Can a Modem Router Be Used as a WiFi Extender? – Overview
Are you struggling with WiFi inactivity in your home or office?
You can convert an old modem router to form a wireless network extender and get WiFi coverage in all areas around the building.
The reconfiguration process is easy and cost-friendly. Read on to understand how to go about it.
Converting a Modem Router into a WiFi Extender
While there are different methods of reconfiguring your modem router, you will need to install DD-WRT Linux-based firmware on your modem regardless of the method you use.
The firmware replaces the default firmware of your old modem router allowing you to change it into a repeater or bridge. Converting your router boosts its performance and gives it more options.
Before installing the DD-WRT firmware, you should find out whether your router model is compatible then download the latest firmware. Remember, some routers cannot install DD-WRT.
If this is the case with your router, consider purchasing a used router.
Installing the DD-WRT Firmware
Reset your hardware and use an Ethernet cable to connect your PC to your router’s LAN port. Launch a web browser and key in 192.168.1.1 on the link address bar to acquire the DD-WRT firmware control panel.
Assuming your PC does not support DHCP to display its IP address, you will need to configure the IP address in the same subnet as seen above.
Modify the Wireless Mode
Go to the basic settings, which you can access from the Wireless option. The instructions here will vary based on your preferred process.
To link wired gadgets such as a game console or television to your old router to facilitate wireless connection on your modem router, select Client Bridge from the Wireless drop-down mode.
For SSID, Network Mode, and Wireless Channel, configure the same options as available on your basic router.
To leverage your old modem router to broaden your wireless network range, select Repeater to activate the wireless mode.
Enter your basic router’s SSID in the external interface section and select “Bridged” for network applications.
This will indicate that your repeater modem router will acquire the signal and be connected to your current network.
Pick a different SSID on the internal interfaces section to enable connection to the specific router whenever you are closer to it.
Press Save and Apply.
Configure the Wireless Security
For the repeater and bridge options, select Wireless, Wireless Security, and key in your main router’s security settings.
Change the IP Address
Here you will need to select “Setup” then “Basic” Setup, from where you can change the IP address of your router.
If you want to create a bridge, you want the IP address to be the same as your basic router’s subnet. If you are creating a repeater, however, key in a unique subnet.
Check the DD-WRT repeater bridge and client bridge guidelines for more tips and details. To confirm the performance status of your new setup, choose Status, then Wireless option.
Use the Wireless Repeater Mode on Your Router
Check your router manual or go through the settings to establish whether it comes with an extender, wireless repeater, or bridge mode.
If you doubt your actions consider checking what your old modem router’s manual says about the model you choose. Remember, your old router should support wireless connections from other gadgets.
Often, router manufacturers use the term Wireless Bridge to mean linking two routers over WiFi while restricting other wireless gadget users from connecting.
In this case, any gadgets you linked to your old router through an Ethernet cable will join your network.
The wireless repeater mode configuration changes the Ethernet cable from the previous step. This configuration comes with a warning to ensure users understand the consequences of operating your old modem router as a WiFi extender.
Experts say that by configuring, you can reduce your performance in up to half of the linked gadgets.
As a result, using an Ethernet connection is ideal as it helps link access points to your basic router. A wireless bridge is convenient but you will have to deal with reduced speeds.
You do not have to spend money to boost the performance of your home WiFi configuration. An old modem router is enough to help you enhance your wireless signal in your house or office.
Here are additional tips to help you get the best out of your old router.
Disable the capabilities of your old modem router. You can execute this process with ease in routers that come with the access point mode.
Use different SSIDs on your new and old networks. Doing so allows you to regulate how your different devices connect.