How To Extend Your Wi
A single Wi-Fi router is no match for a larger home. Youre bound to run into a dead zone sooner or later, and then all is lost especially if you have kids. Luckily, theres a way to skip all the drama, and all it takes is a secondary router.
Here’s how to extend your Wi-Fi range with another router, and the DD-WRT router firmware.
What Is A Router And How Does It Work
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A router is a device that communicates between the internet and the devices in your home that connect to the internet. As its name implies, it routes traffic between the devices and the internet.
With the right kind of router in your home, you may be able to enjoy faster internet service, help protect your family from cyberthreats, and avoid those maddening Wi-Fi dead spots.
You dont have to be a computer genius to know what a good router has to offer. All it takes is to know what you need it for. Understanding how routers work will help you choose the right equipment for your home.
How To Convert A Router To A Switch
The process here is rather standard no matter the make and model of your secondary router, which is a good thing if you are learning how to prioritize your PC on a router, as a wired connection will do the trick.
Plug the second router to be used as a switch into a power outlet. Reset it to its factory settings by holding down the reset button for thirty seconds with your finger, or with a pencil tip or paperclip if needed.
Once it has successfully reset to its factory settings, connect your secondary router to your primary router via an Ethernet cable. Also, connect the secondary router to a computer using another Ethernet cable and available LAN port.
Access the secondary routers admin panel, which is typically done by typing the routers IP address into a web browsers address bar. Login with your network credentials.
Change the secondary routers IP address so it is not identical to your primary routers IP address. Also, dive further into the settings to disable the secondary routers DHCP function. Also, change Gateway mode to Router mode and disable the wireless broadcast mode.
Save the settings and exit the admin panel. Your secondary router should now function as a network bridge, so feel free to plug-in devices to its various Ethernet ports.
Can I use a WiFi router as a switch?
Is it possible to connect a WiFi router to a switch?
What you can do with an old router?
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Create A Username And Password
To configure the router, you’ll need to log in, using its default admin name and password. You can usually find this information printed on the router itself, or in an accompanying user manual.
Next, enter the required credentials. Once you’re in, you should immediately create a new username and password. The defaults are usually something like “admin” and “password1234,” which are obviously not secureso make sure to change them at the first opportunity.
How To Prepare Your Old Router
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What You Need To Use A Router As A Wifi Extender
Before we look at the different ways you can use a second router as a WiFi extender, we need to go over the items youll need in order to make it work.
Obviously youll need the primary router. Well assume you have this already and that its the router that directly connects to the internet.
Next, youll need a second router. This router should preferably use the same WiFi standard as the one youre trying to extend. However, routers going back as far as 802.11N should work well enough. Older standards than this are simply too slow to be useful these days.
If at all possible, you should also update the firmware on both routers to the latest version and reset the secondary router to factory default settings.
How Do I Use A Second Router As An Extender
The easiest way to use a spare router as an extender is to connect it to your main router via an Ethernet cable. The design and phrasing used for router settings and features can vary greatly from router model to model but the general setup steps are typically as follows.
Detailed instructions for your routers specific model should be available via the manufacturer or internet providers website.
Update the firmware on your old router. If you havent used your old internet router in a while, it may need to be updated to improve its internet connectivity and security.
Connect an Ethernet cable to an Ethernet port on your main internet router.
Plug the other end of this Ethernet cable into the WAN port on the secondary router you want to use as a Wi-Fi repeater.
Log into your secondary routers admin settings by using its IP address and login information.
This information is often written on a sticker on the router itself or can be found in its manual or packaging. These are the same admin settings used when changing a modem or routers password.
Once logged in, locate the routers wireless settings and select AP Mode. This will turn your router into an access point for your internet connection, essentially extending the Wi-Fi beyond the main routers range.
You may need to click an option like Apply, Confirm, or Save for the change to go live.
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Basic Router To Switch Configuration
If you dont want to flash new firmware onto your device to open up that extra port, this is the section of the tutorial for you: well cover how to take a stock router, our previously mentioned WRT54 series Linksys, and convert it to a switch.
Hook the Wi-Fi router up to the network via one of the LAN ports . Open the administration control panel via web browser on a connected computer. Before we get started, two things: first, anything we dont explicitly instruct you to change should be left in the default factory-reset setting as you find it, and two, change the settings in the order we list them as some settings cant be changed after certain features are disabled.
To start, lets navigate to Setup -> Basic Setup. Here you need to change the following things:
Local IP Address:
DHCP Server: Disable
Save with the Save Settings button and then navigate to Setup -> Advanced Routing:
Operating Mode: Router
WPA Algorithms: TKIP+AES
WPA Shared Key:
Save your changes and navigate to Security -> Firewall.
Uncheck everything but Filter Multicast
Firewall Protect: Disable
At this point you can save your changes again, review the changes youve made to ensure they all stuck, and then deploy your new switch wherever it is needed.
Q: What Does It Mean If The Light On My Modem Is Green Orange Flashing Or Unlit
The meaning behind the lights on your modem may change based on which brand of modem youre using, but in general, these rules apply to modem lights:
- LAN: You want a flashing green light here. That means theres internet traffic on your network.
- DSL: If your modem has a DSL light, you want it to be a steady green light. If its blinking, that could mean youre having trouble connecting to the internet or your modem is searching for a connection. If its red, call your internet provider.
- Power: You want your power light to be a solid green light. If its unlit or orange, your modem may be malfunctioning, and you should call your provider.
- Ethernet: If the Ethernet light is solid green, your modem knows youve connected it to a router or computer. If its off, your modem cant detect your router or computer, and you should check that your Ethernet cable is plugged in all the way.
- Wireless: If youve set up your wireless network correctly, the wireless light on your modem will be a solid green or a flashing green light. If its off or orange, you may not have set up your wireless network correctly, or your Wi-Fi is disabled.
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Better Solutions For Extending Your Wi
The main reason youd use an old router as a WiFi extender is to save money and avoid being wasteful. However, if money isnt the issue then using an old router as a wireless extender isnt necessarily the best solution.
The performance of the connection using this method is usually not great. It can be acceptable for low-bandwidth applications such as browsing the web or checking emails, but not for HD video streaming or file transfers. If you want the best experience, its best to buy a specialized wireless repeater device.
If you really want a cutting edge solution, the best choice is a wireless mesh system. This is a kit that consists of several small router devices that network themselves together and act as one big router. You can also expand a mesh easily by buying additional modules.
Setting Up A Wireless Network
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Can I Use My Laptop As A Wireless Router
Yes, you can! To set up a Mac or Windows laptop as a wireless router, you can use an app that will do it all for you or set it up manually within the operating system. To make your laptop a hotspot, it needs to use your Wi-Fi adapter. Therefore, you cannot access the Internet using the same device. However, you can use a USB Wi-Fi adapter so that you have two Regardless, ethernet is the best option to use if you can, mainly because its faster and more reliable as a source.
Establish A Password For Your Wi
Some routers come from the factory with a pre-assigned Wi-Fi password . Many others will at least prompt you to create one when you first set the router up. Be sure to configure the router to use at least WPA2 encryption. The much older WEP is absolutely insecure and should not be used. No recent vintage router will use it by default, but most still support it in case you have legacy devices that can only use WEP. If youre still using wireless devices that fall in that category, you should retire them because theyre leaving your entire network vulnerable to the most casual hacker.
The process for setting your routers Wi-Fi password will vary from one model to the next. On the Linksys WRT1900AC router I use, for example, the settings reside in both the Connectivity and Wireless tabs . If you have a dual-band router, youll need to assign passwords for both your 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. They can be different passwords, but youll be happier if you use the same password for each . The password should be relatively complex and include letters, numbers, and special characters. Here again, youll find a password manager to be extremely useful unless you have a very good memory. If you operate one or more guest networks, youll need to create a password for those as well.
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Second Router Ip Address Configuration
Every home router uses the default IP address, which usually looks like this: 184.108.40.206, but it could differ somewhat depending on the model of the router.
Your second router will have the same IP address as your primary router. There is no need to change anything unless you want to configure the secondary router as an access point or a network switch.
Selecting The Best Wi
If you believe that all routers are the same, youre wrong. There are many good reasons why you should consider leaving the router you got from your internet service provider behind and buying a new, better one instead.
It used to be that internet routers did almost nothing else besides connecting a single computer to the internet. Modern internet routers are different. They provide wireless internet access to smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and internet-connected home appliances. They are highly secure, feature USB ports for file sharing, and support all the latest wireless standards, such as 802.11ac, which offers about 3x the bandwidth of the older 802.11n standard.
Most modern WiFi routers already support the newest version of WiFi standards, which is 802.11ax a.k.a. WiFi-6, it is an upgrade over the previous standard, which is 802.11ac .
These routers broadcast on two frequencies simultaneously. Such routers are called dual-band routers, and they support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Whys that important? Because the 2.4 GHz band tends to be very cluttered. In some residential areas or apartment blocks, dozens of wireless routers may broadcast a wireless signal on the same channel, making it difficult for electronic devices to collect the right data packets amidst all the noise.
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