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Networking Hardware

How to Use a Router as a Switch

Preparation

Collect the Equipment: Your old router, an Ethernet cable and a power source.

Reset Router: Factory reset the router to clear old settings. This is usually done by pressing a small reset button on the router.

Configuration Steps

Connect to Old Router: Connect your computer directly to the old router using an Ethernet cable.

Go to the Router’s Settings

Open a web browser and enter the router’s default IP address (usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1).

Enter the router’s admin username and password. If you don’t know them, they are usually printed on the device or found in the manual. If they’re not, try admin and admin for both the password and the username.

Disable DHCP Server: Find the DHCP settings. Deactivate the DHCP server. This prevents the router from attempting to assign IP addresses and potentially conflicting with your main router’s DHCP function.

Change LAN IP Address

Look for the router’s LAN IP or similar setting.

Change the IP address to be within the same subnet as your main router, but outside the range of IP addresses your main router’s DHCP will assign. For example, if your main router is at 192.168.1.1, set the old router to 192.168.1.2

Save these settings.

Disable Wi-Fi: Turn off WiFi functionality on the old router since you won’t use it as a wireless access point.

Connect the Routers

Use an Ethernet cable to connect one of the old router’s LAN ports to a LAN port on your main router. Avoid using the WAN port on the old router.

That’s it! Your old router should now effectively function as a network switch.

No IP Conflicts: By disabling the DHCP server and assigning a static IP address on the same subnet, you avoid network conflicts.

Expanded Ports: The old router’s LAN ports become an extension of your main network.

Other Things

Placement: Place the old router (now a switch) wherever you need the extra Ethernet ports.

Manual Configuration: Some routers will require slightly different configuration steps but they all should follow roughly the same steps that I provided you.

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