be different than the one on the 'gateway' router.
 
 

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Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
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Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Good point kevj. I think Router mode probably disables NAT, which you don't need on the internal router and can make file sharing between the networks difficult.

If NAT is disabled, then on Router 1 you'll need to configure a static route. Add a route for the subnet assigned to Router 2's LAN, with Router 2's WAN address as the gateway address.
Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-02-2007

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Personally, I could not get my WRT54G to work reliably with my other 2Wire gateway router.  Probably my own fault, but, Linksys does not reccomend running two routers due to issues. Heres what I am going to try next, because, I too have one router at my modem and I want my WRT54g to funtion as a wireless access point further down the pipe for WII access. There is an open source program wrt54g alchemy firmware out.  See http://www.jimzimmerman.com/blog/CommentView,guid,4780af47-9ee2-4afe-bb9f-380334c26e53.aspx for details.
 
Do any of you have experience with this procedure versus trying to configure and then keep two routers from having issues later?
 
 
 
 
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 170
Registered: ‎03-02-2005

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

I have a similar arrangement at home.
In my case the wireless router is first, and provides DHCP and Wlan services.
The second router is assigned a fixed address, and DHCP is turned off. It's wired to a Lan port and provides internet servcie to my living room media box. I occasionally use the additional ports to test friend's PCs in my living room test bench(It's a small condo).
I had no idea how to accomplish this. so I went to Linksys support and searched on "Two Routers".
Basically, you need to assign a fixed address to the second router, turn off DHCP and switch to "Router" modeas pointed out by other members.

Recognized Contributor
AlisMan
Posts: 1,210
Registered: ‎10-31-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

There's no real problem with having DHCP enabled on both routers. It can make things a little more simple, however.
Regular Contributor
m1cracker
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎09-14-2003

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

[ Edited ]
I have setup this same type of system awhile back and it did work without any problems
providing I did what it showed in this Linksys configuration.  I have also set them up using
non-linksys routers with no problems. When it is set up like this, all computers can ses
 each other on the network for file & printer sharing.

I did this because I have a Vonage phone router (Motorola) and a Linksys Wireless router. 

Happy surfing..
:smileycool:

Message Edited by m1cracker on 01-09-200710:30 AM

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Hmm, that page appears to be saying that if you configure the LAN IP of Router 2 to be in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN, it will act as a switch rather than a router. I guess it's possible, but I'm skeptical (just because someone posts something on the web doesn't mean it's true).

A variant of the scheme on that page would be to ignore Router 2's WAN/Uplink port, and connect one of its LAN ports to a LAN port on Router 1. The LAN and wireless ports of a broadband router are like a switch, so I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work.
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 170
Registered: ‎03-02-2005

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

That's not "Someone", it's Cisco/Linksys.
This is exactly the procedure I followed, and it works for me.

"Hmm, that page appears to be saying that if you configure the LAN IP of Router 2 to be in the same subnet as Router 1's LAN, it will act as a switch rather than a router. I guess it's possible, but I'm skeptical (just because someone posts something on the web doesn't mean it's true)."
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎11-08-2003

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

Barmar, A router is a wan port and 1 lan port. Any additional lan ports are because the router has a built in SWITCH. So to answer the original post, disable dhcp on the second router. Connect the second routers LAN port to the LAN port of the first router (DO NOT use the WAN port of the second router) they are now on the SAME network segment and receiving ip's from the routers dhcp server.
So what you have is 1 router and 2 switches, it just happens that one switch is built into the router.
Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
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Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

demusman, that's pretty much what I suggested.

But the Linksys tech support page that someone else linked to appears to say that if you disable DHCP and set the LAN address to be in the same subnet as the WAN, that the router will start switching between the LAN and WAN ports as well.

I don't have the resources on my home LAN to tell whether this really works. Also, maybe it's model-specific -- the screen shot on the web page doesn't look anything like the configuration pages of my WRT54G.
Most Valued Poster
Firesbane
Posts: 706
Registered: ‎05-05-2004

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

I just wanted to jump in and thank everybody for their suggestions.  I haven't had time to try this out, but I will definitely report back if I continue to have problems.

Thanks again!

Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 170
Registered: ‎03-02-2005

Re: Can I have two routers hooked up at the same time?

My configuration pages changed to this new format when I did a firmware update.
YMMV.

I don't have the resources on my home LAN to tell whether this really works. Also, maybe it's model-specific -- the screen shot on the web page doesn't look anything like the configuration pages of my WRT54G.