Pros And Cons Of Having Two Routers In The Same House
The benefits of using 2 routers in one house include:
- More wired devices Adding a second router allows you to connect more devices to it without affecting your networks speed.
- Mixed wired and wireless devices You can connect other Wi-Fi devices to the wired home network, allowing some devices to stay connected to the Ethernet.
- Signal range Having more routers in the house means the overall reach of the connection will be wider and allow far away devices to connect more easily.
- Network isolation If you connect two different computers to different routers, the network traffic from the first wont be able to affect the other.
The only downside to a second router setup is that it requires a very specific configuration to allow both routers to function normally, including IP address settings and DHCP.
Is It Possible To Have 2 Internet Providers In One House
The short answer to this question is yes, it is possible to have multiple internet connections in one house. However, whether or not your house can have two internet providers depends on your current connection, your provider, and your budget.
If you currently have DSL internet in your home, you will have a hard time finding another DSL provider. This is because many DSL providers actually use the same cabling to provide internet access, or else wed have too many wires and poles in our neighborhoods.
Youd need to find a provider who doesnt use the cables your existing DSL company uses, which is hard. You may also need to install a new phone line into your home.
If you have two cable providers that go to your home, you can get both of them to give you connections. However, the internet and telecommunications sector is filled with monopolies and you might not have access to two companies.
If you live in an apartment or a housing complex, you will have to check your rental agreement to ensure you can go to a competitor for internet access.
Even if you find two providers, it can sometimes be difficult just to get the internet connection with a cable agreement, so you may have to pay double, which can be too expensive.
The easiest solution is to have a DSL internet provider and a cable internet provider. This way, they wont interfere with each other, and you wont be paying double for your services.
Theres a little more to it, so lets break that down.
One Router And Two Modems
You were wondering if you can have two routers on one modem, but what about two modems with one router? This is actually far more common than you think and it ties in nicely with the first option that we explored. The businesses that want a more reliable Internet connection and they cant afford any downtime usually purchase more than one Internet connections, with separate lines. So, in case one link fails, then the other can immediately take its place, waiting for the first line to come back on.
To achieve a smooth transition between the connections, a dual-WAN router is required which supports link aggregation, link fail-over and load balancing. I have explored a few options over the years that you can check here, but there are a few consumer-grade routers that support a more basic implementation as well. See the Asus RT-AC86U or the newer RT-AX86U, as well as the Synology RT2600ac.
Then again, if what you do is not tied that closely to a continuous Internet connection, you can simply keep a single Internet connection with a single modem and just hook up two routers to it, as we did in the first option we explored. Its cheap and it works, but not reliable if you cant afford any downtime.
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Connect A Second Wireless Router
Home wireless routers can be connected using Ethernet cable in the same way as wired routers are connected. Connecting two home routers over wireless is also possible, but the second router can only function as a wireless access point instead of a router in most configurations.
You must set up the second router in client mode to utilize its full routing functionality, a mode that many home routers don’t support. Consult the specific router model documentation to determine whether it supports client mode and, if so, how to configure it.
Can I Use 2 Modems In The Same House
Modem is short for modulator-demodulator. A modem is a transmission device that transforms data from one format to another, so a diverse device can communicate between them. Modems receive their names because they modulate different carrier wave signals to encode the information and then transmit it, and at the same time, they demodulate wave signals to decode the data that is transmitted.
Modems can simultaneously encode and decode digital information to allow communication between radio waves. They can complete both tasks, modulating and demodulating the information that will be transmitted or the one that is received.
Two modems can be used in the same house, however, a second hard line of internet service will be needed. Every ISP just allows one modem per account so, if someone wants to acquire a second modem, a second internet service has to be paid!
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First Method: Use A Hotspot To Get Two Networks
This method is simple, but it isnt permanent. It is great for guests or having someone stay with you for a few weeks. You will need to use a tablet or a laptop that has hotspot capabilities.
Then, follow these steps:
Test to see if you now have two networks to use. Once again, this method doesnt last a long time, but you can occasionally use it.
Configure A Second Router Without Subnetwork Support
To set up a new router as a network switch, plug an Ethernet cable into any free port of the second router other than the uplink port. Then connect it to any port in the first router other than the uplink port.
To set up a new wireless router as an access point, configure the device for either bridge or repeater mode linked to the first router. Consult the documentation for the second router for the specific settings to use.
For both wired and wireless routers, update the IP configuration:
- Check the second router’s local IP address and change it if necessary to ensure it is within the network’s address range as configured on the first router and doesn’t conflict with other devices on the local network.
- Set the DHCP address range of the second router to fit inside the address range of the first router. Alternatively, disable DHCP and manually set the IP address of each device connected to the second router to fall within the first router’s range.
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How To Extend Wifi Range With Another Router
If our general recommendations didnt help extend the range of your WiFi, its time for a more drastic solution: extending WiFi range with another router.
Before you purchase another router and set it up, we highly recommend you check your WiFi coverage using NetSpot so that you have reliable data that you can use to determine whether the change you made produced a desirable result.
Network Separation And Network Isolation
Suppose you use specific devices on your network to transfer data within the home network and dont use the internet all that much. Instances of this may be LAN gaming and media servers. It would be more beneficial to keep them connected to one router keeping the traffic low and not affecting the router that connects to the internet.
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Select Which Of The Two Modems Will Be The Main Router
First, even before installation, you need to choose between the existing modem and the second modem will serve as the main router. The modem you choose will act as the router that is connected to the wall outlet. The other router, the secondary, will mainly be helping the main router to spread or extend the network. Additionally, this first router will help control the secondary router while creating a LAN to WAN connection.
Set The Second Routers Ip Address
The IP address of the second router must be set to fall within the DHCP range of the primary router.
For example, if the primary router has a DHCP range of 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.50, you will need to set the second routers IP address to be anything in between.
Whilst configuring the IP address, make sure the subnet mask matches that of the primary router.
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One More Issue: Lack Of Options
Many people have issues with their internet connections and cant do anything about it.
The Internet is somewhat limited in many areas, particularly in the United States. Consumers just dont have many choices for their internet. They either get the big monolithic company, or they dont get it at all. In todays world, that really isnt an option.
If you want to get two providers in your house, you may have a hard time even finding another provider who serves your area. In particular, communities, municipalities, and townships have special deals with only one or two providers, and you cant get anyone else.
The climate is slowly changing and in a few years, it may be easier to find more than one option for internet providers, but you just have to work with what youve got for now.
What Is The Difference Between A Router And A Modem
Before we get to the different solutions to this problem, it is important to understand the basic difference between a modem and a router. These two terms are often used interchangeably but there is a very basic difference between the two.
Usually the modem that you get from your internet provider acts as both the modem and the router, but if you do get a device which acts only as one of the two remember that a modem is the device which connects to the Internet Service Provider or the ISP to bring the internet back to you.
On the other, the router helps other devices in your home to get access to this internet.
A router basically acts like the traffic police which can monitor and control the traffic on your network.
You can use a router without needing a modem, but in this case you wont be able to connect to the internet. Some people use a router while gaming on LAN networks or for office networks.
The good news is that most of the time you wont have to worry about this as most of the routers/modems in the market act as both.
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How To Set Up A Second Modem
Using bridging to use two modems on one connection can be a bit tricky. Especially if you dont have experience doing so. There are multiple ways of doing this but I am going to go over one of the easier ones.
Step 1: When you have two modems you will have to choose one of them as your main internet access point. I would suggest to choose the device which is relatively newer or the one that has the most features.
The second router will simply act as a gateway to expand the reach of the original modem so a device with some simple functionality will get the job done.
Step 2: The second step would be to place both of the devices near a laptop or a PC for setting them up. Remember that this is only for the purposes of setting the devices up and once this is done you can keep the devices wherever you want.
Step 3: The third step includes selecting the type of network you want between both the devices. You usually have two options, LAN to WAN and LAN to LAN. You can increase the range of the wireless network using any of the two but the main difference comes in the type of connection which takes place between the devices. For example, with LAN to LAN you can set up a file sharing mechanism between both the devices which is ideal if you have some office work in your house.
On the other hand with LAN to WAN, you can set a sub-network within the network and you can even place some restrictions on any device connected to the network.
How To Choose A Router
There are many types of routers available. From routers that cost less than $50 to the best-rated long-range routers, here are some of the top ones on the market, and all are available on Amazon.com:
- Linksys EA6500: This is the first smart Wi-Fi router from Linksys and gives owners complete mobile control of their home wireless network.
- Netgear AC1750 : A perfect option for bigger homes with 12 or more wireless devices.
- Netgear N300 WNR2000: A great router that also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- TP-LINK TL-WR841N: TP-LINK routers are some of the most popular in the industry. The TL-WR841N features external antennas that make for superior signal reception.
- Netgear WGR614: The WGR614 is a high-quality router with above average signal range . It also comes with a three-year warranty.
- Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G: People have said that this Linksys router is a cinch to install and consistently has a strong signal range. If you run into problems, their customer support is helpful.
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Get A Second Home Network Using Ethernet Cables
This is a solution for laptops, PCs and other device which have an Ethernet port.
They can bypass Wi-Fi altogether and be connected to your router using a cable. Wires are always a better option than wireless, with no chance of dropouts or weak signal.
Plus, you can turn off your routers Wi-Fi when you need the full speed of your internet connection for those Zoom calls and prevent your kids and other devices from hogging any bandwidth.
Alternatives To Setting Up A Second Router
Setting up a second router on your home network is relatively easy, but there are a few alternatives that will achieve the same result of extending your network, but without any router, IP address or DHCP configuration being needed.
You may want to instead look at adding a network switch instead of a second router. Switches come vary in terms of the number of available Ethernet ports they can add to your network and the type: managed or unmanaged.
For a Wi-Fi network, you may want to consider simply adding a wireless access point rather than an additional router. These can help extend wireless coverage throughout your home and only use a single LAN port on your primary router.
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