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Suppose a local network connected to the internet via a single firewall router.
Devices that connect directly (i.e. using only layer 2 devices) to that router are:

  1. hosts
  2. WiFi routers providing the internet connectivity to other hosts.

Note that all the routers are connected directly to the firewall and not via some other intermediate router.
Hence I called this setup "WAN-2-hops-away network" (or 1-hop-away in case of hosts connected directly to the firewall).
All the devices behind the firewall are in the same subnet.
Sample picture:

"WAN-2-hops-away" network

Whereas hosts connected directly to the firewall are able to connect to the WAN, same is not true for hosts connected by intermediate routers. That's because where is no routing is configured.

Ideally I would like to perform all the configuration only on the firewall router, also when a new intermediate router is connected it would be appreciated if it could automagically configure itself.

What will be most suitable routing solution in this scenario? I fear configuring every and each wifi router separately will be unavoidable. Note that the network will never become 3-hops deep - that could simplify the solution. Right now I think that configuring the default gateway on each of the wifi routers will be the way to go.

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What are you trying to accomplish. Are you trying to segregate the devices on the secondary routers? Do you want all of these devices to be on the same layer 3 network? – joeqwerty Apr 26 '14 at 15:16
No segregation. I want all the devices behind the firewall to be in the same subnet. Updated the question – vucalur Apr 26 '14 at 15:26
OK, then get rid of the other routers on the inside of the firewall router. Why would you use routers instead of switches? If you must use routers then only use their LAN ports, not their WAN ports. – joeqwerty Apr 26 '14 at 15:27
Routers because I already own them and are more popular solution than wireless switches. Will using LAN ports only do the magic? Please convert your comment to an answer then. – vucalur Apr 26 '14 at 15:31
are more popular solution than wireless switches - Who says? Use the proper device for the job. If you need a switch for a wireless device then you use a WAP, not a wireless router. If you only have the wireless routers then you can use them but they're not the proper device for the job. Connect their LAN port (NOT THEIR WAN PORT) to the network. Turn off the DHCP server/service on the wireless routers and make sure only one device (probably your firewall) is acting as the DHCP server for your network. – joeqwerty Apr 26 '14 at 15:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You should convert your Wireless routers to Wireless Access points.

  • Use the LAN Port of the device
  • Disable DHCP (Server)
  • Disable NAT

This should "downgrade" the device to a standard Access point, and you should be good.

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This is what I would do. If the wireless routers are running NAT there is no easy way to connect from the other hosts to the hosts behind the wireless routers. – Bert Apr 26 '14 at 17:17
If you're not using the WAN ports on the wireless routers (therefore using them as Wireless Access Points) then there's no NAT'ing being done. You're using them as switches now, not routers. – joeqwerty Apr 26 '14 at 17:19
excatly. I do this with mine as well. – MichelZ Apr 26 '14 at 17:35

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