When it comes to using our home Wi-Fi, there is little more irritating than a dead zone where the signal simply cannot reach. Sometimes we can get a much slower signal in certain areas of our houses, making it impossible to utilize high-speed internet everywhere you may want to. One way to rectify this is to daisy chain routers, extending your signal. You may be asking, “Can you daisy chain routers?” The answer is definitely yes.
A daisy chain is where you link two routers together using a wired connection so they can both use the same network. The result is a signal boost that should reach much farther in your house. It is surprisingly simple to connect two routers, so long as you follow our guide and have the right equipment.
Why Daisy Chain a Router?
You daisy chain routers to extend the signal strength of your internet. This can be useful for:
- Large houses where there are internet dead zones
- Users who stream multiple videos at once
- Avid online gamers who need a faster speed from different places in the house
How to Get Started
To begin, you should make sure that you have the supplies that you need. You should have:
- Your original router that you have been using
- A second router that is also compatible with your ISP that is also Wi-Fi capable.
- Ethernet cable to connect the two routers
Since we are discussing a wireless signal and its reach, it should be understood that the routers do need to be wireless as well.
Prepping the Second Router
1. Reset the second router: For this to work, you will need to first reset the new router and configure its settings. You can achieve this by typing out your router’s IP address in a web browser or follow the steps provided by router’s manufacturer.
2. Disable DHCP: Once the second router has been set to go, you will need to disable the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). You will need to do this to stop a redundancy that would happen between the two routers. Since your original router would determine the IP addresses to the devices within your network, having a second router attempt to do it at the same time would simply not work. How you disable it depends greatly on your OS. The way to disable it is even different in Windows machines. Here are some examples of how to disable the DHCP.
Windows 8/Windows 10
- 1. Go to Network Connections
- 2. Double click on the active network connection
- 3. Click on Properties
- 4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4
- 5. Click on Properties
- 6. Click on the Use the following IP option
- 7. Enter the appropriate values for the IP address, Subnet mask, and the Default Gateway.
- 1. Go to the Control Panel
- 2. Select Network and Sharing Center
- 3. Click on the Local Area Connection link
- 4. Click Properties
- 5. Highlight Protocol Version 4 and click on Properties
- 6. Select Use the following IP address option
- 7. Enter the appropriate values for the IP address, Subnet mask, and the Default Gateway
Apple machines are a little different because they have a built-in Wireless extender called the AirPort Express. It may not give you as much signal as you would like, but it is something to look at as well.
- 1. Locate the AirPort Utility in the Applications folder
- 2. Click on the base station you are looking at and click Edit
- 3. Click on Network
- 4. Select Off, or the Bridge Mode, from the pop-up menu
Steps to Daisy Chain Routers
Now that the prep work is taken care of, let’s get to daisy chaining the routers.
1. Find out your first router’s subnet as well as the IP addresses it uses to assign other devices who use it. On a Windows machine it is easy. Just type in “cmd” into the search bar on your desktop and the command prompt should pop up. Then just type in “ipconfig” and you will get your device’s IP address. A common subnet is 192.168.0.0 255.255.255.0 where a common IP address is 192.168.0.1, but they can vary between routers and devices.
2. Assign the new router an IP address within the first router’s subnet. This will be a static IP address. An example of this would be if your old router uses the standard 192.168.0.1, having the new router use 192.168.0.2 can ensure that the network will recognize the new router as an extension of the first one.
3. Confirm that both routers are utilizing the same network mask, such as 255.255.255.0.
4. You will then need to plug the new router into the old router using an Ethernet cable. Connect the Ethernet port in the new router to an LAN port on the first router.
5. Check the Wi-Fi channels between the two routers. You will want to be sure that the Wi-Fi will not overlap on a channel.
6. Then you must lock down your new router to ensure the safety of your connection. Using the IP address that you assigned the new router (noted in step 2), you can adjust the passwords. Type the assigned IP address for the second router in your web browser. It should give you options to set or change the password.
Connecting or daisy chaining two routers together is an excellent way to boost your signal strength as long as you understand how to adjust the IP addresses and change the new router’s DHCP. Some other methods for boosting your Wi-Fi signal is to get signal boosters or extenders which act like little hubs throughout your home, allowing you to utilize your signal to the best of its ability. Daisy chained routers may be cheaper, especially if you have an old router around that can be used at the second router. Then the daisy chain would only require the purchase of an Ethernet cable to connect everything.