Can I have 2 Networks On The Same Router? (EXPLAINED)

This is a knowledge base article in which we will discuss whether can I have 2 networks on the same router to configure multiple networks.

It can be hard to get reliable Wi-Fi connectivity on multiple devices at the same time. Using a single network from one connection for two or more devices can cause slower speeds and lower performances, especially during peak hours of usage. Creating two networks can easily solve this issue and cater to your network needs even more promptly. We’ll be discussing whether can I have 2 networks on the same router or not.

Anyone who uses the home internet knows that routers emit a wireless signal that allows us to connect to them and get online, but can some routers broadcast two different Wi-Fi networks (also called usernames or SSIDs)?

Can I Have Two Networks on the Same Router – Answered In Simple Steps

Here is a quick answer:
Single-band Wi-Fi routers broadcast only SSID (2.4 GHz). Dual-band Wi-Fi routers can broadcast two SSIDs (one for 2.4 GHz and another one for 5 GHz), with separate network names and login credentials required to connect to each of them separately.

In simple words, the answer is yes. Some routers can broadcast more than one network/name/SSID from a particular router. Not all routers have the capability to do that. Only dual-band routers have this capability built-in. It is not always activated by default, nor is it always even necessary to use both wireless bands on the home network.

Further below in this article, you will be provided with a piece of basic knowledge on:

  • Question A) What is a Single Band Router?
  • Question B) What is a Double Band Router?
  • Question C) How to Enable a Dual Band Router?
  • Question D) When is a Double Band Router required?
  • Question E) How to create Two Networks Using One Router?
  • Question F) Conclusion.

What is a Single Band Router?

Way back in 1999, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) introduced the idea of wireless standards. A Single-band router is limited to, as you already know, just one frequency band – the 2.4 GHz frequency band on the RF Spectrum. This frequency has the capability of traveling long distances but has a lower frequency in comparison.
In this case, there will be just one network name that the router broadcasts, with only one password that would be needed to connect to this network. Quick facts about 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi: > Works well over distance and passes through solid objects better than 5 GHz.

Great for smaller networks

What is a Double Band Router?

In addition to supporting the 2.4 GHz Wireless-N standard, dual-band routers support the 5 GHz frequency band, with separate names and passwords. Many dual-band routers support MU-MIMO technology which improves the way your Wi-Fi interacts with multiple devices.

Therefore, if you have a dual-band router and both bands are active (sometimes 5 GHz is not activated by default), when you do a Wi-Fi network scan on a device, it should pick up two networks coming from the same router, each for separate frequencies.

How to Enable a Double-Band Router?

The quick steps to enable a dual-band router, as they are not always enabled by default, are as follows:

  • Point 1– type your router login IP into any browser
  • Point 2 – enter the router username and password (login credentials are found on a sticker on the router)
  • Point 3 – find wireless/Wi-Fi settings
  • Point 4 – find the settings for Wi-Fi bands
  • Point 5 – select and enable the 5 GHz.

When is a Double Band Router required?

Upgrading to dual-band networks can be useful on congested home networks where it is better to split across the two separate bands, also to fully exploit super-high internet plans. You might want to get it if you have a lot of users connecting to your network or you have very high bandwidth demands at home.

How to create Two Networks Using One Router?

There are 3 major options by which you can set up multiple networks on one router.

  • Point 1: Connecting two different networks with one router and a single switch- In this option, a single switch is used to set up the network. As there are 20 users in total and additional two ports for connecting the interfaces of the router associated with each of the networks, a 24-port switch would suffice.
  • Point 2: Connecting two different networks with one router and multiple switches– In this option, we use multiple switches to set up the network. Each switch would connect to the individual port on the router which would provide better segregation of the network. Each network has 10 users and an additional port for connecting the router interface.
  • To accommodate, you would need to purchase 2 numbers of 12 port switches. If the number of users is more, 24 port switches would be required.
  • Point 3: Connecting two different networks with one router and a single switch with VLAN- In this setup, a switch that supports VLAN is used. The router should also support VLAN. The switch is configured for two VLANs for both networks.

VLAN 2 is associated with network 1 and VLAN 3 is associated with network 2. The ports on the switch are configured and members of VLAN 2 and VLAN 3 are. Users belonging to network 1 are connected to ports on the switch configured as VLAN 2 and users on network 2 are connected to ports on the switch configured as VLAN 3.

One interface of the router is connected to the switch. This port on the switch is configured as a trunk port to carry VLAN traffic. The interface on the router is divided into two virtual subinterfaces, which are then configured with multiple IP addresses.

Final Thoughts:

Can I have 2 networks on the same router? – YES, two networks can be availed on the same router. Smaller portable devices like tablets and phones which are using a lot of bandwidth on busy home networks can benefit from 5 GHz Wi-Fi as long as they are still reasonably close to the router so that the signal does not drop too much.

Over shorter distances like in apartments, 5 GHz can also benefit. However, if you live in a large house, it can be tricky. Because 2.4 GHz works better over distance, so you might be better off sticking with that. However, if you have a lot of users and a large house. You can benefit from having two bands to spread the device across. 

David Peter
Hi, this is David Peter from California, USA. By profession, I am working as an Telecommunication engineer with a reputable Telecommunications Company here in California. I am a tech savvy person, and that is why I love my job. This blog is my part time hobby, and I love to write reviews about different products based on my own knowledge and experience. When you go through my reviews, you will feel that they are unbiased reviews as they come direct from my heart for tech lovers. The purpose is to help and guide people who are looking to buy or upgrade their electronic gadgets like modems and routers etc. Enjoy and give your feedback in comments!
Please add "Disqus Shortname" in Customize > Post Settings > Disqus Shortname to enable disqus or remove '#' to disable comment section