2 routers back to back with devices on each - file sharing for all?

Hi there,
I recently had a cable modem which I plugged my wireless router into, and I had all my devices connect to my router. All was well, everything could share files and print to a printer connected wirelessly to the router.
Now, we dumped our cable provider, and our cable modem is now replaced with a fully functional router with multiple ethernet ports from our new FIOS internet service provider. As before, I connected my router into that router. Since each router has 4 ethernet ports, I have some devices plugged into each router. All is fine and dandy, all devices can access the internet, etc.

However, as I expected, the devices connected to one router can't access devices on the other router for file sharing and printing.

Here is my setup.
FIOS internet router - wifi is disabled. IP is - has most ethernet devices plugged into it.
Linksys router - wifi is enabled. IP is - Has 2 ethernet PC devices plugged into it. This router is plugged into FIOS router via ethernet cable. All wireless devices are connected to this router.

Examples of my current scenario that I'd like to resolve:
PC on linksys router can't access file shares on PC connected to FIOS router.
PC connected to FIOS router can't print to printer connected wirelessly to linksys.

I've thought of just moving everything back to the Linksys and not using any connections on the FIOS router, but since I have more ethernet ports available to me to use between the two, I was wondering if there is a workaround I could do to allow the devices connected to each router to talk to devices connected to the other router. For example, is there a route I can add, or some setup to do on the Linksys, etc??

I've been searching the forums but can't seem to find anything specific to this. I think someone mentioned port forwarding for a specific kind of printer, but I'm not sure I really need to do that. I also don't know if I can program a fixed IP in my Epson Workforce 600 printer.

Thank you!!!

9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
  2. Emerald said:

    I read through that and I see that it shows you how to convert a router to a wireless AP. Is that going to allow me to plug ethernet cables for various devices into both routers and share files and printer usage with all devices no matter which router they're attached to???

    Note, my 2 routers are literally right next to each other on the same shelf. There are no distance issues.
  3. dana803 said:
    Is that going to allow me to plug ethernet cables for various devices into both routers and share files and printer usage with all devices no matter which router they're attached to???

    Yes. But only use the LAN ports and not the WAN port on the second router
  4. Could he solve the problem by switching the linksys router from gateway to router mode?
  5. AntiZig said:
    Could he solve the problem by switching the linksys router from gateway to router mode?

    That would be a nice feature to have but few consumer router actually have the ability to be a ROUTER. Would have to know the exact model number to even know if it is a option. Then the main fios router would still need the ability to run static routes not all "routers" have that feature. You would have to point the network to whatever ip it has on the net.
    The after you get all this working you run into the nasty problems of microsoft device sharing that assume things are on the same subnet. You can of course get around this fairly easily but after all this it is much simpler to just connect everything on the same lan and subnet and be done with it.

    On forums like this you are best off suggesting the solution that are as simple as possible since a lot of people will not even understand a simple instruction like plugging a cable between the lan ports of 2 routers.
  6. Ok this is what I did and it appears to work so far:

    I used a combination of about 3 different forums on Tom's Hardware, one referenced by the first reply to this thread, which seemed complicated and confusing and I wasn't sure it would resolve anything.

    Antizig posed a question I wondered about, too, as I did see that option in my router settings where I could choose between Gateway and Router. It was always on Gateway before. I never changed it to Router. I have not checked to see if that changed automatically after what I did. I believe what I did was turn my router into an access point....?

    I disabled DHCP.
    I changed the IP from to (the internet router is
    I moved the ethernet cable from the "internet" port to one of the regular ports.

    Doing only these 3 things seems to have resolved my issue without touching that gateway/router setting. I can print from all computers and share files with drives on either router. I wouldn't mind getting more info of what changing that setting to router would do for me if it's of any benefit anymore....

    This brings me to another question. Is what I did to resolve my problem possible to do WIRELESSLY? In other words, instead of hooking up my router/access point to the main internet router via ethernet, can it be done wirelessly, and does it matter which device? What I'm thinking of as a possible option if we need it, is adding yet another access point to another room of the house. However, running an ethernet cable back to one of these 2 routers would be difficult. Is it possible to add an access point that's connected wirelessly to either the current access point or the main internet router? Note that I currently have wireless disabled on the main internet router. I connect all wireless devices to my linksys router/access point. If I add another access point to another room, the main purpose would be to have more ethernet ports to plug into for some things in another part of the house.

    Thank you for all your wonderful input.
  7. ok. problem. I just realized that I have not tried to access my router/access point since I changed the IP and everything to get everything to work. Should I still be able to access it by typing in the IP to a browser? I can't even ping it. I tried to access it today because even though everything worked last night after making the changes, this morning, wireless suddenly won't work. All ethernet connections work. But, wireless devices can't connect so I want to get into the wireless router to troubleshoot. Am I missing something? How do I access my linksys router now? I assumed it would be the same way, but nothing loads when I enter the IP in IE.
  8. After talking to Linksys, who suggests to reset the router and update firmware, I rebooted the router a few times, and wireless came back as well as the ability to access the configuration via a browser. I hope this doesn't turn into a daily thing. I'll probably take the time in the next few days to follow Linksys' suggestion to see if it helps for the future.
  9. Best answer selected by dana803.
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