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I bought two Tenda F3 routers in hope to extend wireless network coverage. Although I have some knowledge of networks from university I'm not sure how to set up the network properly.

Current state:

  • I have a router provided by my ISP which is running a DHCP server and serves as the modem (I'm not trying to replace this router). It also runs WiFi network.
  • To this router there are also several devices connected via ethernet cable such as a printer.
  • The DHCP is configured to use addresses starting from 192.168.0.10, the fixed connected devices are therefore below this boundary.

Desired state:

  • The first Tenda router is connected to the modem via ethernet cable and emits its own WiFi network (its own name, password etc.) Its administration is accesible on its given fixed IP address.
  • The second Tenda router is connected to the first Tenda router and again emits its own WiFi network. Its administration is accesible on its given fixed IP address.
  • Only the modem/ISP router acts as a DHCP server.
  • The two Tenda routers have fixed IP addresses.

Issues:

  • The ISP modem's local network IP address is 192.168.0.1 (I also don't seem to be able to change that)
  • The default Tenda router IP address is also 192.168.0.1
  • If I disconnect Tenda router from the modem and just connect it to the computer via thernet cable I can see a quick-setup page at 192.168.0.1 with selection between PPPoE, Static IP or Dynamic IP connection types. It also urges me to connect the source of the internet to the WAN port and doesn't let me acces any more setting without that. I also wouldn't know which one of the three connection type to select.
  • If I connect the Tenda router to the modem it gets a dynamic IP address and I am connected to the network and internet through the Tenda router, can access modem administration at 192.168.0.1. but cannot access Tenda settings at the IP address that has been given to it.
  • I tried to specify a reserved IP address in the modem administration based on the Tenda's MAC address, it then gave Tenda that address but the address still isn't accessible in the web browser.
  • So basically right now I didn't get past setting up the first Tenda router.

There is certainly some basic mistake I'm making because of the lack of practice. I suppose the Tenda router should be capable of the desired scenario.

  • Search for cascading vs bridging. This question has been generically answered hundreds of times here. – Tim_Stewart Sep 26 '19 at 15:38
  • Thank you Tim, I had no luck searching for that term here, just one search reasult regarding MoCa topic. It seems to me my main problem might be in the Tenda quick setup page and its lack of options - specifically to configure its static IP address – David Apltauer Sep 27 '19 at 11:07
  • Try doing it from Google using the site search function "site:superuser.com cascading". The search is awful on this site. – Tim_Stewart Sep 27 '19 at 16:33
  • This should also help explain. superuser.com/questions/936062/… I'm wondering if the firmware on these router is going to let you do what you want... – Tim_Stewart Sep 27 '19 at 16:34
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The solution was simple - although it seemed that the quick setup page required WAN port to be connected to a source of internet, the Okay button worked just fine without it. And then all the needed options became available and it was a matter of selecting the AP mode. I had to determine the router's IP address via DHCP address reservation though since in AP mode there is no way of setting a static IP address in that router (reservation feels like the better way anyway).

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