Updated September 28, 2005
We often hear from people who have two (or more !) routers in their LAN and are trying to get Microsoft File and Printer sharing running among all their computers. This ProblemSolver will explain why this doesn’t work by default and provide some suggestions for working around the problem.
Figure 1 shows a two-router LAN configuration that I’ll use as an example. This isn’t the only configuration possible, but it will serve to illustrate the points I’ll be making.
Figure 1 : Example of LAN with two routers
First, note that the two routers are set to different base addresses - the wired router to 192.168.1.1 and the wireless router to 192.168.2.1. This is essential for multi-router setups, since without the different address ranges, the routers wouldn’t be able to properly build their routing tables. These tables control the way that data is handled and ensure that it is sent to the correct router for delivery to its connected clients. The use of different base addresses puts each router’s attached clients into different Class C subnets.
TIP : Class C subnets have a maximum of 254 IP addresses, have the same first three "octets" in their addresses (ex. 192.168.3.X) and use a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.
Next, note that the second router (the wireless) has its WAN port connected to one of the wired router’s LAN ports via a normal UTP patch cable, and that it has an IP address in the first router’s range. I’ve shown the wireless router’s WAN IP as 192.168.1.100, but it could be any IP address in the 192.168.1.X subnet.
TIP : You don’t have to use the 192.168.X subnets shown in the example. You can use any two private IP address ranges as long as they are different.
Note also that you can either assign the second router’s WAN IP statically, or just set it to be a DHCP client (obtain automatically). I suggest the latter option, since if you enter the IP address info manually, you’ll need to include the Gateway and DNS information, which you might have trouble figuring out.
Current page: How To: Setting up File and Printer sharing between two routersNext Page Two Problems
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Tom's Guide upgrades your life by helping you decide what products to buy, finding the best deals and showing you how to get the most out of them and solving problems as they arise. Tom's Guide is here to help you accomplish your goals, find great products without the hassle, get the best deals, discover things others don’t want you to know and save time when problems arise. Visit the About Tom's Guide page for more information and to find out how we test products.