[SOLVED] How to use two WIFI adapters to connect to separate WIFI networks (one for NAS) ?

Oct 17, 2022
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Greetings! My goal is to connect a Windows 10 laptop wirelessly to two routers - one router for internet, and one for a NAS (without internet).

The reason for this is the NAS cannot be connected to the router that provides a shared home internet connection. The NAS is connected to a second router that has no internet connection, for data storage purposes (not playing media) - it is too far away for a wired connection, therefore trying to connect to it wirelessly. The laptop has an internal WIFI adapter and an additional USB WIFI adapter (Archer T3U).

Is this feasible using two routers or some other method? Thank you in advance!

-SJ
 
In general wifi performance is not your best option for use with NAS but it works. You might consider MoCA or powerline networks instead of wifi.

In any case you can use multiple nic cards no matter the type when they are used on DIFFERENT networks.

So for you main wifi connection just leave everything setup as normal.

On the second connection you want to use a different subnet. So if you main router uses 192.168.0.x set the second router to use 192.168.1.x
You likely are going to need to set the IP addresses manually on the second connection. Key here is you want to leave the gateway and dns setting blank. You can only have 1 default gateway on your machine and that must point to the main internet router.

It should basically work after this.

Now other concerns when you use 2 wifi connection is how do you avoid them interfering at the radio level. You will want to run them on different radio channels but that is not as easy as it sounds. Most modern wifi to get maximum data rates are using huge chucks of radio bandwidth.

On the 2.4g radio it is impossible to run 2 since there is only 60mhz and one device wants to use 40mhz. On 5g it might be possible to run 2. Many wifi5 (802.11ac) systems use 80mhz radio bands. In most countries there are 2 blocks this size if we ignore all the strange ones you can't manually set because of weather radar. The first block is in the 40 range and the second in in the 150 channel number range. The exact number varies a bit between routers. If you attempt to use wifi6 it is pretty much impossible to run 2. This uses 160mhz radio bands and is already doing stuff like using the restricted radar bands. You are many time lucky to get 1 160mhz block you are not going to get 2. Now if you have really new wifi6e equipment you can get 2 160mhz blocks in the new 6g band.
Note this is ignoring that your neighbors are also using wifi and trying to use all the same bandwidth.
 
In general wifi performance is not your best option for use with NAS but it works. You might consider MoCA or powerline networks instead of wifi.

In any case you can use multiple nic cards no matter the type when they are used on DIFFERENT networks.

So for you main wifi connection just leave everything setup as normal.

On the second connection you want to use a different subnet. So if you main router uses 192.168.0.x set the second router to use 192.168.1.x
You likely are going to need to set the IP addresses manually on the second connection. Key here is you want to leave the gateway and dns setting blank. You can only have 1 default gateway on your machine and that must point to the main internet router.

It should basically work after this.

Now other concerns when you use 2 wifi connection is how do you avoid them interfering at the radio level. You will want to run them on different radio channels but that is not as easy as it sounds. Most modern wifi to get maximum data rates are using huge chucks of radio bandwidth.

On the 2.4g radio it is impossible to run 2 since there is only 60mhz and one device wants to use 40mhz. On 5g it might be possible to run 2. Many wifi5 (802.11ac) systems use 80mhz radio bands. In most countries there are 2 blocks this size if we ignore all the strange ones you can't manually set because of weather radar. The first block is in the 40 range and the second in in the 150 channel number range. The exact number varies a bit between routers. If you attempt to use wifi6 it is pretty much impossible to run 2. This uses 160mhz radio bands and is already doing stuff like using the restricted radar bands. You are many time lucky to get 1 160mhz block you are not going to get 2. Now if you have really new wifi6e equipment you can get 2 160mhz blocks in the new 6g band.
Note this is ignoring that your neighbors are also using wifi and trying to use all the same bandwidth.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Greetings! My goal is to connect a Windows 10 laptop wirelessly to two routers - one router for internet, and one for a NAS (without internet).

The reason for this is the NAS cannot be connected to the router that provides a shared home internet connection. The NAS is connected to a second router that has no internet connection, for data storage purposes (not playing media) - it is too far away for a wired connection, therefore trying to connect to it wirelessly. The laptop has an internal WIFI adapter and an additional USB WIFI adapter (Archer T3U).

Is this feasible using two routers or some other method? Thank you in advance!

-SJ
You might also consider getting an inexpensive used Asus router that can run in client bridge mode. You would configure the router to connect to the NAS wireless network and then use an ethernet cable from the router. The benefit of this is that multiple devices could access the NAS.
 
Reactions: SJ Imaging
Oct 17, 2022
4
0
10
0
In general wifi performance is not your best option for use with NAS but it works. You might consider MoCA or powerline networks instead of wifi.

In any case you can use multiple nic cards no matter the type when they are used on DIFFERENT networks.

So for you main wifi connection just leave everything setup as normal.

On the second connection you want to use a different subnet. So if you main router uses 192.168.0.x set the second router to use 192.168.1.x
You likely are going to need to set the IP addresses manually on the second connection. Key here is you want to leave the gateway and dns setting blank. You can only have 1 default gateway on your machine and that must point to the main internet router.

It should basically work after this.

Now other concerns when you use 2 wifi connection is how do you avoid them interfering at the radio level. You will want to run them on different radio channels but that is not as easy as it sounds. Most modern wifi to get maximum data rates are using huge chucks of radio bandwidth.

On the 2.4g radio it is impossible to run 2 since there is only 60mhz and one device wants to use 40mhz. On 5g it might be possible to run 2. Many wifi5 (802.11ac) systems use 80mhz radio bands. In most countries there are 2 blocks this size if we ignore all the strange ones you can't manually set because of weather radar. The first block is in the 40 range and the second in in the 150 channel number range. The exact number varies a bit between routers. If you attempt to use wifi6 it is pretty much impossible to run 2. This uses 160mhz radio bands and is already doing stuff like using the restricted radar bands. You are many time lucky to get 1 160mhz block you are not going to get 2. Now if you have really new wifi6e equipment you can get 2 160mhz blocks in the new 6g band.
Note this is ignoring that your neighbors are also using wifi and trying to use all the same bandwidth.
Thanks, this is really helpful and informative!

I got it working and over 2.4G was 9 MB/s and 5G was 18 MB/s, so I can see what you mean that is not the best option (transferring GBs of photos).

I assume the powerline option may be faster and will check it out - thanks for this suggestion, I had not thought about that.

BTW this is my first ever forum post on the internet, thanks for the quick replies and making it such a great experience.
 

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