Using an old router to expand your network is a cheap and easy way to at least double the wireless range in your home. It is also a great way to get wireless to outbuildings or other areas that are outside of your home's wireless signal. This method does require that you have an Ethernet cable run from your main wireless router in your home to the location where you would like to setup the second router (access point). In our home I have one wireless access point configured on each floor and staggered from one end of the home to the other. This means that no matter where I ma in the house I can always connect to a nearby access point and have full signal strength. No buffering, no lag, and in most cases speeds as fast as a wired Ethernet connection.
Here are the basic steps to follow but I would recommend watching the accompanying video to fully understand the process.
1. Reset router to factory default settings
2. Take note of your current network configuration (192.168.1.X
3. Create a new ip address for the access point 192.168.1.220 (example)
4. plug a computer into the newly reset router
5. log into the router using the default ip - normally 192.168.1.1
6. Configure the wireless network name and security
7. Turn off DHCP (take away the router's ability to assign ip addresses)
8. Configure the router to the previously picked ip address - 192.168.1.220 (example)
9. Connect the router to an Ethernet cable coming from your main router.
Tip - Do not use the "WAN" port at all on this new access point.
Now I know that someone is going to say it so I will answer this question up front. Yes, you can just plug the router into your existing setup using the WAN port on the second router without changing any settings on the router. This will work in most cases however you are setting yourself up for problems down the road as this is not the correct way to configure a second wireless router on an existing network. This is what is called double NAT or network address translation and is like having a double firewall. This will not allow any computers connected to the secondary router to communicate with wireless printers, other computers, will block many gaming sites, vpn's and other connections. Although it is easier and may work for basic internet browsing it will be slower and will cause other issues down the road.
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