How To Extend Wi-Fi Range Using Two Wi-Fi Routers?

Fi using wireless repeaters or wireless extenders easily as they have built in Wi How to extend Wi-Fi range using two Wi-Fi routers?

Are you looking for ways to extend Wi-Fi range? We can extend Wi-Fi using wireless repeaters or wireless extenders easily as they have built in Wi-Fi repeater features. Using such routers we can easily extend Wi-Fi range at home or office. Besides wireless routers with repeater or extender features, one can also buy dedicated Wi-Fi repeaters and extend Wi-Fi network. They are usually cheaper than Wi-Fi routers. If you have such routers, then refer to the previous post, how to extend Wi-Fi using two Netgear Wi-Fi routers with Wi-Fi repeater features.



However, if the routers you have do not have Wi-Fi repeater / access point features built-in, then we can still extend Wi-Fi range using those routers. In this post, we shall see how to extend Wi-Fi range using two routers without Wi-Fi repeater features inbuilt.


For example: If you have a cheap D-Link router such as DWR-116, then this router does not have Wi-Fi repeater feature in-built. But sill we can setup to use as an access point.

In a nutshell, the steps involved in extending Wi-Fi range using two routers are:
  1. Disable any DHCP server on the SECONDARY ROUTER.
  2. Make sure the WiFi setting are the same as the MAIN ROUTER.
  3. Allocate the SECONDARY ROUTER a static IP address.
  4. Physically connect the two routers using Ethernet cable via LAN port.
We will now see the above steps in detail.

1. Disable any DHCP server on the SECONDARY ROUTER.



Assuming you have a PRIMARY ROUTER which is already setup and working, we shall now configure the SECONDARY ROUTER.

  • Plug in the SECONDARY ROUTER to a power source.
  • The SECONDARY ROUTER may have been in use earlier. Therefore, to clear all its settings, do a FACTORY RESET. Locate the reset hole and insert a pin. Push and hold for about 10-15 seconds. The router lights may blink differently after sometime.
  • Connect an Ethernet cable to the LAN port on the SECONDARY ROUTER and plug the other end to a computer.
  • Open a web browser and type in 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 and hit enter to access the admin page. You will be prompted to enter a username and password. The username will usually be 'admin' and the password
  • Depending on the router, navigate to the Wireless Network settings page and disable DHCP service and save settings. This is so that the DHCP will be managed by the PRIMARY ROUTER for the clients.

2. Make sure the Wi-Fi setting are the same as the MAIN ROUTER.


  •  Depending on the router, navigate to the Wireless Network settings and enable Wireless if not already enabled by default.
  • Setup a SSID (Wi-Fi access name) and a password for the SSID. The SSID name and password may be different from the PRIMARY ROUTER SSID. If you would like to identify the SECONDARY ROUTER differently, a different SSID name would be better. This will also help identify fault easily.
     
  • NOTE: Check the Wirelss Network settings on the PRIMARY ROUTER and make sure that the settings are same for: 
    • Network Mode (b,g,n, auto)
    • Channel (a particular channel number or Auto)
    • Security Mode (WPA, WPA2-PSK etc)
    • WPA Algotithms (AES, TKIP, AES+TKIP)
  • Save settings
3. Allocate the SECONDARY ROUTER a static IP address.

Now, the SECONDARY ROUTER need to have an IP address in the same LAN of the PRIMARY network. So, setup a static IP for the SECONDARY ROUTER.

Usually, DHCP should be enabled on the PRIMARY ROUTER, which means the PRIMARY will assign IP addresses to the clients including the SECONDARY ROUTER automatically. This is not desired for the SECONDARY ROUTER. Therefore, reserve a STATIC IP for the SECONDARY ROUTER on the PRIMARY ROUTER.

On the SECONDARY ROUTER:

  • On the SECONDARY ROUTER admin page, navigate to network settings and assign and IP address within the same LAN of the PRIMARY ROUTER.
  • For example: If the PRIMARY ROUTER IP is 192.168.1.1 (subnet 255.255.255.0), then assign LAN IP of SECONDARY ROUTER as 192.168.1.2 (subnet 255.255.255.0) and save.
  • On the SECONDARY ROUTER, click on STATUS link and note down the MAC Address of the  LAN / Ethernet (not WAN). We would need the MAC address of the SECONDARY ROUTER to setup on the PRIMARY router.

On the PRIMARY ROUTER:

  • On the PRIMARY ROUTER, navigate to Network Settings / DHCP settings, look for a settings where you can reserve IP address.
  • The above IP will then be reserved by the PRIMARY ROUTER for the SECONDARY ROUTER when assigning IP address by the DHCP.
  • You may also configure the DHCP IP range on the PRIMARY ROUTER to be from 192.168.1.3 to any within 254.

4. Connect SECONDARY ROUTER to PRIMARY ROUTER via LAN port

Plug any Ethernet cable into the LAN port of SECONDARY ROUTER to a LAN port on the PRIMARY ROUTER. Don't plug into the WAN side of the SECONDARY ROUTER.


Fi using wireless repeaters or wireless extenders easily as they have built in Wi How to extend Wi-Fi range using two Wi-Fi routers?

The SSID of the SECONDARY ROUTER should not be detected by any wireless device such as laptop or mobile device. Select it and enter the password configured for the SSID of the SECONDARY ROUTER and connect.




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