How to Use a Router as a Repeater to Extend your Wi-Fi

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There’s bound to be a room in your house where Wi-Fi coverage is patchy. You can set up a spare router as a repeater to boost your Wi-Fi signal beyond the reach of your current router.

This won’t work for everyone, but if you do have an old router sitting in a cupboard or drawer, you might be able to save money compared to buying the latest mesh network systems such as Google Wifi and BT Whole Home Wi-Fi.

There are a couple of different ways you can do this and if you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to do it without a wire between the two routers (see the slide called No wires.) If not, you will need a long network cable, or  inexpensive powerline network adaptors. Those without Wi-Fi can cost as little as £10, so it’s cheaper than simply buying a powerline kit with built-in Wi-Fi.

Fortunately, most routers will let you set them up as a repeater and they don’t have to be the same model or even from the same manufacturer as your main router. BT’s Home Hub routers can be used for this purpose – the involved process is explained here.

If the methods here don’t work for you, you a kit such as the £33 BT Mini Wi-Fi 500 is an affordable way to get Wi-Fi where you currently can’t.

A middle-of-the-road alternative is to buy a so-called range extender such as Netgear’s EX3700, which costs less than £30.

1. Find your router’s IP address


2. Connect to the router


3. Check your Wi-Fi settings


4. Reset the router to factory settings


5. Configure your second router


6. Copy over the settings


7. Give it a fixed IP address


8. Connect it all together


9. Or go wireless


10. Using custom firmware


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