Your own router behind a modem router

You get a modem router from your internet provider. However, that router is often of poor quality. For example, settings are often missing and the WiFi range is also poor. And so you put a better router behind it. There are a few things you should pay attention to.

You can easily connect your own router to your modem router by connecting a network cable to a network port on the modem router and then connecting it to the WAN port of your own router. The WAN port is also referred to as 'internet' on some brands. It is important that you do not connect any other devices to the modem-router.


Your internet connection will work fine if you have your own router behind the modem router of your internet provider. In the background, however, you work with two routers in succession, so that your own router is not directly connected to the internet. This can cause problems if a device has to be connected directly to the internet or if you want to access (devices in) your home network from the internet. You often have to forward ports.

With two routers in succession, you can always choose to forward the port to your second router in your provider's router and then to forward the port to your actual device in your second router. That is difficult, however, because you then have to do everything twice and change it.

Solution: bridge mode

However, some ISP modem routers have a bridge mode. In bridge mode, both networks of the routers are linked together and the device of your internet provider only acts as a modem. With bridge mode it is necessary to connect all devices to your second router, because the first router in bridge mode will no longer give out IP addresses.

For example, with Ziggo modem/routers - if supported - the Wi-Fi network is disabled in bridge mode, the router no longer shares IP addresses, NAT is disabled, the firewall is turned off and LAN ports 2 to 4 are disabled. So you can easily connect your own router to it, and your own router then connects directly to the internet. Instructions on how to enable bridge mode for Ziggo can be found here. Unfortunately, not all Ziggo modem routers offer this option. Other internet providers may also offer such a bridge mode, but unfortunately this is usually not the case.


Fortunately, if your modem/router does not have bridge mode, there is another solution to achieve almost the same. You can do the DMZ mode to use. A DMZ, in full a demilitarized zone, is where everything is allowed. In a company that is a completely separate network. With a home network, a DMZ means that the router then opens all ports for a specific device. By entering the IP address of your own (new) router, the original router of your internet provider will no longer block ports.

Before entering the IP address of your second router, make sure that the router of your internet provider assigns a fixed IP address to your own router. To do this, log in to your first router with a PC, while your second router is connected to the first router with a cable. Then you go to something called as DHCP binding, static IP address or Address reservation. There you can often choose from one of the connected devices, after which the MAC address is automatically filled in. It is then necessary to enter the IP address that the second router will receive. It is best to enter the current IP address assigned to the router there.

A DMZ is not much more insecure than normal port forwarding. Eventually your first router forwards everything to the second router, where you just have the firewall and port forwarding rules active. This means that this setup is the same as if you only have one router, but with an extra router in between that only forwards packets. For your own convenience and safety, it is important that you no longer connect devices to the router of your internet provider and switch off the WiFi part.

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