Tag Archives: router

Bridged WiFi routers via LAN/Homeplug?

This will be a quick post about a problem I was having. I have two Wireless N routers, and have them connected via LAN (through a Homeplug) so that I could extend the WiFi through my property.

This was working fine for most of my devices but I have been having problems with my Windows 7 netbook (Samsung N140): When I was in range of the second router I would be connected to the WiFi with a strong signal, but the internet would be intermittent. Highly frustrating.

After a load of troubleshooting, and changing of firmwares, I finally figured out the problem….and it is a silly problem.

First, my configuration: I have a TP-Link 1043ND router, which I managed to brick. I then bought an ASUS RT-N16 to replace it. I put TomatoUSB on this router and it works like a dream…it is a fantastic router with a great spec. It was however bugging me that my TP-Link router was bricked so I pulled it apart and soldered a USB to TTL cable to the board and followed these instructions. After a few attempts I finally managed to unbrick it.

Now that I had a second Wireless N router, I put this in the opposite end of the house to my main router, and connected it via Homeplug (effectively a LAN cable). If you haven’t actually got to this stage yet, the setup is pretty simple:

How to bridge two routers via LAN to extend your WiFi

  • Make sure only your first router is set up as a DHCP provider, disable this on the second router
  • Set DHCP to provide a range of IP’s from x.x.x.100 – x.x.x.200 (i.e. 192.168.0.100 – 192.168.0.200).
  • If your main router is set to IP of 192.168.0.1 then set the second router to a static IP on the same subnet…i.e. 192.168.0.2, and make sure the IP is lower than the DHCP IP range set previously (less than 192.168.0.100).
  • When connecting the main router to the second router, don’t use the WAN port. Plug the routers together using one of the LAN ports on each.
  • Set the SSID (WiFi Name) to the same name on both routers, also make sure the security settings are the same…i.e. WPA2 PSK/AES on both, AND make sure the password is the same too.
  • The last thing to do is set the channels for the WiFi to manual, and make sure they are different. Try get them on opposite ends of the spectrum. i.e. for my setup I have one router set to channel 1 and the second to channel 11.

You should effectively have seamless WiFi on your property now. Moving between the areas of the two routers should switch the signal to the strongest signal seamlessly.

This is where I got stuck. The instructions above are pretty much the instructions you see anywhere else on the web, and they work for the most part. My Android devices don’t have a problem with this setup and neither do the wireless cameras I have. But my netbook kept having intermittent internet issues.

The simple fix? Make sure your channel width in your WiFi settings are the same on both routers! Wireless N allows you to choose between 20MHz or 40MHz. 40MHz theoretically provides more bandwidth (150Mbps vs 54Mbps), but 20MHz provides backwards compatibility for older devices. I don’t have any problems on 40MHz, but if you do, then switch both routers to 20MHz.

Below is an example of the setup on my main router (running the brilliant Toastmans’ version of TomatoUSB)

TomatoUSB WiFi config

and below is a screenshot of my TP-Link 1043ND router setup (I had it runing on DD-WRT, then on Gargoyle…but reverted to the stock firmware as the WiFi performance appears better with it):

TPLink 1043ND WiFi config

Let me know in the comments if you are having any further issues with your bridged router setup.