How do I connect two WiFi routers

Use a second router in the home network - this is how it works

Thomas Rau

The router from the provider is free or very cheap - but it can't do much. With an additional Fritzbox you can easily bring more speed and functions into your home network.

EnlargeThere is space for more than one router in a network.

With a Fritzbox you have everything you need for the Internet and home network in one device: the modem for online access via VDSL, cable and fiber optics, WLAN and LAN for network devices at home and a telephone system for wireless DECT and analog telephones. It becomes problematic when one of these functions is no longer sufficient - usually the WLAN speed and range are the issues. Instead of buying a new and expensive all-in-one router straight away, you can use WiFi repeaters or powerline adapters.

However, it is usually more advisable to simply connect an up-to-date WLAN router behind the older Internet router: Then you get a better wireless network, usually faster LAN connections and more options for connecting telephones in one fell swoop. You can continue to use the existing router for Internet access, but you no longer have to make compromises when choosing a new router: At AVM, for example, you can choose the model from the range of WLAN routers that suits your purposes - for example one Device with top WiFi speed for a large wireless network with many clients or a router with a fast 2.5 gigabit connection to optimally supply the new NAS.

An additional router can also make sense when changing the Internet connection. For example, if you switch from VDSL to cable internet because the cable provider at your location offers a higher bandwidth or a cheaper tariff, you do not have to dispose of a VDSL Fritzbox like the 7490 or 7590: Instead of, for example, a high-quality router with a cable modem buy or rent expensive from the provider, choose its 0-euro modem, put the existing VDSL Fritzbox behind it and continue to use your network and security functions. But simply connecting the two routers is not enough. Because the home network should work as before, only better. So a good portion of network knowledge is required to convert and expand the WLAN in such a way that you can use the same network IDs and passwords so that you do not have to re-register every WLAN client. In addition, all network devices should be accessible as usual with the new router, i.e. they should be in a common, ideally in the same IP address range. And finally, telephoning should continue to work without problems - be it via VoIP or the analog connection.

Our tips will help you ensure that the new router actually expands and accelerates your home network instead of making it more complicated.

Fritzbox router in comparison : Which is the best model?

EnlargeA provider router like the TC7200K from Vodafone is usually free of charge. However, it offers too few functions for a large home network.

Integrate the new router optimally into the home network

The best method for connecting the two routers depends on where the modem router for Internet access is located and what technical options it offers. Because the new WLAN router should be positioned as centrally as possible in the area that the wireless network is to cover in the future for optimal illumination of the wireless network.

If the telephone connection is in the basement, in a corner of the apartment or on another floor, a connection via LAN cable is recommended because this is the most stable way of bridging long distances. Powerline is an alternative - especially when there are floors to be negotiated. If the two routers are next to each other, you should also use the LAN cable, as it is usually not noticeable over a very short distance and is not a trip hazard.

Your Internet bandwidth is in no way slowed down by a cable connection: For online access with up to 100 Mbit / s download, even an older Fast Ethernet port on the modem is sufficient. With faster Internet connections, the modem should suitably have a gigabit port. The LAN cable can be up to 100 meters long. With Powerline, on the other hand, you have no guarantee that the Internet bandwidth will come unchecked from the modem to the router - that depends on the length of the power line and any interference signals on the line.

EnlargeThe home network can be accelerated with an inexpensive WLAN router such as the Fritzbox 4040. For example, it can be used behind the cable modem.

Connect the Fritzbox behind the existing cable modem

You can immediately increase the speed of your home network, which was previously supplied by an older modem router, with a router with ac-WLAN and Gigabit-LAN. A recommendation for this purpose is the Fritzbox 4040 - because of the clear user interface and the sustainable update policy of the manufacturer AVM. We show the connection to the modem router using this Fritzbox as an example.

The most common connection is the connection to the modem or modem router of a cable provider. Before you use the Fritzbox, the cable modem should be ready for use and online. With some cable providers, for example Vodafone, you first have to put a modem with WLAN function in the so-called bridge mode so that it only performs the modem function and leaves all routing tasks to the Fritzbox - even if you do not use the WLAN on the modem at all. You can read in the box whether and how this works. Now call up the Fritzbox menu. Under “Internet -› Access data ”you come to the“ Internet access ”tab. Activate "Termination to external modem or router" here. The option “Connection to a cable modem (cable connection)” must be activated under “Operating mode”. Enter the values ​​for the downstream and upstream under “Transmission speed”. Click on “Apply”. Now connect a network port of the modem with the blue marked WAN port on the Fritzbox 4040 with a LAN cable. If the Fritzbox does not get internet access, turn off the power to the modem and switch it on again after a short time.

EnlargeYou can use a Fritzbox very conveniently behind a provider router as an IP client: This way, additional devices can be connected to the network and the WLAN can be expanded without much effort.

These are the alternatives for connecting to the cable modem

However, some cable modems and routers do not enable bridge mode. This can also differ from provider to provider: Vodafone, for example, has been offering a bridge mode for its own Connect Box cable router for several months - but only in a tariff with the power upload option and activated dual-stack mode.

Without bridge mode, you have two options for connecting a router such as the Fritzbox 4040 to the cable router. The second router can be set up as an IP client or connected as a cascaded router. As an IP client, the routing functions of the downstream device are deactivated: Security functions such as firewall and child safety are still taken over by the modem router, which also distributes the IP addresses to the new router and the devices connected to it, so that all home network devices can reach each other. Access from the Internet to the home network is also unchanged via the modem router. With the setup as an IP client, you can take advantage of the higher speed and the extended connection options that the new router brings.

As a cascaded router, the new device works from the point of view of the home network as if it were directly connected to the Internet: As a DHCP server, it distributes IP addresses from its range and can filter connections via a firewall. Functions such as guest access are then also possible for the downstream network. However, in this case you have two home networks - one behind the Internet router and one behind the new router: local access to devices in the other network and remote connection from the Internet to the network of the new router are no longer possible without problems.

Connect older Fritzbox to a router

You can connect current Fritz boxes to an internet router via the blue WAN port. Older models like the 7490 do not have this. In this case, you must plug the LAN cable into the "LAN 1" socket after you have made the settings for operation as an IP client or router cascade.

The Fritzbox as a second router becomes an IP client in the network