I am no network admin. But I am the in-house IT guy for a small firm with, what appears to be, a fairly complex office network.

The network has two routers, the first goes into the network through a firewall and then goes from the firewall to one large switch. The second router is attached directly to the switch. My suspicion is that the first handles all inbound connections and the second handles only outbound. Both have their own lines. Until recently we had been using the second router to connect wireless devices to the network, but that has recently stopped working (wirelessly connecting that is) and I am trying to figure out roughly what has happened.

I can check the inbound router's settings through it's default ip address from anywhere on the network, but I can't seem to connect to the other router at all. If I plug a laptop directly to it, the laptop connects to the network through it, but I still can't view it's settings because not only do I have no idea what IP address to connect through, but it doesn't seem to show up on ipconfig or netstat.

Q1: Why might we have two routers?

Q2: Why might the wireless connection not be working?

Extra (possibly irrelevant) details;

  • We have two servers connected to the network hosting DHCP, Print Management, SQL, IIS, DNS, Directory, and more
  • One server, which handles the email exchange, is running windows server 2003. The other which handles almost everything else is running windows server 2012.
  • The two routers each have their own line. They are standard BT Business Hub 3 routers.

closed as off-topic by Magellan, phoebus, mdpc, Mathias R. Jessen, Ward Oct 26 '13 at 3:40

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  • 2
    Two routers is very common. In your particular case, it sounds like the second router was probably added to add wireless (though we cant be sure without a good deal more troubleshooting) and Why the wireless might not be working? You might as well ask how to assemble a car; there are just to many different potential variations to explain in a simple answer. If you give us things like model numbers, we can potentially help, but both questions are far too generic to give specific answers without more information. – PsychoData Oct 25 '13 at 13:06
  • "each have their own line" -- as in their own internet connection? – PsychoData Oct 25 '13 at 13:42
  • Yes, that's right. As you've noticed I am adding in some additional details to try and make my question 'more' answerable. I apologies if it's too vague, or just a bit daft. I am just trying to understand. – Rudi Kershaw Oct 25 '13 at 13:44
  • 1
    Okay, plug into the second router and go to http://btbusinesshub.home Reference Check wireless settings when you're in. Make sure wifi antenna is on, check security, network name.... Also might want to look around and see if there's some information on routing so that you can understand whats happening with the routing in your network. – PsychoData Oct 25 '13 at 13:47
  • Thanks for your help, but that doesn't open the management page for me. I managed to get to the management page of one from the default ip, but not to the second router. Thanks for trying though. :) – Rudi Kershaw Oct 25 '13 at 14:37

Q1: Why do we have two routers?

This isn't a question we can answer. Assuming these are simple off the shelf "routers" and not enterprise grade, which sounds like is the case. The best that can be deduced by your details is that the first one is possibly doing actual routing, sounds like the second one was put in place just to be a wireless AP and not a router.

Q2: Why might the wireless connection not be working?

Again, something we can't answer. That's the point of being the network admin, to be able to troubleshoot these things and if you run into errors, issues during the troubleshooting posting the question here WITH relevant details that show at least a minimal understanding of what is going on, what errors/logs are relevant, and be able to take an actual answer posted here and run with it without saying "OK, so how do I do that??"

Assuming it is a consumer grade wireless router, you should be able to completely reset it somehow and then start from scratch but you'll lose all of the wireless settings (SSID, keys, etc. etc.), wired settings (IP/LAN/etc.), and any firewall rules or other advanced settings that were in place.

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