Using 2 Routers on a home network

Posted on 2007-03-25
Last Modified: 2008-12-06
I'm not sure if this is even possible, but I thought I'd throw it out to the experts to answer that.

Situation - I have two routers, one is used to share a DSL internet connection, and the other is doing nothing right now. This works, but I would like to increase the file transfer rate between the two PC's (Which are right next to each other), Is there a way to connect each computer to two routers? One for connecting to the internet, the other for connecting to, or increasing the transfer rate between the PC's?

I tried just plugging them together, but it was one or the the other - Fast transfer rates between the PC's via the wired connection, but without an internet connection. Or Slower transfer rates over the wireless connection with an internet connection.

Any ideas?
Question by:Microslave
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Expert Comment

ID: 18792978
you wont gain any speed either or because they both have 1 NIC, the only way you can increase speed is if you have 2 network cards on 1 computer, with 1 NIC connecting to a seperate router.

but having 2 routers "might" increase speed because in your example, 1 PC connecting to the other with 1 router for file transfer only, and 1 PC connecting to the other router for internet.  in that case, you might see a slight in crease in speed because 1 NIC would be connecting to the internet router, and the other NIC would be to the stand alone router, which when you want to transfer files to the PC, it knows to go through the stand alone router because its the only path to the other PC, then for internet, it will only have 1 path to goto the router that has internet attached.

ive never tried it, but if you do, let us know the results and if you actually see a speed increase. good luck


Author Comment

ID: 18794054
Both PC's have two NIC's. One wireless, one wired.

I actually had plugged them into the setup I specified above, but couldn't get it to work properly as it was using either one of them, not both. When both were connected to both routers, they would look to the wired connection for an internet connection, when it should have been looking to the wireless router for the internet.

Expert Comment

ID: 18794185
hmm, ok lets see what we can do, or for me to get a better understanding of how you have them connected...

my persepctive of your setup is:  you have 1 router(wireless) hooked to internet, which you have 1 nic (wireless) from each computer linked to it.   then another router (stand alone) hooked wired to the other nic of each computer...   now with that setup, did you change the DHCP on the routers to be different?  because if you have 2 routers they cannot conflict IP addresses...
that being said, how do you share files/transfer between the 2 computers, if you setup static IP thats outside of the DHCP range or the stand alone router, then your computer should know to look for that specific IP which would then go through that second NIC.  With internet, the first router/NIC would be in use with a different IP subnet.

does that make sense to you?  i know sometimes people explain things and it makes sense in our head but not how we typed it haha... ok let me know what you think, or if that gives you better ideas.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18794900
Use the wired connection to connect the machines to the same firewall/router.  Assuming this is all 100MBps, this is going to be faster than a wireless connection.

Just use one router.  I suppose there is some theoretical advantage in having two NICs (if BOTH were wired), but unless there is a ton of traffic going across the internet as well as the internal net, it's going to make very little difference.  It might even slow you down using two internet connections on each machine because of the overhead.  

Unless the machines are very, very fast and speed is critical, you're not going to max out the bandwith on a single 100MBps connection.  Keep it simple.  Connect both with copper.  Myself, I would go so far as to disable the wireless connection if they're not being used for anything else.

Author Comment

ID: 18797899
I changed the DHCP on each router to assign a unique IP Address, IE Router one is 100-199, and router two is 200-256.

Both are using DHCP, so they aren't on static IP's, right?

I'm just using Windows File transfer to exchange files, and as far as I know both NIC's are on the same subnet... but my networking knowledge is fairly limited.

Can you explain in further detail what needs to be setup for dynamic/static IP assignment and subnets?

pmartin524 - I can't use just a wired connection, I need a wireless for the internet. The additional wired one is optional/desired.

Expert Comment

ID: 18809291
What you want to do is called "binding" interfaces together. This is possible, but you'd need much, MUCH more expensive hardware to do it - and it wouldn't be worth what you'd get out of it, in a home environment.

Depending on what application you use, you can in some cases specify a certain port to be used - for example, with Azureous (torrent downloader) you can limit it to a single interface.  On my notebook at home, I have Azureous use eth0 (which is the wireless, on my notebook) to run wireless, across my friend's connection when he's away, so that my hardwire connection (eth1, which is *MY* broadband) is still open for me to generalized browsing.  I think that's about the closest you'll get, sorry...

Expert Comment

ID: 18809535
OK, use the wireless connection for the internet.

To connect the two machines together, assuming you won't add any other machines, get a crossover cable.  You can order this, and I think most of the larger computer shops will carry them.  You will then connect the computers point to point bypassing the router.  

Set up the ip addresses manually as follows:

address 1:

address 2:
mask, same as above

You should leave the gateway blank on both.  You will then connect using the IP address.

By the way, you could connect both machines to the same router and use the addresses listed above.  That will also work.  

Accepted Solution

baconyi earned 250 total points
ID: 18809559
maybe your solution is to buy a well known switch?  to handle the trafficing better... such as an 8 port 3COM switch, they are not cheap but its good quality and should handle the traffic between internal pc to pc and internet a lot better tahn the built in switch thats on the routers......

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