So I just realized this works - is this normal? I have a wired router which is connected to a modem. I have another wireless router which has 5 LAN ports. I connect port 1 to port 1 between the wired router and wireless router. I setup the wireless router to automatic (DHCP) and the wireless portion to act as a standard AP. I connect my computers to this wireless AP. The wireless clients get the IP address from the wired router . I would think the wireless clients would get the DHCP from the wireless router. but it doesn't - which is good.
Therefore the wireless AP automatically acts as a bridge to the wired router for all wireless clients connected to it. crazy thing also, the wireless clients MAC address seem to all be forwarded to the wired router - instead of the wireless router's mac address.
Is this normal for it to work this way? I thought I had to setup a wireless bridge in order for this type of setup to work.

edit: The secondary (wireless) router seems to be acting as a switch in this case. The wireless router also has lan ports. These ports are acting as a switch to the main router. for both wireless and wired clients physically connected to this router. I tried the same setup with 2 different wireless routers - same effect.
I am able to connect to the wireless router by statically assigned the IP subnet of the wireless router. **NOTE - the main wired router has a custom subnet of - this may have something to do with it?

  • This is normal. An access point bridges its clients to its LAN. Jun 10 '15 at 7:04

Is this normal for it to work this way?

YES. That's exactly how it works when it's acting as a router, too: LAN and WiFi bridged. The WAN interface is routed. Typically, one would turn off the DHCP server on the "AP" (LAN side); not sure why yours isn't answering requests.

  • thanks for the input. I updated my main post with more info. It seems the secondary router is acting as a switch when the client is set to automatic dhcp or even statically assigned an IP of the main router.
    – TomFee1
    Jun 10 '15 at 1:33

Log into your wired router and set it up where you have a public IP assignment for the AP(i think sometimes called "DMZ friendly" or something like that on retail gear). In other words the AP should be using a static IP address that is not NAT/PAT'ed. You should be able to get that setup. Once that's done, your Wi-Fi clients will be able to connect to the Internet.

ALTERNATE swap the boxes. Plug the Wi-Fi box in to the wall jack and then plug one of the wired box's LAN ports into the LAN port on the AP. NOTE: do not link using the wired box's outside/internet port, use one of the switch ports. Might have to disable DHCP on the wired box.


You "cascaded" the AP to the first router. Your AP is acting as a switch. Normal.

Check to be certain that only one router is running DHCP and that the other router has a static lease on an address outside the normal address range of that DHCP router. Otherwise you will have mystical network problems -- address collisions.

Networking is fun. Keep plugging things into each other.

  • Since it's acting as a switch - also, nothing is being connected to the WAN port - it would not be getting an IP address assigned. plus, doesn't each switch port have it's own MAC address?
    – Tom G11
    Jun 10 '15 at 11:40

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