Monday, 28 January 2013

Use several wireless routers with only one DHCP server for a home network


How do I connect more than one (D-Link) wireless router to make a single home network with only one router acting as a DHCP server?

(In other words, how do I make the other wireless routers in my home network act only as access points?)


  • plug only one router into internet using the router's uplink/WAN port. This will be the primary wireless router and act as the network's gateway to the internet. This should preferably have a firewall and be the fastest router as all traffic from the network will be funnelled through it. This router should have several ethernet ports available to plug the other routers into it.
  • turn on the DHCP server in this router, and set the range to something that does not encompass the entire IP range (e.g.
  • set the primary router's IP address to something outside of the DHCP server's range (like -- this is to allow access to the web admin/setup application of the primary wireless router
  • plug the second (third, etc.) router into the primary router using one of the ethernet ports of both the primary and secondary (tertiary, etc.) wireless routers -- in other words, leave the WAN/uplink port of the secondary router empty
  • turn the DHCP server of all secondary wireless routers off
  • match the subnet of all secondary wireless routers to the subnet of the primary router (e.g.
  • set the IP address of the secondary routers to something outside of the DHCP server's range (such as, etc.) -- this is to allow access to the admin/setup web applications of the secondary routers
  • (optional, but useful) set the SSIDs and authentication methods (like WPA2-only PSK) of all the wireless routers to the same as one another
  • (also optional) make sure the channels of the wireless routers are spread out as much as possible to minimize interference between them


This has been tested with only D-Link routers, but should work for others, too. Again, while it's one of many solutions, it should be good enough for most home situations. The benefit of setting up the network this way (if necessary due to the nature of the location the wireless network is being set up, budget, etc.) is that all clients in the home's LAN should be able to communicate to one another if desired. (This can be useful for running local services, running a home file server, accessing networked printers, etc.)

As with any network, make sure that all machines connected to it are trusted and precautions have been taken to mitigate intrusions, viruses, anonymous logins, etc. This is beyond the scope of this reminder how-to, however a quick Google search should help with finding more information on this.


The following reference probably explains this procedure better than this blog post. The blog post was written as a reminder to myself, in case the reference ever goes down. Hopefully this comes in handy for someone out there :)

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