How to Extend Your Wifi Network With an Old Router

Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t setting up a Wireless Repeater significantly cut your wifi speed?

When I bought my house, I had wired the entire house (ran at least 1 wire to each room) with cat6. I had my router set up in the basement with all patch panel, switch, ATA, etc). I noticed the wifi signal was weak from the top floor (at the time I was running a Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 running tomato because it has much better QoS than DD-WRT). So later on I upgraded to an ASUS RT-N16. I then re-purposed the Buffalo router as a secondary router to extend the wifi signal. At first I was reading up about setting it up as a Wireless Repeater, but all the forum posts I read said that the wifi signal would be significantly slower (half the speed).

Then I did some reading on how to extend the wifi with another wired router. Since my whole house was wired anyway I just connected the Buffalo router to the ethernet in the spare room on my 2nd floor and installed DD-WRT. All it required for setup was:

How to Extend Your Wifi Network With an Old Router

1. Set the router IP to something other than the main router (192.168.1.2 in my case)2. Set the Conntection Type to Disabled3. Disable DHCP (because the main router will handle this)4. Setup the wifi with the same SSID and password as the main router, but different channel than the main router.

The result is when you move around the house, it will automatically switch/connect to the router with the best signal and no drop in speed since both routers are wired.

Obviously this requires that you have a wired connection to the area you want to put the second router and isn’t the case most of the time. I prefer wired over wireless EVERYTIME unless I absolutely need it (e.g. mobile devices without wired connections, or laptops). Everything else in my house is wired:

– I have 2 Smart TVs that have Wireless capabilities but they’re both wired because WiFi is still too unreliable when streaming media from my media pc or netflix/hulu/etc.- I have 2 desktops and a media server. One of them is an iMac with WiFi capabilities but I have it wired.

My opinion is if it’s capable of being hardwired and it’s stationary or not moving often, use ethernet. That goes for laptops that sit on a desk all day too. It’s much more reliable anyway.

Additionally, since the 2nd router was using DD-WRT, I looked into how to set up a guest wifi (tomato doesn’t support guest wifi). It was a little more time consuming, but having a wifi connection for guests only is very useful.

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