Multiple Wireless Routers to 1 WAN port


I need help to setup multiple wireless routers to one Internet connection. First some basic information.

We have one cable modem (with built in wireless router) for Internet connection. Over a wide area (500 feet over two floors) I would like to connect to the Internet throughout this area wirelessly. The computers sharing the connection do not need to share with each other and do not need to see each other. Security is not a major factor. The building material is cinder brick walls (which weakens the wireless signal quickly).

I have several older (2008 or 2009) wireless routers. I was thinking of putting these routers at various locations in the building with a wired connection back to the WAN modem. Each wireless router could the service a smaller area in the building.

My plan is to turn off the DHCP on each wireless router. Do I need to run a wired cable (lan port to Lan port) back to the cable modem or can I use the wireless routers to connect to the wireless cable modem?

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  1. You would get the best results by by running CAT 5e cable to each of the routers configured as access points (LAN to LAN port and assign each the same SSID, different radio channels to avoid interference unless two APs are very far apart, and an IP address in the network but outside the DHCP address assignment range). For cable runs over 100 meters you should use a switch or one of the AP wired port points in the cable path.

    Using wireless repeaters would work but not as well as cable to APs.

    Even if you have no security concern you should enable wireless security with WPA/WPA2.
  2. Hi Realbeast:

    Thanks for the reply.

    Access Point, is that what I was describing? So, for the wireless setup I would run cables from each wireless back to the modem and then configure the router as an access point?

    If I understand the setup correct, a wireless router becomes an access point when I turn off the DHCP and connect the unit lan to lan. Is there anything else I need do to the router?

    When you say "wireless repeaters would work but not as well" is this because of the limits on range?

    Thanks for your thoughts
  3. Repeaters also cut down your bandwidth unless you buy fairly expensive equipment. There also are range issues at the distances you are looking at.

    Yes, you have it right -- configure the routers as AP by turning off DHCP, connecting an Ethernet cable from the main router LAN port to the AP LAN port, use the same SSID (network name) for all APs as the wireless router uses, best to use different radio channels to avoid interference between APs unless two are very far apart, assign addresses to the APs in the router that are either static or reserved dynamic.

    If static use an address scheme like this: main router gateway, AP #1, AP #2 and so on, then allow the router DHCP to assign addresses from one higher than the highest AP address through That should create a seamless wireless coverage for your network, which would allow you to walk throughout the building while maintaining a connection.
  4. Hi Realbeast:

    Thanks for the reply.

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