If you are experimenting with different wireless network setups, you may wonder how to use a WiFi router as a switch. The best routers, after all, often include the option to double as a switch. But why convert a wireless router to a switch and how do you do it? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The main reason to use an old wireless router as a network switch is to increase the number of available wired Internet connections and wired devices, including mobile devices.
  • Start by plugging the old router in and resetting to its original factory settings, which is done via a button on the back.
  • You should also acces the secondary router’s settings to disable DHCP, disable gateway mode, and disable wireless broadcast mode, which is done by plugging a computer into an Ethernet port.

Why Use a WiFi Router as a Switch?

Consumers often use an old router as a network switch, which is useful if you want to connect a whole bunch of devices to a wired Internet connection. The main reason people do this is to double the number of Ethernet connections available for a wired connection, particularly if they are dealing with the problem of router latency.

Insider Tip

You can also use an old router as a wireless range extender, following similar though slightly different instructions.

How to Convert a Router to a Switch

The process here is rather standard no matter the make and model of your secondary router, which is a good thing if you are learning how to prioritize your PC on a router, as a wired connection will do the trick.

STEP 1

Plug the second router to be used as a switch into a power outlet. Reset it to its factory settings by holding down the reset button for thirty seconds with your finger, or with a pencil tip or paperclip if needed.

STEP 2

Once it has successfully reset to its factory settings, connect your secondary router to your primary router via an Ethernet cable. Also, connect the secondary router to a computer using another Ethernet cable and available LAN port.

STEP 3

Access the secondary router’s admin panel, which is typically done by typing the router’s IP address into a web browser’s address bar. Login with your network credentials.

STEP 4

Change the secondary router’s IP address so it is not identical to your primary router’s IP address. Also, dive further into the settings to disable the secondary router’s DHCP function. Also, change “Gateway mode (NAT on)” to “Router mode (NAT off)” and disable the wireless broadcast mode.

STEP 5

Save the settings and exit the admin panel. Your secondary router should now function as a network bridge, so feel free to plug-in devices to its various Ethernet ports.

F.A.Q.S

Can I use a WiFi router as a switch?

You sure can. Follow the above instructions and be sure to have an abundance of network cables, connected devices for testing, and additional devices for making settings adjustments.


Is it possible to connect a WiFi router to a switch?

Yes, Wi-Fi routers can typically be connected to a switch to increase the size of their wired network. This is one of the prime functions of a WiFi router.


What you can do with an old router?

If you have an old router laying around that is not being used as your current router, you can turn it into a wireless extender or a network bridge, among other functions. Your average WiFi router is versatile beyond just emitting Wi-Fi signals.



STAT: Switches facilitate the sharing of resources by connecting together all the devices, including computers, printers, and servers, in a small business network. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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