I currently have a Netgear R7000 (running Tomato) acting as my main router (DHCP and DNS) and access point. Because of how my house is laid out, the modem and router are apart from each other (housemates were complaining about WiFi connection so I moved the router to a better spot, unfortunately away from the modem).

Near the modem, are a few devices I want connected to the local network. One solution could be to run an ethernet cable from the router to a switch and connect the devices to that, but then we'll have 2 ethernet cables running from the router to where the modem is (one for the WAN and one on the LAN connected to a switch). And a second solution is to use a "wireless media bridge".

One of my housemates however, had a third solution, which we were having trouble setting up. His solution was to place another router - a Linksys E2000 (also running Tomato), which is just what I happened to have lying around - between the modem and R7000.

So, we would have the modem connected to the E2000's WAN port, a few devices on its LAN ports, and then a cable going from the E2000 to the R7000. His thought was to have the E2000 act as a switch and keep the R7000 as the main DHCP server/access point.

How can I set this up? I tried to set the E2000 up as our main gateway, turn its DNS/DHCP off, and keep the R7000 as the DHCP server, but that wasn't working. I could not connect to the internet via the WiFi.

I was wondering how best to set this up so that one router can be connected to the modem and a few devices and have a second router be the DHCP server, DNS server and WiFi access point.

I was thinking that maybe VLANs/trunking (or sub-interfaces, if Tomato supports that) could help here. Maybe set up VLANs on the E2000 for the modem and another for the devices and trunk them over the one cable to the R7000?

I was also wondering if Tomato was the best choice here or if OpenWRT (not if my routers are supported by it) might have more features to help me solve this. I am using the version of Tomato found here (Tomato by Shibby): http://tomato.groov.pl

migrated from serverfault.com Jul 9 '16 at 4:59

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

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    You housemate had the correct idea... this is an extremely common implementation. Remember to have each router be assigned a separate IP address and only 1 WAN port and DHCP server is used. – acejavelin Jul 9 '16 at 12:59
  • So, then how do I pass the WAN to the access point? Would trunking be the solution here? – Rocket Hazmat Jul 9 '16 at 17:20
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    Your over complicating it... You connect the modem to WAN of router1, set it's IP address as and DHCP on, connect a LAN port to a LAN port of of router2. Set router 2 as and disabled DHCP on the LAN. Done, that is all that it takes. The AP of each router is tied to it's LAN side by default, just passing it through. Setup the wireless with the same SSID/Type/Encryption/Passcode in both routers, the clients will auto connect or move to the "best one" as needed – acejavelin Jul 9 '16 at 17:25
  • I guess I wanted to keep the current access point (R7000) as the DHCP server. Moving it over to the E2000 might be a good idea. – Rocket Hazmat Jul 10 '16 at 2:36
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    That's fine, the key is you have only one... it doesn't matter where the DHCP server is. Networks, at least flat SOHO networks like this one, are fairly simple setups. This setup is much more common than you think. – acejavelin Jul 10 '16 at 3:13

As the comments have said it doesn't matter which router is the DHCP server just so long as there is only one.

I've provided a diagram of a suitable solution where router 1 is the one nearest the modem and router 2 can be placed anywhere where an Ethernet cable can be used to extend the distance between router 1 and router 2.

enter image description here

  • This looks like exactly what I want. I'll try to set this up and see how well it works. – Rocket Hazmat Jul 22 '16 at 13:41
  • How will this setup work with IPv6? I get a native IPv6 (/64) pool from my ISP. I know IPv6 has some different settings from IPv4. – Rocket Hazmat Jul 22 '16 at 13:42
  • Your internal addressing is irrelevant to your external WAN addressing because of the router and NAT... – Kinnectus Jul 22 '16 at 19:29
  • But doesn't IPv6 not have NAT? I'm assigned a block/pool of addresses from DHCPv6, no? (I think I'll get IPv4 working before messing with IPv6) – Rocket Hazmat Jul 22 '16 at 20:47

If the host sets out its IP address (from somewhere else or has it statically assigned in its configuration, and you want only to get a new name for it then you should not "Bound" it and you can skip the MAC Address. Try to do configure all http://www.routerstop.com/tomato-router-setup/ as it should be in the tomato firmware.

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