DD-WRT routers are ideal for users that wish to connect all their internet enabled devices through a single VPN connection. This would be a convenient solution for small businesses or households with multiple PCs, tablets and mobile phones. However, inexpensive routers may not be able to cope with the requirements of using a VPN, due to its low capacity processors, which would result in painfully slow speeds. In order to enjoy better performance, you should consider investing in a higher-end router. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your old router will be completely useless.
Flexibility is one of the advantages of DD-WRT and this platform allows you to give a new purpose to your old router, such as turning it into a wireless repeater, or even a secondary encrypted VPN network using high performance providers for the task. A repeater can capture Wi-Fi signals from the main router and redirect them to extend the range of your connection. This will allow you to use internet in any area of the house, even the garden or attic.
The below steps will help you to set up a DD-WRT router as a repeater.
How to Configure DD-WRT Router as Wi-Fi Repeater
Before you do anything else, take note of the security settings of your primary network. You can find them in the setup page of your main router. Keep in mind that you should not click “Apply Changes” before the setup is completed.
- Go to Basis Setup screen in the Setup page and select Disable your Connection Type as the router would not be connected to a modem. If necessary, change the Router Name and Host Name.
- The Local Router IP address should be changed into something that is not used for any other router on the network. An option is to change the last number to make sure that it doesn’t match with another router. The reason why you need to do this is that two routers sharing the same IP address will cause issues accessing the network. Make sure to select “Save” to keep the changes.
- Change DHCP Type to DHCP Forwarder. After that, enter the IP address of the router that will work as repeater under DCHP Server and select Save. Usually you would also need to enter the IP address of your modem. If the page is not reloading, you will need to check that you are entering the repeater’s changed IP address as in the previous step.
- Since security will be managed by your router, you can disable all the security settings. Go to the Security page and uncheck all of them. Select Save.
- Change Wireless Mode to Repeater or Repeater Bridge in the Wireless tab. Once you select Repeater, the router will only work as a wireless repeater, extending the range of your Wi-Fi connection. If you choose Repeater Bridge, you will be able to use Ethernet ports. This would be the best alternative for users who need to connect a media device such as a Smart TV or a game console. When you make your selection, hit Save.
- In Wireless Network Name (SSD), enter the name of your main router. It is important to enter the details exactly as they are, including capitals and spaces. Then select Save.
- Change the settings in the Wireless tab, making sure that they match your main router’s settings. Select Save, followed by Apply Settings. The router will automatically restart to make the new settings effective. That is the last step to turn your old router into a repeater, which will offer you a wider Wi-Fi range to enjoy internet in any area of your home or workplace.
As is you can see, a DD-WRT device makes the process very easy. Of course, you might not have a pre-configured DD-WRT router, so you can learn more on how to setup the firmware through my guide. If you wish to learn more about alternatives, there is also Tomato and OpenWRT, both are worth considering before making the jump.
No matter your choice, a third-party firmware option will turn your regular router into a fully configurable networking machine.