If your WiFi signal is unable to reach places where you need it, because the area is enormous or you have some dead zones, using a second router as an extender could be the right solution. However, you may face a slight drop in your connection speed, but the signal strength is going to be top-notch all around.
So the question is, how to use router as WiFi extender? Well, some routers usually have a builtin feature in their firmware to use as extender or repeater. However, other routers may require some technical knowledge to connect as a second router. To understand, if your router includes such an option, it is ideal to look into your router’s manual.
Considerations before configuring your router as WiFi extender:
Before carrying out the procedure on how to use router as WiFi extender; you must take into account the following consideration.
- The router must be properly connected to the power and turned on . This process can be carried out by WiFi or using a UTP LAN cable, we recommend the latter option.
- Reset your router so that the configuration is factory default. To do this, press and hold the reset button or insert a needle (or something similar) into a small hole in the back of the router until all the front LEDs light up.
- Save all the information from your router . It is important that you are aware of some details about your router, such as the channel on which it is being transmitted, the SSID and the type of security it is using.
- Find out if your router can be used as a repeater . Luckily, most of the routers allow you to use it as a repeater, and the extended router is not required to be the same model as your main router. In rare case; if your router does not offer such a feature, it is recommended to use an alternative open-source firmware.
- It is essential that you know the IP address of your router, It is the only way to connect to your router via web interface and perform the procedure. Here are three ways to look for your router’s IP address.
- In Windows, open a cmd window and type: IPconfig
A series of data will then be displayed, including the Gateway ( Default Gateway ), which is the address of your router.
2. If your operating system is Windows, go to the control panel and double click on Network and Internet >> Network and Sharing Center >> Change adapter settings and select the active connection. Right click on it, Then go to “Status” and then “Details.”
There, you will see a window with the gateway, which is the address of your main router. Generally, it comes in 192.168.1.1 or similar format.
3. If you are using a Mac , just open the Settings – Network – Advanced – TCP / IP. In this last menu you will see that it says “Router”. That is the IP you need.
Now, taking these recommendations into account, you can proceed to configure your router as an extender or repeater.
How to Use Router as WiFi Extender? Step by Step Guide:
Step 1: Open your browser and enter the IP address of your router in the address bar. Then a window will appear to enter your username and password. If you do not know this information you can find it on a label under the router or search on a manufacturing company website.
Step 2: Take a computer or mobile that is not in your network and connect your second router, which will serve as a repeater. To do it in a better way, you must turn off the main router while performing the operation. If you only have one computer, you will have to disconnect it momentarily from your network. When you are connected again, repeat step 1 to access the configuration page.
Step 3: Once you are on the configuration page go to the option that allows you to change the IP address for a different one from your main router and any other network device you use, but that is within the same range.
For example, if the IP of your main router is 192.168.1.1, you should configure the router that you will use as a repeater with a higher number, such as 192.168.1.2 or 192.168.1.15. This depends on the number of devices you have connected in the network. Remember to write down this new address, save the changes and restart the computer.
Step 4: Once the restart of the equipment is completed, you must enter the credentials again to enter the DHCP and disable it. Then save the changes made, remember to confirm your choice every time you make a new configuration.
Step 5: Next you will be asked to enter your username and password. Once on the page go to “Wireless” and select “Wireless Settings”.
In the Wireless Network Name parameter, enter a specific name for your new Wi-Fi network. Then check the “Enable WDS Bridging” parameter to enable a bridge.
Step 6: Click on “Survey” to find the networks you have available or the network you want to select. Select the signal you want to connect to and notice which channel it is on. Then click on “connect” and where it says “channel” choose the same channel where the network you are going to repeat is connected.
Step 7: Enter the same type of encryption that has the signal you are repeating. Then we select the signal and then enter your password. Finally, we save the changes, and as the default router name is rewritten, you must change it to the name you set in step 5 and save the changes again.
Step 8: Generate a personalized key for your new Wi-Fi network, go to “Wireless”, specifically “Wireless Security”, and in the parameter “Wireless Password” set the password that is your preference and save the configuration. Finally, confirm the data you have entered so far.
Step 9: Go to “System Tools”, specifically “Roboot”, to restart the computer. Upon completion of the restart you will be asked again for the credentials to enter, and you can now disconnect the LAN – UTP cable to enable Wi-Fi. Then look for the available networks and confirm that the signal you just created appears.
Step 10: Once you are connected to your new network, you can check if you have access to the internet and if it allows you to navigate quietly.
If your router does not have a built-in wireless distribution system that offers to use router as WiFi extender, you can install custom firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato. However, to install it, necessary technical knowledge is required. It is usually a straightforward procedure, but a slight mistake can damage the equipment.
Your router must have support for DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato, to confirm this it is required to search online for your respective router model number. Once compatibility is verified,read our article on how to install custom firmware on router.
When the installation is complete, you have to turn on the repeater function, which is an effortless task to do. In case you get stuck somewhere, you can find more information on the selected open-source firmware website or ask us your questions in the comments.