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Connecting a second router to boost WIFI

Connecting a second router to boost WIFI

Contributor senbariki
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-26-2016
Message 1 of 6

I have seen many messages asking for assistance in setting up a second router to act as a WIFI repeater or booster.  I am having a problem maintaining internect connectivity and hope that some of you may have solved the problem and can help me out.


First of all, know that I am less than a complete novice when it comes to networking, and whenever I have to access my router it scares me :-(  Also many of the references are over my head, but for what it is worth, here goes nothing.


I have very weak WiFI connectivity in a couple of areas of the house.  Single story but spread out and the primary router is located at a point at the other end of the house from where the connectivity is poor.  I am attempting to use two Actiontec routers (one primary and the second as a repeater) to improve the connectivity


The primary router is an Actiontec MI424-WR Rev I connected to the ONT via coax. The second router is an Actiontec MI424-WR Rev F.

I have followed the procedure exactly as detailed in the DSL Report www.dslreports.com/faq/15984.  Got everything configured, plugged in the secondary router to AC power, connected the coax in the room with poor connectivity and bingo, got all green lights on the secondary.  Started testing to see if I was getting WIFI in this room and then went outside where there had been no signal before and I was connected! 


Great!  I had actually done something "networky" without screwing up my primary router.  This was early evening and after dinner I went to my iMac which is connected to the primary router via ethernet and discovered I had no internet connection at all.  Closed Firefox, tried again to no avail, tried Safari, no joy, restarted iMac - nothing.  No internet.  Went into the other room and turned off the secondary router and now we had internet connection again, both ethernet and wireless, but of course the previously dead area was kaput again.


As noted I am not a techie, so don't want to try anything else without expert guidance.  If there is anyone out there who might have the patience to help me out I would really appreciate it.


Thanks in advance.

Silver Contributor III Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎07-29-2015
Message 2 of 6

Hello! It sounds like your off to a good start.


The situation your describing, it seems like the secondary router is still trying to be the primary router, and that causes issues on the network when there are two routers that both think their primary. If possible, do you recall skipping any steps in that tutorial from DSL Reports?


Also, to help troubleshoot, would you mind posting a screenshot of the following page on the secondary router: My Network > Network Connections - This would help in understanding whats going wrong. I have the exact same setup as you. When I click on that page, I see the following:



For me, disabling the "Broadband Connection (Ethernet/Coax) network and only leaving "Network (Home/Office)" enabled worked.


If this is already the case for you, then please ensure one other option with this next step. Click the edit.gifbutton next to "Network (Home/Office)".  Ensure that the option "IP Address Distribution" is set to Disabled, as seen in the screenshot below:



These are just some options to try. If none of these work, we could try some other options as well.

Contributor KruseLudington
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-18-2016
Message 3 of 6

This is a little tricky but this is the best way to do it and I think it's the way most offices are set up with wifi with people with their laptops walking around connected to the same wifi wherever they are, even in a big office.


For the best service (You will struggle with this but that's the only way to learn. Remember also, when you change a setting, especially if you have a device that is having trouble connecting, and want to see if the change has improved that device connection, you need to completely power down the device and then power it back up. If you do not do this, then you may think you have a problem fixed when you don't, or think you still have a problem when in fact you did resolve it! Many times I have scratched my head and then suddenly remembered I just needed to power down and power back up a device (phone or laptop/chromebook) to see if the problem was resolved, when I had made a change and it appeared there was still a problem! For a phone/chromebook/laptop, just turning off and then turning back on the wifi - is not good enough! Don't forget!


1. Turn off the second router so there is no confusion. Set up the first (main) router so that the CHANNELS used are FIXED rather than automatic, for both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ. Write down what the CHANNELS are. Typically to access the first router it is at IP address, just type that into a browser as the URL to connect to it.


2. Name the SSID for 2.4GHS and 5GHS THE SAME NAME and THE SAME WIFI PASSWORD on the main router. Write down the SSID and PASSWORD. Then TEMPORARILY TURN OFF WiFI ONLY on the first router (so there is no conflict with the second one when you turn it on to configure it).


3. The second router MUST then be plugged into the ethernet cable from the first router so it is connected with a fast, solid reliable hard-wired connection. If your connection will ever be more than 100 MB all ethernet cables used should be at least CAT6 (CAT5 limit is 100) and no single ethernet cable should be more than 150 feet long.


4. Then when the second router is turned with default settings on it's IP address will typically default to - same IP as your main router. VIA WiFi type that into your browser to access it and via WiFi and set the second router to NOT be a DNS server (in other words turning off IP address distribution), and assign the DNS server that is used by the second router to be the IP address for the first router (probably Write down the MAC ID for the second router. On the second router while you are in there, also change the CHANNELS for both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ to be DIFFERENT (a couple numbers away) from the CHANNELS used by the first router (so there is no overlap), set both SSID's to the SAME as was used for the SSID's for the first router, and set the WIFI passwords to the same password used earlier.Therefore whenever you need to access the second router by IP adddress in a browser to change it's settings, note that it will always have an IP address that is assigned by the first router (the first router will typically always be the default Therefore to figure out what the IP address of the second router is in the future, you will need to go to the first router and look at the device connected to it with it MAC ID you wrote down earlier for the second router. The IP address of the device with that MAC ID is the IP address for the second router, and you can connect to it with a browser using that as the URL.


All your devices will have a strong connection throughout the house and will not even know (or care) which router they are connected to - they will connect to the one with the strongest signal. Since the routers are transmitting each connection on a different channel, they will not be stepping on each other, and also your device can connect to all of them because they all have the same SSID and password. Sometimes people change their SSID to something fun like "FBI Surveillance Van" to freak out their neighbors!  :-)


NOTE: From time to time you will have to go into the IP address on the MAIN router and RENAME the SSID for the 5GHZ connection. Every time that router is rebooted or it's firmware is updated (which is pretty often by Verizon) the SSID's wil be reset to defaul values which are different (and different form each other too).


Hope this helps! 

Contributor bahhaziz
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-28-2018
Message 4 of 6


I'm trying to extend my wifi range using a verizon fios ACTIONTEC MI424WR Rev I as WIRELESS extender. My primary modem/router is a verizon fios gateway G1100. any vieod showing the step by step how to do it?

Thank you

Silver Contributor III Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎07-29-2015
Message 5 of 6



By chance is there a coax Outlet near where you want to extend the signal? The Actiontec can be configured as a wireless booster, but it needs to be wired to a coax Outlet in order to get internet from the main router. This device is not capable of only repeating Wi-Fi without access to a coax Outlet or ethernet cable. 


Here are some rough instructions that will work should you be able to plug the actiontec into a coax outlet: https://www.justingoetz.net/docs/docs_actiontec/Actiontec_MoCA_Bridge.html


Before running these steps, make sure to set the Wi-Fi name to the same as your main router on the Actiontec so that this way your phone will roam seamlessly. I'll have to look into making a step by step video sometime.

Contributor KruseLudington
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-18-2016
Message 6 of 6

Make all SSID's, both 2.5ghz and 5ghz, on both routers, the same, with the same password. Just make sure all 4 are on different non-overlapping channels. Only one should be the DHCP server. BOOM - you are done. Detailed directions vary by equipment so I cannot offer more details.

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