Having weak WiFi signal or dead zones in parts of your home can be frustrating. Slow internet speeds make it hard to stream videos or music, load webpages quickly, and get work done. Fortunately, you can build your own DIFi extender to boost your WiFi coverage for under $15 with just a little bit of DIY effort.

What You'll Need

Building your own WiFi extender is an easy project that requires just a few cheap components:

Old WiFi Router

The most important item is an old WiFi router. This will act as the extender to grab the wireless signal from your main router and rebroadcast it. Any old 802.11n/g/b router will work. I was able to find an old Linksys E900 router on Craigslist for $5.

Power Adapter

You'll also need the power adapter that came with your old router so you can plug it in. If you don't have it, you can use any 5V/12V power adapter.

Ethernet Cable

To connect your old router to the main one, you'll need an Ethernet cable. You probably have one of these lying around. If not, you can pick one up for a few dollars.

Total Cost: Under $15

With an old WiFi router and power adapter, you likely already have everything you need. If not, you can pick up a used router for $5-10 and an Ethernet cable for $5-10 more. So you're looking at a total project cost of under $15.

How It Works

A WiFi extender grabs the existing WiFi signal from your main router, then rebroadcasts the signal farther so you can get coverage in weak areas.

Here's how it works:

So you can think of your old router as a middleman that grabs the signal and passes it along farther.

How to Set Up Your DIY Extender

Setting up your own WiFi extender is simple. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First, make sure you have your old WiFi router, power adapter, and Ethernet cable ready to go.

Step 2: Position the Extender

Figure out where you want to place your extender to boost the signal. The midpoint between your main router and the dead zone is ideal. Elevated central locations are best to spread the signal outwards.

Step 3: Connect the Routers

Connect your main router and old extender router together using the Ethernet cable.Plug the extender router into an outlet nearby using its power adapter.

Step 4: Log Into Extender's Settings

On a computer or phone connected to the extender, log into its admin settings page. This is typically or

Step 5: Disable DHCP on Extender

Look for the DHCP server settings and disable them. This prevents the extender from assigning IP addresses, allowing your main router to handle that job.

Step 6: Match WiFi Network Settings

Match your extender's WiFi settings to your main router:

Step 7: Save Settings & Reboot

Save your changes on the extender and reboot it. The devices should now pick up the extended WiFi signal in previously weak areas!

Optimizing Your Extended Network

To get the best performance from your DIY extender, keep these optimization tips in mind:

With some strategic extender placement and network settings adjustments, you can cover all those WiFi dead spots in your home and significantly boost speeds. No need to keep paying for expensive high-end commercial WiFi systems!

Troubleshooting Extender Connection Issues

If you setup your extender but devices won't connect to the extended network, try these troubleshooting steps:

With some patience, you should be able to get your DIY WiFi extender boosting signal to those stubborn dead areas for fast internet throughout your home. Have fun with your networking project!