I'm setting up a home network for the first time.

The best solution for setup that I've come up with is to have 1 wireless router serve as the firewall between the modem and switch, and another serve as the WAP (reason being wireless signal strength is too weak between the the basement and the second floor).

Is it possible to use this idea? What configurations do I need to make to the firewall router and the WAP router?


Normally WAP's are not routers and don't have firewalls. A true WAP is simply a Wireless Access Point that can be plugged anywhere into your internal network.

Most modern routers are automatically configured with a basic firewall and many have built-in wireless capabilities (not to be confused with a stand alone WAP).

You want to have this configuration:

Internet---modem---router with firewall---switch

You can plug the WAP into either the switch or the router with firewall and you should be fine.

  • What happens if you have INTERNET -> MODEM -> ROUTER -> FIREWALL-SWITCH? I want to add a firewall between my MODEM and my ROUTER. Is that correct? Or should I have my FIREWALL-SWITCH after my ROUTER and connect my servers to it? – Pepito Fernandez May 20 '16 at 2:10

If you are using two routers, but want only one to act as the router while the other acts as a WAP (only) but is not a dedicated WAP (if you already happen to have two wireless routers - otherwise, buy a WAP if you are buying) the one acting as a router would be set up normally - you might or might not want to veer away from defaults a bit (ie, there are many, many private NAT networks -- not all of them need to be - there's plenty of options other than that particular one, but it's a common default.)

The router that you want to use only as a WAP should NOT have anything plugged into the WAN port, and should NOT have DHCP enabled. Plug between the/a LAN port and the Switch. It needs a unique LAN IP address in the correct range, and whatever wireless settings you'll set. Some can actually be told that you are using them as a WAP, the rest work just fine if nothing is plugged into the WAN, they have an address of their own, and DHCP is turned off.

So, for a concrete example with numbers (which are not cast in stone, but will work): pick as your network, and think fondly of Douglas Adams. Set the LAN address of the router to, the netmask to, the DCHP range to through (or higher if you need more, but that seems unlikley), your wireless encryption to WPA2, and a long messy password for the wireless. Also set a new password for the router.

Set the WAP to no DHCP, LAN address, gateway, netmask to, your wireless encryption to WPA2, and a long messy password for the wireless. Also set a new password for the (WAP)router; and plug it into the switch.


Put the wireless "WAP" in bridge mode and call it a day.

If it is a true WAP (wireless access point), no config is needed.

  • 1
    no need to be rude. Explain a little more, if you could, not all of us know much about WAPs. – studiohack Oct 13 '13 at 23:45

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