Wi-Fi repeater setup. How to Setup and Configure the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Repeater

Wi-Fi extender / repeater / bridge configuration

If supported by both devices, consider using WDS, Layer 2 GRE tunnels (“gretap”), or mesh networking.

Using relayd as instructed in this article isn’t guaranteed to work with all Openwrt compatible devices or Wi-Fi networks.

The most common problem is that the client router cannot pass the DHCP message between the main router and the client connected to the client router. Currently it seems to be the hardware/SOC limitation (related to MAC cloning?)

Instead of relayd it should be possible to use kmod-trelay, the only information about using it can be seen in its source code, if you used it successfully please add a section for it in this article.

In this article you will see how to configure your device to become a Wi-Fi extender/repeater/bridge.

In some cases, the wireless drivers used in OpenWrt do not support “Layer 2” bridging in client mode with a specific “upstream” wireless system. When this occurs, one approach is to route the traffic between LAN and the upstream wireless system. Broadcast traffic, such as DHCP and link-local discovery like mDNS are generally not routable.

When other options don’t work, the relayd package implements a bridge-like behavior for IPv4 (only), complete with DHCP and broadcast relaying. This configuration can be done through SSH (remote terminal) or through Luci GUI.

This image shows an example setup. LAN interface of the relayd device MUST be on a different subnet for relayd to work (since it is routing traffic, it expects 2 different subnets).

Since both ethernet ports and Access Point Wi-Fi network are on the same LAN interface, all clients connecting to the Ethernet ports and to the Access Point Wi-Fi network of the Wi-Fi extender device will be routed by relayd and will be connected to your main network.

The LAN interface subnet will be used only as a “management” interface, as devices connecting to the Wi-Fi repeater will be on the main network’s subnet instead. If the relayd device becomes unreachable, you will have to configure a PC with a static address in the same subnet as the LAN interface (eg. 192.168.2.10 for our example) to connect and be able to use LuCI GUI or SSH.

Using relayd

Required packages

relayd package is of course needed, and luci-proto-relay is optional for the LuCI Web Interface.

Disconnect this router from your main network after successfully installing the above packages.

Alternatively, follow the steps described below to install the relayd packages over the new wwan wireless link.

Setup with LuCI Web Interface

Updated with new screenshots from OpenWrt 21.02.

To build a simple Wi-Fi repeater (a device that extends the same Wi-Fi network’s coverage) it’s a good choice to use the same Wi-Fi network name (SSID) as the one of your main router along with encryption, password, and so on. This ensure the wireless devices connected to your (wider) network will automatically stay connected to the best Wi-Fi network.

Alternatively, you can also choose to have a different SSID name/encryption/password.

Setting up a Wi-Fi network at this stage is not necessary if you just want a “Wi-Fi bridge”. ie. a device designed to only connect ethernet devices to your existing Wi-Fi network.

For simplicity and best chance of success, the instructions below are only for setting up a Wi-Fi bridge device. A computer with an ethernet connection is required.

LAN Interface

As shown in the above image, the LAN interface must be set in a different subnet than the Wi-Fi network you are connecting to.

Disable DHCP for the LAN interface (as it does prevent relayd from working). Click Save.

(May be required in certain case) set Gateway address and Use custom DNS servers using IP address of the primary router (e.g. 192.168.1.1)

Set your PC’s ethernet port with a static IP 192.168.2.10 and default gateway 192.168.2.1, then connect again to the router ethernet.

When you finish all of the following steps, remember to reset your PC’s IP address back to the original address (or DHCP ), otherwise you won’t have Internet access! (note: The router won’t route traffic from the 192.168.2.0/24 subnet)

Wi-Fi

We will now set up the client Wi-Fi network, the configuration needed to connect to another Wi-Fi network.

Navigate to the wireless networks page, and click on Scan button for the desired radio.
Enter the Wi-Fi password, leave the “name of new network” as “wwan” and select lan firewall zone.

You will land in the client Wi-Fi settings page. Edit as required. The most important settings are on the Operating Frequency line.

Set the Mode to Legacy if you are connecting to a Wi-Fi g network, or N if you are connecting to a Wi-Fi n (and so on).

Set the Width to the same value that you set on the Wi-Fi you are connecting to (to avoid bottlenecking the connection for no reason).

Removing redundant WAN interface and firewall zones (Optional)

Although not absolutely necessary, it is recommended to delete the redundant WAN interfaces and firewall zones.

Click Save Apply button.

Configure static IP address on wwan interface

It is recommended to assign a static IP address to newly created wwan interface. (eg. 192.168.1.30) The main advantage is it will be possible to manage the router using this static IP address. This static IP address will also be used later when creating the Relay interface.

Enter valid IP address (eg. 192.168.1.30), subnet mask (eg. 255.255.255.0), and gateway IP address (This is usually the LAN IP address of your main Wi-Fi router eg. 192.168.1.1)

Testing Connection

To verify the newly configured static IP address parameters are valid,

Go to Network Diagnostics and perform a ping test. It is assumed the main router is connected to the internet.

Creating Relay Interface

To add the relayd interface that will join/bridge the lan and wwan interfaces.

Enter a name and select Relay bridge protocol as shown below. (Reboot your device if the Relay bridge option fails to appears.)

Select both lan and wwan in the Relay between networks list.

Reminder: Remove the static IP address from your computer. ie. change it back to DHCP client mode.

When the Wi-Fi bridge is powered up, your computer should acquire DHCP IP address from your main router. The Wi-Fi bridge can be managed through its static wwan IP address (eg. 192.168.1.30)

This is the final result. Note how the client network has a ? instead of a IP address. The wwan IP address is only visible in the Network Interfaces page.

Check Firewall zone settings

The following part of the configuration should not be necessary (already default options or changed automatically), in case something isn’t working check this too.

Setup with CLI

Before doing any actual configuration, the Wi-Fi interface must be enabled in order to scan for networks in the vicinity:

uci set wireless.@Wi-Fi-device[0].disabled=0 uci commit wireless Wi-Fi

Now we can list networks in range using iw dev wlan0 scan. substituting your actual wireless interface for wlan0 if different ( ifconfig lists all available interfaces to find how your wlan is called)

iw dev wlan0 scan output example:

# iw dev wlan0 scan BSS c8:d5:fe:c8:61:b0(on wlan0).- associated TSF: 24324848870 usec (0d, 06:45:24) freq: 2412 beacon interval: 100 TUs capability: ESS (0x0411) signal:.72.00 dBm last seen: 140 ms ago Information elements from Probe Response frame: SSID: Violetta RSN: Version: 1 Group cipher: CCMP Pairwise ciphers: CCMP Authentication suites: PSK Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000) BSS f8:35:dd:eb:20:f8(on wlan0) TSF: 24225790925 usec (0d, 06:43:45) freq: 2457 beacon interval: 100 TUs capability: ESS (0x0431) signal:.90.00 dBm last seen: 1450 ms ago Information elements from Probe Response frame: SSID: GOinternet_EB20FB HT capabilities: Capabilities: 0x11ee HT20/HT40 SM Power Save disabled RX HT20 SGI RX HT40 SGI TX STBC RX STBC 1-stream Max AMSDU length: 3839 bytes DSSS/CCK HT40 Maximum RX AMPDU length 65535 bytes (exponent: 0x003) Minimum RX AMPDU time spacing: 4 usec (0x05) HT RX MCS rate indexes supported: 0-15, 32 HT TX MCS rate indexes are undefined HT operation: primary channel: 10 secondary channel offset: below STA channel width: any RSN: Version: 1 Group cipher: TKIP Pairwise ciphers: TKIP CCMP Authentication suites: PSK Capabilities: 1-PTKSA-RC 1-GTKSA-RC (0x0000)

In the example, there are two networks, a Wi-Fi g one called Violetta and a Wi-Fi n one called GOinternet_EB20FB. The device was configured to connect to the one called Violetta.

These are the uci values that were added or changed by the configuration procedure. For SSID, BSSID, and encryption you must use the info you got from the Wi-Fi scan above. For an explanation of why these values were changed, please read the luci tutorial above.

network.lan.ipaddr=’192.168.2.1′ network.repeater_bridge=interface network.repeater_bridge.proto=’relay’ network.repeater_bridge.network=’lan wwan’ network.wwan=interface network.wwan.proto=’dhcp’ firewall.@zone[0].network=’lan repeater_bridge wwan’ dhcp.lan.ignore=’1′ wireless.radio0.hwmode=’11g’ wireless.radio0.country=’00’ wireless.radio0.channel=’1′ wireless.radio0.disabled=’0′ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0]=Wi-Fi-iface wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0].device=’radio0′ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0].mode=’ap’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0].encryption=’none’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0].ssid=’OpenWrt’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[0].network=’lan’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1]=Wi-Fi-iface wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].network=’wwan’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].ssid=’Violetta’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].encryption=’psk2′ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].device=’radio0′ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].mode=’sta’ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].bssid=’C8:D5:FE:C8:61:B0′ wireless.@Wi-Fi-iface[1].key=’myWifiPasswordHere’

Please note that the Wi-Fi network generated by the device in this example (the one called OpenWrt) has no password nor encryption. This was done because the FOCUS of this article was getting the relay bridge up and running. You will likely want to set up your device’s Wi-Fi network in a more secure way, as explained in the Wi-Fi setup page here.

Accessing the OpenWrt device

If you find the OpenWrt device itself is only accessible from those computers directly connected to the W- LAN AP. not from the ones connected to the OpenWrt W- LAN client, when in the 192.168.1.0 subnet, Make sure the Local IPv4 address setting in the Relay bridge interface matches the IP address of the wireless uplink. (The alternative is tedious: It is possible to access the OpenWrt box via its 192.168.2.1 address if you manually configure your computer to that subnet.)

Adding IPv6 support

Activate IPv6 support on your Internet box, this will get you a public IPv6 prefix. We will now activate IPv6 on our Wi-Fi extender to allow for Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC) of your public IPv6 addresses and IPv6 traffic.

Go to Network / Interfaces and create a new interface. Name it WWAN6. using protocol DHCPv6, cover the WWAN interface. In the Common Configuration of the new interface, configure: Request IPv6 address: disabled. In the Firewall settings: check that the “lan / repeater bridge…” line is selected. Leave the other settings by default, especially, leave the “Custom delegated IPv6.prefix” field empty. On the Interfaces / overwiew page check that the WWAN interface gets a public IPv6 address.

Edit the LAN interface settings, DHCP server / IPv6 settings: check/modify the following settings: Router Advertisement Service: relay mode, DHCPv6 service: disabled, NDP-Proxy: relay mode.

Open a SSH session on your OpenWrt device. Issue the following commands:

uci set dhcp.wan.interface=wwan uci set dhcp.wan.ra=relay uci set dhcp.wan.ndp=relay uci set dhcp.wan.master=1 uci commit

We suppose that you created a wwan interface when you joined to the other Wi-Fi network as suggested earlier in this guide; otherwise, change the dhcp.wan.interface=… line accordingly.

That’s it. Restart ophcpd (LuCI System/Starup page, or /etc/init.d/odhcpd restart ) and your IPv6.network should begin to configure itself. Connected IPv6.enabled devices should get their public IPv6 addresses, derived from your public IPv6 prefix, and IPv6 traffic should go through your Wi-Fi extender.

Known Issues

Here are a list of some recently reported issues:

Additional instruction for backdoor to router since once dhcp is disabled on LAN. the router become unreachable. This may occur if there are changes to the wireless access point. eg. Wi-Fi SSID, channel number or security passphrase has changed.

Configure a static IP address on the computer. eg. if the Wi-Fi bridge uses LAN IP address of 192.168.2.1 in above example, use static IP address: 192.168.2.10.

How to setup Mi Wifi Range Extender AC1200 #mihomes #ac1200 #xiaomismarthome

Alternative detailed Relayd setup instructions can also be found in section 9.10 of the 1-OpenWrt-LEDE Installation Guide for HH5A

wi-fi, repeater, setup, configure, xiaomi

IPv6 on macOS 10.15 does not work with a ULA prefix set on LAN https://github.com/openwrt/openwrt/issues/7561

Using NAT

Comment: This looks like the basic instructions for configuring a simple wireless client

This method basically puts a second Wi-Fi router in cascade on the first one; i.e. usually this means that the extender’s clients will be behind double NAT.

It’s like connecting with a cable the WAN port on the Wi-Fi extender to the LAN ports of the main router, the Wi-Fi extender creates a new network for itself and the devices connected to it, that can go on the Internet and reach devices in the LAN network of the main router. But in this case we are doing it with wireless networks instead.

prerequisites:. router with two initial interfaces ( LAN. WAN )

Set LAN as static IPv4 address as 192.168.x.1 (with x different from the network to which you will connect via Wi-Fi),

Enter the Wi-Fi password, leave the “name of new network” as “ WWAN ” and select WWAN (or WAN ) firewall zone. Click Save,

Go in the Network → Firewall, click edit in wan zone and check WAN and WWAN in “covered networks”, click save and apply,

Now you’ve correctly bounded WWAN with WAN. and consequently WWAN with LAN.

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Extend your Wi-Fi network range with the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater

The Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater (or extender) is a handy little device that extends the range of your Wi-Fi network. Most of us know that Wi-Fi networks are limited in range. If you have a large house with two or more floors, staying connected to your Wi-Fi is a big problem. This is where Wi-Fi repeaters or extenders come in; these devices ensure that you have strong Internet connection wherever you are in the building.

You might have bought the Mi Wi-Fi repeater or the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Repeater Pro because you are sick of weak and spotty connections when you’re far away from the main router. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to setup and configure your Mi Wi-Fi repeater to work with your router. This guide is also applicable for the newer Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Repeater Pro.

First, download the Xiaomi Home app from Google Play or the App Store.

If you haven’t already done so, connect the Mi Wi-Fi repeater to a USB power source. If you don’t have a USB outlet, you can use a powerbank or a USB wall charger. For the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Repeater Pro, just plug it to an AC power source. A blinking orange LED light will indicate the repeater is already powered on.

Launch the Xiaomi Home app and choose “Agree” to the terms and conditions. You can also join the User Experience Program if you want.

Next, select Chinese mainland as the country and region. This is important. Selecting any other country may cause the setup to fail. Tap the “Save” button to proceed.

Under phone authorizations, check “Select all” and tap “Next.”

Select “Allow” to the next three authorization requests.

On the app’s home screen, tap “Sign in.” You will then be asked to sign in to your Mi account. If you don’t have a Mi account yet, just click the “Create account” link to sign up.

Once you’re logged in, tap “Add device.”

There will be a notification to turn on Bluetooth. Tap “Turn on.”

The app will detect the Mi Wi-Fi repeater. Choose your Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater by tapping on it.

Select your router and select “Tap to enter password.”

Enter your Wi-Fi password and press “OK.”

Tap “NEXT” to continue.

Wait for the Mi Home app to configure the repeater.

If the setup keeps failing, you will have to bring the Mi Wi-Fi repeater closer to the router. Just return to repeater to the intended location after the connection was successful. You can also check if you entered the wrong or incorrect Wi-Fi password.

If the Xiaomi Home app is still unable to detect the Mi Wi-Fi repeater, reset it by inserting a pin into the reset hole or button for 5 seconds. When the status light turns yellow, the repeater has been successfully reset. Perform the connection process once again.

Congratulations! Your Mi Wi-Fi repeater is now added to your network.

Select the room (e.g. living room, bedroom, dining room) and tap “NEXT.” If you want, you can rename the device. The default is “Wi-Fi amplifier.” Tap “NEXT.”

Press “Let’s Get Started” to start using your Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater or extender. The LED light will turn blue to indicate a successful configuration.

That’s it! Your Mi Wi-Fi repeater has been successfully connected to your router. The SSID or network name for your extended network is your original network name followed by _plus. In this example, the Wi-Fi name is “PLDTFibr-Luis_plus.”

To use the same network name as your original Wi-Fi network, turn on Wi-Fi roaming as shown in the screenshot above. You will have to set the extended network name the same as the original network.

To change the network name and password, tap Wi-Fi settings.

Xiaomi mi wifi repeater pro extender setup

wi-fi, repeater, setup, configure, xiaomi

You can also view the list of devices that are connected to the Mi Wi-Fi repeater’s network, along with their MAC addresses and IP. Unfortunately, there’s no option to block or limit the Internet speed of the connected devices.

The Mi Wi-Fi repeater can even connect with other Wi-Fi repeaters or extenders such as Google Wi-Fi. It’s a nice option to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network without buying another router. And it’s cheap, usually priced at less than ₱400 or 8.

Troubleshooting Connection Issues

If you get the “Connecting to network timed out” error, you can either click “Try Again” to make another attempt, or you can go back to the previous steps and re-enter the Wi-Fi password.

In the vast majority of cases, the culprit is a wrong or incorrect Wi-Fi password. As long as your router and phone are connected to the Internet, and the Mi Wi-Fi repeater is situated close to the router, then the problem is most likely a wrong Wi-Fi password.

If you’re still getting the “Connecting to network timed out” error despite entering the correct password, then you might have to reset the repeater. To do that, tap “View details” and then “Add Device Again.” Follow the instructions for resetting the repeater. You will have to insert a pin into the reset button for at least 5 seconds and wait for the status light to go off and blink again. After that, you’ll have to start the connection process once again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater improve my Internet speed?

wi-fi, repeater, setup, configure, xiaomi

No, the Mi Wi-Fi repeater only extends the range of your Wi-Fi network, and will not boost Internet speeds.

What should I do if I get the “Connecting to network timed out” error?

If you get the “Connecting to network timed out” when setting up your Mi Wi-Fi repeater, return to the previous steps and re-enter your Wi-Fi password. Make sure that you provide the correct Wi-Fi password.

I still get the “Connecting to network timed out” error despite entering the correct password. What should I do?

If you’re sure that you entered the correct Wi-Fi password, and you still encountered the “Connecting to network timed out” error, you can try resetting the repeater by inserting a pin into the reset button for at least 5 seconds.

If you’re still having problems with the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi repeater, post your comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

How to Setup Netvip Range extender and Troubleshootings

Setup NetVIP Wi-Fi range extender is quite simple like setup any other Wi-Fi repeater device. The configuration manual for the NetVIP N300 range extender and Netvip AC1200 dual-Band range extender is the same. In single-Band N300 NetVIP repeater device you get up to 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed with a 2.4Ghz wireless network Band but in a Dual-Band AC1200 repeater device, you get a combined 1200mbps Wi-Fi speed with 2.4GHz and 5Ghz wireless bands. There is a three-way to set up a NetvIP range extender device to boost your existing Wi-Fi range and internet speed in every location without laying a physical cable from the host router. NetVIP range extender setup using WPS push button method, Login from laptop or desktop to setup as well as Setup Netvip repeater device from mobile or tab using Wi-Fi connections.

wi-fi, repeater, setup, configure, xiaomi

Netvip Wi-Fi signal booster is mostly compatible with all leading brand’s wireless routers and access points and extends your existing Wi-Fi range without dropping internet speed. If your host Wi-Fi router supports the WPS method then Netvip Wi-Fi range extender can setup using the WPS method that does not require and Wi-Fi password to connect to existing Wi-Fi. If you planning to buy Netvip Wi-Fi signal booster device to boost the Wi-Fi range then you must check reviews on different online shopping sites to get proper model and device that work perfectly with your router and networks.

Setup Netvip Wi-Fi range extender using WPS button

NetVIP Wi-Fi repeater setup using the WPS button is the more simple and faster way to boost wireless range without laying a physical cable and not required to login extender to setup. Unbox your repeater device and follow netvip Wi-Fi repeater setup instructions as given below.

  • Unbox the Netvip Wi-Fi repeater device and plug it into a power socket near Wi-Fi router.
  • Go to your main internet Wi-Fi router and press the WPS button for 2 seconds.
  • Now go to Netvip repeater device and within 2 minutes press the WPS button to allow connection from the main router.
  • Repeater Signal LED will start glowing and you will get a new Wi-Fi name using WIFIrepeater_Ext for the extender network. If your Netvip supports dual-Band, you will get two Wi-Fi names Extender_EXT2G and Extender_EXT5G name.
  • Now unplug the signal booster device and place it in the centralized location where the Netvip repeater can get proper signal strength from the host router and can extend to no coverage area.

This is a quick way to connect NetVip Wi-Fi repeater device with your existing Wi-Fi network without a login device web interface.

If Netvip Wi-Fi range extender device not connecting with the WPS button or is connected but no internet issue then you should try login methods.

Login and Setup Netvip Signal booster using Mobile / Desktop

Connect Netvip Wireless repeater device using the login method take a few more minutes to compare to WPS method and you also need to login repeater device using the default username and password. Netvip default login username and password printed to sticker along with login IP address.

Go to the mobile or laptop Wi-Fi option and check for the new extender SSID name. connect using the new extender SSID name and wait to allow connections.

Unplug the range extender device and place it in the location where facing no coverage signal or low signal. Place repeater device to the appropriate location where it can perform 100% and can extend Wi-Fi network without flatulating signal and internet speed.

Factory Reset Netvip Range extender

If you facing connection problems or Netvip repeater not working or the WPS button not working then you can make the booster device to factory default using the reset button available on the device. You can use the reset button option if your repeater device is unable to connect, Not the internet, the IP address not working, or forget the login password after changing first-time configurations.

  • Plug the repeater device into a power socket.
  • Locate a small reset button beside the repeater.
  • Press the reset button using a needle if reset hole or press button if button.
  • Press and hold the reset button for 10-15 seconds and monitor the led lights.
  • After executing the reset command repeater device will automatically restart and take a few seconds to restore settings into default mode.
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How to use a router as a repeater

If you have a large house or a room where Wi-Fi isn’t great, you can use a second router to cure the problem. Here’s how to set up a spare wireless router to act as a repeater.

Let us start this guide by saying that although it is technically possible, using an old router to extend your home Wi-Fi coverage isn’t the best way to go about it. It’s the only option if you want to spend no money at all (though you may still need to buy a long Ethernet cable), but it’s inelegant and impractical in many cases.

That’s because a lot of routers don’t support wireless bridging and, even if they do, you may need two routers from the same manufacturer (or even two identical routers) to make them talk to each other without connecting them together using a network cable. If you’re lucky, your routers will both support WDS, but in a lot of cases your current and spare routers won’t work nicely with each other.

Unless your home is already wired with Ethernet ports, trailing a long cable from your main router to the spare in a different room is going to be unsightly and unpopular with everyone else who lives with you. You could use a pair of powerline network adapters, but this will cost you a fair bit if you don’t already have some.

When we originally wrote this guide a few years back mesh Wi-Fi systems had only just begun to appear. With starting from around £70/80, it makes a lot more sense to invest in one of these kits than to save that money and fiddle around with old routers which are likely to be slower and not support the latest Wi-Fi standards.

For example, Tenda’s MW3 kit includes three routers for under £60 at Currys. If that deal has ended by the time you read this, check the price of the MW3 on Amazon, as it’s usually competitive.

Readers in the US can buy the Tenda MW3 from Amazon for 99.99.

If that’s not an option for you and you want to have a go at using your spare router to increase Wi-Fi coverage beyond the reach of your current router, then we’ll explain how to go about it.

It’s usually best if your spare router supports bridge mode. This effectively turns it into a simple Wi-Fi access point which allows your other router to do all the work (such as routing and dishing out IP addresses). If it doesn’t support bridge mode, you can try following the steps below, but there are still no guarantees that it will work as you want it to.

If it doesn’t work and you still don’t to shell out for a mesh system, a lower-cost alternative is to buy a range extender such as Netgear’s EX3700, which costs around £30/30.

Find your router’s IP address

First you need to find out some details about the router you’re currently using, including which Wi-Fi channel it is broadcasting on and what security type it is using.

On any Windows PC connected to that router, open a command prompt (enter cmd in the search box) and type ipconfig.

This will show your gateway and the computer’s IP address. Note down your gateway as this is the address of your primary router usually in the format; 192.168.1.1 or similar. Ignore the longer addresses with letters (if you see them): these are IPv6 addresses and you need only the IPv4 address.

For more detailed instructions, here’s how to connect to your router.

Connect to the router

Next open a web browser and, in the address bar, type the gateway IP address you’ve noted and hit Enter. You should see a set up screen for your primary router. It may ask for a user name and password. If you know these details, enter them. If not, the information may be on a label underneath the router, or the information may be available by searching the internet for the default user names and passwords for your router model.

Once you’ve accessed the router’s configuration screen you will see something similar to this.

Check your Wi-Fi settings

As you’ll see there are lots of settings you can access and change, but you don’t want to reconfigure the primary router, only check its settings. Have a look at the wireless settings and find the details for the Wi-Fi network name, the channel and the security type.

This router’s SSID is BT-Hub6-ZG2C, is working on channel 11 (for 2.4GHz) and channel 36 for 5GHz, and uses WPA2 for security. The SSID is the name you find when searching for wireless networks from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Note: Some routers including this BT one, change Wi-Fi channels automatically for the best performance. That’s indicated by the ‘Smart’ here, and you may want to turn off that feature so that both routers will always use a different channel (to avoid interference).

Make a note of the security type because you’ll need to set the second router to the same setting. When you have finished there is usually a ‘log out’ option. You have only looked at the settings and made no changes, so there is nothing to save, if asked.

Reset the router to factory settings

Plug in the old router and reset it to its factory settings. Find a small hole at the back of the router, usually marked ‘reset’.

With the router powered on, insert a paper clip or similar, and hold in for a few seconds. When you release the paper clip you should see all the lights on the router go out and come back on again. You have reset the router to its factory settings.

If this doesn’t work for your particular router, look up the reset procedure online.

Configure your second router

Connect this second router now, with a network cable, to a PC or laptop which is not connected to the first router. The best way to do this is to turn off your main router for a few minutes while you set up this slave router, to prevent the PC connecting via Wi-Fi.

Once attached to the second router, go through step 1 again with this router until you get to the stage where you have accessed the configuration page. Here, we’re using a D-Link router.

Copy over the settings

Ignore any setup wizards, and go to the Wi-Fi settings page. Enable wireless, change the wireless network name to be the same as the primary router and choose a channel well away from channel 6, which is what the primary router is using.

Match the security type exactly and type in the same password you use for Wi-Fi on your primary router.

Give it a fixed IP address

Finally you need to make the slave router work alongside the primary router and not against it. Essentially you need to turn of the NAT function so you don’t end up with double NAT, and you need to give the second router an IP address in the same range as the first.

This is best done by putting the second router in bridge mode, but if that’s not available you can try the following:

Head to the LAN setup page (or similar) and give the router an IP address in the same range as the IP addresses given out by my main router, but outside of the range that is automatically assigned by DHCP.

Dynamic Host Communications Protocol is the process by which a device issues IP addresses to equipment on the network. You need to stop the slave router giving out IP addresses to devices, leaving that task in the hands of the primary router.

Disable DHCP by un-ticking it on the relevant configuration page. To assign a fixed IP address, let’s assume the main router has an address of 192.168.1.1 and that it’s setup to to issue addresses – by DHCP – between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.49. Give the slave router an IP address of 192.168.1.50. Remember this address as you might need it to access this router later.

On each configuration page, confirm your choices by clicking ‘save settings’ at the bottom of each page as you go. Remember, too, that once you’ve change the router’s IP address you will have to wait for it to reboot, and then access it by typing the new IP address into your browser’s address bar.

Connect it all together

Now you are ready to connect it all together. If your two routers support WDS or wireless bridging, be sure to enable that on both (see the next section).

The other way is to connect the two routers together with a long network cable or a pair of powerline networking adapters.

These work by using the mains power cables in your walls and floors to act as network cables as well as passing electricity through them. They work only on ring mains which are all connected back to a single consumer unit (fuse box). If you have two separate buildings or an extension which has its own electricity supply and meter, then powerline adapters aren’t going to work.

We’ve explained separately how to set up powerline networking adapters to get your adapters connected.

With both routers now turned on, it’s time to test your network. Take a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and check to see the signal strength when close to each of the routers. You will find that you have successfully extended the reach of your wireless network and now have a second wireless access point.

Or go wireless

If you’re lucky or you chose well when you bought your old router it might already have the features necessary to be reused to improve Wi-Fi coverage. Without needing network cables, or powerline adaptors, that is.

We can’t list all the routers that have some sort of bridge or repeater mode, but all the usual suspects (including Apple, Belkin, Linksys, Netgear and TRENDNet) have the functionality in most of their recent products. One feature to look out for is WDS (Wireless Distribution System).

The nomenclature vendors’ use differs, but the basic steps for setting up are quite similar. In a nutshell, the key steps are finding the bridge or repeater mode in the configuration tool, choose it, and then enter whatever network information the tool asks for. That could be a MAC address, network name (SSID), spectrum Band and security mode, for example.

It’s important to note that this functionality isn’t standard, so there is no guarantee routers from different vendors will work together.

Using custom firmware

For routers that don’t have built-in WDS (or similar) you might be able to install custom firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato. To use them takes some technical knowledge and the ability to follow instructions very closely.

For example, installing DD-WRT on a router in most cases is almost as simple as installing a program onto your computer. However, doing it incorrectly can leave you with a router that you have to throw away. So follow the instructions carefully!

Your router has to be compatible with DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato and you’ll have to search online for your specific router model to find out if a custom firmware can be installed. Once compatibility has been established, there is plenty of information, including precautions, for each manufacturer and router on how to install the firmware.

Once that’s done, turning on the repeater function is fairly straightforward. You will find more information on the DD-WRT website.