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Wireless Setup - two routers

Posted on 2013-06-08
Last Modified: 2013-06-14

I have a cable modem at home attached to a wireless router.  I live in an old house with thick stone walls - the connection upstairs is not the best.

I have a desktop upstairts which I connect via Power Lan.  I would like to add a separate wireless router so I can have a good wifi connection upstairs.

I have purchased a new TP Link router - slightly different model to what I have already and I would like to connect it to my Power Lan upstairs.  But it is not working.  Firstly, it asked me a question about cloning the MAC address - I said no... is this correct?

Also... I suspect that there is an ip address conflict on the next work with two wifi routers on the network.  Previously all computers are on dynamic ip addresses...

Any thoughts?  Can you please provide some guidance on (a) should I clone the MAC address and (b) how should I do the Ip addressing.

Many thanks
Question by:amacfarl
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Expert Comment

by:Sam Simon Nasser
ID: 39231958
since the 2 routers are TP-link, then they are loaded with default IP (
let the main one be and change the IP of the second one to be (and thus the 2nd network will be 192.168.2.x)

this will solve it
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39232006
I assume the TP Link is the wireless router. So in addition to the above comment, connect the wire from your power LAN system to a LAN port on the TP Link. Now turn DHCP off on the new TP Link.

This is a standard way of hooking up a wireless router as an addition to an existing system.

... Thinkpads_User

Accepted Solution

TMekeel earned 500 total points
ID: 39232009
What model TP links?  I will assume you have wireless encryption of WPA2 setup on the first router.

1.  I would configure the first router's DHCP scope to something smaller than the default.
     Let's say it is now for the LAN router address.  Login there, and look for the  
     DHCP scope.  Set that to, say, 26 clients.  Make the range to

2.  For the wireless: verify your SSID and WPA2 password for copying those settings to the
     second router.  Also, set the channel to 1, 6, or 11.

3.  Now setup the second router with a LAN IP address of
4.  Disable DHCP (only on this second router.)  
5.  Setup the SSID and WPA2 password the same as the first router.
6.  Set the channel to 5 away from the first.  For example, you set the first router up on
     channel 6.  Set the second router up on 1 or 11.

7.  Plug an ethernet cable from your power lan adapter to a switch port (not the wan port)
     of the second router.  
8.  Plug in any wired connections to the second router's switch as necessary.

All devices should be able to connect (wired or wirelessly) to the second router and obtain DHCP from the first with this setup.  Keep in mind, most powerline adapters are only good for 10/100 speed, so the more devices you connect to the second router, the slower they will seem.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39232012
Also, setting up the second one to would put it on a different subnet.  Set the second one's LAN IP to

And make sure to change the DHCP scope otherwise you will have static IP addresses in the scope and cause issues.

Author Comment

ID: 39235824
Thanks for you most thorough reply.  Many thanks.

I have a couple of questions as I am still having difficulty
(1) Two routers are of the same make(TL-WR1043ND and TL-WR841N) - I access them using the same link - once both are connected how can I access the security setup?

(2) In the router setup wizard for the new router - how should answer the Clone MAC question

(3) What is the benefit of having 1 SSID instead of two - e.g. Upstairs and Downstairs


Expert Comment

ID: 39235951
Hello A.,

1.  Refer to page 34 and then 37 of the manual:  http://www.tp-link.com/Resources/document/TL-WR841N_V8_User_Guide.pdf

2.  Do not clone MAC address.  Although this is for the WAN port and on the second router this port will not be used, so this is irrelevant.

3.  While the wireless devices will not roam, you will be able to disconnect/connect to the "upstairs" router and not have to manage two sets of credentials.  Simply go upstairs, hit disconnect and connect from your device and you should connect to the second router which will give you the better signal.  Reverse the process for going downstairs.  This is not necessary, and you may not want that.  In that case, name the networks separately.  You will then disconnect from the downstairs router and connect to the upstairs router with different credentials.

I wrote my previous recommendation based on the assumption you want all devices, no matter which router they are connected to, to be able to communicate with one another.  If I am incorrect, then you would want them on different subnets as other posters suggested.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39235961
In my experience, stick with one SSID if you can and if it works.  My router traverses most areas of the house so I do not need to bother.

In another building, I set everything up with one SSID and people moving from one area to another either (a) stay with the old hookup if strong enough, or (b) associate with the new stronger signal.

... Thinkpads_User

Expert Comment

ID: 39236002
I agree with Thinkpads_User, but to each his own.  
My setups all generally are one SSID.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39247093
Truly a great answer.  Thanks

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