The saying goes that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Indeed, sometimes we do not value high thigs that may become useful someday. For example your old router: why should you throw it away when you can use it to extend your Wi-Fi network?

There is a new wireless standard that has been introduced - 802.11ac - making many of us purchase new devices to keep up with the speed. You can, however, use the old router in a productive way: to eliminate all the "blind spots" in your house and be able to access the Internet everywhere.

What do you need to turn your old router into a repeater?

1. An old device. "Old" may sound deceiving in here, since the newer the device, the better, but it must be a router you don't need anymore.

2. Custom firmware. This is not obligatory for all the routers, but some of them may need additional software to turn them into repeaters. Try applications such as DD-WRT, Open WRT, or Tomato. You should also check if you can turn your router into a repeater directly from its admin page.

3. Some tool for resetting your router, such as a pen. When you make a mistake, you may want to reset the reset the device to get rid of any unwanted issues.


Using stock firmware to turn a router into a repeater

  • There are numerous routers that allow you to turn them into repeaters right away. These manufacturers include Linksys, Belkin, and Apple. When you are 100% sure your router can be turned into a repeater straight away:
  • save the MAC addresses' of both your new and old routers. It has 00:00:00:00:00:00 format, with alphanumerical characters (both letters and numbers)
  • launch your old router and access its admin page; the URL to it should be placed in a router's manual
  • type in the admin username and password (should it be requested)
  • find settings: there may be a distinguishment between wireless signal repeating (extending the range of your main router's network) and bridging a network gap wirelessly (letting your connect computers and other devices via ethernet to the secondary router
  • change your router from AP (access point) to Wireless Repeater
  • enter the MAC address of your new router (the one that creates the network)
  • if you are making a bridge you have to look it up on the new router.

Custom Firmware for making a repeater

First of all check whether DD-WTR supports your router; you can find information in its database.

  • install the firmware on your router - just like you would update its official firmware, remembering to read how-to file before starting the process
  • enter the admin page (the URL in a manual of your router)
  • find the Wireless Mode drop-down menu and pick "Repeater" from the list, and change the name of the wireless network (SSID) to the same as in case of your primary router
  • now a new section should appear at the bottom - the Virtual Interfaces; click on the "Add" button and enter a new, different SSID (such as Network Repeater), then click "Save"
  • in the Wireless Security sub-tab you should see two interfaces, the hardware interface adn the virtual one; type in the same settings as in case of your main router in the physical section, with the same security method and identical password. Repeat the process in case of the virtual interface.
  • choose "Setup" tab on the top, then "the Basic Setup─Ö and scroll down to the section called "Network Setup"; change your local IP address to other then the IP of your primary router - but only the third part (for example set a repeater's IP to 192. 168.15.0 if your router has the address of 192.168.16.0). Save.
  • in the Security tab, in the Firewall section you should turn off the SPI Firewall, as well as untick all the features in Block WAN Requests.
  • Save and Apply Settings. When a router (now a repeater) reboots you will be able to get better signal.

Keep in mind that the older your "old" router is, the less probable it is that it can be turned into a repeater without any issues.