How to Make a Range Booster Out of an Old Wireless Router

With the pace of Internet technology it’s likely that you have an old router buried in the closet. You can use that old router as a range extender for your current router to enhance the coverage area within your home or office. With a few changes on the router’s GUI (Graphic User Interface) you can plug your old router into the new one and have access to the Internet in your basement, attic or even outside.

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Old routers can be used as range extenders to expand the size of your network.

Step

Connect your old router directly to your computer with a Cat5 Ethernet cable. Connect the cable into LAN port 1 located on the back of the router. Connect the other end into the Ethernet port on your computer. This creates a connection to the router and prevents the computer from accessing the new router’s GUI inadvertently.

Step

Locate the IP address for your computer. To do so, go to “Start” “Run” and then type in “ipconfig". The number next to “Default Gateway” is the router’s IP address.

Step

Type the IP address into a Web browser. Enter in the login credentials (password and username.) The credentials depend on the router brand and model. If you do not know the default credentials, access RouterPasswords.com for a list of usernames and passwords for popular wireless routers.

Step

Turn off the DHCP server. The DHCP server assigns IP addresses to each piece of equipment on your network. The main router handles this, a range extender does not.

Step

Change the SSID (name of the router) to match the name of your main router.

Step

Change the wireless security settings to match the settings on the main router. The security type and password must match.

Step

Change the router’s IP address if the main router is the same brand. Duplicate IP addresses cause conflicts on a network. Change it to "192.168.1.1". If the main router is not the same as the old router, you can skip this step.

Step

Click on “Save Settings” to update the router.

Step

Remove the Ethernet cable from the old router and the computer. Plug the Ethernet cable into the WAN port on the old router and then plug the other end into a LAN port on the main router. Place the old router within 60 feet of the main router to allow for slight overlapping of the wireless network.