How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Network With an Old Router.
The easiest way to fix the Wi-Fi problem is to set up a repeater. You can also buy a Powerline adapter that performs better than a Wi-Fi repeater. But all of these methods are unnecessary if you have an old router lying around.
Instead of buying new devices, you can quickly set up your old router as a WiFi repeater. Below is a quick guide on how to do this. But, if you prefer a graphical presentation, we also have a video tutorial on it.
You will need
- Two Wi-Fi routers. Even a Wi-Fi ADSL modem will do.
- Ethernet cable (category 5 or 6) for connecting both routers.
- Computer with Ethernet port for configuring routers.
Boost your Wi-Fi network with an old router
Let’s say our main router (connected to the ISP) is in one corner of the house. And on the opposite side, the Wi-Fi signal is weak or absent. So, we will enlarge this part of the room using our secondary router. It will be physically connected to the main router using an Ethernet cable. We will now place a second router at the other end of the room with a low Wi-Fi connection. Here, both routers will broadcast the same network and we will have full Wi-Fi coverage.
This setting works similarly to a Wi-Fi repeater, so the effect will be the same. Wi-Fi repeaters extend the same Wi-Fi network, resulting in some degradation of the network. But since both routers will be physically connected, there is less network latency compared to a Wi-Fi repeater.
Related: 10 Steps To Securing Your Wi-Fi Network From Hackers
Step 1: Check your primary router details
At this point, we only need the SSID and password of your main router. If you know you can skip straight to step 2.
1. Connect to your main router via PC or Mac. Once connected, launch a browser and enter the IP address of the router. This is usually the first address on the network. Suppose my IP is 192.168.1.145 then the gateway address will be 192.168.1.1.
If you don’t know the IP address of your router, open a command prompt and enter the following command. ipconfig | findstr “Default Gateway”
If you are using macOS, enter the following command. route -n get default
The IP address corresponding to the default gateway is the URL to log into your router. Just enter the URL in your browser and hit Enter.
2. Next, you will be prompted for a username and password. Again, if you do not know the username and password to log into the router, look at the back of the router for the username and password. The default username and password depend on the router manufacturer. The most commonly used username and password are “admin”. If that doesn’t work, visit the manufacturer’s official website to get the default credentials.
3. Once on the router’s settings page, look for the Wireless or Wireless Security option. There you will see your router’s SSID, mode, password and encryption type. Write these values down separately, we will need them later.
In my case, the values are: SSID – TechWiser, password – ******, and encryption algorithm – AES.
Read: How to Change DNS Server; Detailed guide for all platforms
Close your browser and disconnect your computer from the main router.
Step 2: Configure the Secondary Router
In this step, we will configure our secondary router. This includes setting up the same SSID and password as our main router. And also change a few settings on the secondary router so that both routers don’t conflict with each other.
1. Take an additional router and turn it on. You will see a reset hole on the back of the router. Take the tip of the pen and press the hole for 5-10 seconds until all lights on the router start blinking. This will reset your router to factory settings.
2. Now leave the router on and connect the additional router to your computer using an Ethernet cable. Now open the router login page again by typing the IP address in your web browser. Sign in to the web portal with the default credentials. Since you reset the router, the username and password will be set to their default values.
3. Once on the router’s settings page, navigate to the wireless settings. And enter the same SSID, Mode, Password and Encryption that you copied in step 1.
3. Next, you need to make sure there is no conflict between our primary and secondary routers. So, first turn off DHCP on additional routers. Our main router will do the job of assigning an IP address to the device.
Second, change the IP address of the additional routers. For example, if both routers have an IP address of 192.168.1.1. Then, to avoid conflict, we will assign the IP address 192.168.1.200 to the secondary router.
4. Finally, we now need to make sure that this secondary router is acting as a repeater. To make sure the working mode is only set on the router. On some routers, you will not see the work mode option. In this case, you need to look at the NAT option and make sure it is disabled. Here I am using a custom ROM called dd-wrt, so I directly have the option to set my router to relay mode.
To summarize, we did the following:
- Copy the settings from the main routers such as SSID and password
- Make sure there is no conflict between these routers by disabling DHCP and the router. IP address
- We need to make sure that our secondary router is only running in router mode and not acting as a gateway.
Save changes and disconnect secondary router
Step 3: Connect the two routers
In the last step, we will connect both routers using an Ethernet cable. Therefore, take an Ethernet cable and connect any LAN port of the primary router to the LAN port of the secondary router. Make sure you connect it to the LAN port of the secondary router and not to the WAN port.
We now transfer the Internet from the primary router to the secondary router using an Ethernet cable. And now that our secondary router has the Internet, we now need to make sure that it can use it. For this we need to make sure that both routers have the same SSID and password, this will make them part of the same network. And the device that jumps between them will join the one with the best signal.
But it will also cause a conflict between our primary and secondary routers. To avoid this, we will disable DHCP on the secondary router. Also, change its IP address and make sure it is set to router mode and not as a gateway. And it’s all.
This will increase the range of your Wi-Fi. The advantage of this method is that we physically connect both routers. Since the repeater connects to Wi-Fi wirelessly, it strengthens the current Wi-Fi signal, resulting in delays and degraded network quality. Here, since the Internet is physically connected to another router via a cable, there is no chance of network latency. That being said, it will split your existing network bandwidth, so make sure you don’t have an equal number of devices connected to both routers.
If you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment below and I will get back to you shortly.
Also Read: How To Remove Someone From Your WiFI