[FAQ] Using two routers together/ Extending Wi-Fi

tom 2000

Distinguished Member
If you want to be really cheap get a powerline plug and bt home hub off ebay/facebook market for around £5

On the bt hub turn off dhcp and put the lan on the same network as your talktalk

So if your talktalk is 192.168.0.1 configure bt router as 192.168.0.254 then from powerline place the ethernet cable in the bt home hub yellow ports.

You should be able to connect to the wifi on the bt hub and get addressing from your talktalk.

You can use same ssids but this wont support seamless roaming between wirless points hence advise to have seperate wireless ssids ie main house/ garage etc.
This thread got me started in the Home Networking Caper. I see my first post was over 8 years ago. I started with a couple of power line adaptors and an old netgear router and grew it from there. The power lines were a prone to instability and as a main use became to facilitate Sky Q mini box viewing and blue screens were a pain I taught myself some basic cabling skills. I still have a pair of power lines to service the stable block so they certainly have a place in life.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Hi, I am using a Talktalk wifi hub at home. Can anyone recommend a relatively common/cheapish router to pair it with to extend my network throughout the house please.
Thanks for looking.

Literally anything will do, so take your pick. Cast around friends and colleagues and see if anyone has an "old" one they are not using.

In a heterogeneous equipment mix router/AP's do not "talk" to each other in any meaningful way, so you don't have to "worry" that brand X "works" with brand Y.

The only time this becomes concern is if you start buying some of the newer so-called "Mesh" and "whole home" products where the AP's do talk to each other and thence you are almost always locked in the the particular vendors product range.
 
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Seniorshot

Standard Member
What a very interesting thread this is.

I have a situation where my requirement is slightly different and I was hoping that some knowledgeable person on here can assist me.

My situation is that I have a house on 3 levels. On ground and upper floors I have the main router (Router1 a BT Smart Hub 2), this is providing the DHCP for a combination of Ethernet and wifi connected devices .PCs, TV's Tablets and Mobiles etc everything is working fine and the WIFI coverage with password1 is perfect.

On the lower basement floor we have 2 rooms used for Bed and Breakfast and these are currently served via an ethernet cable to a 2nd router (Netgear WGR614v9 virgin cable router) This has been set up with a 2nd SSID and Password2 for wifi which the guests log into to access the internet.

My problem is that the way in which I have connected the 2nd router is such that Guest devices could have access to the Private LAN on the upper 2 floors. For security I want to provide guests access to the internet only.

The way the connection is made is Router1 LAN port via CAT5 cable to Router 2 LAN port.
Router1 has the usual BT config of Server address range 192.168.1.64 to 192.168.1.253. The gateway IP address is 192.168.1.254. Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0. DHCP Server enabled.

Router2 in the basement is set up with static address 192.168.1.253 IP subnet mask is 255.255.255.0
Gateway IP address is 192.168.1.254
The LAN config 192.168.2.1 IP subnet mask 255.255.255.0 Router as DHCP server range is starting IP address 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.254

So my question is:
Is it possible to achieve my aim using Router 2 and if so how should I configure it.?
I have tried to use the WAN port of the second router but I can't get the device to connect to the internet.
 

zjm

Standard Member
What a very interesting thread this is.

I have a situation where my requirement is slightly different and I was hoping that some knowledgeable person on here can assist me.

My situation is that I have a house on 3 levels. On ground and upper floors I have the main router (Router1 a BT Smart Hub 2), this is providing the DHCP for a combination of Ethernet and wifi connected devices .PCs, TV's Tablets and Mobiles etc everything is working fine and the WIFI coverage with password1 is perfect.

On the lower basement floor we have 2 rooms used for Bed and Breakfast and these are currently served via an ethernet cable to a 2nd router (Netgear WGR614v9 virgin cable router) This has been set up with a 2nd SSID and Password2 for wifi which the guests log into to access the internet.

My problem is that the way in which I have connected the 2nd router is such that Guest devices could have access to the Private LAN on the upper 2 floors. For security I want to provide guests access to the internet only.

The way the connection is made is Router1 LAN port via CAT5 cable to Router 2 LAN port.
Router1 has the usual BT config of Server address range 192.168.1.64 to 192.168.1.253. The gateway IP address is 192.168.1.254. Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0. DHCP Server enabled.

Router2 in the basement is set up with static address 192.168.1.253 IP subnet mask is 255.255.255.0
Gateway IP address is 192.168.1.254
The LAN config 192.168.2.1 IP subnet mask 255.255.255.0 Router as DHCP server range is starting IP address 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.254

So my question is:
Is it possible to achieve my aim using Router 2 and if so how should I configure it.?
I have tried to use the WAN port of the second router but I can't get the device to connect to the internet.
Yes will work.

Comfigure router 1 as normal setup lan part as 192.168.0.1/24 with dhcp as normal. The port from this router goes into the WAN port of router 2.

On router 2 setup the LAN as 10.0.0.1/24 and dhcp should also be in this range.

So router 2 should get wan ip address from router 1 with a 192.x address and the users connected to router 2 get a dhcp from the 10.x address space.

You didnt mention what router 1 and 2 are from a brand/make perspective so ive just made assumptions. So you will need to check security on router 1nand put a security rule that 10.x cannot reach 192.x addresses.
 

Seniorshot

Standard Member
Thank you for your prompt reply.

I shall have a go at setting this up tomorrow. The Router1 is a BT smart Hub 2 and I'm not sure about how configurable it is to comply with the secuirty rule that 10.x cannot reach 192.x addresses. I will report back after my attempts !
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Its a double NAT, may cause problems for somebody trying to VPN into their work and some games consoles in case you are providing one of those and maybe torrents but I suspect you don't care about those from your B&B network. However the majority of services like e-mail, web browsing, facebook, netflix, etc should work fine.

My only other advice may be to give a assigned IP to the second router and keep it outside your DHCP range which could help if you need to reboot everything. This will depend on the capabilities of the main router if it can do that.

And obviously QoS or throttle the second router's WAN MAC address on your main router if you don't want your guests to chew up all your bandwidth.

Finally I hope you have some sort of disclaimer before you give them the password for the guest network.
 

Seniorshot

Standard Member
OK I've tried the recommended setup and I still have the same problem. This time I am connected as Router1 Lan to Router 2 WAN. Guests logging into Router2 can get the Internet OK.
However unfortunately I can ping devices on Router1 LAN from a router2 WIFI connection which is not what I want.

Router1 - Standard BT setup - (BT Smart Hub2

Settings in Router2 (Netgear WGR314v9) are:
Static IP Address 192.168.1.18 ( Outside of Router1s allocation)
Gateway IP 192.168.1.254
LAN Setup : 10.0.0.1 Submask 255.255.255.0
DHCP Server Starting Address 10.0.0.1 Ending 10.0.0.24

Perhaps my settings are still incorrect. Or perhaps the secret is to put the security Rule in place on Router1 to stop 10X. from reaching 192X.
Unfortunately I don't think the BT Smart Hub2 has that facility.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
TBH, if you can't firewall the second router from your home network then I would look at getting a router that can properly create a guest network. Most can.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I doubt you will be able to provide the sort of protection you want with SOHO ISP routers. Most simply lack the facilities to do this. Cheap stuff is cheap for a reason.

What you need is something akin to a router with a "guest" VLAN, but the difficulty comes extending that to a second hotspot as again most SOHO kit doesn't do this and you'd need more "prosumer" level kit or something like a (so called) "mesh" system, but one with the ability to facilitate a "guest" network.

However: It's also a legal minefield if you are providing Internet access for third parties: Many domestic ISP service contracts expressly forbid you reselling the service (however you might bundle or disguise the fees) and you will be liable for anything illegal or "nasty" you guests do using your Internet service.

My advice is to not "do it yourself" and instead either take professional advice or look to a service provider that has products designed for your use case that absolve you of all the legal liabilities. I did this years ago at a university and got in a company called "The Cloud" (for our conference center) who were one of the big public hotspot providers (part of Sky now I believe.) Possibly BT might offer something similar and IIRC so do Virgin (in the UK.)

Paradoxically, the "IT" aspects of doing this are relatively simple (with the correct kit) but the liabilities are a nightmare. Imagine one of your guest banging on the door complaining that little Timmy has seen something on the Internet his parents didn't want him to and it's "all your fault." Or the copyright rozzers are around because someone's downloading movies illegally - again, it's your name on the ISP contract, so you are partially liable. If you get in a commercial public service provider (as a lot of hotels and similar venues do) all that is lifted off your shoulders as your guest's relationship is with the service provider, not you.
 
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Seniorshot

Standard Member
I don't want to overcomplicate this. I was hoping for a simple and cheap solution especially since I already had a spare router to use .

It's just a 2 room B&B where visitors expect to have free access to WIFI for their internet connection.
I was hoping that this could be achieved with the use of a second router, but that now appears not possible.

It looks like I need to purchase another router then with the Guest facility. This would need to be located as Router2 in the Basement since the WIFI from the Router1 location does not reach the Basement rooms. Any recomendations ?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
That still wouldn't achieve what you want - the fundamental problems is that traffic from your second router has to transit over the network you wish to be "private" in order to reach your first router. Most SOHO routers don't have the features necessary to prevent anything on your "guest" network accessing (all) devices on the "private" network.

You might be able to achieve the effect you are after is you arrange your two networks "the other way around" in that the guest network is the "outer" network and the private network is the "inner" network. However, that's going to depend on what cabling you have available as to whether it's possible and whether the physical placement of your routers is going to advertise the required Wi-Fi service in the right place.

Routers are the demarcation point between one network and another - they "join" networks together. In a SOHO router a firewall is implemented which prevents devices "outside" probing devices "inside." That sits on the boundary between the "WAN/Internet" port and everything else.

What you have built thus far is this:

Internet---[WAN]rtr1[LAN]---"Private network"---[WAN]rtr2[LAN]---"Guest network."

I'll bet nothing on the Private network can access anything on the Guest network as rtr2's firewall will be preventing such access. But anything on the Guest network can access anything on the private network.

If you change it to this:

Internet---[WAN]rtr1[LAN]---"Guest network"---[WAN]rtr2[LAN]---"Private network."

...it might achieve what you want for all the same reasons - rtr2's firewall will prevent devices on the Guest network accessing devices on the Private network, but devices on the Private network can access anything on the Guest network (and by the way, might catch something nasty if it does.) But all devices on the Private network are now dual-NAT'd which might be a big deal if you are a gamer.

As you might imagine, I wouldn't do it this way at all. I'd use a (single) router that can support something called VLAN's, a decent routing engine and you'd need some switches and Wi-Fi AP's that can support VLAN's and multiple SSID's and of course you need someone with the expertise to set it all up.

The sort of "lash up" you are trying to achieve is, I'm afraid, either not going to work at all, not work well, and probably not be very secure.

I really think you'd be best to get some professional advice, otherwise I worry you'll spend money on kit that doesn't do what want and end up wasting your cash.

There's guys here who have done this sort of deployment using "pro-sumer" type equipment - Unify seems to be popular at the moment - but it's a step up in cost and complexity, albeit not a big one; but don't expect a box that "just works."
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
I've just a quick play with guest network on my Asus router and it does block traffic from private to guest and guest to private however its WiFi only so your guest router would need to be in WDS mode. You can do it via Telnet but its not an easy option.

As Mick says a VLAN is the better way to do this, I personally haven't used it but something like TP-Link Smart Switch supports VLAN and is only £24.
Amazon product
 
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Seniorshot

Standard Member
Mike and oneman
Thank you both very much for your responses. I think I understand my problem now after reading your comprehensive replies.

Changing the routers round will be a problem because of where the internet connection is made and also the existing CAT5 wiring within the house. The main router is located on the top floor of the house along with a number of CAT5 cables terminating at the same point including the one to the basement.
I am not concerned about Dual NAT because there are no Gamers in the house and I'm only looking to provide basic Internet for guests!

I am quite happy to replace my BT SmartHub2 which I know has limited configuration, and I have the possiblility of obtaining a TP Link Archer VR900 AC1900 for a very repectable price. The spec on this makes reference to VLAN so perhaps that would help me achieve my aim.?

Alternatively as a second option, the TP -Link Smart switch sounds like another cheap solution but looks like it could be difficult to setup. I've not delved into VLAN s before but I'm willing to have a go if I know it will do the job.

As a third option, if I did buy another router, then I could possible use all 3 routers and create 2 separate networks which are isolated from each other. This solution is possibly the easiest one to setup.?
 

leasty

Active Member
I use a TP-Link VR900 running in Wireless Router Mode and it does offer a Guest Network facility with an option for "Allow Guests to Access My Local Network" which can be set on or off. I have it set off (no local access) but haven't tested how good this is and I suspect those with the correct skills may be able to circumvent it given time. But it does prevent users of my guest network from being able to access either of my NAS units and my printer. I only use it for friends and family visitors who just want to get on to social media etc and it is okay for that.

If you do get the VR900 I can give you my set-up details if you want.

All the risks and issues that @mickevh points out still stand though.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I use a TP-Link VR900 running in Wireless Router Mode and it does offer a Guest Network facility with an option for "Allow Guests to Access My Local Network" which can be set on or off. I have it set off (no local access) but haven't tested how good this is and I suspect those with the correct skills may be able to circumvent it given time. But it does prevent users of my guest network from being able to access either of my NAS units and my printer. I only use it for friends and family visitors who just want to get on to social media etc and it is okay for that.

If you do get the VR900 I can give you my set-up details if you want.

All the risks and issues that @mickevh points out still stand though.
That guest network is wireless only. It's VLAN function is related to the way some companies provide IPTV, sorry no use in this situation.
 

Ash056

Standard Member
I intend to use my spare router as an extra switch but I do not need its wireless capabilities, its in the same room as my main wireless router.

Can I turn this off and if not is there any harm in leaving it on. Will it cause interference ?
Better to turn it off. You just have extra radio transmitters fighting for channels!!
 

Seniorshot

Standard Member
Just to complete the circle, I went ahead and bought the TP-Link VR900. I have set up 2 private networks using 3 routers. The BT Smart hub 2 as the common Modem/gateway hub and the VR900 and Netgear WGR614 as routers for the 2 private LANS.
Security is now as per my requirement.

Thanks everyone for your input - I would not have been able to resolve this problem without everyone's help
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
Just to complete the circle, I went ahead and bought the TP-Link VR900. I have set up 2 private networks using 3 routers. The BT Smart hub 2 as the common Modem/gateway hub and the VR900 and Netgear WGR614 as routers for the 2 private LANS.
Security is now as per my requirement.

Thanks everyone for your input - I would not have been able to resolve this problem without everyone's help

That should be OK - the only wrinkle might be if you get any "dual NAT" issues, but that tends to only bother a few particular applications.

If you are not using the Wi-Fi on the BT router, you may as well turn it's Wi-Fi off. It's usually only a couple of clicks and might work out better for your guests as it's "one less network" for them to choose between and one less "thing" competing for the Wi-Fi bandwidth.
 

Seniorshot

Standard Member
Yes, thanks. I've already turned the BT Hub wi-fi off for the reason you mention!
What sort of duel NAT issues should I be looking out for? How do they manifest themselves?
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Yes, thanks. I've already turned the BT Hub wi-fi off for the reason you mention!
What sort of duel NAT issues should I be looking out for? How do they manifest themselves?
The main one seems to be with gaming consoles and maybe if you have some services you host that you access externally.
 

Seniorshot

Standard Member
Thanks for that. Sounds like it won't be a problem ---
I'm not interested in gaming consoles, and there are no services which I host.
 

Davemazo

Active Member
Can I have too many router access points around the house? I currently have three in use to help with wifi issues and would like to add another to the garage. Would my network or wifi be affected in any way?
 

Ash056

Standard Member
Can I have too many router access points around the house? I currently have three in use to help with wifi issues and would like to add another to the garage. Would my network or wifi be affected in any way?
I am no expert, but I can imagine you might start to get overlapping channels especially on the 2.4 GHz. which may lead to interference.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
As @Ash056 indicates, it depends on the channel plan and how close together the cells are. I've built networks with hundreds of AP's and there's no fundamental problem with the number of cells.

Issues occur when you have lots of cells close together and then it can be tricky to devise a channel plan that does not have the transmissions from one cell compete with the transmissions from another. It's virtually impossible in the 2.4GHz waveband.

Three cells is no problem (though you do have to consider the effects of the neighbours, especially if, like me, you live in flats or other high density accommodation) if you give your radio channel plan some attention. For small deployments, I suggest manually setting your channel plan rather than letting the kit "auto-tune." SOHO equipment does not in any way "talk" to each other to establish and optimise the channel plan as enterprise kit and some so-called "mesh" systems do.

In the 2.4GHz waveband choose three channels from the set [1,6,11] and assign one to each AP/router. If the kit offers choice of 20MHz or 20/40MHz channel "width"operation, then set it to 20MHz only. This will half the advertised maximum speed for "N" devices, but will hugely reduce, if not eliminate, any inter-cell interference which could actually increase the thoughput for the system as a whole and should make it a bit more reliable.

In the 5GHz waveband, there's many more radio channels available, (though some SOHO does not implement all of them) so just ensure they are different for each AP/router. If possible (if your kit offers it) choose channel numbers that are as far apart as possible. As far as channel with goes, fill yer boots - give it 20/40 for N, 20/40/80 for AC, even 160 if you have any AC devices that support it, though it's less common than 80. 5Ghz radio signals are more readily attenuated by "stuff" (walls, doors, air,) so whilst inter-cell interference still exists, it is less of a problem than for 2.4Ghz.
 
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