need help with 2-router home networking?

I am trying to set up a two-router home network. The first Wi-Fi router is a TP-Link TL-WR841N which is installed permanently to the cable modem on the ground floor. I want to add a second Wi-Fi router (Tenda W268R) to the first floor.

Originally, I had the Tenda Wi-Fi router installed with the cable modem downstairs. My room is upstairs and Wi-Fi reception in my laptop was good and I didn’t need upgrading until recently, when I got my iPhone. Wi-Fi signal dropped frequently in phone and lost the connection completely when I walked to the farther corner of the house, whereas laptop had no problems connecting to Wi-Fi in all parts of the house. I then upgraded from Tenda to TP-Link with dual antenna in hopes of getting a better Wi-Fi reception. The signal level has gone from “Good” to “Excellent” in laptop, whereas, the phone showed little signs of betterment. It is now a lot better than before and I don’t get a total signal loss in phone now. But it still drops a lot and I have to keep the phone at a specific angle facing towards the router to regain the Wi-Fi signal bar.

The old Tenda router is lying in a drawer and I was planning to use it as a Wi-Fi repeater for the upper floor. I have bought a 12 meter (39 feet) Cat5e Ethernet cable to wire the two routers, ran the cable from the ground floor to first floor, installed the Tenda router where I want it to be, and now want to ask how to wire them physically and how to set up their software (IP address, default gateway, DHCP settings etc.)

I am planning to use Wi-Fi Channel 1 for TP-link, and Channel 11 for Tenda to avoid interference. Also, I have changed their DHCP clients list to use the range through with TP-Link, and through with Tenda. The IP address of TP-Link router is, and IP Address of TP-Link is

Am I doing this right? What else will I need to tweak with to make it work like a SINGLE home network? Because I have my printer connected to the computer downstairs.

I am not a networking expert, I’ve only learnt with experience and reading online articles. Can someone guide me with the software part of networking?

Thank you for reading this long story.. :)

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3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    When you cascade routers one router is going to be the master and the second router is going to be the slave router.

    DHCP should be turned off on the slave router. Your Master router --the one that connects your local network to the internet-- should have it's operating mode set to "gateway mode." The slave router's operating mode should be set to "router Mode"

    The reason the master is in gateway mode is because, as the name suggests, the master router serves as the "gateway" or connection point between your Local Network and the Internet or WAN through which all traffic must go through. The slave router is not controlling traffic between the WAN and LAN.

    Your slave router should have DHCP turned off and should have an IP address that is much closer. It would be easiest if your Master router had the IP address Your slave should then have the IP address

    Your master router should then be configured to assign the address range - Your modem should be connected to the WAN port of your Master router via ethernet. Then with another Ethernet cable connect one of the LAN ports of your MASTER router to one of the LAN ports of your Slave router. The WAN port of the SLave router should not be used, this way devices that are connected to either one of the routers will be on the same LAN IP segment.

    It's probably best to set the DNS server of your Slave router to the IP address of your Primary router (

    - I would recommend setting up one of the routers as an Access point rather than having two routers on your network. AP's are much more user friendly and easier to troubleshoot.

  • Adrian
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You can join two routers in a chain, but you have to be careful. Either they have to be on different subnets, or you have to set up the second router as a switch and AP only. I've described this before:

    Your setup may vary a bit than that, but the basic concepts are always the same. I have 2 to 3 routers in a row, depending on which IP I am using (I have a few public IP addresses - each does something different). It all works.

  • 7 years ago

    You are making this way too complex. Buy a wireless repeater and place it upstairs above the TP-link.

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