How ToNetworking

How to Use a Router as a Repeater

how to use a router as a repeater


Have you ever experienced a Wi-Fi No Access Zone within your own house? If your answer is yes, then you can use your router as a repeater and solve this problem. Using a repeater will allow you to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network and make sure that you have access to your network in a larger radius.

Turn Router into a Repeater – the Whole Process!

First things first, for setting up a router as a repeater, you’re going to need a spare router. So, if you have an old router discarded away, it’s time to unearth it and put it to good use.

You will be using this router as a repeater to extend your Wi-Fi network. What this means is that this router will act as an access point to your primary router and increase its range.

Step 1: Find Your Primary Router’s gateway IP Address

In the first step, you will need to find the IP Address of your primary router. For that, navigate to the network settings in the control panel. Now,

  • For Windows XP, right-click on your internet connection and click Status. Select the support tab in the window that pops up and note down your gateway IP Address from here.
  • For Windows 7,8,10 and Vista, head to the change adapter settings window. Right-click on your internet connection and choose status. Now, go to details and note down your gateway IP Address from here.

Your gateway IP address will look something like 192.168.1.1.

Step 2: Connect to Your Primary Router

The next step of this process will involve you opening your internet browser and typing in your gateway IP address in the top search bar.

Next, in the prompt window, type in your username and password. If you are not aware of your router’s login credentials, then try typing admin/user in both fields.

If it still doesn’t work, simply turn over your router and you’ll see a label underneath, containing the username and password. If that’s not possible, try searching the internet for the username and password with your router’s model number.

Step 3: Take a Good Look at Your Wi-Fi Settings

Once you’re logged in, choose the Wireless Settings Option and give the settings and quickly go through these settings.

You don’t need to make any changes to the settings here. Just note down the router’s name (SSID), channel and the security type settings as the router to be used as a repeater will be required to have similar settings.

Step 4: Reset the Slave Router to Factory Settings

Moving on to the second router/slave router, before you configure it, you’ll need to perform a factory reset process.

The reset button will be present at the back of your router alongside the router power button. Use a paper clip to press and hold it until you see all the lights on the router go out and come back on again which indicates that the router has been reset.

Remember that the process of resetting may be slightly different for some routers. Consult your manual for further information.

Step 5: Configure the Slave Router

After resetting on your second router, you need to establish a connection between your PC and the internet connection of this router. For that, it’s better that you first turn off your primary router for some time.

Having done that, connect your PC to this router using an ethernet cable. Next, follow Step 1 and find this router’s gateway IP address.

Following step 2, use this gateway IP address to open up Wireless Settings of your router in your internet browser.

As soon as you have the Wireless Settings windows right in front of you, enable the Wi-Fi. Then, copy the settings of your primary router that you noted down in Step 3.

Enter the same wireless network name, same Wi-Fi password but a different channel number as the primary router.

Step 6: Give the Slave Router a Fixed IP Address

For this step, navigate to the LAN setup page in your router’s settings. There, you’ll need to assign your second router a fixed IP address in the same range as the IP addresses given out by my main router.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Communications Protocol) can prevent this by giving the slave router an IP address outside of this range so your priority should be to un-tick the DHCP option on the DHCP Configuration Page.

Now, assign any IP Address to this router that is within the range of the primary router. Keep this IP Address in your mind as you’ll need to gain access to the router settings later. Save the changes you made and reboot the router.

Step 7: Connect it All

To connect the primary router with the slave router, the ideal way is to use a long network cable but since, it’s not very realistic, the best alternative we’ve got is the use of cheap powerline networking adapters.

Remember, however, that these adapters only work on the ring main with a single consumer unit.
Additionally, you can also use a router as a repeater without a cable to extend your Wi-Fi. Some routers, with the WDS (Wireless Distribution System) feature, can also be connected wirelessly.

The steps of setting up a wireless connection between a primary and a slave router are similar to the ones mentioned above.

However, not only are there only a few router vendors with the WDS functionality, there’s no guarantee that the routers from different vendors will work together.

After setting up the connection between the two routers, power them on. Take any of your devices close to each of these routers, connect to them, and test their signal strength.

If you set up a wireless connection using WDS, you’ll notice that the signal strength near the slave router will be much weaker than in the case of a wired connection.

Use of Custom Firmware

If you don’t have a built-in WDS feature in your routers, and you’re looking for a wireless router repeater, then you should try using a custom firmware; DD-WRT, OpenWRT, or Tomato are amongst the famous custom firmware out there.

However, to be able to install a custom firmware, you’ll need to search the internet to find which custom firmware, if any, is compatible with your router’s model.

If you do find a custom firmware that is compatible with your router, read through its installation instructions carefully before you install it.

Once it’s installed, change its settings to a repeater. Resultantly, you’ll be able to extend your Wi-Fi by making a wireless connection between your primary and slave router.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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