How to Build a Wi-Fi Repeater

By Kenrick Callwood

Setting up a Wi-Fi repeater will greatly increase the coverage provided by a single router. Use the repeater to add coverage to the far end of a large house or use multiple repeaters to cover a large property. The easiest way to make a reliable Wi-Fi repeater is to convert an unused wireless router for the task. The router is flashed and third-party firmware handles the signal capture and rebroadcasts to convert it into an automatic WI-Fi repeater.

Things You'll Need

  • Unused wireless router
  • Open Wi-Fi network
  • Ethernet cable
  • Latest version of DD-WRT firmware

Step 1

Determine if the unused router is compatible with the DD-WRT firmware (see Resources).

Step 2

Download the latest version of the DD-WRT firmware for the make and model of the unused router (see Resources).

Step 3

Flash the unused router and install the DD-WRT firmware. Flashing, or erasing, the router allows the current firmware to be replaced with the DD-WRT firmware. Each router uses a slightly different method of flashing and installation. See the Resources section for links to the hardware-specific methods of proper installation.

Step 4

Connect the router to the PC via an Ethernet cable and open Internet Explorer.

Step 5

Enter the router's IP address in the address bar of Internet Explorer to open the web interface router control panel (usually or This control panel allows the user to configure the router for use as a Wi-Fi repeater.

Step 6

Click on the "Setup" tab and select "Basic Setup." Change the "Local IP Address" to an IP different than the one being repeated. For example, Press "Apply" once any additional settings have been chosen.

Step 7

Enter the new IP address chosen in the previous step into the address bar of Internet Explorer and re-access the router's web interface.

Step 8

Select "Security," then "Firewall," check all of the check boxes and disable the firewall. Click the "Apply" button to continue.

Step 9

Click on the "Wireless" tab and choose "Basic Settings." Change the "Wireless Mode" to "Repeater" and press "Save Settings" to continue.

Step 10

Click the "Add" button under the "Virtual Interface" section. Give the repeater network a name and disable the "AP Isolation." Choose "bridged" for the "Network Configuration" and save the new settings.

Step 11

Click the "Administration" tab and choose "Command." Enter the following code into the edit box: nvram set wl_ssid="" This makes the repeater select the first open network it encounters and rebroadcast the signal.

Tips & Warnings

  • To repeat a specific network, enter the name of the wireless network being repeated in the "Wireless Network Name (SSID)" field under the "Physical Interface" section under the "Wireless" tab of the Web Interface and do not enter anything under the "Administration" tab.
  • Flashing the router incorrectly will cause fatal errors and may render the router useless. Read the "Things to Consider" link in the "Resources" section to avoid common errors.