Question Secondary Router to create two Wifi Networks ?

Oct 23, 2021
3
0
10
0
Please, I need help to setup my RT-AC86U as a secondary router as follows :

I have an existing wifi network on a primary router
I want to connect an Asus RT-AC86U to the existing wifi network (not by cable), but I want the RT-AC86U to become a secondary router (not extender or repeater) and use it create a secondary wifi network through the primary. So the two networks are independent with different SSIDs and wifi passwords.

Is this possible, and if so how do I proceed?

Normally, if connecting by ethernet cable, I would just change the IP 3rd octet from 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.1.1 and disable DHCP, but I don't see how to make this work through a wifi connection.

What are the correct settings for this RT-AC86U router or any router to achieve this?

Any ideas?
Thanks.
 
The device does not have that ability with factory software. There are still limitations even if you get different firmware.

First do you really want it a different subnet. If you were to do it with ethernet you would connect to the WAN port of the second router and change the lan subnet. You would need to leave the DHCP ON.

So my first recommendation is to buy a repeater or client-bridge unit. You would use this device to connect to the first wifi network and then plug a ethernet cable from that device into the wan port. You would then configure the second router as if it was connected via ethernet.

If you really want to attempt this with no other hardware you likely will have to load one of the third party firmware. I used to use dd-wrt but it seems that is not the most popular lately. For most things I would load merlin on that device but I don't think merlin has the feature you need.

What you do is assign one of the wifi radios to the WAN interface. This is the huge downside to doing this with software only. You have to give up one of your radios to talk to the main router. When it is on a different network you can not use the radio chip to talk to the primary router and end user devices at the same time. If it was say a tri-band router that had 2 5g radio chips you could assign 1 to the wan and use the other to talk to end users.
 
Oct 23, 2021
3
0
10
0
The device does not have that ability with factory software. There are still limitations even if you get different firmware.

First do you really want it a different subnet. If you were to do it with ethernet you would connect to the WAN port of the second router and change the lan subnet. You would need to leave the DHCP ON.

So my first recommendation is to buy a repeater or client-bridge unit. You would use this device to connect to the first wifi network and then plug a ethernet cable from that device into the wan port. You would then configure the second router as if it was connected via ethernet.

If you really want to attempt this with no other hardware you likely will have to load one of the third party firmware. I used to use dd-wrt but it seems that is not the most popular lately. For most things I would load merlin on that device but I don't think merlin has the feature you need.

What you do is assign one of the wifi radios to the WAN interface. This is the huge downside to doing this with software only. You have to give up one of your radios to talk to the main router. When it is on a different network you can not use the radio chip to talk to the primary router and end user devices at the same time. If it was say a tri-band router that had 2 5g radio chips you could assign 1 to the wan and use the other to talk to end users.
Great, thank you so much.

This is all useful advice and makes very good sense. I will abandon the idea of connecting the routers via WiFi and use ethernet cable instead. And as you say leave DHCP on.

I am using Merlin on the RT-AC86U secondary router which will have a VPN app installed. The primary router will not be VPN - which is why I want two separate networks with different subnets.

The RT-AC86U with Merlin interface gives me these modes as options for setup...

Wireless Router Mode
Access Point Mode
Repeater Mode
Media Bridge
AiMesh Node

Which of these should I choose for the secondary router. Wireless Router Mode?

Thanks again!
 
Yes just a normal router.
You will treat the primary network as the internet.

The only thing that might cause a small issue is if the IP subnet on the main network is the same as your router is using on the lan. You can't have the wan and lan on the same subnet.
 
Oct 23, 2021
3
0
10
0
Yes just a normal router.
You will treat the primary network as the internet.

The only thing that might cause a small issue is if the IP subnet on the main network is the same as your router is using on the lan. You can't have the wan and lan on the same subnet.
Great. Many thanks for your help!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY