Having spotty WiFi coverage around your home can be frustrating. Areas like the basement, backyard, or upstairs bedrooms often struggle to get a strong wireless signal.

But fear not! With a simple DIY WiFi extender made from a spare router, you can boost your network coverage and eliminate dead zones. A WiFi extender works by picking up the existing signal from your wireless router and rebroadcasting it to areas with poor reception.

Things You'll Need

Before getting started, make sure you have the following equipment:

Setting Up the Extender Router

The basic setup steps are as follows:

Step 1. Configure Extender as Wireless Bridge

First, you'll need to configure your spare router to act as a wireless bridge instead of a regular router. This bridge mode allows it to connect wirelessly to your existing WiFi network and rebroadcast the signal.

To do this:

  1. Connect the extender router directly to your computer via ethernet cable. Do not plug it into the wall or existing router yet.

  2. Access the extender router web interface by navigating to its IP address in your browser. The default is usually or Consult your router documentation for the exact address.

  3. Look for the WDS bridging, bridge mode, or wireless client mode setting. Enable this.

  4. Save your settings. The router is now ready to act as a wireless network extender.

Step 2. Position Extender and Connect

Next, you need to place your extender router in a location between your main router and the WiFi dead zone. The key is to pick a position where the extender can receive a good wireless signal from your existing network while also being able to rebroadcast the extended signal to the dead zone.

Some tips on placement:

Once positioned, connect your extender router to your main network:

The extender will now connect wirelessly to your main WiFi network and begin extending its reach.

Connecting Devices to Extender Network

Once setup, you will essentially have two wireless networks in your home - the existing one from your main router, and a new extended network from your extender.

To connect devices like phones, laptops, etc. to the extended network:

Any device connected to the extender network will now get the extended signal, helping eliminate any dead zones!

Optimizing Extender Placement

Getting the right location is key to maximizing your extended wireless coverage. If coverage is still spotty after initial setup, try tweaking the extender placement:

Take your time experimenting with different extender positions. Finding the ideal spot can really optimize your extended WiFi coverage.

Using Old Routers as Extenders

One bonus to this project is being able to reuse an old router gathering dust in a closet somewhere. Nearly any spare wireless router will work as an extender, which helps save money.

When using an old router, be sure to:

So don't throw out those old wireless routers! With a simple reset and config, they can provide an economical, hassle-free WiFi range extender.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some quick troubleshooting tips if your DIY extender isn't working right:

With a little trial-and-error, you should be able to get your extender working reliably and enjoy WiFi throughout your entire home.


Boosting your home's WiFi coverage is easy with a simple DIY wireless range extender. Just about any spare router can be configured in bridge mode to pick up the existing signal and rebroadcast it farther. Strategic placement is key, but is easy to optimize through experimentation. With an hour or two of effort, you can say goodbye to dead zones and enjoy strong WiFi in every corner of your house!