How to Daisy Chain Routers

Written by erin moseley
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A router is an electronic device that provides connectivity between and among networks through cables or wireless connections. Connecting routers serially, also called daisy chaining, is a common practice in the IT industry, and is used to connect servers and share peripheral resources with workstations that are often located on different levels within a building. You'll need to be familiar with your network's topology, including the network mapping, and know the number and range of IPs, (Internet Protocol address numbers), that each router will serve. If you understand networks, networking hardware, and how they communicate, you should have little problem setting up and configuring daisy chained routers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cable
  • Connectors

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  1. 1

    Sketch out a diagram to daisy chain routers within a planned or existing network. Number each router box and designate one router as the main one. The main router typically has a direct cable to a server, and additional routers can provide a means of connectivity for workstations at progressively distant locations.

  2. 2

    Find or make an ethernet or coax cable, with appropriate connectors, long enough to go between the main router to the next closest one. Plug one end of the cable into an unused port on the main router. Tack the cable along a wall, through a false floor or above ceiling panels, per your design plan. Plug the other end into the back of the new router.

  3. 3

    Turn on the new router power switch to physically permit transmission of network packets across the new segment and through each port. This will allow the network operating system to identify the routers and to add them as resources into the network architecture.

  4. 4

    Configure each new additional router according to the router manufacturer's user guide. You'll need to enter static or dynamic IP numbers, proper subnet masks and other specifications particular to your network and router hardware.

  5. 5

    Add more routers to your network with cables to daisy chain the desired number. Make sure to adhere to any distance limitations for your networking equipment. Check manufacturer and network operating system guidelines to discover any limitations to the number of routers allowed.

  6. 6

    Terminate each workstation segment that connects to the other ports on the router. Use a terminating resistor on the end cable of the last workstation or peripheral device for each segment connected to the new router. The absence or removal of a terminator will result in a fault and the abrupt loss of communication along that entire segment.

Tips and warnings

  • Routers require unique IP addresses. Make sure to change the default settings that came with your equipment to avoid connection problems.
  • Routers can have either static or dynamic IP addresses that are set during configuration, as are subnet masks.
  • Connectivity requires components like cables, connectors and routers to be compatible. Incompatibility will result in system communications malfunctions.
  • Routers for home use typically have 2 ports, while routers used in large computer networks have one main port, and multiples of 8 ports to attach local segments.

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