How To Expand Your Wi-Fi Network With An Old Router

Posted: Aug 6 2019, 7:38am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 6 2019, 7:42am CDT , in How To


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How to Expand Your Wi-Fi Network with an Old Router

Convert old router into Wi-Fi Repeater for Longer Coverage

Most of us have faced the situation when even if you have a nice working router set up in your house or your office, you have to move a little farther from the position of your router for different reasons.

But unfortunately, the further you move away, your Wi-Fi signals starts weakening beyond your router’s effective range.

This results in low internet speed while surfing the internet and buffering during watching videos.

Nevertheless, there are couples of cool tricks you can employ to get a little more range out of your existing router.

Candidly, if you know your equipment is old, it is better to get a better router that provides the fastest speed for all connected devices, alternatively, you can just get a Wi-Fi extender at a super-cheap price.

But if you don’t want to spend on your existing setup and newer devices, there are few alternatives for you. You can simply use an old router to extend the range of your existing router’s wireless signals.

An old deserted router can be easily exploited to help boost the operation of the existing wireless network.

This is will give you better performance and save you some costs to buy a new Wi-Fi extender.

OPTION 1: Creating a new Access Point

In this option, what we want to do is converting the old router you’ve gotten into a simple yet working wireless access point.

This is a very simple thing to do as far as you have a wired Ethernet set up in your apartment or office, the new access point will provide additional Wi-Fi coverage in the required areas.

To do so, connect the old router (as a WAN port) to the existing router (as a LAN port), and connect at least a device to the old router.

Open the old router’s settings and look around for a clickable menu tagged “access point mode” or in some router “bridge mode”.

After you’ve located this in the admin menu, disable the router’s DHCP server, which is how connected devices receive an internal IP address from the router.

Failure to do this simply means we are running a router inside another router which can create anomalies for the usual operation of devices that are connected to the other router.

Note that performing this step will cause a change in the IP address you use to access your router’s settings through your browser.

You should also reset your router and switch the Ethernet cable from its WAN port to one of its LAN ports.

To find the old router’s new IP address, open the existing router’s configuration and search for the section where connected devices are listed.

The old router will be one of the connected devices. You can also set the router’s IP address manually through its configuration screen, and it would be better to do so.

Keep into consideration, that it is very convenient to set up the two routers with the same SSID and password but it’s much better to have them separated with different names.

The connected devices may keep connected to lower-strength wireless signal from a distant place and the old router will most likely not support any features for bouncing off devices with poor signals from the access point.

By using separate names, you can check which access point has a better signal, note that you will have to manually connect to the right Wi-Fi network.

Lastly, position your new router at a perfect place to make full use of its wireless capabilities.

OPTION 2: Use the old router’s Wireless Repeater Mode

Most of the routers comes with the functionality to be used as a repeater. Search through the old router’s settings or user manual to determine if it has a functionality named “wireless repeater”, “extender”, “bridge mode” or any name related to these.

In case what you see is something like “bridge” and you are not sure if you’ve chosen the right thing, check the router’s manual or the description of its feature within the router’s user interface.

There will be an indication that the router will allow connection to another router using its wireless signal.

In this approach, your old router must be capable to accept wireless connections from different devices. When this functionality is enabled, it means that any devices connected to the old router via an Ethernet cable would join the existing router’s larger network.

This method practically replaces the Ethernet cable in the previous option by connecting the old and existing router with a wireless signal.

Although this option might be more convenient it has a major downside to it. Running the old router as an extender would half the performance for the connected devices.

If your router does not have extender or repeater functionality, there is no need to give up, you can make it into a repeater by a simple method.

You could still tweak it and make it work as required, what you need to do is to flash it with third-party firmware, these are software that allows you to change the default settings of the router and helps in unlocking different features.

Some of such firmware include – OpenWRT, DD-WRT, AdvancedTomato.

Make sure to some internet search to see which firmware works perfectly with the make, model and model of your old router.

It is important to get the right firmware, with the right version for the specific router because flashing with incorrect firmware could damage the router and it might take a lot of efforts to fix it.

And if you face problems during the flashing process, you can check different online forums, you will easily find tons of help for the problem faced by you.

Quick Recap

If you don’t want to spend additional expenses trying to upgrade the capacity of your Wi-Fi setup in your home or office, consider using an older router to extend the wireless signal in your surroundings.

Follow the steps below for the set up:

Connect the older router to the existing network using Ethernet cable.

Disable the old router’s routing functionality.

Use different SSIDs for the two routers, so that you can have manual control over how each device is connected.

You can also try using the old router as a wireless extender.

If your router doesn’t have a wireless extender functionality, you can activate it by flashing the router with third-party firmware.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/76" rel="author">Jitender Rathi</a>
Jitender is a seasoned writer with an excellent sense of what news are relevant today. He covers a wide range of topics from technology to science. You can follow Jitender on , Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.




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