If you have an old router somewhere that collects dust, there is a good chance that you can make it into a repeater yourself, so you Those killing can eliminate spots in your house. The standard firmware on your router almost certainly does not allow this, but alternative open-source firmware DD-WRT does that (just like OpenWRT and AdvancedTomato, but we are sticking to DD-WRT for the time being).
Once you have that installed, you have to make a decision: do you want a wireless repeater or a second access point? A wireless repeater receives existing wireless signals and retransmits them, increasing the range of your wireless network. An access point is simply a second router that offers wireless access to the network, which requires a wired connection to the primary router but offers better performance.
Have you made your decision? Then follow the reset below and go to the section that is relevant to your choice. If using another router does not work for you, you can view our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders instead.
Performing a 30/30/30 reset
Before we configure everything, we must ensure that your DD-WRT router uses the default settings. To do this, we do a so-called hard reset ̵
Step 1 : Keep the router connected to the power supply and hold the Reset button on the bottom of the router for 30 seconds. Your router will be reset and this is normal. Continue to hold the button.
Step 2 : Continue to hold down the Reset button and disconnect the router. Wait 30 seconds.
Step 3 : Continue to hold down the Reset button and connect the router. Hold down the Reset button for 30 seconds.
That's right: you keep the button pressed for 30 seconds with the router switched on, then 30 seconds with the router switched off and then 30 seconds with the router switched on again. When this is done, you are ready to do some configuration.
Setting up DD-WRT as a wireless repeater
Please note that some router models (especially older routers) allow you to set the router as a repeater, which means that you do not need to use DD-WRT . Fortunately, many of our steps below can be used with native settings that allow this, even if it looks different: For example, Linksys has a different interface and the method used by Netgear & # 39; s Nighthawks is also a bit different, while the Asus mode also differs. Search for these options before downloading DD-WRT to make sure they are not available. This can save you some time. Otherwise full steam ahead with DD-WRT.
If the router is currently connected to a network, disconnect it – we do not need Ethernet cables for a repeater. Now connect to the router wirelessly. The default SSID is dd-wrt and you must set an admin username and password.
Step 1: First go to the Wireless section and click on the Basic tab.
Step 1 : In the Physical interface section, check that the settings exactly match those of your primary router. For example, if your primary router uses WPA2 Personal with TKIP encryption, set things up the same here and enter your key as you would if you were connecting from a PC or phone.
Step 2 : Next, under the Virtual Interface you set the settings that you use to connect to this router. It is best to make these identical to the settings in the section Physical interface .
Step 3 : Press Save but wait with Apply .
Almost done! Now go to the section Security Disable the SPI Firewall and remove the check mark under everything under Block WAN requests . Then press Save .
Finally go to Setup and select Basic setup. Under Network settings Change the IP address of the router to a subnet other than that of your primary router. For example, if the IP address of your main router is 192.168.1.1, sets the repeater's IP address to 192.168.2.1. Do not change the other number series (192, 168, etc.) in the address, only this one.
Go back to every page that you have configured with this and make sure that all settings are correct. If you are sure that everything is fine, press the Apply button . Your router will be restarted and you will eventually see the SSID that you have previously chosen for your repeater. Connect and check if your internet works by going to the Digital Trends website (or another). If it works, you now have a wireless repeater!
If you cannot make this work, view your settings or search for more information about the DD-WRT wiki.
When it comes to being physically in your home, the repeater is dependent on receiving a wireless signal from your primary router to do its job, so placing it in a dead zone will probably not do you much good. Ideally, the repeater should be placed near the dead zone, but close enough to the router to still get a decent signal. Experiment with different locations until you are satisfied with the coverage and speed.
Can you use a router app?
If you have a router that uses its own app for settings management, you may perhaps be able to also use this app to set up a repeater without downloading DD-WRT – but that is not very likely. View your router app and see if it offers a repeater mode or a setting that allows you to switch the router to an extender. If you find this option, don't forget to let your mobile device first forget your router so that it doesn't keep trying to connect it the old way.
However, this usually only works if your router app supports native switching to a repeater. If this is not the case, you must make the changes to DD-WRT on a desktop. Many router companies have phased out repeater modes, so they are not common on newer routers and their apps. That is why we recommend DD-WRT. And some router settings, such as the Google WiFi mesh system, are simply not compatible with expansion modes at all because of the way they work.
Set up DD-WRT as a second access point
Make sure your router is not connected to anything other than the power. Connect wirelessly – the default SSID is dd-wrt and you must set a user name and password for administrators.
You start on the page Basic settings . Some router settings have an additional mode called "AP mode" or "bridge mode" that is specific for setting up a second access point. If you find this mode, you should definitely try to activate it: your router can then automatically retrieve much of the information below, saving you a lot of time. Instead, be careful not to accidentally activate repeater mode: these router settings conditions can be vague, so it is always important to study the details of your own router settings page.