#IT – Extend Your Wi-Fi With A 2nd Router

Getting a good wireless signal can be quite difficult sometimes. The construction of your building can reduce the range, the amount of neighbours with wireless can mean all the channels are crowded and interference of the signal can lead to drops of connection etc.
There are many different products that can reduce or eliminate these issues and can be simple to set up or quite complex. Things like powerline adaptors are easier than wireless repeaters for example.
My prefered method usually involves not having to buy extra equipment or worst case scenario, being able to buy just 1 more item and not being limited or having to pay over the odds.

Most people have a wireless router whether it be a modem router combo or a sep modem and sep router.
The other thing most people have is another router – likely an old one that just got put into storage somewhere in a box/loft/garage/basement. It is this 2nd router that will allow you to extend your wireless range .
Even if you don’t have a 2nd router, you can buy pretty much any used router eg off ebay, craigslist, gumtree etc, and through a few configuration steps (which I will detail below) you can solve your wireless problem at either zero or very little expense.

You can think of it as the router you are already using is router 1 and the extender router is router 2.

Router 1 needs to have its DHCP settings altered so that instead of handing out IP addresses in the range of
xxx.xxx.x.2 to xxx.xxx.x.255
the first number needs to go up by 1 eg
xxx.xxx.x.3 to xxx.xxx.x.255
This means that we will be able to set the 2nd router to be xxx.xxx.x.2

Router 2 needs to have its LAN IP set to xxx.xxx.x.2 and needs to have its DHCP turned off as router 1 is in charge of handing out LAN IP addresses.
Router 2 also needs its firewall turned off as router 1 will be doing that job.

It is wise on both routers to start with:
o Go wired to any LAN port on each router individually to set them up eg
o The SSID (wifi name) and the passphrase (wireless password)
o Alter the router login password so that it isn’t the default
o Change the wifi channels on both routers to get the best signal on each router based on
where they are and other routers channels closest to them

I will give clearer steps to follow in a numbered, strict, clear order but the above guide is just a basic explanation of what needs to done so it is easier to follow as you do it.

The only things that do vary is simply what routers everybody uses as different manufacturers use different login details for various routers…

Without listing all the different brands of router there are a few common details I will provide:

DLink
IP: 192.168.1.1
User: admin
Password: <blank>

Belkin
IP: 192.168.2.1
User: <blank>

Netgear
IP: 192.168.0.1
User: admin
Password: admin

The easiest way to find out the above information is to simply look on the router for a printed area which should have it.
Once you find it you just go wired to a router LAN port and open your web browser and type the IP in.

This will get you to the routers configuration pages where you can make the above changes.

 

As mentioned I will list clear numbered steps to take but the other thing I will detail is how you actually check to see what channels all the other routers around are using. This allows you to pick the least crowded channels for your 2 routers. Also the only non overlapping channels are 1, 6 and 11 on the 2.4GHz frequency band which is useful to be aware of.

*This article will now be finished soon as I am currently having to set up 2 routers.

Here will be a link to the article for those specific router and I will borrow from it to complete this article.

 

I’m just going to tack the new content onto the end of this one until complete, then it will have its own article…

WIP

Setting up ISP gigabit routers using the extra as a repeater.

Steps to consider

Which router is 1 and which router is 2

What steps need doing in a certain order (otherwise you end up either locking yourself out of the routers – needing a factory reset – or you end up having to change settings over and over)

The first thing to do really is to decide what your own settings are going to be eg the name of the network and passwords you want to use – and write them down!

As an example, lets say you live in a house with an upstairs and a downstairs…

Lets also say that you normally would have just 1 router giving internet and it is located upstairs in a front bedroom (where the phone line is).

Now lets say that you try to use wireless tech in the back of the house downstairs (eg the garden), and lets also say that the connection is so weak that it drops often.

So to fix this we shall use a 2nd router to repeat the wifi so the garden has a strong signal for use.

Step 1 being the planning stage here’s what the above scenario looks like planned out…

Main router eg router 1 = upfront

Repeater eg router 2 = downback

So I will make the wifi names

UPFRONT

DOWNBACK

another example could be simply

WIRELESS

REPEATER

The point is, decide what you want to call them so that when you scan for your wifi you can tell which is which.

There’s our SSIDs decided and planned out, they even kinda make sense as well – which will help when picking the strongest one to use based on where we are sat!

The other info you should plan are the passwords…

Normally most people make up a password for their wifi to connect to it, this tends to only need to happen the very first time they connect a new device to the wifi. These days routers tend to have a password printed on the router which is usually 8 or more in length and tends to be made of letters and numbers to try and make it secure.

If you are familiar with enough routers supplied by companies and ISPs you will notice that a lot of the passwords follow a pattern. This is bad as once the pattern is understood, it becomes very easy to just guess the password by running a check against the known pattern for all combinations.

In the past people chose their own wifi passwords and just picked daft easy things such as 12345678 or 11111111 or password or… you get the idea!

If you just use all letters or all numbers this also makes it easy to work out.

The best passwords are the kind that have both letters and numbers in them but follow no obvious pattern.

For this reason I encourage you to make up your own wifi passwords but WRITE THEM DOWN!

Finally, routers always have a default password to actually get into their settings pages and I advise you also pick your own password for this!

So to recap, step 1 is literally understanding your wifi layout needs, naming the routers broadcast names, coming up  with the wifi passwords and coming up with the admin passwords

In my example here’s mine.

STEP 1

Router SSID:
UPFRONT

Repeater SSID:
DOWNBACK

wifi password:
ANXAMPLE11333

admin/settings password:
messw1th99808

 

Step 2

Now you have this figured out it is time to actually start!

You can do this one fo 2 ways…

Either wired using an ethernet cable (my advised way)

or

You can do this over wifi (some people may not have the ability to go wired eg only have phones/ipads/tablets etc or maybe they dont have an ethernet cable!)

If you are going wired, put one end of an ehternet cable into the 1,2,3,4 slots on your router and put the other end of the cable into the port on your computer. Switch on the router and your computer then open up an internet browser on the computer…

In the address bar type your routers IP address (this can be found on the router itself usually

eg

192.168.0.1

or

192.168.1.1

or

192.168.2.1

It will then ask you to log in and you will need the admin details off the router itslef again

Once you are logged into the router you will need to find the areas to alter the settins we need to reconfigure

All routers vary how these pages look and the areas that certain settings are – sometimes even the names of things isnt the same eg phrasing may be different.

For this reason I advise that you refer to your plan from step 1 and maybe consider having a sheet of paper with details on that you can refer to and keep track of as you do this.

So Step 2 needs

Router IP (default): 192.168.0.1

admin user (default):

admin password (default):

If you are keeping notes on all the settings and plans for setting changes, it makes it easier to reinput them if anything goes wrong resulting in you having to wipe the routers and start again!

Alos, now we are logged in we can also save a copy of the currents settings of the router so that we could restore them in a couple of clicks – this is ideal at the end when we can save our reconfigured settings easily and restore them in a coule of clicks should the router ever forget them. You really dont want to have to follow this guide in fuutre if you already reconfigued routers once before origfinallt!

A warning: It can be tempting to go in a try to save time by making all the changes in one go then saving settings but this always ends in disaster – you need to make as few changes per save as possible so that the router alters iteself correctly… it can result in you needing to fully factory reset the router if you try to rush things!

Im now going to list exactly how to do this all for a specific router which I need to work on,

This will allow me to provide the main bulk of info for this article and then it can be used be others to alter their own routers.

As I said earlier this info will end up in an article for these specidic routers im working on – but this original article will be vastly cleaned up to give only the usuable info that everyone can borrow to set their own routers up.

Also, if anyone does find this useful and is having trouble or wnats to ask anything, feel free to post a comment on this article and I will do my best to respond and if things need clarifying, chances are I will also improve the guide so future people dont have to ask as well!

Thanks

 

 

 

WIP

 

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