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Why can't I get two access points to work at the same time?

I have a cable modem connected to a Linksys router for internet service. I
am trying to connect 2 Linksys access points to the router in order to provide
wireless internet to opposite sides of the building. I can’t get both access
points to work at the same time. Whenever one works the other will not. The
access points are not where they can communicate with each other. Any ideas why
they will not work at the same time?

It’s likely that there’s a simple solution to this.

Access points have become “smart” devices, and that means you need to be
able to configure them. Configuring them means that you need to be able to
access them across the network. That means they need an IP address.

I’ll bet they both have the same, default IP address.

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I have a similar situation to yours: a LinkSys router, to which I’ve
connected a LinkSys access point. I even have a second access point “ready to
go” should I need to expand the range of my network.

My router, like many, is at a default fixed IP address on my LAN:
192.168.1.1. The access point also comes pre-configured to communicate using a
fixed IP address: 192.168.1.245. Those two are different so that you can
communicate to each device without confusion.

If I add a second access point, it too will be pre-configured to
communicate on that same IP address: 192.168.245. Two devices can’t share the
same IP, and at a minimum confusion will result.

Here’s the approach I recommend:

  • “Once you’ve confirmed that this access point is working
    at its new IP address, you can plug in the second access point without
    conflict.”

    Plug in the first access point.

  • Access it via its default IP address of 192.168.1.245. (Remember that the
    default password for LinkSys equipment is “admin”, with no user name.) You
    should see something like this:

    Linksys Access Point Configuration Screen

    Note that the IP address listed is the default address: 192.168.1.245.

  • Change that IP address. I simply changed the last number on mine:

    Linksys Access Point with new IP

  • Click Save Settings

  • Now, access the access point again via that new IP address. In my case,
    192.168.1.246.

  • Once you’ve confirmed that this access point is working at its new IP
    address, you can plug in the second access point without conflict.

That should do it.

Remember to record the IP address you’ve set for this access point. Since
it’s not the default address, you won’t find it in any of the access point’s
documentation.

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5 comments on “Why can't I get two access points to work at the same time?”

  1. That’s not the answer to the question Leo. I think what he is trying to ask is somthing different

    To the Questionar:
    I bet what you did is something called: making a parallel connection. Parallel connections from cable modem to Linksys Routers will not work .

    You must connect them in a series
    First connect the cable modem to one of the routers (unplug it, since you already might have messed up the mind of the cable modem)

    Then connect the other Router the first router
    Then plug everything back to their adapters
    If this doesn’t work I have to try this my self to understand what you are talking about.

    Recommended: keep all things unplugged when connecting them together (that’s because wireless router send off signals int your hand if you touch the antenna)

    Reply
  2. I have 2 linksys routers that i’m using for a test.

    Router1: 192.168.0.1
    computer1

    Router2: 192.168.1.1
    Computer2

    Each with one computer. computer1 cannot ping router2, how do i fix this ? Please help, i’m new to this.

    Reply
  3. My question is as follows.

    Have 2 DSL wireless routers with a 6mb download limit each. computer has 2 wireless cards. one built into the computer, the second via usb. each router is set on a different sub mask, each card is set to connect to only one of the routers. Would like to be able to use both routers at the same time to download and double my bandwidth. I have permission to use both routers.

    I tried bridging the cards, but that did not improve the bandwidth.

    How can you use both routers at the same time?

    please help.

    Reply
  4. Wow both the article and the comments provide incorrect setups to resolve the issue. The article itself isn’t wrong, but it’s incomplete. The comment below it suggesting to connect the access points in series is completely wrong and will cause a problems down the line.

    When expanding a wireless network coverage, you pretty much have two options: multiple access points versus wireless repeater. Your network setup is more efficient if you choose multiple access points, but sometimes it may not be feasible and I’ll explain why later.

    Since you have one router and two access points, I am assuming that both access points are connected via WIRE to the router. On both access points, you must disable DHCP and firewall functions. On both access points, they must both use WEP or WPA (not combination). On both access points, they must have identical SSID. On both access points they must have identical subnet and gateway. However the two access points MUST differ in IP address in the last number: X.X.X.Y and X.X.X.Z. Notice that X.X.X must be identical. Y and Z must be different. Also, the two access points MUST differ in wireless channel, preferably 3 channels apart: 1 & 6, 3 & 8, etc. The IP addresses, subnets, and gateway must be within the range of IP addresses allowed by the ROUTER.

    Reply
  5. Following up on my comment above, the second option is to use a wireless repeater. You would choose this option if the 2nd access point CANNOT have wired access to the router. Therefore you are linking the second access point (now referred to as ‘repeater’) to the first access point via wireless connection. There is no physical wired connection between the repeater to the first access point or router.

    The settings used in this setup are identical to what I mentioned above for multiple access points with one exception: the wireless channel must be identical between the first access point and the repeater.

    The advantage of using the repeater setup is that you don’t need a wired connection from the repeater to any other device. The disadvantage is that the data transmission throughput is halved because the repeater first has to transmit to/from the wireless computer and then to/from the access point. It essentially doubles the wireless traffic.

    Reply

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