How to set up a wireless bridge (WDS) between two Wi-Fi routers?

If you have a couple of working network devices at hand, then you can turn one of them into a repeater, thereby adding power to the signal. To do this, you need to connect these 2 devices to each other by means of a bridge. The guide tells you exactly how to proceed.

How to set up a wireless bridge (WDS) between two Wi-Fi routers?

This section covers preparation only, the rest of the manual covers all details.

Note : the configuration scheme for devices of different brands does not differ. The only difference is in the menu interface. You can figure it out intuitively.

Before proceeding with changing the parameters, it is worth understanding what a bridge between these network devices is and how it works. A network bridge is a bunch of two devices. The main router connected to the network sends a signal to an additional device, which just needs to be connected to a power source. In turn, the additional device distributes a separate network – it works as a repeater. This increases the coverage area and signal strength.

Important : to avoid router conflicts, you should create a bridge between devices of the same brand.

How to create a bridge between wi-fi devices? First you need to go to the settings page of the master unit:

  1. Determine the IP address that is written in the search line of any browser and opens the device settings page. In the case of TP-Link, this is or

Tip : if the user has a model of another brand, you can see the data in the instructions or on a sticker (usually it is on the bottom of the case).

  1. The system will require you to log in: on new devices, you must enter admin in both fields. This data is set by default, but you can change it later.

This completes the preparatory stage.

Setting up the main router

After the user has received the opportunity to change the parameters of the router, he will need:

  • Go to the section with wireless connection settings.
  • Change network name and channel. This is necessary for the convenience of further changing the parameters.

Important : remember the number that the user has assigned to the channel. The value of this parameter must be identical for both routers .

  • Save your changes.

If we are talking about an already configured main router, then that’s all. If the main device has not been connected to the network before, then it must also be configured: enter the connection type, ip, and subnet mask. All this can be checked with the provider.

Interesting : the inexpensive N301 has a dedicated WPS key on the case. With its help, the user can launch wi-fi protection in a second.

Find out: How to set up a router as a switch: instructions in 12 easy steps

Configuring the “Repeater” router

First of all, you need to connect to a device that will operate in repeater mode – repeater. To do this, you need to enter the browser and type the IP device in the search line.

When the user is on the settings page, he will need:

  1. If the data has been changed by the user, then accordingly it is necessary to register a personal name and password, if not, everything is done in the same way as described above.
  2. Go to “DHCP” and disable the option. This is necessary so that only one device distributes the network settings.

Disable WPS

To do this, the user needs to find the tab of the same name in the menu and just put a tick on the “Disable” button. Rebooting the device is required to save all actions. Then you need to click “Click Here” in the menu, which will start automatically.

Interesting : is the leading Wi-Fi standard. These routers are faster.

Change the IP address of the router

Changing the IP device is easy: it only takes 5 steps. They are described in the table.

Step 1 Go to the Network tab on the device settings page.
Step 2 Go to the LAN tab.
Step 3 Change the last number in the IP address to 2 to get
This is necessary so that the second router can operate in the wi-fi signal repeater mode of the first router.
Step 4 Save your changes.
Step 5 Restart the device for the changes to take effect.

Tip : For a large home or office, it is better to choose high-speed models. For example, there are options that are capable of transferring over 5 gigabits of data over wi-fi. The ARCHER-C5400X is just that.

Instructions: How to set up a site-to-site PPTP VPN connection on a TP-Link router in 3 steps

Configuring Wireless Bridge (WDS)

There is nothing difficult to turn on the bridge. The table shows what needs to be done.

Step 1 On the settings page on the left, select the “Wireless” tab.
Step 2 Find the line Network Name. Here you need to specify the name of the new network.
Step 3 In the Channel line, you will need to specify the same channel number as on the main device.
Tip : if you need to choose a router that consistently gives a strong signal, it is better to give preference to the  dual-band option.
Step 4 Activate WDS bridge mode. To do this, the user will need to check the box next to Enable WDS Bridging and start searching for available devices using the “Survey” button.
Step 5 In the list of available options, you need to click on the network of the main router and confirm your choice.

Interesting : with RT-AC86U, you don’t have to configure the second router as a repeater. The model supports AiMesh – a technology with which you can quickly unite all devices of the brand into a single powerful network.

The lines SSID and BSSID do not need to be filled in: everything will be automatically registered there. If the master’s network is password protected, then you should find the Key type and indicate which encryption is used. Of course, you will need to enter your login information in the appropriate line.

You can check whether it has been possible to make a bridge between the devices as follows: if the WDS status shows Run, everything is fine.

Potential Problems When Setting Up a Wireless Bridge (WDS)

The fact that there are difficulties can be found out by the long scanning process: in the status line, instead of the Run inscription, the user sees “scan …”.

The reasons why it was not possible to configure the bridge may be different. The most common is the incorrectly specified encryption option or the entered password for the main unit. It is possible that the user forgot to turn off DHCP. In these cases, you just need to repeat the setting according to the instructions.

Recommendation : if the router has USB, you can connect an MFP to it and control printing equipment remotely. It is also possible to connect an external storage device so that all devices connected to the network can open these files. The powerful Ethernet GT-AC5300 has 2 such ports.

Channel conflict is also possible. As a rule, it occurs when using devices from different manufacturers. The solution is to experiment with channel designations by entering different numbers in the field.

If the user sees Wireless – Wireless Bridge in the router menu, then when setting up the master device, enter the MAC of the secondary, and in the parameters of the secondary, the primary. You should also check the status of filtering by MAC: the function should not be active on the host.

See also: How to set up ASUS router as a VPN server in 5 steps?

As you can see, it is not difficult to “build” a bridge between 2 network devices. If you don’t get distracted, everything will take a maximum of half an hour. It is only important to follow this guide carefully to avoid problems and not reconfigure everything again.


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