How to Use Your Old Router as a WIFI Extender or Repeater

How to Use Your Old Router as a WIFI Extender or Repeater
Reading Time: 11 minutes

Table of Contents

Introduction :

In the fast-paced world of technology, it’s not uncommon to find yourself with an old router lying around after upgrading to a new one with more advanced features. Instead of letting that old router collect dust, you can repurpose it as a WIFI extender or repeater to boost your home network’s coverage without spending a dime. In this guide, we’ll show you how to transform your old router into a valuable WIFI extender, helping you eliminate dead spots and enjoy seamless connectivity throughout your home.

photo showing wireless access points

1. Gather Your Equipment

Before diving into the setup process, make sure you have the following items ready:

  • Your old router (the one you want to use as an extender or repeater).
  • A computer or smartphone to access the router’s settings.
  • An Ethernet cable (optional but recommended for initial setup).

2. Reset the Old Router

To ensure a clean slate for the setup, it’s best to perform a factory reset on your old router. Usually, this involves holding down a reset button on the router for about 10-15 seconds. Consult your router’s manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on how to reset your model.

showing a picture of reseting the old router

3. Connect to the Router

Once the router has been reset, connect it to your computer or smartphone using an Ethernet cable or through its default WIFI network. You may need to use the default login credentials found in the router’s manual or on a sticker on the router itself. Typically, the username and password are set to “admin” or “admin” for most routers, but this can vary.

picture showing how to connect to the router

4. Configure Router as Extender/Repeater

Now, you’ll need to access the router’s settings to configure it as a Wi-Fi extender or repeater. The exact steps may vary depending on your router’s brand and model, but here are the general steps:

  1. Disable DHCP:

In the router settings, disable the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) function. This ensures that your old router doesn’t conflict with your primary router’s DHCP settings.

  1. Set a Static IP:

Assign a static IP address to your old router within your primary router’s IP range. This helps both routers communicate effectively. Note down this IP address; you’ll need it later.

  1. Change the SSID and Password:

Modify the SSID (WIFI network name) and password of your old router to match your primary router’s settings. This ensures that your devices can seamlessly connect to either router without confusion.

  1. Disable Firewall and Security Features:

Turn off any firewall or security features on the old router. You want it to act purely as a WIFI extender, not a security gateway.

5. Set Up Wireless Repeating Functionality

This is where you’ll specify how your old router will function. Different router manufacturers might refer to this feature differently (e.g., Wireless Repeater, Wi-Fi Extender, Wireless Bridge). Consult your router’s user manual for the specific terminology used.

  • Select your primary router’s Wi-Fi network as the one to repeat or extend.
  • Enter the Wi-Fi password for your primary network when prompted.
  • Save your settings and restart the old router.
showing picture how to Set Up Wireless Repeating Functionality

6. Placement Matters

Where you position your old router-turned-extender is crucial for maximizing coverage. Place it midway between your primary router and the area where you need improved Wi-Fi signal strength. This allows it to effectively relay the signal.

7. Test Your Extended Network

Connect your devices to the extended Wi-Fi network created by your old router and check the signal strength in the previously weak areas of your home. If everything is working correctly, you should notice a significant improvement in coverage.

8. Troubleshooting

If you encounter issues during setup or afterward, refer to your router’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting tips. Common problems include incorrect settings, interference, or outdated firmware.

By following these steps, you can easily convert your old router into a Wi-Fi extender or repeater, extending the reach of your home network without spending any extra money. This simple DIY project not only reduces electronic waste but also improves your Wi-Fi experience throughout your home. Enjoy a stronger, more reliable Wi-Fi connection, and bid farewell to dead spots!


FAQ 1: Can I use any old router as a Wi-Fi extender or repeater?

Answer: Not all routers can be used as extenders. To repurpose an old router, it should support the repeater or bridge mode feature. Check your router’s user manual or search online for compatibility before attempting to use it as a Wi-Fi extender.

FAQ 2: How do I set up my old router as a Wi-Fi extender?

Answer: To set up your old router as an extender, access its settings through a web browser, disable DHCP, assign a static IP address, and configure it to use the same SSID and password as your existing Wi-Fi network. Then, place it within range of your main router for optimal signal coverage.

FAQ 3: Can I use different brands of routers as extenders with my main router?

Answer: It’s generally best to use the same brand for compatibility, but different brands can work together. Ensure the old router’s wireless standards (e.g., 802.11ac) match or are compatible with your main router to avoid performance issues.

FAQ 4: Will using an old router as an extender slow down my Wi-Fi network?

Answer: Using an old router as an extender can slightly reduce network speed due to the extra hop, but it’s usually not significant for regular internet activities. To minimize this, place the extender strategically and ensure it has a strong connection to the main router.

FAQ 5: What are the benefits of using an old router as a Wi-Fi extender?

Answer: Using an old router as an extender can extend your Wi-Fi coverage to areas with weak signals, improving connectivity in dead spots. It’s a cost-effective way to boost your network range without buying new hardware and can be a useful solution for larger homes or offices.