Home Networking - Cascading 2 routers

Posted on 2004-11-06
Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I have a home network where I have the following equipment:
   - Efficient Networks Speedstream 6300 Internet Gateway
   - DLink DI-704P Router with Print Server

I would like to run with both routers since the Dlink can provide print services if my main computer is turned off.

Originally I just had a plain DSL-to-ethernet modem with no LAN-side IP address I could see. Now that I have upgraded to the Speedstream 6300 which has a LAN side IP address (ie: and LAN/WAN and ethernet ports, I am confused.

I need help on several fronts:

1. How do I connect the DLink to the Gateway (ie: which port do I plug my ethernet cable into on the Gateway ? Which port on the Dlink ? If I'm using the LAN/WAN port on the Gateway, do I config it as a LAN or WAN port ? )

2. What IP address do I set the DLINK to be ?

3. Where should I connect my computers (into the DLINK or the Gateway ?).

4. If I need to change the config on the box that my computer is not directly connected into, can I "reach thru", or do I need to be directly connected to the box in question ?

5. Any other recommendations ?

Question by:pbissegger
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    My best goal with this is to use the 6300 as router, since it's more powerful, and to use the switch part of the d-link as switch, forgetting about it's router function, if it's possible. The network will look like this:

                          | External Internet ip address
                  6300 Gateway
                          | SW1
                  dlink as switch
                  |SW2             |SW3
                  |   | and so on until 3 (because d-link has 4 ports)

    where sw1-sw3(4) are the switch ports of the d-link router.
    The printer will connect to the dedicated port. You can use the dhcp function of the d-link, if available. You will use only the switch part of the d-link, so there will have no address, the translation will be done by the gateway 6300. All computer will use as default gateway.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the help.

    OK, I have followed your recommendations, and now have the printing back, but have lost Internet access. Perhaps I just need some clarification. So I have a few more questions to help me clarify:

    1. As per your above instructions, I am using SW1 - SW3 on the dlink. Which port do I use on the 6300 Gateway for my connection to the dlink - the LAN/WAN port, or the regular ethernet ports ? If it is the LAN / WAN port, do I set it to LAN or WAN ?

    2. From the above, it looks like you would like me not to assign any address to the dlink. Does this mean I give it an IP address of ?

    3. If I am interconnecting the 2 routers, do I need a cross-connect cable, or will a regular cable do ?

    4. Finally, I am having difficulty understanding how to configure my dlink ONLY as a switch. This is because my dlink requires me to specify one of 4 WAN connections: Dynamic IP, Static IP, PPoE and custom IP (like BigPond Cable). There is no option not to select a WAN connection - in other words, I have to pick one of these 4.

    So would you recommend I pick a static IP address ? Or can I achieve the "switch" functionality by using the "routing table" in the modem ?

    Thanks again for your help ....
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    1. For switch function you must use a swicth port, one of the four existing.
    2. You can assign an address for management only. You wont use the wan port of the router.
    3. I can't answer this exactly, but usually yes, there is necessary a crossover cable. But some routers have mdix ports, some switches has autosensing ports. You must see the gateway's documentation.
    4. I guess you can assign a static IP, because that does'n't matter. It will be better if you can disable the wan connection.

    If the computers can see each other, then the switch part is working. For Internet access you must configure the 6300 gateway to act as a router: The wan port with the address from the ISP, and the lan port with an address from the same network as the computers. The lan address of the 6300 gateway must be configured to all computers as default gateway.

    Author Comment

    OK, thanks for the clarification.

    One final question - your last sentence was :

    The lan address of the 6300 gateway must be configured to all computers as default gateway.

    The only way I know how to do this is to set a static IP on each of my computers. Is this what you suggest ? It's not what I wanted, but I guess we're running out of choices .....
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    Any dhcp server can comunicate to workstation the router/default gateway address.

    Studying the 6300 gateway I found that it has already one 5 ports switch and dhcp server, it's better to use that dhcp. You can also change the topology of the network like this:

                          | External Internet ip address
                  6300 Gateway
                          | GW6300 Lan Address
                  6300 SW - The internal 6300 siwtch
                  |  |           | and so on until 3 (because d-link has 4 ports)
                                d-link switch port - for print server purpose only

    In this configuration, the d-link can be eliminated if you find another connection for the printer.

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