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How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

Chris Hoffman
How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeaterChris Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

A repeater sits within range of your Wi-Fi network and “repeats” it, extending your Wi-Fi coverage farther than your router could alone. If your Wi-Fi only covers one half of your house, a repeater placed in the middle of your home can extend your Wi-Fi to the rest of the building.

There are three ways to do this: The best way, which is buying a repeater for under $50, a decent way, which is buying $50 repeater software for a PC, and the not-so-great way, which uses a built-in (but free) Windows feature. Even though this article is about the latter solution, we think buying a repeater is worth mentioning–it really is the best way to go.

NOTE: This is not to be confused with turning your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you’re looking to share your computer’s internet connection with other devices, you want this guide instead. If you want to extend your Wi-Fi network beyond its standard range, then read on.

You Probably Shouldn’t Do This; Get a $50 Wi-Fi Repeater Instead

Let’s be honest: if you really need a wireless repeater for your home or business, you probably shouldn’t be setting up wireless repeater software on your computer. That’s a convenient short term solution, and you can do it without going out and purchasing hardware or waiting for a package to arrive, but the better long-term solution is investing in a real wireless repeater.

You can buy repeaters for under $50 on Amazon, which isn’t that expensive. These are small, dedicated devices you plug into a power outlet. They’ll work as wireless repeaters, which means you won’t have to connect to a separate Wi-Fi network like an extender. They’ll always remain running, so you don’t have to worry about leaving a PC on all the time. And, it’ll use much less electricity than a PC, too.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

A Good Software Solution: Connectify (Paid)

If you absolutely must turn a PC into a repeater, then Connectify’s Hotspot MAX software is the best option. It claims to be the only true wireless repeater software for Windows, and as far as we’re aware, that’s true. Connectify offers a special “bridging mode” that can make a computer function as a true repeater. Other wireless hotspot programs (like the free tip we discuss in the next section) just create a second hotspot that your devices must connect to. That hotspot functions as its own network, so there’s a network address translation (NAT) layer between the hotspot network and your real Wi-Fi network.

Connectify, on the other hand, just hands the packets directly to the router like a hardware wireless repeater would, making for an actual seamless network. Devices connected to the repeated network on the PC running Connectify will appear on the router’s web interface as if they were connected directly to the router. Devices can seamlessly move around and remain to the same network, whether they’re within range of the original network or the repeater.

The only downside is that it costs money. Connectify charges $50 for a lifetime license to its Hotspot MAX software…which is more than a dedicated repeater will cost you. However, it seems to go on sale for $15 pretty often, which is a decent price if you don’t want to shell out more than that for a dedicated repeater.

To set up your PC as a repeater, download and install Connectify Hotspot MAX, click the “Wi-Fi Repeater” option, select the Wi-Fi network you want to repeat, and click “Start Hotspot”. Obviously, you also want to be sure that your PC is in a spot where it has a solid Wi-Fi signal, and can extend a solid WI-Fi signal to an area of your house, office, or yard that doesn’t have a strong signal. That’s it–it’s super easy.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

The Not-Really-a-Repeater Solution: Windows’ Built In Wi-Fi Hotspot (Free)

As we mentioned above, there is a free way to do this, but it’s not exactly elegant. Windows 10’s Anniversary Update contains a built in feature that lets you create a separate wireless hotspot. Just head to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Hotspot. It’s possible to do this on Windows 7 and 8, too, though not quite as seamless.

This feature can create a new wireless hotspot even if you’re connected to Wi-Fi. In other words, your PC can be connected to your router’s Wi-Fi network, and simultaneously create another Wi-Fi network within range of your PC. That second Wi-Fi network will just have its own name and passphrase, so this won’t be a truly seamless experience–you’ll have to connect to one network on one side of the house, and the other when you move out of range. You could also experience some connectivity issues when using server software due to the network translation layer (NAT).

So, unlike the above two options–which only require you to connect to one network–this network requires a little fiddling each time you move your PC to the other side of the house. But, unlike the other two options, it’s completely free.

If you want to do this, check out our guide to creating a Wi-Fi hotspot and create a new Wi-Fi hotspot on your PC, sharing your current network’s Internet connection with it. Just remember to change networks when you move around the house.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

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How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
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How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

Windows 10 has the ability to mirror your screen to any dongle or device (ex, streaming box, TV) compatible with the popular Miracast standard since its launch in 2015. Microsoft’s OS now lets your PC become the wireless display, receiving Miracast signals from a phone, tablet or other Windows 10 laptop or desktop.

If you have a small Windows 10-powered computer hooked up to your TV, it can now double as a wireless display dongle for your phone or laptop. When you’re mirroring from a Windows 10 computer, you can extend rather than duplicate the screen so you can, for example, play a movie on the receiving display while you send emails on the primary one. Just imagine taking a Windows 10 2-in-1 tablet, propping it up next to your laptop and using it as a second monitor on the road.

  • Get the latest scoop on Windows 11

While most modern devices with Wi-Fi have the ability to send out a Miracast signal, compatibility is spotty at best. Sometimes you have to try casting your screen three or four times before the process works. So be patient. If you accidentally rotated your screen while attempting to extend your display, we have a quick fix for that.

Looking to do screen mirroring on Windows 10? Here’s how to turn your Windows 10 PC into a Miracast-capable wireless display:

1. Open the action center. (It’s represented by the speech bubble icon in the lower right corner of the screen.)

2. Click Connect.

3. Click Projecting to this PC. (A settings window will appear.)

4. Select “Available Everywhere” or “Available everywhere on secure networks” from the top pulldown menu.

5. Select “First time only” or “Every time a connection is requested” under “Ask to project to this PC.” (I recommend picking “First time only,” unless you’re really worried that some rogue thief is going to grab your phone and project to your computer without your permission.)

I also recommend leaving “Require PIN for pairing” off since you have to grant permission on the receiving computer anyway. You can also decide whether you want your PC to receive projection requests only when it’s plugged in.

6. Click Yes when Windows 10 alerts you that another device wants to project to your computer.

The Windows Connect app will launch in its own window. You can drag, resize or maximize the window. We found that videos played smoothly in a connection between a Surface Pro 4 and a ThinkPad T440s. Also, if the sending device is a Windows 10 PC and allows it, you can use the keyboard and mouse on the receiving computer to remotely control the sender.

How to mirror your Windows 10 screen to another Windows 10 device

Here’s how to broadcast your screen from the sending device, if it’s a Windows 10 computer. (Android devices have different wireless display menus.)

1. Open the action center.

2. Click Connect. A list of available receiving devices appears, and your other computer should be on it.

3. Select the receiving device. You may have to wait a minute or longer for the devices to pair. If the connection fails, you’ll need to try again.

4. Toggle “Allow input” to “on” if you want to let the receiving device control your PC with its keyboard and mouse.

5. Click “Change projection mode” and select “Extend” from the menu that appears if you want to use the wireless display as a second desktop, rather than a mirror of your current desktop.

6. Click Disconnect when you want to terminate your connection.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

A Wi-Fi extender is a dedicated device or software, that can repeat and also extend the wireless signal. Shortly, we are discussing a Wi-Fi repeater which is extremely useful when the wireless router cannot provide the signal as far as you want.

Usually, an extender is required in large spaces or buildings where even a specialized router cannot cover the whole space.

So, in that matter, if you are currently looking for the quickest and also cheapest solution read the following lines and learn how to use your own Windows 10 computer as a dedicated Wi-Fi extender.

Of course, the quickest and cheapest solution isn’t always the best one. And that aspect can be applied when we detail the possibilities of extending your Wi-Fi wireless signal.

Thus, the best thing you can do is buying a repeater for under $50 – this will imply in installing a hardware repeater which will extend the existing signal further than your router currently does. Another way that can solve your problem is by buying specialized extender software, which also costs around $50.

But, if you want a fast solution and if you don’t want to pay anything for it, then the built-in Windows 10 feature will be more than perfect for you. However, unlike the paid possibilities outlined above, the Windows solution comes with a few downsides: this wireless repeater software will create a second hotspot that your devices must connect to.

Set your Windows 10 PC to act as a Wi-Fi extender

So, it’s not really a classic Wi-Fi extender since a new hotspot network will be created – this network will be different from the real Wi-Fi network provided by your router.

The new wireless hotspot have its own name and passphrase: on one side of your house, you will have to connect to one network while in the other side you will have to connect to a different one.

Creating a separate wireless hotspot in Windows 10 for extending the wireless signal is easy. All you have to do is to follow:

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

  1. Press the Win+I keyboard hotkeys.
  2. From System Settings click on Network & Internet.
  3. In the next Window, from the left panel select the Mobile hotspot entry.
  4. Turn on the ‘Share my Internet connection with other devices’ option.
  5. Then, click on Edit and set a new network name and password.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. That’s all.

As already mentioned, this is the free method in which you can use your Windows 10 computer as a Wi-Fi extender. The other solution consists of buying wireless repeater software that can act as a real wireless repeater.

In that respect, Connectify might be the best choice to make – the software is available under three different pricing plans with the cheapest one starting from $50.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

  • Save Bandwidth
  • Increase Wi-Fi range
  • No Wi-Fi COmpatibility issues
  • Free version available

Now you know how to use your PC as Wi-Fi extender. You can also read about the top 21 Wi-Fi extenders for your Windows 10 device, in case you want to buy a specialized hardware solution.

If you have other questions, or if we can help you in any other way, don’t hesitate and contact our team – we will always here for you.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

Wi-Fi Repeater Software for Your PC

A Wi-Fi extender with no additional hardware

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

A Wi-Fi Repeater – How Does it Work?

A Wi-Fi repeater is just what it sounds like: a piece of hardware or software that lets you repeat or rebroadcast your main Wi-Fi signal with the same network name and password. Most Wi-Fi repeaters are hardware devices with antennas that cost a bundle, and require you to carry yet another device around with you in order to stay connected. But, continue reading to find out how you can actually use a PC app to turn your laptop into a virtual Wi-Fi repeater and enjoy better wireless signal with no additional hardware!

Wi-Fi Booster Software – Goodbye Spotty Wi-Fi!

Do you need to boost the range of your wireless network, but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a hardware wi-fi repeater or another wireless router? Did you know that there are easy-to-use software products that let you turn your laptop into a real Wi-Fi hotspot so that you can extend the range of your home or office Wi-Fi? Products like Connectify Hotspot let you create a Wi-Fi repeater in just a few clicks… and there’s no additional hardware necessary!

Connectify Hotspot uses your laptop’s wireless card to give your existing Wi-Fi network the signal boost needed to reach that guest bedroom or backyard patio. Watch the tutorial video below to learn how you can turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi repeater and boost the range of your existing wireless network at the click-of-a-button.

Extend Your Wi-Fi Signal Now

Step 1: Purchase and install Connectify Hotspot PRO

Step 2: Once installed, choose Tools > Wi-Fi Extender from the Connectify Menu

Step 3: The Wi-Fi Extender dialog box will appear. From the ‘Wi-Fi Network to Extend?’ dropdown menu, just choose the wireless network you wish to extend, and press OK

Step 4: Finally, click the ‘Start Hotspot’ button and Connectify Hotspot PRO begins acting as a repeater to extend your WiFi signal for that much needed speed boost

With Conectify Hotspot, you don’t need dedicated WiFi extender devices

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

Wireless Repeaters – Are They All the Same?

A wireless repeater is just what it sounds like: a piece of hardware or software that lets you repeat or rebroadcast your main wireless signal with the same network name and password. Most WiFi repeaters are hardware devices with antennas that cost a bundle, and require you to setup and carry yet another device around with you in order to stay connected.

On the software side, most wireless repeater software applications do this without bridging. This means that clients that join your hotspot don’t get real IP addresses from the shared network. They can get on the Internet through the hotspot, but they’re not really on the network to do any peer-to-peer networking, like online gaming, streaming video, etc.

Connectify Hotspot wireless repeater software turns your Windows computer into a WiFi repeater easily and also does the important bridging part, to avoid any incompatibilities or issues.

See it in action!

Get the best wireless repeater on your computer with Connectify Hotspot

Connectify Hotspot uses your laptop’s wireless card or your PC’s WiFi adapter to give your existing WiFi network the signal boost needed to reach that out-of-signal place in your home or office.

Watch the tutorial video to learn how you can turn your laptop into a WiFi repeater and boost the range of your existing wireless network at the click of a button.

5 Reasons Why Connectify Hotspot Wireless Repeater is Better than Any WiFi Extender or WiFi Booster Device

  1. You get at least the same performance. All modern WiFi adapters, including the ones embedded into laptops, have similar performance to dedicated WiFi extender hardware.
  2. No hassles with compatibility: Connectify Hotspot wireless repeater is compatible with all WiFi networks and will generate a network that would be accessible to all devices.
  3. More flexibility: if you choose to use your laptop as the best wireless repeater, then wherever the laptop stays, you’ll get a WiFi boost point. And you don’t need a dedicated power outlet for that thanks to the laptop’s battery.
  4. You get access to free upgrades! Connectify Hotspot WiFi repeater software gets regular updates, bringing new functionalities and enhancements. These updates are far more frequent than firmware updates for networking equipment, so you’ll get the best functionality at any time.
  5. Lower cost: Connectify Hotspot wireless repeater is only a fraction of the cost compared to WiFi extender hardware or routers.

How to Increase the WiFi Network Range with Connectify Hotspot Wireless Extender Software

Find the latest version for your PC or laptop at connectify.me/download .

Click the Wi-Fi Repeater button at the top of the interface.

Under “Wi-Fi Network to Repeat” select the network whose range you want to increase.

Click the “Start Hotspot” button and Connectify Hotspot will begin acting as a wireless repeater to extend your WiFi signal instantly. Now you can connect your devices – other computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, eReaders, etc. – to this hotspot.

Conclusion Text

While other WiFi booster software apps only “help” you share your Internet connection (inherent issues included – NAT levels , peering, Chromecast apps won’t find your Chromecast, your Apple TV won’t show up for your Mac to stream to… ), Connectify Hotspot offers you more:

This guide shows you how to turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi extender / repeater. Wireless signals are very problematic and many of your family members may suffer from internet slow downs or loss of internet connectivity totally. This may result in quarrels amongst siblings and result in much unneeded unhappiness.

A techie may know that you can resort to purchasing either a more powerful router, or add those AV powerline extenders to solve the problem. But these solutions only equate to spending more money. In this guide, I will recommend to you a free software that allows all laptops that are running Windows 7 to double up as Wi-Fi Extenders or Repeaters so that they can help to broadcast the internet signal around the house as they tap onto the Wi-Fi from the router.

Connectify

There is actually a software called Connectify that has been around for a few years. I did not recommend it back then because it was still in a very experimental stage and it had limited hardware support. The tethering options were also very limited compared to now. You can buy the paid version that supports tethering for 3G broadband and advanced configuration of your tethering, or simply go for the free software that will only support tethering of the Wi-Fi connectivity in your house.

Step 1 – Install Connectify

Download the Connectify software and install it. Simple. While it may prompt you that it is better to have a Windows 7 that has the service pack 1 installed, It worked flawlessly for mine which do not have the service pack 1. After installing, you will need to reboot your computer to finalize the installation.

Step 2 – Use Connectify

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

The software will be running in the form of an icon at the lower right hand corner of the task bar. Clicking on the icon will reveal a program menu. It is actually simple. All you need to do is select Wi-Fi as the Internet to Share, and for the Advanced Settings, simply set to Share Over “Wi-Fi” as well. I believe this is the default when you first start the software. After that, simply click on the “Start Hotspot” button.

The good news is that you are able to surf as well even though your computer is being used as a Wi-Fi repeater. It will also show the clients that are connected to your computer via your Connectify hotspot.

Extra features

Connectify allows you to share files across easily. Click on the “Clients” tab, if you see the device listed there, you can simply drag and drop any file across. It works as as long as the both computers have Connectify installed and one of the computers or device is connected via Connectify

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

It works even for Android phones. For your Android phone, download and install Scannify app from Google Playstore. The free version of this app allows you to send up to one file per 24 hours. But the paid version allows unlimited. One thing that is crap about this file sending feature is that if you do not have Connectify installed on the other computer and you attempt to send the file across. It will fail in an error saying that Connectify is not installed on both machines. But that one file per day is considered used even though the file is not sent. How crap is that.

But still, I think there are many work arounds to send files across such as thumb drive, Dropbox, etc. So this feature is actually not that important. LULz. who knows one day it may be free.

My personal feel of Connectify is that it is a very useful piece of software. Since most of us have more then one computer in one house and some may even have old laptops that are simply too old to be used. Simply turn it on, run connectify and put it in the living room or in the middle of the house so that it can help to broadcast and rely the signals around.

Do you have a computer with Windows 10? Are you connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable and also have a wireless card? Then you can use it as a repeater of your WiFi network, so that other devices can connect to the Internet as well.

This could already be done by retouching some of the system settings in previous versions of the Microsoft operating system. The advantage is that with Windows 10 is much easier, so if you want to turn your computer into a WiFi repeater read on because it interests you.

How to Turn Your Windows 10 Computer into a WiFi Repeater

First open the command prompt . Open the start menu and type cmd , then right-click on “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as administrator”. You can also right-click on the Start Menu and select the Command Prompt option (administrator).

Now enter the command netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=AdHoc key=password and change “AdHoc” to a custom name. Now change “password” to enter the password that you think is more convenient. Then execute the command netsh wlan start hostednetwork .

The next step is to go to the section “Network Connections”, within the path Control Panel> Networks and Internet . For our specially created WiFi to work, it is necessary to share an existing connection. If you select the network you just created and specify it you can do it.

To do this click on the wireless connection that will appear under your Ethernet network and select “Properties”. Under the “Sharing” tab, check the box “Allow other users of this network to connect through this computer’s internet connection”. In the drop-down menu below select your current network and click on “OK”.

When you want to stop using the repeater, in a terminal execute the command netsh wlan stop hostednetwork . And this is it, with these simple tricks you can get your computer with wired connection can function as a repeater of your WiFi network.

How to turn a windows pc into a wireless repeater

Have you ever experienced a Wi-Fi No Access Zone within your own house? If your answer is yes, then you can use your router as a repeater and solve this problem. Using a repeater will allow you to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network and make sure that you have access to your network in a larger radius.

Turn Router into a Repeater – the Whole Process!

First things first, for setting up a router as a repeater, you’re going to need a spare router. So, if you have an old router discarded away, it’s time to unearth it and put it to good use.

You will be using this router as a repeater to extend your Wi-Fi network. What this means is that this router will act as an access point to your primary router and increase its range.

Step 1: Find Your Primary Router’s gateway IP Address

In the first step, you will need to find the IP Address of your primary router. For that, navigate to the network settings in the control panel. Now,

  • For Windows XP, right-click on your internet connection and click Status. Select the support tab in the window that pops up and note down your gateway IP Address from here.
  • For Windows 7,8,10 and Vista, head to the change adapter settings window. Right-click on your internet connection and choose status. Now, go to details and note down your gateway IP Address from here.

Your gateway IP address will look something like 192.168.1.1.

Step 2: Connect to Your Primary Router

The next step of this process will involve you opening your internet browser and typing in your gateway IP address in the top search bar.

Next, in the prompt window, type in your username and password. If you are not aware of your router’s login credentials, then try typing admin/user in both fields.

If it still doesn’t work, simply turn over your router and you’ll see a label underneath, containing the username and password. If that’s not possible, try searching the internet for the username and password with your router’s model number.

Step 3: Take a Good Look at Your Wi-Fi Settings

Once you’re logged in, choose the Wireless Settings Option and give the settings and quickly go through these settings.

You don’t need to make any changes to the settings here. Just note down the router’s name (SSID), channel and the security type settings as the router to be used as a repeater will be required to have similar settings.

Step 4: Reset the Slave Router to Factory Settings

Moving on to the second router/slave router, before you configure it, you’ll need to perform a factory reset process.

The reset button will be present at the back of your router alongside the router power button. Use a paper clip to press and hold it until you see all the lights on the router go out and come back on again which indicates that the router has been reset.

Remember that the process of resetting may be slightly different for some routers. Consult your manual for further information.

Step 5: Configure the Slave Router

After resetting on your second router, you need to establish a connection between your PC and the internet connection of this router. For that, it’s better that you first turn off your primary router for some time.

Having done that, connect your PC to this router using an ethernet cable. Next, follow Step 1 and find this router’s gateway IP address.

Following step 2, use this gateway IP address to open up Wireless Settings of your router in your internet browser.

As soon as you have the Wireless Settings windows right in front of you, enable the Wi-Fi. Then, copy the settings of your primary router that you noted down in Step 3.

Enter the same wireless network name, same Wi-Fi password but a different channel number as the primary router.

Step 6: Give the Slave Router a Fixed IP Address

For this step, navigate to the LAN setup page in your router’s settings. There, you’ll need to assign your second router a fixed IP address in the same range as the IP addresses given out by my main router.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Communications Protocol) can prevent this by giving the slave router an IP address outside of this range so your priority should be to un-tick the DHCP option on the DHCP Configuration Page.

Now, assign any IP Address to this router that is within the range of the primary router. Keep this IP Address in your mind as you’ll need to gain access to the router settings later. Save the changes you made and reboot the router.

Step 7: Connect it All

To connect the primary router with the slave router, the ideal way is to use a long network cable but since, it’s not very realistic, the best alternative we’ve got is the use of cheap powerline networking adapters.

Remember, however, that these adapters only work on the ring main with a single consumer unit.
Additionally, you can also use a router as a repeater without a cable to extend your Wi-Fi. Some routers, with the WDS (Wireless Distribution System) feature, can also be connected wirelessly.

The steps of setting up a wireless connection between a primary and a slave router are similar to the ones mentioned above.

However, not only are there only a few router vendors with the WDS functionality, there’s no guarantee that the routers from different vendors will work together.

After setting up the connection between the two routers, power them on. Take any of your devices close to each of these routers, connect to them, and test their signal strength.

If you set up a wireless connection using WDS, you’ll notice that the signal strength near the slave router will be much weaker than in the case of a wired connection.

Use of Custom Firmware

If you don’t have a built-in WDS feature in your routers, and you’re looking for a wireless router repeater, then you should try using a custom firmware; DD-WRT, OpenWRT, or Tomato are amongst the famous custom firmware out there.

However, to be able to install a custom firmware, you’ll need to search the internet to find which custom firmware, if any, is compatible with your router’s model.

If you do find a custom firmware that is compatible with your router, read through its installation instructions carefully before you install it.

Once it’s installed, change its settings to a repeater. Resultantly, you’ll be able to extend your Wi-Fi by making a wireless connection between your primary and slave router.

If you own devices with wired-only (Ethernet) connections and your router or modem is too far away or your wireless network doesn’t cover enough area in your home, an old router can solve your problems. By installing the free DD-WRT firmware on the old router, you can turn it into a wireless bridge or repeater. This means that even devices that can’t reach your main router can get connected through the old router anywhere you put it.

There are a few different scenarios here, but for all of them, you’ll need to install the Linux-based DD-WRT to replace the old router’s default firmware–and give it not only more options but also enhance its performance. Head to DD-WRT to find out if your router model is supported and download the latest release. If your router can’t install DD-WRT, you can always buy a used one, such as the popular Linksys WRT54G for pretty cheap.

Install DD-WRT

Do a hard reset on your router (check the manual or search for “[router name] hardware reset,” then connect your computer to the router’s LAN port with an Ethernet cable.

Open a web browser and go to 192.168.1.1 to get to the DD-WRT control panel (If your computer doen’t use DHCP to get its IP address automatically, you’ll have to set the IP address to the same subnet–e.g., 192.168.1.5).

Change the wireless mode

Go to Wireless > Basic Settings. Here’s where the instructions differ, depending on what you want to do:

  • If you want to connect wired devices (e.g., your TV or game console) on the old router and have it connected wirelessly to your modem or other router, then choose “Client Bridge” in the Wireless Mode drop-down. For Network Mode, SSID, and Wireless Channel, set the same options as your primary router.
  • If you want to use your old router to increase the range of your wireless network, choose “Repeater” for the Wireless Mode. In the physical interface section, enter the SSID of your primary router and choose “Bridged” for network connections; this means that your repeater router will get the signal from and be connected to your current network. Under the virtual interfaces section, you can choose a different SSID so that you can connect to that router specifically if you’re closest to it.

Hit Save and then Apply.

Set up the wireless security

For both the bridge and repeater options, next go to Wireless > Wireless Security and enter the security settings of your main router.

Change IP address

Finally, you may have to go into Setup > Basic Setup and change the router’s IP address–to be on the same subnet of the primary router if you’re creating a bridge, or on a unique subnet if you’re in repeater mode. Take a look at the DD-WRT client bridge instructions and repeater bridge instructions for additional details and tips/gotchas/problems.

You can check if your new setup is working by going to Status > Wireless.

This story, “Turn an old router into a wireless bridge or repeater and boost your home network” was originally published by ITworld .

Melanie Pinola is a freelance writer covering all things tech-related. A former IT admin and occasional web developer, she is also the author of LinkedIn in 30 Minutes, a Lifehacker writer, and the Mobile Office Technology expert at About.com.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.