How to Setup a Wireless Router as a Repeater

A Wi-Fi connection may not reach everywhere especially when you have a large home. The problem may worsen if your main router is not strong enough. So, how can we solve this issue? If you have a spare router lying around your home, you can use it as a repeater and solve this problem. Let’s see the step by step approach of setting up a wireless router as a repeater.

Reasons for Weak Wi-Fi Signal

When you have a big home, there will be situations when your primary Wi-Fi router is not being able to send strong signals to every room. The primary reason for this issue is that your Wi-Fi router is not strong enough. It is difficult to find a Wi-Fi router that sends strong signals across every room. So, the only option the user is left with is to use another wireless router as a repeater and increase the strength of the Wi-Fi signal.

You can set up a secondary router in two different ways depending upon your router and if your home is cabled for “Ethernet”.

Step by Approach to Setup a Wireless Router as a Repeater

As specified earlier, there could be some areas in your home where the Wi-Fi signal is not reaching or the strength of the signal is very weak. To resolve this issue, we can use a wireless router as a repeater. Before you start off, you need to make sure you have the correct information about the router you’re using at present. You need to know the exact broadcasting channel that you are using and its security type too.

Here, we divide our setup into 8 stages and each stage needs to be handled carefully to get the desired result.

Step 1:

Open the “Network and Sharing Center” and choose the option “Change adapter settings”. Now, select your connection and right click to know the status. Note down the default gateway address.

Step 2:

After copying the gateway address, go to your web browser and enter the gateway address and press Enter button. You will be shown a setup screen of your primary router. Enter the details like username and password here. You can find it through any search engine from the internet or from the label present in the router.

Step 3:

The next step is to note down the primary router settings such as router name, security type and channel. It is better to write it down in a paper or book as you need these details for setting the slave router. Now, close the window without saving as you haven’t made any changes to the settings.

Step 4:

Next, find the old router you’re currently using and then reset the router to the factory settings. For that, you need to keep the router plugged in and then using a paper clip, press on the hole where it is marked as “reset”. After holding it for a few seconds, you can see all lights go off and become on again. Your old router is now reset to factory settings.

Step 5:

After resetting your old router, the next step is to connect the old router to a PC that is not there in your network. Now go to Network and Sharing Center > change adapter settings and check the status. Copy the gateway address. Now, open a web browser and enter the gateway address and press Enter button. Then go to the configuration page.

Step 6:

Now, open the Wi-Fi settings page and then change the Wi-Fi network name and give the same name as your primary router. After that set a channel that is completely different from your primary routers and security type should be same as your primary routers. You should also use the same Wi-Fi password of your primary router for this secondary router.

Step 7:

The next step is to assign your secondary router an IP address that will be recognized by the primary router and work along with it. For this, you need to go to the IP address page and give an IP address that is in the same range as that of your primary router. Make sure you disable DHCP and give a fixed IP address to your secondary router.  Now, in each configuration page, press the “save settings” option to save the changes.

Step 8:

This is going to be the most complicated step as you are going to combine everything here. You need to have a very long network cable so that you can easily connect both the routers. If you do not get long cables, then you can go for power line networking adapters.

After connecting the routers with the help of power line adapters, the next step is to test the connection. You should use a wireless device such as a laptop or Smartphone and see the strength of the Wi-Fi signals when you are near the routers. In this way, you can confirm that you have successfully extended the Wi-Fi signal so that it can reach places where it failed to reach earlier.

Can All Routers be used as Repeaters?

Not every router supports the feature to be used as a repeater. BT Home Hub Routers do support this feature whereas ISP routers do not support it. If you have purchased the router separately, then there is a good chance it will support the feature to be used as a repeater. There is no need for the router to be from the same manufacturer and there is no guarantee that it will work. It will be a trial and error procedure where you need to try out first and then test to see if it works.


Most routers support the option to reuse as a repeater to improve the Wi-Fi signals. One feature that your Wi-Fi router needs to have to be reused is the “WDS – Wireless Distribution System”. The chances of routers from different manufacturers working well together depend completely upon the features of the router. There is no guarantee that the different routers work well when combined.

If you have a router that does not support WDS, you can still try to resolve the issue by installing custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT. The steps to install and configure requires a lot of technical expertise. Therefore, it is better to get the help of a professional to set it up for you.