I am getting the internet connection from my local area ISP. I want to use two routers on this connection: [Router 1] for general mobile device WiFi usage and [Router 2] solely for my PC for online gaming via Ethernet. My reasoning for this is that when I enable WiFi on [Router 2] it gives me high ping spikes while playing online games.

Would LAN-LAN or LAN-WAN be better between the two routers?

Will the internet usage on [Router 1] affect my latency on [Router 2] through which I will be playing online games?

Will the second router get its IP address dynamically just like the first router?

  • 3
    Will the ISP be providing you one physical line or two? – user1686 Jul 19 '19 at 12:21
  • 1
    Also, what exactly do you expect the 2nd router to achieve? Is it there just to make the cable longer? – user1686 Jul 19 '19 at 12:31
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    This is an XY Problem. Unless you have a complete piece of junk router, having WiFi turned on is not going to affect your wired LAN ping times. What CAN affect your ping times are: bad cables; poor internet connection; over utilization of your bandwidth, etc. Your solution is just going to cause more trouble. – Appleoddity Jul 19 '19 at 12:33
  • @grawity ISP will be providing one line. Second router for just online gaming and will be connected to my PC only... which means WiFi will be disabled on this 2nd router – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 12:45
  • @Appleoddity the reason i want 2nd router because i want to avoid ping issues on first router because i have experienced it in past if the WiFi is On and few devices are connected to it then you will have insane ping spikes unless you have 50Mbps connection. My second router should be solely for my gaming and the first for other members in the house. – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 12:53

To give your computer the priority on bandwidth, it should be connected to the first router.

The second router for WiFi should be connected to the first one by LAN-to-WAN, as this will make your computer an equal partner to the entire [Router 2] sub-network, so the computer will always be able to use at least 50% of the bandwidth for itself.

[Router 2] should also be a DHCP server, since its sub-network will be completely isolated from your computer.

If the first router supports Quality of service(QoS), it can be configured to give your computer the absolute priority when required - so during heavy gaming sessions your computer may use up to whatever bandwidth limit you have set (100% is likely too high so an 80% cap might be better).

  • I will definitely try this. I will let you know if it worked. Thank You – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 14:21
  • One more thing if you could clear for me. I also explained this to my ISP and they said they will configure it for me so that i will get ex. 10Mbps on router#1 and 5mbps on router#2,so there will be no issue of bandwidth sharing. Is it really possible for them? – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 14:26
  • They can certainly allocate more bandwidth on your line, but I'm not sure how they could limit that to your own subnets unless they have access to your routers. – mael' Jul 19 '19 at 14:29
  • If router#1 is their router they might be able to configure QoS on it from their side. But I dislike very much the idea that someone can traffic your setup from the exterior. You should ask them how they will do it, then, if that's the case, disable that hole in your defenses. Otherwise, that's just rubbish talk. – harrymc Jul 19 '19 at 14:31
  • Okay, so after all these answers from you guys i think its impossible for me to achieve what i want to. The second router will obviously share bandwidth and will not act as i want it to. I guess i would prefer a separate line from my ISP. It would cost me more but i think would be better overall for other users in house and also for my gaming experience. Thank you for your help @harrymc – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 14:44

Yes it will. It's a shared resource.

I want to keep WiFi disabled on router#2 so that just one PC is connected to it using Ethernet cable.

That makes the second router completely useless.

Routers do not get special priority in a network; they are just ordinary network devices. It doesn't matter if your PC is connected via router2 or directly – eventually it still goes through router1, so it has to share router1's capacity in exactly the same way. If router1 uses a bad queueing algorithm, or if its CPU is overwhelmed by traffic, router2 can't do a thing about it.

The same goes for your whole Internet connection. If it's the bottleneck, then it won't gain extra capacity nor a "dedicated lane" just because you have more routers.

Instead, you should figure out why the latency spikes occur. (It most likely is a problem with router 1 and not with the uplink connection.) Try swapping the two routers, if the 2nd is more powerful. Try to correlate the spikes with a specific device being connected, and with a specific program running on it. Research "Bufferbloat". If there's something using 100% of your upload bandwidth (e.g. a laptop seeding 100s of torrents), limit it to 90%. Etc.

  • I am not trying to extend the network or WiFi signals by connecting the second router. It is intended to turn off WiFi on second router and just use its LAN port for wired connection to PC. Just confused if routers do act like that or not the way i want them to? my ISP said they will divide my total bandwidth into two routers, which i think is not possible because of single line from them. Or is it? – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 13:22
  • "I am not trying to extend the network or WiFi signals by connecting the second router. It is intended to turn off WiFi on second router and just use its LAN port for wired connection to PC." -- but that's literally the same thing as extending the network. – user1686 Jul 19 '19 at 13:30
  • "Just confused if routers do act like that or not the way i want them to?" -- no, they do not. – user1686 Jul 19 '19 at 13:31
  • "my ISP said they will divide my total bandwidth into two routers, which i think is not possible because of single line from them" -- no, it will not be a "fixed" division like 50:50 or anything like that. The line's bandwidth will be shared between all devices that are connected, regardless of them being routers or computers. – user1686 Jul 19 '19 at 13:32

If I am reading this correctly - you want to use one router as a wireless access point and the other router for wired only connections.

As you only have one connection to your ISP one of these routers will need to plug into the other - and that will be a LAN to LAN connection. I'd suggest the one being used as a wireless access point is plugged into the other router and that router does the LAN to WAN to the ISP connection.

I'm not sure this will be of much benefit to you though. You will get exactly the same contention for bandwidth as just using one router.

One good router, with QoS tools to enable you to prioritise traffic on the port the gaming PC plugs into would probably give you better results.

  • Yes you understood it correctly. I will give it a try! – Haroon Khan Jul 19 '19 at 14:18

I disagree with the accepted answer.

I contend that the latency spikes are being introduced because router2 is emulating a switch and AP and router.and firewall in software and is underpowered. This is very common.

I think that the best configuration would be for router1 to connect to the ISP and high speed LAN devices. I would reconfigure router2 to act as an AP only, ie disable DHCP on router2 and connect Router2 lan to Router1 LAN.

This configuration will offload WIFI to the second router, and further reduce its load by removing its need to route packets (bridging is significantly less CPU intensive) and also firewall and possibly NAT. Router1 will also have less routing to do.

There is nothing stopping you from doing QOS on router1 if you need to prioritize some traffic, but this is likely unneccesary.

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