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How to use an old router as an access point and repeater to extend its Wi-Fi signals?

Getting Wi-Fi dead spots is the most irritating scenario when streaming Netflix, YouTube or playing online games. A single wifi router can cover a small apartment but not large homes. You need to do something rather than complaining about an intermittent wireless connection. However, there are a few tricks you can use to eliminate those dead spots and enhance the speed of your Wi-Fi.

The best thing you can do is using an old router to extend the wireless range of your primary router. You can use your old wifi router you are no longer using instead of letting it collect dust somewhere. In this article, we will discuss how to use an old router as an access point and as a repeater. Let’s get started.

Using an Old Router as an Access Point:

To make your old router function as an AP for your primary router, follow the steps given below:

Before you start, let us tell you that some routers come with an ‘Access Point Mode’ feature. In that case, you can turn on its AP mode and the router will start working as an access point. If your old router does not have this feature then have a look at the below steps:

  1. The first and foremost step is to find the IP address of your primary router. Let’s refer to the primary router like a Linksys smart wifi router.
  2. To do this, connect your Linksys smart router to a wireless device like a computer system via an Ethernet cable.
  3. Now, open a command prompt window, type ipconfig, and then press the enter button.
  4. Look for the Linksys router IP address to the right of ‘Default Gateway’. By default, the IP address of a Linksys smart wireless router is 192.168.1.1 which simply means its IP pool ranges from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254.
  5. Repeat the above steps for your old router. Connect it to your computer through an Ethernet cable and find out its default IP address.
  6. Now, set the IP address of your old router to an unused IP within the Linksys router’s IP range (from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254).
  7. The next step is to log into the web-interface of your old wireless router using its default IP address.
  8. After that, navigate to the ‘LAN Setup’ option to turn off the DHCP server function. 
  9. Now, your old router will work as an AP when connected to your Linksys device.
  10. Whenever you need to change their settings, you can log in to either router via their IP addresses. Both the routers are now on the same network.

Using an old Router as a Repeater:

Check if your old router features the ‘Wireless Repeater/Extender Mode’. If not, then follow the below steps to turn it into a wireless repeater:

  1. The first step is to flash your old wireless router with third-party software that can help you unlock its features or reconfigure it as a repeater.
  2. You can install any third-party firmware such as DD-WRT, Tomato, etc. that works on your router.
  3. Now, connect your DD-WRT router to your PC via an Ethernet cable.
  4. Log in to the router’s interface through its IP address and navigate through the Network Setup.
  5. Now, manually set the IP address of your old router to an unused IP within your main router’s IP range (from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254).
  6. Go through the ‘Wireless’ section, set the Wireless Mode to the Repeater Bridge mode, and then save the changes.
  7. Try to change the Wireless Network Mode to the Mixed Mode.
  8. Try to disable the ‘Wireless Client Association’ option. Once done, the old router will start behaving like a wireless range extender.
  9. Now, you need to set up the extender to extend the range of your Linksys wireless router.