I set up a home LAN with two routers, the second used to repeat the Wi-Fi signal of the first one in an area of the house where the signal of Router A doesn't reach. Both routers and all clients are connected through wireless connections; none of the routers has Ethernet ports.

Router A is a portable router that connects to the Internet through a 3G connection. The second router (Router B), also portable, is a wireless client of router A and also repeats its Wi-Fi signal.

Router A is a portable Huawei 3g router

Router B is a portable Hootoo Travel Mate router

The network is set up this way:

Router A

  • Connects to the Internet via 3G connection, WAN IP and gateway assigned by the ISP
  • LAN address, netmask, DHCP disabled


    • .30 Android tablet (media server, Samba server)
    • .20 Android phone
    • .10 Windows 8.1 laptop
    • .2 Router B

Router B (Wi-Fi bridge/repeater)

  • Connects to the Internet via Router A
  • LAN address, gateway, netmask, DHCP disabled
  • It's client of Router A with IP: (wireless connection, not cable)
  • It's gateway for its clients with IP


    • Android phone
    • Windows 8.1 laptop

The Android tablet always stays on network 192.168.8.X; the phone and the Windows laptop roam between 192.168.8.X and 192.168.9.X. They have fixed IP addresses on 192.168.8.X because of a Wi-Fi backup system I have in place. The Android tablet hosts a UPnP media server (Kodi) and a Samba server.

From 192.168.9.X I can ping all machines both on 192.168.8.X and on 192.168.9.X.  I can also access the media server, even though it doesn't get automatically detected; I have to specify its IP address, I imagine because broadcast packets do not pass through router B.  I can access the Samba server through Windows shares but not by name, only by specifying the IP address of the share. That's not a problem.

From 192.168.8.X I cannot ping any machine on 192.168.9.X, but only Router B as

I have no need of two subnets, but couldn't/don't know how to configure Router B to just extend the first network without creating a new one.

How can I configure my equipment so all my machines can talk to all other machines, regardless of their location in the house?

  • If you're stuck with the router mode (e.g. if B cannot be switched to bridge), hint: you would add a route on router A, telling it that subnet B is accessible via router B. – grawity Jan 1 '17 at 1:32
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I had thought about it, unfortunately none of the routers allow to specify routes. I might try to install openWrt. – aless Jan 3 '17 at 18:30
  • And they dare call themselves routers? – grawity Jan 3 '17 at 18:38

These style of routers are generally NAT routers. One side effect (which is also a feature) is that the outbound port of the router acts as a sort of firewall for the clients on the inside of the router. So yes, using the typical configuration will mean that hosts outside of router B (in this case 192.168.8.x) will not be able to see hosts inside of router B (192.168.9.x).

In general to get the functionality you are looking for, the router will need to be configured to bridge or access point mode.

  • I supposed it could be a limitation of the router. So I should replace Router B with one that can act as access point. Would it work with a wireless network only? The 3G router doesn't have any Ethernet port. – aless Jan 1 '17 at 9:40
  • The last router I bought will let you connect to a wireless only modem using bridge mode. They (Asus) also calls it WDS (Wireless Distribution System) – Stephen Rauch Jan 1 '17 at 16:01
  • NAT doesn't hurt much in this place. (Though it papers over the problem, partially, so it should be disabled.) You can still route into a NATed network. – grawity Jan 3 '17 at 18:39
  • The router performing NAT may cause results similar to a firewall, as you stated. However, that effect can often be eliminated if the other router gets a route added to point traffic to the device performing the NAT. – TOOGAM Jan 5 '17 at 6:18

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