How to Build a DIY WiFi Extender from Old Routers


A WiFi extender can help boost your wireless network's range and strength. Building your own WiFi extender from an old router is a cost-effective way to improve your home's WiFi coverage. In this guide, I will walk you through the steps to create a simple DIY WiFi extender using an old router you may have laying around.

What You Need

To build your own WiFi extender, you will need:

How It Works

A WiFi extender works by picking up the existing WiFi signal from your main router, amplifying it, and then rebroadcasting the boosted signal. This effectively increases the range and coverage of your home's wireless network.

The extender does not have to be connected directly to the main router. As long as it can pick up a wireless signal from the main router, it can boost and rebroadcast it.

Steps to Build the Extender

Follow these steps to build a WiFi extender from an old router:

Step 1: Update Router Firmware

Before setting up the extender, it's a good idea to update the router's firmware to the latest version. Outdated firmware can cause problems.

To update the firmware:

  1. Connect your computer directly to the old router via Ethernet cable.

  2. Log in to the router's administration page. The default URL is usually

  3. Navigate to the firmware update section.

  4. Check the router manufacturer's website for the latest firmware. Download and install it.

Step 2: Place Router and Connect

Place the old router in a location between your main router and the WiFi dead zone you want to extend coverage to.

The ideal position is halfway between the two areas. The extender needs to pick up a strong wireless signal from the main router in order to boost and rebroadcast it.

Use an Ethernet cable to connect your main router to the WAN/Internet port on the old router. This cable will provide the backhaul connection between the two routers.

Step 3: Configure Extender Router Settings

With the router powered on and connected via Ethernet cable, access the router admin page again. This time, we will change some settings to configure it as a wireless extender:

Step 4: Connect Devices to Extended Network

You can now connect wireless devices to the new SSID broadcast by the repeater router. They will be able to access the internet via the extended wireless coverage.

Move a device closer to the extender and connect to its wireless network to test the extended range. You may need to manually disconnect from the main router's WiFi network first if the device does not automatically jump to the stronger signal.

Tips for Optimal Performance

Here are some tips to get the best performance out of your DIY WiFi extender:


Building your own WiFi extender is a great DIY project that can expand your wireless coverage at little cost. Just about any old WiFi router can be repurposed to act as a repeater bridge. Follow the setup steps to position and configure the router. Optimizing placement and settings will deliver the best boost in your WiFi network's range and strength. Enjoy the benefits of whole-home wireless coverage! Let me know if you have any other questions.