Configuring a second router as a WiFi access point using Tomato by Shibby
I wanted to add a second router to my home network such that:
- Devices that connect to it get put on the main LAN network
- No double NAT
- A single DHCP server doling out IP addresses
- The administration panels of all routers are accessible
I ended up buying a Netgear Nighthawk router. It is powerful enough for wired gigabit speeds and has multiple antennas for wifi coverage.
I spent some time looking into "bridge mode" and "routing tables" before figuring out that the way to accomplish this is to configure the second router as an "access point". Here is a network diagram with the second router highlighted.
Here are detailed instructions for configuring that router when it is running Tomato firmware by Shibby. These instructions assume that the router is reset to its default settings. You have connected a single ethernet cable connected to your computer and you can access the web interface of the router you are setting up at
"Basic" – "Network" configuration
- Disable the WAN
- Check "Bridge WAN port to primary LAN"
- Choose a new IP address for the router that is not currently in use on your network. (I'm assigning it to 192.168.1.77.)
- Disable DHCP
- Set the Gateway to the address of your main router (192.168.1.1 in my case)
- Set the DNS to the address of your main router (192.168.1.1 in my case)
- Enable Wireless
- Set the SSID, security, and password for Wifi to match the settings on your main router
- Save your changes
Reconnect to your new router
Your new router will now have a new address and you will need to switch to it. It will take a couple minutes for the router to come back up with these new settings.
Now that the DHCP server isn't running, you probably need to configure your computer to use a static address temporarily.
"Advanced" – "DHCP/DNS" Configuration
- Disable the DNS and DHCP server
- Choose to use your gateway for a disabled WAN
- Save your changes
Plug this router into your network
Because the WAN port is bridged, all the ports on the router act exactly the same. You can use any port on this router to plug it into the main router and you can use any port on this router (including the WAN port) for other devices.
On your gateway, configure the the IP address you used (
192.168.1.77) to be "reserved" or "static". On a Tomato gateway, this can be done by following the "[static]" link in the device list for that IP address. It can also be configured manually from the "Basic" – "Static DHCP/ARP/IPT" page.
Your access point router is ready to use.
R8000 – User Manual – Page 138