How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Network With an Old Router

Not getting enough WiFi signals in some part of your building? Well, you can buy a powerline adapter or a Wifi repeater to extend your Wireless signals.

But if you already have an old router/WiFi modem, then you quickly set it up as a WiFi repeater (video tutorial). No need to spend extra money.

Boost Your Wi-Fi Network With an Old Router

You will need

  1. Two WiFi routers. Even a WiFi ADSL modem will work
  2. A long Ethernet cable (cat5 or 6) to connect both routers
  3. Computer with Ethernet port to configure the routers

Setup

Let say our primary router (connected to ISP internet line) is placed at one corner of the house. And the opposite side gets weak or no WiFi signals.

So we will connect our secondary router to the primary router using an ethernet cable and place it at the other end of the house. Now both routers will broadcast the same network, and we will have full WiFi coverage.

Related: 10 Steps to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network From Hackers

Follow the steps

Step 1 Check details of your primary router

Check details of your main router

In this step, we will make a note of our main router’s SSID and password.

1.1 I am assuming that you are already connected to your main router with WiFi or ethernet cable. So open your computer, launch your favorite browser and type in your router’s IP address.

If you don’t know your router’s IP address, open cmd and type in ipconfig /all for windows or route -n get the default for Mac.  The IP address corresponding to the default gateway is your router’s login page. Usually, it either 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1

1.2 Next it will ask for username and password. Again if you don’t know your router’s login username and password, look at the back of your router or google your router’s model number. In most cases, it’s admin and admin or admin and password.

1.3 Once you are in the router’s setting page, look for Wireless option. There you will see your router’s SSID, mode, password and its encryption type. Write down their values on a piece of paper. We will need them later.

1.4 Close the browser and disconnect your computer from primary routers.

STEP 2: Configure secondary router

Configure secondary router

In this step, we will configure our secondary router such that, it has same SSID/password of our main router. And also change few settings of the secondary router, so that both routers do not conflict with each other.

2.1 Take your secondary router and power it ON. At the back of the router, you will see a reset pinhole. Take a tip of Pen and press the hole for 5-10 seconds, till you, all the lights on your router blinking. This will put your router back to factory setting.

2.2 Now keep the router powered ON and connect your secondary router to your computer using an ethernet cable. Now again open this router login page using the same method we follow in step 1, i.e. type in the router’s IP address in your browser and then enter login credentials.

Once you are in the router setting page, go to wireless options. And there enter the same SSID, mode, password and encryption that you have copied in step 1.

2.3 Next you need to make sure there is no conflict between our primary and secondary router.

So, First turn off the DHCP in the secondary routers. Our main router will do the work of assigning IP address to the device

Second, change the IP address of your secondary routers. For instance, if both routers have IP address 192.168.1.1. Then to avoid conflict, we will assign secondary router an IP address of 192.168.1.200

2.4 Finally now we have to make sure this secondary router work as a repeater. So ensure that the operational mode is set to router only.

In some router, you won’t see operational mode option. In that case, you have to look at NAT option and make sure it’s disabled.

So overall what we have done here is

  1. Copy setting from primary routers like SSID and password
  2. Make sure there is no conflict b/w these router by turning OFF DHCP and router’s IP address
  3. We have to make sure that our secondary router only works in router mode and not gateway.

Save changes and disconnect your secondary router

STEP 3: Connect both routers

Connect both routers

In this last step, we will connect both routers with an ethernet cable.

3.1 So take your ethernet cable and connect any one LAN port of the primary router to the LAN port of the secondary router. Make sure you are connecting it to the LAN port of secondary router and not WAN port

And that’s it. You can test your connection by downloading a free WiFi scanner app like WiFi Analyzer from PlayStore.

Conclusion

We are sharing the internet from the primary router to the secondary router using the ethernet cable. And now that our secondary router has the internet, next we will have to make sure that it’s able to share it.

For this we have to make sure both routers have same SSID and password, this will make them a part of one network. And the device jumping back and forth between them will join the one with the better signal.

But this will also create conflict between our primary and secondary router. So to avoid that, we will disable DHCP on the secondary router. Also, change its IP address and make sure it is set to routers mode and not as a gateway. And that’s it.

Follow this step by step Video tutorial

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-