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I'm trying to set up a second WLAN at home (since the Nintendo DS firmware won't connect to my WPA-encrypted main WLAN), but when I connect my second router's WAN port to one of my main router's LAN ports, the routers won't talk, and I can't connect wirelessly to the second router.

I can still see the second router's WLAN - I am just unable to connect to it. And it seems that even the main router can't see the second router, despite being plugged directly into it - I went to the main router's admin console and pinged the second router (which is receiving an IP address), but it was unable to reach it!

Does anyone know what might be wrong?


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WAN ports are for connecting to a WAN. You're connecting it to a LAN, so you should use a LAN port. Make sure to disable its DHCP server -- you don't want two in the same LAN. – David Schwartz Nov 8 '12 at 11:32
Oh, really? I figured I should use the WAN port because that's where it gets its connection to the outside world. What's the technical difference between a WAN and a LAN, then? – ekolis Nov 8 '12 at 13:04
A LAN is your connection to other computers and the outside world. A WAN is the outside world -- a network distinct from your local network. When you connect something to the WAN port, you are telling the router it should isolate that connection from your LAN. – David Schwartz Nov 8 '12 at 13:14
So my main router isn't "the outside world" from the perspective of my second router? – ekolis Nov 8 '12 at 14:10
Nope. It's just another machine on your LAN. – David Schwartz Nov 8 '12 at 15:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The second router needs to be appropriately configured.

I suggest you Google for "configuring a router as a WAP" - there are plenty of helpful hits there on setting up a second router to act as a wireless access point (WAP)

Instead of using your wireless router as intended (NAT routing, DHCP client/server, PPPoE client, etc.), converting it into a wireless access point will save you a lot of headackes and make the configuration much simpler.

from one of those Google hits

Generally, I think it is a mistake for most people to use two or more routers in a home network. Disable all the routing and all other uneccessary functions in the second router, be careful that DHCP pools don't overlap. It may be simpler to buy just what you need - a simple WAP.

Your two wireless devices are also going to be competing for wireless channels and this may cause issues.

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OK, so the trick is to disable all the routing and DHCP stuff, and use a LAN port on the router? I think my router actually has a "repeater mode", but I couldn't get that to work, because it seemed to only be able to pass on an existing wifi network, not create a new one (with new security settings as I require). If I go with the second-router-as-AP configuration as you recommend, can I still set up separate security settings on the second router? – ekolis Nov 8 '12 at 14:10
Sorry I haven't accepted this answer yet - getting this fixed hasn't been a very high priority for me, and when I do think of it, there's usually someone using the wifi! – ekolis Nov 28 '12 at 12:36

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