How to Use a Router as a Switch

Introduction

I needed to extend our LAN.  I was broke and therefore had no cash to buy a new switch.  However, I did have a lot of old routers lying around, which had been superseded by whatever the ISP sent next.  Specifically, I had a ZyXel P-660H-D1 router.

 

The first thing to do was access the admin page.  The default router page is 192.168.1.1.  The default password is 1234.  When you put this in you will be asked to change the password to something else.  Once you have done this, enter the advanced setup.  There are a number of things to do:

 

  • Disable wireless (if any, I had none)
  • Disable DHCP server (so it doesn’t interfere with your main router DHCP server).
  • Disable the firewall
  • Change the WAN to bridged and “as necessary”, not sure if this makes any difference, as I did not put in username or password here anyway.
  • Change the IP to match a fixed IP in your LAN.  NB, I put in my local IP, but let the ZyXel enter the subnet mask for me.  Not sure if this made a difference.  After the IP changed, I restarted the new “switch”.
  • NB – I could not access the switch on its new IP with the ethernet cable directly linking to the switch immediately.  Instead I connected it to the network and accessed it on its new IP from another computer.  Then I could access it from any computer.  I am not sure why this took a while – maybe you just have to wait a bit.

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