RACHEL-Plus on a LAN or with Router

RACHEL-Plus works perfectly if you want to set-up a classroom with a set of wireless enabled devices (tablets, laptops, or desktops with WiFi functionality).

Reminder: No Internet service is needed ever. When we say WiFi, we mean the tablet, laptop or desktop has the physical capabilities of connecting to the internet via a wireless connection. We leverage this capability to work offline with RACHEL, but no internet service is ever needed.

So, is there a situation which adding a “router” is helpful? Sure!


  • Support more users. RACHEL-Plus can start to experience a bottleneck with its internal ability to support 20+ older or 40+ newer tablets and computers. A router can help this by sharing the wireless transmitting burden.

  • Extend the range. RACHEL-Plus emits a wireless signal that extends about 100 ft in any direction. If you add a router, you now can use either RACHEL-Plus’s wireless signal, or that of the router. This means you can use a really long cord to connect RACHEL to a router and double the area which receives a wireless signal to connect to RACHEL.

  • Use without a wireless signal. Many places have old desktop computers which do not have wireless hardware inside them. Some places, like correctional facilities, do not want to allow wireless signals. If you add a router, you now have the option to ‘hardwire’ together all of the computers. This means you run cables directly from RACHEL to the router, and from the desktop or laptop computers to the router. You can then turn off the wireless signals if you choose.


  • Added cost.

  • Increased complexity. Accessing RACHEL through the router’s wireless signal can be complicated, and requires ‘setting a static IP address’. As routers don’t have battery back-ups, often times the static IP address must be reset after a power outage. Setting a static IP address can be complicated.

  • No battery. Not having a battery in a router means this does not work for places that do not have constant, or near constant, reliable and useable power.

  • Comparison vs 2 RACHEL-Plus units. A second RACHEL-Plus unit allows you to have redundancy, in case RACHEL goes down. The battery issue is solved. The device can later be used ‘stand-a-lone’ if you choose to move one or the other. More users can be supported with 2 RACHEL-Plus units, than 1 RACHEL-Plus and a router.

  • Potential Interference. In the picture below, the router and RACHEL-Plus wireless signals have the potential to interfere with eachother. This can cause strange behaviours like dropped connections and slow loading content. If you are using RACHEL-Plus with a router, you get the most benefit using a very long cord and separating the two devices as much as possible, or just using one wireless signal and turning off the other. If you are using a router instead of RACHEL-Plus, it should have 4x4 transmit and receive functionality to be better than RACHEL-Plus (not a cheap router).

Unless you need to have computers ‘hard-wired’ into RACHEL because you cannot use wireless, we would most often recommend using a second RACHEL device. Investigate if you can add USB WiFi dongles to your old computers before deciding to buy cabling to hard-wire them together. If you want to keep multiple RACHEL devices in sync, adding a router to connect all RACHEL devices together with cable can be helpful.


  1. Plug CAT5 (Ethernet) Cable into RACHEL-Plus and your Router

  2. Your Router will assign an IP address, know as the LAN IP to RACHEL. You must find RACHEL’s LAN IP. The easiest way to do this is to connect to RACHEL the normal way via wireless, and view in the top right of RACHEL the LAN IP of RACHEL. Highlighted below, you see two IP addresses. One you are familiar with, and currently using to connect wirelessly to RACHEL ( The other IP address is your LAN IP.

  3. From any computer which is wired to the same router as RACHEL, you can now open a web browser and use the LAN IP to access RACHEL. In the above, you see the LAN IP is ( If I type that into a web browser of a computer also wired to the same router, I can get to RACHEL without using any wireless.

Some additional notes:

  • You can turn off RACHEL’s wireless in the admin settings
  • You can discover RACHEL’s LAN IP other ways, including by logging into your router, assigning RACHEL a static IP, or using a tool like Windows Network Watcher on your desktop

Jeremy, there is a client cannot get connection using LAN on the computer. The connection is well set physically.

Something must be wrong in setting the static IP address in the router. Can you share how we can set a static IP address of Rachel in the router?

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Hi @Jseni – the process for setting a static IP on the router varies by the make and model of the router.

Can you access the RACHEL device over wireless and see the LAN IP address (in the top right of the RACHEL homepage)?

That should be the IP address your client uses to get to RACHEL. If you are using that IP address, and you cannot access RACHEL from the client, there is something else wrong.



Accessing Rachel through LAN IP address worked well with other Rachel Plus but one Rachel Plus is bringing trouble to be connected with the LAN. What can be an issue here? I suggested that they open the Rachel router settings and see what is missing in the RAchel troublemaker in comparison with the setting of other Rachels that accept connection via LAN.

It’s possible that the ethernet port on the RACHEL is broken also.

For the RACHEL that has trouble, can you connect to it wirelessly while it is still connected to the router? If so, can you see if it has a LAN IP address?

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Hi, my name is Leon. I am a teacher in Windhoek Namibia. I got a Rachel Plus device for our school. (What a brilliant device!!!.) We have 40 computer stations- 20 are wired (LAN) because those are older PC’s and the other 20 are wireless. The Rachel Plus works perfect with the wireless one. I put a Network cable from the router to the Rachel and another network cable to the network switch. I got the LAN IP address, but still the wired ones cannot connect. I am sure I am just doing something wrong…can you guys maybe assist me please? Thank you Regards. Leon

Hi Leon,

My name is Joseph, a friend of RACHEL and volunteer of World Possible in Zambia. Connecting your RACHEL onto a router before connecting to the switch creates a new and different network domain.

Kindly try connecting RACHEL directly onto the switch so that it sits on the same network as your computers. You can then easily access it from the rest of the computers using its IP address.

Let us know if that works.



May I know how many concurrent users can access the Rachel Plus, please?

40 over wireless, but if you are using some software such as KA-Lite, it can be a lot fewer.

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Thank you Jeremy. 40+ for wireless. @teacher said, he had 20 wired computers. So, with the wired computers, how much clients’ requests RACHEL+ can handle? I’ve read the http://rachelfriends.org/docs/ro/AE-Field-Report-KA-Lite-on-RACHEL-Plus.pdf. Do you have other field test report for RACHEL+ 3.0?

Hi Joseph, thank you very much. it worked!! it only connects to some of the wired computers Maybe there is still something else I am doing wrong because. Is there perhaps other settings that I can look at? But I am so happy at least some are connected…Thank you once again…Have a great week. Regards. Leon!Inked20180918_123606_LI


You might find it easier to use a router. If you do, I recommend you use a static IP address for RACHEL (I use If you use DHCP to automatically assign an IP address & you ever have a power outage you may have problems. You will then have to go into the ADVANCED SETTINGS area on your router (don’t worry, it sounds scarier than it is). In the advanced settings there will be a link or a tab for static routes. This is a screen shot from a D Link router:
If you buy a Net Gear router I have a screen shot for that one as well:
I hope this helps.


What is the Rachel plus using for its wireless signal?

Hi @Andyrob - can you be a little more specific about the question? Do you mean what WiFi card is inside the RACHEL-Plus hardware? Which version of RACHEL-Plus? The brand or the specs?

ha - i suppose that was a little ambiguous.
i am working with a group of students that are helping an NGO evaluate the RACHEL plus vs. building a similar device based on RACHEL pi. Where they are stuck is how the plus supports so many users vs. their experience with the pi. They are assuming that it is not just using the PI as a wifi hotspot.

I dont know if they (the students) understand yet the value of having all of the components wrapped into a nice supported platform that has been tested in the field.

Hello Team, I am working with a school that has RACHEL Router but its not in use. I have connected the Router to the LAN through a switch. The Desktops have static ip addresses for classroom management. However i cant access the RACHEL from the desktops. When i enable DHCP on the Desktops i am able to access RACHEL but this shuts me down from monitoring the computers since the ip addresses change. Therefore is there a way where i can still have my pc’s with static ip addresses but able to access RACHEL?

Hi Emmanuel - are you capable of setting a static IP address on RACHEL?

Yes Jeremy am able to set a static IP address on Rachel