Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

LAN & WAN How To

Solution 2 - Sharing via IP address

If you really do need two routers, you're going to have to live with limitations on File and Printer sharing and Network Browsing. As mentioned previously, computers attached to each router will be able to browse and file and printer share with other clients attached to the same router. But only computers attached to the second router will be able to exchange files with computers attached to the first router, and the clients attached to the second router must initiate the file transfers.

If you can live with this limitation, here's how to access a remote shared folder or drive:

1) Assign a static IP address to the computers that you want to have access to. This is important since you'll be accessing them by IP address, not name, and if the remote computer(s) lease a different IP address at DHCP renewal time, you'll have to track down and use their new address.

NOTE! Make sure you use static IP addresses outside the range of the router's DHCP server. For our example setup, the first router has a DHCP server range of to So be sure to assign static IPs from to

2) Open up a Run window (Start > Run) and type in followed by the IP address of the computer that you want to access. (I'm assuming that you've already shared the desired drive or folder on that computer). Figure 3 shows how it's done for a computer with IP address

Accessing a remote computer

Figure 3: Accessing a remote computer

After a short wait, a window should open containing the shared drives and folders of the remote computer. Figure 4 shows the shared items on the computer I reached at

Shared items on

Figure 4: Shared items on

Tip! TIP: You can also use Windows' Find Computer function. Just omit the leading "" and type in only the IP address of the machine you're looking for.

3) To avoid having to go through all these hoops the next time you want to access a remote shared file, just right-click on any of the items shown in the window opened in Step 2, choose Create Shortcut or Map Network Drive. (If you're using WinXP, you can find Map Network Drive in My Computer > Tools). Then all you'll need to do the next time you want to access the shared item is to double click on the shortcut or open the drive in My Computer.

It's also possible to use computer names instead of IP addresses to find remote computers by editing the LMHOSTS file on specific computers. But since this doesn't get network browsing working and can be difficult to maintain, I don't recommend you mess with this.

Tip! TIP: If you want to know more about creating an LMHOSTS file, see the Microsoft article Windows NT Workstation Resource Kit - Using LMHOSTS Files

Going the other way

My earlier statement that clients connected to the first router won't be able to access any clients attached to the second router for file and printer sharing actually isn't entirely true. By using the second router's DMZ (or exposed computer) function you can actually share in this direction, but for only one second router client at a time.

All you need to do is put the IP address of the computer you want to share in DMZ, then use the WAN IP address of the router when you go to access the computer. You don't have to worry about weakening security for the computer that you put in DMZ, since it's already protected by the first router's firewall. But if you're really paranoid, you can open just TCP and UDP ports 137, 138, and 139 to the IP address of the computer that you want to access instead of putting it in DMZ.

More LAN & WAN

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Recently got a RT-AC86u and installed with the latest Merlin (384.18), and noticed WebUI being unresponsive after a while. Restarting the httpd servic...
I've installed last version of Asus Merlin. I have tried to install pyload but now the default version of python in entware is version 3. Pyload still...
Asuswrt-Merlin 384.19 beta is now available (except for the RT-AX56U which won't be available for this release, due to outdated GPL code).The main cha...
Hi There,Update 2020/07/28Here we have new 386 rc2 beta for public test(so the old links are removed).link:
Is there a way to disable the pop-up when hovering the mouse pointer over threads?

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3