Forum Thread

DD-WRT Router as a Switch?

Monkfish 12,435 1,117 November 25, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Hey guys

I know next to nothing about networking...here it goes - A while back I fished Cat 6 from my router (all 4 LAN ports now in use) to where the PS3 is (remote part of the house).

I just picked up an XBOX and would like to have that connected via ethernet cable as well. I have an unused 1-2 year old Linksys WRT320N gigabit router kicking around that I've flashed with DD-WRT.

I was hoping to somehow use that old router as a switch so that I can keep both the PS3 and XBOX permanently wired via ethernet.

Is this possible, or do I have to go out and buy a proper switch? Any pointers? Treats for helpful posts.

Thanks!
MF

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#2
Any router (not just dd-wrt) can be used as a switch. Just disable its DHCP server and wireless radio. Then patch one of its LAN ports to one of the LAN ports on the primary router.
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#3
eibgrad is correct. I've never seen a home router that isn't, in reality, a router + switch
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#4
Quote from eibgrad View Post :
Any router (not just dd-wrt) can be used as a switch. Just disable its DHCP server and wireless radio. Then patch one of its LAN ports to one of the LAN ports on the primary router.
Thanks guys - that's great news. When you say to patch LAN to LAN, does that mean just plugging the cable from my main router into any of the non-WAN ports on the unit I want to use as a switch (or is the patch you refer to something I need to do configure in the DD-WRT software?)
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#5
your first idea is correct - it's an ethernet cable between the LAN ports on both routers... nothing special needed via software. So, if you have two 4 port routers, afterwards you will have 6 available ports
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#6
Quote from vivahate View Post :
your first idea is correct - it's an ethernet cable between the LAN ports on both routers... nothing special needed via software. So, if you have two 4 port routers, afterwards you will have 6 available ports

Great - thanks again.
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#7
I've used a router as a simple switch with a config like this:
  • disable wifi
  • disable DHCP server
  • set LAN IP as static IP outside the main router's DHCP server range (writedown/remember this IP for managing the device later)
  • ignore the Internet/WAN port

Any router that can have those settings can function as a simple switch. If you leave the wireless on, it'll function as an access point and a switch.
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#8
Note also that you can (at least with some models of routers) flip a switch in DD-WRT and make the WAN port part of the regular switch.
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#9
Quote from Monkfish View Post :
Thanks guys - that's great news. When you say to patch LAN to LAN, does that mean just plugging the cable from my main router into any of the non-WAN ports on the unit I want to use as a switch (or is the patch you refer to something I need to do configure in the DD-WRT software?)
Most routers have 5 ports on them....one WAN and four LAN connections...

WAN is Wide Area Network...out to your modem/internet

LAN is Local Area Network...basically all the junk you want to hook up in your house.

An 8 port switch has 8 LAN ports on it (but since it lacks a wan port...they don't bother to put the words LAN on the switch)

So as others have said...just hook router 1 LAN port to Router 2 LAN port and then your 2 devices to any of the 3 open LAN ports on Router 2.

(and yeah turn off dhcp and the wireless functions)
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