If you have tried setting up multiple routers in your home, you have probably asked yourself, should I disable DHCP on second router?
With the intricate nature of networking setups, setting up two is likely to bring up a lot of challenges.
I will guide you through all the details of setting up your network.
When setting up a network with multiple routers, it is recommended that you disable DHCP in one of the routers. Having multiple DHCP servers running on a network could result in IP address conflicts, causing connection failure on certain devices.
If your connection is failing due to a DHCP error or otherwise, the following steps will be able to take you through the correct setup procedure for multiple routers.
This will enable you to identify whether the source of your problem is hardware or software-based
In the process of extending a WiFi network, the DHCP server is among the many settings that you should take into consideration.
If you’re still asking yourself “how do I disable DHCP on my second router?”, follow the procedures outlined below to successfully identify and set up your connection.
The steps taken differ depending on the type of connection you’re trying to set up.
- For a LAN-to-LAN setup, you’ll have to disable the DHCP service fully.
- For a LAN-to-WAN setup, change the DHCP server to provide addresses between 192.168.2.2 and 192.168.2.50.
You have to go to your router setup interface to configure these settings.
The IP address can be found in the documentation you were given on purchase.
- Open router setup interface website.
- Go to administration.
- Find DHCP and click on disable.
- Save changes and restart the router.
- Go to the router setup website.
- Go to administration.
- Ensure DHCP is on.
- Set up the minimum and maximum IP range.
In case the router setup itself is amiss, you can follow the procedures indicated below.
Here are the steps for setting up the second router on ethernet:
We need to initialize and set up the primary router. Ensure it is connected to the input signal either from your switch or modem.
You should also connect it to your pc or laptop using another ethernet cable.
In case our pc/laptop has no inbuilt ethernet port, you’ll need to buy an ethernet to USB adapter to make that wired connection.
This router sources its connection from the modem or the switch and should be generally set up as the only router in the vicinity.
You will have to access the router’s web interface by dialing up its IP address to set it up.
This can be done by typing it in your browser’s URL bar and putting in your credentials to log in.
This can be found at the back of the router or from the documentation issued during purchase. Set up your account details as provided by your ISP and save.
Note: It is important to note that different routers have different interfaces. Check the manual to find a particular setting.
These settings can be found on the administration page.
If the particular network you’re trying to set up is a LAN-to-LAN network, no additional DHCP settings are required in the primary router.
Ensure that DHCP is enabled. Don’t change the other settings.
If you’re setting up a LAN-to-WAN network, you’ll need to specify the range of addresses that the DHCP server can issue.
It is recommended that you specify the range as between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.50. Save these changes and reboot your router.
To set up the secondary router:
- Connect it to the network and the pc just like you did the first one.
- Access the router setup interface.
- Navigate to the Administration page to set up the router’s IP address.
- Set up your preferred IP address based on the network you are setting up.
- Set up the MAC address of the second router and ensure it matches that of the primary router.
- Disable UPnP if the option is available in your router settings.
You should set up the IP address based on the type of network you are setting up, i.e.:
Match the IP address to that of the primary router but increment the second-to-last digit by 1.
If the primary router’s IP address is 192.168.1.0, the secondary router should use 192.168.2.0.
Change the secondary router’s IP address to 192.168.1.51. Notice that this is outside the DHCP range you set up on the primary router earlier.
As indicated earlier, this can be done from your router’s administration settings. Carry out the setup while considering the type of connection you intend to set up.
In case both routers are wireless, you will be required to change the channels manually so that the two signals don’t interfere with each other.
You can do this by:
- Access the wireless settings in your router’s setup interface.
- Set the primary router to any channel between 1 and 6.
- Set the secondary router to use channel 11.
Regardless of the type of network setup you are using, you need to connect the routers using an ethernet cable. However, the ports you’ll use will be different.
Plug the ethernet cable into one of the LAN ports of the primary router.
The other end of the cable should be plugged into any available port of the secondary router.
This connection is similar to any hardwired link you’ve made to your pc before.
Connect one end of the ethernet cable to any LAN outlet of the primary router and the other end to the WAN port of the secondary router.
It may also be labeled as Internet/Input and differentiated from the other LAN ports. Power on the routers and test your connection.
You can do this by following these steps:
Most wireless routers can be used as range extenders or wireless access points.
However, this doesn’t guarantee that the router can create its own network within the primary router’s network.
Ensure that it has a bridge or repeater mode. Confirm from the user manual or contact the manufacturer.
Connect the primary router to the active network switch or modem and a pc using ethernet cables.
Log into the setup interface and set up your account details as issued by your ISP. Save your settings and exit.
Connect the secondary router to a pc via an ethernet cable and access the setup interface. Proceed with the following steps.
- Browse to the setup page labeled Internet/Wireless.
- Locate Network mode under Connection type/Wireless mode.
- Enable Bridge mode or Repeater mode.
Note: The absence of these settings indicates that your device is unable to connect wirelessly. You will have to use another one.
You can set up the IP address of the secondary router from the administration setup page.
This IP address must fall within the DHCP range of the primary router.
IE If the primary router has a range of 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.50, the IP address of the secondary router should lie anywhere in between.
Ensure the subnet mask also matches that of the primary router.
To complete the setup, give the secondary router a recognizable name and password. Ensure both routers are set to WPA2, which they should be by default.
Position the router in the dead spot area but preferably in a position where it can receive 50% of the signal from the primary router.
Note: A switch can be used alternatively to extend your WiFi signal without reconfiguring DHCP settings.
Having gone through the entire setup procedure, I believe you have the answer to the question: should I disable DHCP on second router?
I trust that you can now successfully extend your WiFi signal and maximize its usage.
It would be best to contact your ISP or router manufacturer support hotline for further clarification.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.