I have a portable mini wireless router with different functions (AP/Client/Router).

Can I use a ethernet splitter to give internet access to two devices? The router only has a ethernet port and connects to a wireless network (Cliente mode).

I know that a switch would be the best option but I dont have one and they are expensive.

Ethernet splitter Portable router

  • A switch is not expensive, it is EXTREMELY cheap! made in china bought from ebay
    – barlop
    Sep 20, 2014 at 17:13
  • @DavidPostill that question didnt help, i read it before. It looks Hennes answer is adequate for my case
    – NeDark
    Sep 20, 2014 at 19:56
  • @barlop it's expensive compared to a splitter, i cant find one in ebay under $10
    – NeDark
    Sep 20, 2014 at 19:57
  • @NeDark I suggest trying social security(e.g. support for people on a low income if that's an option in your country)..or if you're young, then parents(i'm sure they can afford something <$20 even if they pretend otherwise). travelling to get somewhere where I live is typically more than $10. as you say, does seem to be a a bit more than $10 as you say but anyhow here is one on buy it now for $5 ebay.com/itm/…
    – barlop
    Sep 20, 2014 at 21:22
  • @barlop thanks for your suggestion, it looks i can use an old router as a switch ehow.com/how_2308635_use-router-switch.html
    – NeDark
    Sep 20, 2014 at 22:57

3 Answers 3



A star shared regular Ethernet network can not be split by just tying cable together. If you want to connect two devices simultaneously to the same cable then you ether need a hub or a switch.

The device you are showing in your post is either one of these two:

  1. A physically wired 1:1 splitter which means that you need to switch off one of the devices connected to it while the other is connected.
  2. Or a dual 100mbit Ethernet over a single 8 wire cable.

The explain these a bit more:
Plain old 10/100 Mbit Ethernet has a standard cable with 8 wires, 4 of which are used. If you creatively rewire a few of these and (un)rewire those at the other end you can use two fully independent connections of the single cable.

enter image description here

Note that this just act as two cables in a single cable package and that you still need something to get the devices to talk to each other.

  • Just curious, with a hub, I guess you avoid a collision by a device checking if the cable is free. Why doesn't that work or happen with case '1'('the physically wired 1:1 splitter')? If you have a A,B-------C. Now then B sends to C, can A not detect that there is something on the wire?
    – barlop
    Sep 20, 2014 at 17:21
  • I have seen it work on hardware something like 10 years old (some electrician imagined themselves able to deal with networking.) Error city but the network resent the lost packets and thus it pretty much worked. This was under very light load conditions. Sep 20, 2014 at 17:34
  • Actually, if you look closely at his problem description, a switch won't work either. His router is connected in client mode, and so it will bind to the first hardware address it sees. Sep 20, 2014 at 18:14
  • I am not sure how to parse a client mode. I read it as it is a AP with a wired and a wireless connection. Is it a 'wired to wireless bridge'-ish thingy which uses the wired NICs MAC as wireless MAC?
    – Hennes
    Sep 20, 2014 at 18:53
  • @Hennes no, the mini router has a fixed MAC for wireless and a fixed MAC for ethernet. It support NAT and the deviced connected to ethernet is put on a different subnet. Example: Wireless network:, router wireless client IP:, router ethernet nat gateway:, device ip: (Wireless network - Mini router - Device)
    – NeDark
    Sep 20, 2014 at 21:41

No, for two reasons.

The Ethernet splitter just allows two Ethernet links to run over a single cable. You don't have two Ethernet links, so the splitter doesn't help you.

But also, you can't build out from a client connection. When you make a client connection to an access point, you only have one hardware address. The access point (which is what your router is acting as) will register the first hardware address it sees as the other end of the client connection, and the other device won't work. The WiFi specification requires this behavior of the access point you are connecting to. So a switch won't help you either, sorry.

You could get another mini router. You could get a wireless router that is specifically designed to bridge multiple devices to a client connection. You could connect some device that supports Internet sharing to the mini router and connect the other device to it.

  • The mini router has NAT and DHCP built in, I guess it will work but I'll tell when I try
    – NeDark
    Sep 20, 2014 at 20:03

No. In order to split an ethernet port, you need a splitter on the other end. This guide provide the details on how to create an ethernet splitter. You will see the "other end" require a splitter as well. In your case, your ap/router would need two ethernet jacks to accommodate both connections. You need a hub or switch any way to properly expand your one jack. You can buy a 5-port 10/100 Mbps Netgear switch for $10 with shipping on eBay.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.