Having a spare router in the house can be very useful, especially if there is a corner in your home that suffers from continuous failures because the signal is weak. Learn how configure a DD-WRT router and use it as a wireless repeater on your Wi-Fi network.
WiFi wireless repeater
A wireless repeater is a device that allows you to extend the signal of your WiFi network so that it has a greater reach. By configuring a router as a repeater it functions as two segments that are on the same subnet.
The two routers connected to the same network can receive requests to the connected equipment. When connecting a new computer from either of the two points it is assigned an IP address, but one of the two segments is the one that works as a DHCP server.
The repeater is a good alternative for avoid making a wired network which can be expensive in infrastructure expenses. While wired connections are fairly stable, wireless connections are gaining ground every day.
Devices connected to the repeater will share the same bandwidth that has the main router. Initially the DD-WRT wireless bridges limited the wired connection only to the secondary router.
New versions such as DD-WRT v24 already have the Repeater Bridge mode. This means that you can make wired connections to the secondary router and extend the range of the connection.
What is DD-WRT?
It is an open source firmware that can be installed on a router to add extra functions that the more specialized routers have. One of the functions it offers is the possibility of using the router as a wireless repeater. You only need download firmware from the official page and spend some time setting up.
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Requirements to configure a router as a repeater
- Ethernet cable (for wired connection)
- Router (with DD-WRT firmware previously installed)
- Access data to the router configuration (Address, username and password)
Configure a DD-WRT router as a WiFi wireless repeater
- Connect the PC to the router via the Ethernet cable with the prior installation of the DD-WRT and the main modem router. The connection for setup should only be wired.
- Enter your browser in preference to the router configuration. Put in the address bar the IP address 192.168.1.1, It is the IP address that you usually have initially when performing the firmware installation.
- Enter your access data and in the router configuration set the computer to connect by cable with active DHCP.
- Click on the Wireless menu and then Basic Settings.
Once you are in the basic settings modify the value Wireless Mode to Repeater, Wireless Network Mode: Mixed, and Wireless Network Name (SSID). The last value must have the same name of the WiFi network to which the repeater is going to connect.
Now you have to create a virtual interface in the Virtual Interfaces section of Basic Settings.
- Press the Add button
- Enter a Wireless Network Name (SSID) different from the one already created. The API Isolation option in Disable mode and Network Configuration puts Bridge.
- Press the Save button
Modify the security options of the router physical instance and virtual instance from Wireless – Wireless Security
- Modify the value of Security Mode, WPA Algorithms, and WPA Shared Key. It has to be equal to the value of the main router.
- Click the Save button to save the changes.
Enter the Setup – Basic Setup menu to change the access data to the router.
- Put an IP address (different from the main router in the Local IP field.
- Leave the default value of Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Enable Filter Multicast in the Security – Firewall menu and save the changes. Finally save the configuration from the Administration – Management menu, press the Save button and Apply Settings.
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The router restarts automatically, you can now disconnect the cable from the router and when searching the WiFi connections you can already find the repeater connection.
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