Can You Have Two Modems in One House?

Your home’s Internet connection involves several components working together. Understanding each component and its purpose will help you better understand how the whole network operates. 

Your Internet signal comes from your Internet service provider (ISP), which could be a cable, phone, DSL, or other provider that you pay for access to web services. The Internet or broadband signal then feeds into your home through a modem. 

You can have two modems in one house, but it may require paying for an additional Internet service plan from your provider. However, it’s possible to connect an additional modem to your existing modem just like you’d connect any other device using ethernet. Still, all devices would have to share the signal, which could decrease bandwidth. 

You can connect your modem to a wireless router to create a wireless signal. The wireless signal (WiFi) is what connects all your other devices to the web. 

In some cases, you may want to improve your Internet speed or signal. You can do this by adding or upgrading your equipment. Sometimes, you may experience blinking issues with your one modem where a connection goes out, so having a second connection can ensure you’re always online.

Can I Use Two Modems in the Same House?

It’s possible to have more than one modem in the same house, but the specifics will depend on your internet service provider. Some providers have rules only allowing one modem while others will allow multiple. 

In either case, you may have to pay for a second account or pay a fee for added services to have multiple modems in your residence. 

This makes sense if there are multiple people living in the same home that each want their own accounts and access to private information without using a shared wifi network. Or, if you rely on the web for work, you may want to have more than one connection available.

If you want a hardwired ethernet connection for your device, there may be a simpler way besides adding a second modem. Using a router to extend your wifi signal or to run an ethernet cable to another location is a good alternative. 

Still, if you’re set on having a second modem, you may be able to connect two modems together to split the broadband signal between the two. 

Why It’s a Good Idea to Have Multiple Cable Modems in One House

Humans are more reliant on the internet than ever before. We use the web for work, entertainment, bill-paying, and even to run our smart home devices. As such, we expect to have stable, secure, and fast internet service available 24/7.

In some homes, people may want to have more than one modem installed. There are a few reasons a homeowner or resident may be interested in this added equipment. So, let’s discuss a few of those in more detail.  


The use of personal devices for streaming has become a staple in most homes. Even those with TVs and cable plans often still stream movies and TV shows onto their devices. Streaming services use a lot of bandwidth and may bog down the internet signal inside the home, causing lagging or poor video quality. 

One solution is to add additional cable modems to ensure a strong and fast signal all the time. Some households may have dedicated web services just for entertainment like streaming and gaming. 

In homes where streaming services are used often, this could be a worthy investment depending on your family’s needs. 


Keeping home networks secure is more important than ever. With the rise of cyber crimes and the sensitive nature of our personal data, some people may opt to have a separate modem to use just for themselves. 

If you live in a household with others, you may not feel comfortable using a shared network. In that case, using your own modem with a separate account would keep your data completely separate from everyone else in the home. 

Some individuals prefer to use a separate modem from guests, though a router can also do the job of providing a secure network for the owner and a separate guest network, both of which can be password protected. 

Enhanced Bandwidth

Adding an extra modem with a second Internet plan can increase your bandwidth by providing a dedicated signal for you to use however you choose. One modem can be used to power your entertainment devices while another could be hardwired to your computer, for example. 

Doing this would require a second router as well, otherwise, your single router would be bogged down trying to handle the bandwidth from both modems. 

This might be an especially appealing option if you work from home and web access is essential. In that case, you may even want to go with two different internet service providers so you never have to worry about an outage. Just last week, my Xfinity modem started blinking green after a power outage.

Increase Wifi Coverage

Some people want to increase their wifi coverage, meaning they want their wifi signal to go farther. If you have a large home or weak signal, your wifi signal may not reach all areas of the home. 

In some cases, the solution may be to add a second modem to improve the wifi coverage. However, there are simpler ways to improve your wifi coverage. Getting a stronger router or even changing your router’s location can vastly improve your existing wifi coverage. 

Does Having Two Modems Increase Internet Speed?

Having two modems may increase your internet speed in some cases. For example, if you want to hardwire your modem to your device for a strong, fast ethernet connection, it may require adding a second modem. 

Adding a second modem would also allow you to split up the demand from all your devices, meaning there’s more bandwidth to go around. Instead of sharing a single modem between all your devices, you could use half of your devices with one modem and router setup and the other half with the other. 

Of course, you could also inquire with your ISP about purchasing additional bandwidth for your existing modem without adding a second account. 

What is the Difference Between a Modem and a Router?

Modems and routers are both used in your home wifi system’s setup but they do different jobs. Knowing the difference can help you get the most out of your equipment. 

The modem is what connects your home network to your internet connection. Whether you have cable internet, DSL, or fiber optic, the internet signal comes into your home from your ISP and into your modem. 

A router is a piece of equipment that acts as a hub, connecting all your other devices to your single internet signal and to each other on a single network. 

If you only have one piece of equipment, that means it’s a modem/router combo, but it’s still doing the job of both components. 

Your router is what turns your hardwired internet signal into a wireless (wifi) signal you can pick up on your smartphone and other portable devices, smart TV, and smart home technologies like video doorbells, smart thermostats, and Alexa-enabled devices. 

Unlike your modem, your router needs to be placed in the right location where it can send and receive signals easily without too much interference. It’s not a good idea to keep your router in a closet or cabinet, for example. 

If your internet isn’t working, it could be a problem with your modem or router, so it’s a good idea to check both whenever you do basic troubleshooting. 

Can I Add a Second Modem to My Network?

You can add a second modem to your network in most cases. You will likely have to contact your internet service provider (ISP) to request a second modem and see what the rules are. Then, you’ll likely have to pay a charge for the second modem and services. 

A modem without internet service won’t do you much good, so it’s important to contact your provider. Another option is to add a second modem and connect it to your existing modem using your existing signal. 

Doing this won’t add any bandwidth or make your wifi “faster,” but it can help you expand your coverage by using a longer ethernet cable so the modem will reach closer to your other devices.

However, the same result can be accomplished with a router, by adding additional routers, or by upgrading your existing equipment to improve its overall performance. 

Adding a second modem to your network is possible, but it’s not a very common solution to home web problems. And often it won’t fix whatever the underlying issues are that you may be trying to resolve. 

Remember, adding more devices and increasing the demand on your single internet signal will normally slow down the performance overall across all your devices. Adding modems will not improve your internet’s speed unless you add additional internet signals (accounts).

How Do I Set Up a Second Modem?

You can set up a second modem in your house a few different ways. The easiest and most effective way is to contact your internet service provider and request a second modem to see what your options are. 

Other possibilities involve using a splitter or bridging the modems to use more than one with a single signal. 

To set up a second modem, simply plug your ethernet cable (the cable coming into your home from outside) into your modem using one of the LAN ports. Then, you can connect a second modem to it using one of the other LAN ports. 

These two modems are now connected and communicating with one another. Another option is to use the WAN port so the modems will share the internet signal but won’t allow your devices to communicate. 

You may have to adjust your settings to make them work properly. After you connect to the web, look up the modem’s IP address and subnet mask. Connect your computer to the second modem and turn off the DHCP Server settings. Then, type in the IP address from your primary router, only changing the last number. 

You can also use a load-balancing router (also known as a dual WAN router) to hook up two cable modems and divide your internet signal between them. Doing this will help keep the usage balanced so using more bandwidth on one modem won’t necessarily slow down devices connected to the other modem.

Connect Using a Splitter

Depending on the modem and your ISP, you may be able to connect using a two-way splitter. In this case, your coaxial cable goes to the splitter and then can be connected individually to the two separate modems. 

However, this is not a reliable method and will reduce the bandwidth to each of your devices. Using a splitter often causes connection and performance issues. 

Using a router essentially splits the internet’s signal for you, so there’s really no need to take this approach in most cases. The better alternative is to get a router and set up a proper home network to be shared among all devices in the household. 

Connect Using the Bridge Mode

When you want to use two modems with a single internet signal, you can bridge them using an ethernet cable. By doing this, you’re essentially treating the second modem like a router allowing you to set up a network with the internet signal. 

To do this, you just plug your incoming ethernet into one of the modems then use another ethernet cable to connect to the second modem. 

However, you can probably find a router for cheaper than a second modem that will perform better, so this isn’t usually the best option. 

Could Use Multiple Accounts on Different Modems

If you’re set on having two modems, this is the best way to go. It will result in the best performance of all the methods we’ve discussed, and it will ensure you’re in compliance with your ISP’s restrictions on the use of their services. 

So, if you have multiple people living in a single home, each one may want to get their own internet service and modem. Doing so would cost more, but then everyone would have the strongest possible signal and more reliable internet services. 


Having two modems could make sense in some situations, especially if you’re living with roommates and want your own Internet services. However, it’s not necessary to have a second modem. 

Routers do the job of splitting up the Internet signal so it can be used across multiple devices. Your router can even set up a primary and guest network so you know your personal data stays secure. 

If you want a second modem, it’s a good idea to check with your provider first. Some ISPs don’t allow for multiple modems and others may charge an extra fee for this, so it’s always best to be safe.