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Can I wire LAN ports of 2 wireless routers using existing wired network?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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May 20, 2014 12:56:14 AM

Aloha all. I apologize for a bit of a newbie question but after hours of googling and reading I cannot figure this out. I have even spent a few hours on this forum but can’t find answer to my specific question. Can I use existing wired network to get two wireless routers to “talk” to each other via their LAN ports?

As per ***How To Ask For Help Regarding Your Wireless Connection*** here is the specifications of equiptment:
Laptop: macbook pro 17-inch, Late 2011 os 10.7.5 2.5 GHz intel core i7 Memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 M
ISP = oceanic time warner cable [uses dynamic IP assignment]
Cable modem = Motorola SURFboard SB6141
Switch = netgear prosafe 8 port desktop switch FS108
Router 1= ASUS RT-N56U Wireless Router Dual Band N600 Multimedia Ultra Slim Gigabit 802.11a/b/g/n support USB Storage, Print and Media Server

Router 2= netgear wireless N gigabit router WNR3500L

All devices in home connect to internet wirelessly. Only one laptop and tend to use it in room without ethernet cable.

The question:

I have a wired home network and want to get two wireless routers connected [via ethernet cables] using their LAN ports using existing cabling to extend wireless range with one SSID/password combo. [If I can get these two routers “talking” via the existing ethernet cabling I think I can configure the rest using tutorials.]

I do not wish to connect two routers wirelessly or use powerline adapter.

Cable modem is in garage where all ethernet cables start then go to each wall jack [or port?] in rooms. Right now network looks like this:


cable modem -> switch -> ethernet cables -> office [wireless router 1]
-> bedroom [wireless router 2]


I want to connect [via ethernet cables] wireless router 1 [in office] to wireless router 2 [in bedroom] via LAN ports on the back of each wireless router.

Router 1 will be “main” router and #2 will have DHCP turned off. As a side note office [with wireless router 1] has two Ethernet jacks, bedroom one.


Can I do that with existing cabling with the above set up? Or do I need to add another piece of hardware by adding a wired router or something? I am unwilling to have a cable running across my floor of my house :-D.

Question 1: Is there a way to get both wireless routers talking to each other via LAN ports using my existing home wiring?

Question 2: If I run wire out of LAN port of router 1 to second ethernet jack in office will that “talk” to LAN port of router 2 in bedroom via switch?

Or do I need to add some hardware such as:

Cable modem -> wired router -> switch → ethernet cables -> wireless router1
⇒ wireless router 2

Question 2: If I need to add a router can I use an old wireless router [with wireless turned off] between cable modem and switch or do I need to buy a wired router?

Is any of this possible?

Thanks in advance for any help.

PS. Why? I own three wireless routers and would like to avoid buying more hardware if possible. But also I am having fun and want to learn this technique if possible.
May 20, 2014 1:07:15 AM

If you have 2 cables in the office you want to run

Modem---router in office...wan port.

Then on the other cable run router in office lan port-----switch in garage.

You then hook all the other equipment in the house to the switch in the garage...it in effect is hooked to the router in the office in a round about way
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May 20, 2014 11:31:17 AM

Thanks bill001g! To make sure I understand does this mean?

Modem -> wireless router 1 [into WAN port] -> out of wireless router LAN port -> second ethernet jack in office -> switch in garage -> bedroom [and wireless router 2]

Secondly do I need to worry about ISP assigning IP addresses dynamically as router 1 and 2 must have different IP addresses at all times?

Thanks again!
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May 20, 2014 1:19:44 PM

You want to run the second router as a AP. You will want to assign router2 a fixed IP within the subnet in router 1 but excluded from the DHCP scope. Most times if you pick a high IP in the subnet it will never duplicate anyway. This IP is only used to admin the second router it technically can be completely wrong and the second router "AP" will just pass user traffic fine. The only true router you have is router 1 it should assign all the IP to the machines in our house and it should get its wan IP from the ISP via the modem.
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May 20, 2014 1:30:26 PM

thanks again. mean it.

So I have the wiring correct?:

Modem -> wireless router 1 [into WAN port] -> out of wireless router LAN port -> second ethernet jack in office -> switch in garage -> bedroom [and wireless router 2]
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Best solution

May 20, 2014 3:59:09 PM

Yes that is correct. It is the same way you would wire it if you the router in the garage and needed more lan ports just think of the wall ports as long ethernet cables.
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May 22, 2014 12:38:36 AM

First many thanks for the help @bill001g. I'm actually having a bit of fun along with my frustration.

I've tried your suggested wiring configuration and I can't seem to make it work. I don't *think* router 2 can talk to router 1 via the wire network I've created, but I don't know how to test this. Perhaps it is working and I simply don't know how to test the wired connection works?

It seems as if router 1 [office] cannot talk to router 2 [bedroom] via the LAN ports hooked up by switch in garage. Is there a way to test this from the bedroom? I'm not sure if this is the correct term but could I "ping" router 1 from router 2 via its LAN port? I've tried pinging it using MAC OS "network utility" and it gives an error message.

Again the wired configuration:

cable modem > router 1 [into it's WAN port] > out of router 1 LAN port >second ethernet port in office > switch in garage > router 2 in bedroom [into LAN port]

so could I plug in cable to another LAN port on router 2 and see if it talks to router 1 via this configuration? Again, I've tried exactly this using Network Utility and it gives error message.

Do I need another bit of hardware to do this or is there a way to test the wiring with the stuff I have?

I'd be willing to buy something if need be. At this point I'm determined to make it work if at all possible.

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May 22, 2014 4:46:00 AM

Generally if you get a light on the equipment you have the wiring correct.

It is rare but you might need a crossover cable if they do not light up.

Its a matter of elimination. Take a pc unplug the cable in the garage that goes from the LAN port of router 1 to the switch and make sure you are at least getting that far. Then move the PC to the port going to the other room. This will test that you can get though the switch. Then plug the PC instead of the second router into the jack into the bedroom.

When you have this many connections and all it takes is one wire not quite punched down firmly you have to methodically chase it down.

You could also take router 2 into the same room as router 1 and plug them together with a cable just to be sure the software is setup correctly in the routers.
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May 22, 2014 9:40:10 AM

bill001g said:
Generally if you get a light on the equipment you have the wiring correct.

It is rare but you might need a crossover cable if they do not light up.

Its a matter of elimination. Take a pc unplug the cable in the garage that goes from the LAN port of router 1 to the switch and make sure you are at least getting that far. Then move the PC to the port going to the other room. This will test that you can get though the switch. Then plug the PC instead of the second router into the jack into the bedroom.

When you have this many connections and all it takes is one wire not quite punched down firmly you have to methodically chase it down.

You could also take router 2 into the same room as router 1 and plug them together with a cable just to be sure the software is setup correctly in the routers.


thanks [again]. I actually spent many hours yesterday on punchdown issues with the drops to a port I shall work backwards starting with your second suggestion and report later today.
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May 22, 2014 2:53:33 PM

bill001g said:
Yes that is correct. It is the same way you would wire it if you the router in the garage and needed more lan ports just think of the wall ports as long ethernet cables.


Whoo Hoo! As they say in the 808 "Mahalo Bra!"

So bill001g was correct from the start about the physical connection. This was his solution and it worked for me:

Modem -> wireless router 1 [into WAN port] -> out of wireless router LAN port -> second ethernet jack in office -> switch in garage -> bedroom [and wireless router 2]

Also hooking all hardware up in my office, rather than relying upon the home network, was a wonderful suggestion. I had a "DUH! Why didn't I think of that?" moment. So thank you for that solution as well.

By testing all hardware in the office I isolated the problem [I made a bad patch cable]. Once I knew the physical layout worked, I followed bill001g's other suggestion and was able to struggle through the software set up with the confidence of an intact physical connection in the office.

So a "lab test" of sorts in the office, then I hooked all hardware up in the originally suggested configuration above and bingo!

A sincere thank you again. Did I say "whoo hoo!"?
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