How to Connect a Router to a Modem That Already Has a Router

Modems and routers were traditionally two distinct pieces of equipment; however, now you can purchase combination models like those offered by Xfinity Gateway or Motorola that combine these functions into one device.

Routers play an essential role in communicating data between devices, including accessing the Internet. Furthermore, they offer additional security features designed to protect home networks.


Modems are devices used to connect homes to the Internet. While older ones might use telephone landlines as their connection method, newer ones might utilize cable or fiber optic connections. Modems typically feature three ports: one that connects directly to the Internet; another connects directly to your router; and finally one connects directly to power.

If you own two modems at home, they can be combined in various ways to achieve various solutions. This may include managing bandwidth more efficiently, increasing speeds or accessing multiple devices simultaneously. Just bear in mind that each second modem requires its own hard-line connection with your Internet service provider (ISP).

A modem takes signals from your ISP and converts them into signals your devices can understand, enabling accessing websites or streaming videos over the Internet. Without one, connecting would not be possible!

Though a router appears similar to a modem, its function differs significantly. A router takes the Internet connection provided by a modem and distributes it across a wireless network so multiple devices such as laptops, smartphones, smart TVs and others can connect.

Use of a second modem in your home is possible, though this will require creating an independent ISP account and paying an additional modem fee. Furthermore, your router must support it; otherwise you could face complications which are hard to solve.

Another option is using a two-way splitter, which will divide your connection in half and send half of its bandwidth to each modem. This method is relatively easy to set up but may take more time than using a router with built-in Wi-Fi. If you decide on this approach, make sure that if writing down each modem’s IP address and router IP addresses would help if ever needing technical support or rebooting or changing modem settings are required.


A router connects your home network to the Internet and enables devices like laptops and smart TVs to access it via Wi-Fi. It also manages traffic between devices, ensuring information reaches its intended destinations efficiently. In hardwired setups, this device connects directly with both your modem and devices via Ethernet cables while for wireless setups it uses WiFi signals as connection methods.

A good router is an indispensable asset when pairing with a broadband modem, and can offer important extra features that help protect against hackers. For instance, your router can share the digital signal transmitted over coax cable by the modem with all computers in your house via your home’s network – making communication between computers easier while making it harder for hackers to target individual computers on your network.

Whenever a router receives a packet from the Internet, it first inspects its packet header to ascertain its destination and consults its internal routing table to determine the most efficient path to get it there. Finally, it passes it onto its appropriate destination device – whether that be another router or computer connected via wired connections. Routers use their internal routing tables to prevent packets from bouncing around your network and slowing or stopping data transmissions altogether.

At one time, separate modems and routers were required for home broadband services; today most Internet service providers provide one combined modem/router that’s easier to set up without needing another power cord. Bundled equipment often provides more features to connect your network to the Internet more quickly.

Some routers come equipped with built-in firewall software that protects against viruses and other online threats, making them a smart addition to any home Internet connection. Even if you use separate modem and router connections, connecting them together properly doesn’t present any difficulties so long as all necessary parts of your network are up-to-date.

Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cable is the standard method for interconnecting devices in wired local area networks (LAN) or wide area networks (WAN), as well as connecting your router to computers. You can find these cables at many electronics stores and online retailers; their length options range from 0 meters up to 100 meters so you’re bound to find something suitable.

Some people opt to connect a second router to their modem for various reasons. A secondary router can serve as a range extender, helping wireless devices access the internet more reliably; additionally, extra Ethernet ports may come in handy when connecting wired devices like printers or external drives; finally it may also serve as a backup if their initial one should go down unexpectedly.

An Ethernet cable is usually the easiest and simplest way to connect a router to a modem already equipped with its own router. Simply connect one end of the cable from the modem’s LAN port directly into one of the router’s WAN ports – typically one labeled “Internet” or having different color LED lights than others on its WAN ports, before checking if a successful connection has been established on both ends.

Once connected to a modem, a router can be set up as a bridge mode router by accessing its administration website and going directly to its “Default Gateway” page – writing down its IP address before doing so.

Reducing costs while increasing convenience, connecting your router to a modem that contains its own router may seem appealing, but you must take note of its potential drawbacks. Wi-Fi coverage from combined devices is often limited and security may not be as strong. Furthermore, certain features that might appeal such as network storage or VPN support might not be supported on one combined device.

An alternative option to all-in-one devices is purchasing a standalone modem and connecting a router separately, providing more flexibility than an all-in-one device. Furthermore, this arrangement enables you to choose from among a range of routers which support gigabit speeds.

Power Supply

A router’s power supply is an integral component, as it helps the device receive power and function properly. Without enough electricity flowing into it, your router might not be able to connect to the internet or communicate with devices on its network. You can check whether its receiving enough by monitoring its status lights. If they flash quickly then the router likely is receiving too little power; otherwise solid lights indicate sufficient levels.

Many Internet service providers provide combined modem- and router devices with built-in ethernet or WiFi ports for ease of use and cost efficiency, saving space, money, and time by eliminating one piece of equipment to buy or rent. While combined devices offer space saving benefits and reduced equipment purchases or rentals costs, individual routers often boast more advanced features, providing faster connections. Furthermore, should one of your combined devices fail and cause you to lose internet access, separate routers provide greater stability – something not available with combination devices.

No matter which router option you select, it is critical that your network provides a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your home or office. To increase coverage, add another router by plugging one end of an Ethernet cable into the WAN/uplink port on your router and connecting its other end with one of your computer’s LAN ports.

Establishing a wireless home or business network begins with connecting a router to your cable modem. A router takes the digital signal from the internet provider and shares it among all of your computers in your house or business network, protecting each by changing their IP addresses – making it more difficult for hackers to target specific machines on your network. Setting up one can take some finesse; but its rewards in terms of Internet convenience, speed and security more than compensate – should you require assistance, please reach out to your Internet service provider immediately for guidance.