Today having a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network has become necessary at home, in the office, or even in your company.
However, the primary modem/router signal can often be weak or shallow, especially if there are obstacles between spaces.
In addition, a poorly stable wireless network can also create difficulties for you to connect to the Internet, which is expressed in poor speed and stability.
From this point of view, a good solution is undoubtedly to buy a Wi-Fi repeater. There is one for all budgets and necessities.
But if you don’t want to buy one and have an old router in your house that you no longer use, you can always use the router as a Wi-Fi repeater.
Depending on the case, you will need to take several steps to succeed. But it’s nothing too complex.
Follow me in the article. I will show you everything you need to know!
Use your router as a Wi-Fi repeater.
Using a router that you already have as if it were a repeater is not just advantage from the point of view of spending to face. Also, because, having one already in the house, you will not have to face one.
In addition to this, the main difference lies in the fact that a router usually has better hardware and can, in general, perform multiple tasks.
A Wi-Fi repeater has the only function of wirelessly docking to an existing network and increasing its signal in a place where it is scarce. A great example is the TP-Link RE305.
On the contrary, with a router, you can:
- create a secondary network;
- create a network for guests;
- manage a more comprehensive set of features.
In addition, you can precisely extend the signal of your wireless network, as we will see shortly.
Some preliminary steps
Before you set up your router as a Wi-Fi repeater, there are a few things you’ll need to do:
- write down your connection data, which is the network name, password, and Mac Address of the primary router;
- restart your old router using the small reset button in the back.
You will return the device to factory data in the latter case, and you can configure it from scratch.
As for the first operation, I recommend that you do it from the primary router management interface. You’ll need to enter the router and write down the data you find on the home screen.
Fact? Now you can proceed with the actual configuration!
Find the IP address of the primary router.
You might know that your router’s IP address is the numeric code helpful to get into its management interface for this guide.
Typically, for a router, it is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. Finding the IP address is necessary to use the router as a Wi-Fi repeater. In fact, from there, you will be able to understand which addresses it manages and, therefore, which ones to assign to the old router.
For example, if the main one is 192,168.0.1, then the range of addresses managed ranges from 192,168.0.2 to 192,168.0.254.
Manually sets the IP address of the secondary router.
For the secondary router, the IP address will necessarily have to be different from the primary router, and this is where managed addresses come into play.
So you can manually set up an IP address that does not conflict with the primary one but is among those connected to it.
To set it up, you need to follow these steps:
- #1 the old router to your PC via an Ethernet cable;
- #2 enters the router by typing its current IP address in a browser’s address bar;
- #3 click WAN Settings;
- #4 the type of IP address as “static”;
- #5 sets an IP address of your choice between 192,168.0.2 and 192,168.0.254.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to configure some more advanced parameters. But you can rest assured: follow the next steps of this guide!
An acronym for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP is the feature that dynamically assigns a new IP address to each link.
By disabling it, you will avoid addressing and address management conflicts between the two routers. Only the primary router will assign an IP address to each device connected to the network in practice.
The Web Interface Section where you want to disable DHCP should be wireless settings or WAN settings. It is not difficult to find but varies depending on the manufacturer of the router.
Set the latest parameters
At this point, you can dedicate yourself to the latest features to set to use your old router as a Wi-Fi repeater.
Specifically, you will have to:
- enter the same SSID, or network name, as the main one;
- set the same type of protection;
- set the same login password.
These three parameters must be the same as the primary network because your router will, to all effects, be a wireless access point to the network.
You can also decide which band to transmit the signal in some dual-band routers and choose between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
The former has a higher range but allows lower transfer speeds, while for the latter, it is generally worth the opposite.
In case you choose the 2.4 GHz one, remember to give your old router the right channel in which to transmit:
- if the primary router transmits in channel 1, assigns the 6 or 11;
- if the primary router transmits in channel 2, assigns the 7 or 12;
- in the least likely case, it broadcasts in channel 3, assigns the 8 or 13.
In this way, the transmission band of the two networks will be optimized, and one will not interfere with the other.
Start using your “new” Wi-Fi repeater.
And that’s what you finished setting up.
Now all you have to do is disconnect the new Wi-Fi repeater from your computer and place it in the right place.
For the experiences I’ve had with range extenders, I recommend a place that’s about halfway – or just beyond – between where you put the main router and where you want to receive the expanded wireless network signal.
Some simpler configurations
The most modern routers also have the most up-to-date firmware. This means that making your router, a Wi-Fi repeater could be very simple.
If you want, you can check to enter the router with the procedure That I have already shown you, and look for the option “Access Point Mode.”
You will find it, if it is present, within the section dedicated to Wireless settings. Once found, check the box on Access Point Mode, precisely, or Repeater mode, and you’re done.
As you have seen, there are several ways you can extend your network with a router.
Everyone has its advantages and disadvantages, but they all allow a never too complex configuration and an effective result.
If you think about it, this can also be an opportunity to change your current router to a more performing one. This way, you can still use what you already have and have a network that offers excellent coverage and great stability.