Having slow and spotty WiFi in parts of your home can be very frustrating. But there's a neat DIY solution - you can build your own WiFi extender using a Raspberry Pi to boost your wireless signal to those WiFi dead zones.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk you through exactly how to set up a Raspberry Pi as a WiFi extender, step-by-step. We'll cover:

What You'll Need

To build your own Raspberry Pi WiFi extender, you'll need just a few components:

Raspberry Pi

I recommend using a Raspberry Pi 4 model B. The Pi 4 has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, which makes it perfect for a WiFi extender. Earlier Pi models will also work, but may have slower network speeds.

microSD Card

You'll need a microSD card at least 8 GB in size to store the Raspberry Pi OS and software. A 16 GB or 32 GB card provides more room for future projects too.

Power Supply

A 5V USB-C power supply capable of supplying at least 3A power. The official Raspberry Pi USB-C supply works great.

WiFi Adapter (optional)

While the Pi 4 has onboard WiFi, for earlier Pi models you'll need a USB WiFi adapter to connect wirelessly. Choose one that specifically supports Access Point (AP) mode.

Ethernet Cable

To initially configure your Pi WiFi extender, you'll need an ethernet cable to connect it to your existing router. This allows you to SSH into the Pi and get everything set up.

Case (optional)

A Raspberry Pi case is optional, but helps protect your Pi and keep it neat. There are many options available.

Install Raspberry Pi OS

With your components ready, it's time to get your Pi set up.

First, install the Raspberry Pi OS onto your microSD card. The official Raspberry Pi Imager app makes this very easy to do.

Once finished, insert your microSD card into the Pi and connect it to your router via ethernet cable.

Enable SSH on the Pi

With your Pi connected to the router, you'll need to enable SSH to connect to it remotely.

Navigate to the boot volume on the microSD card on your computer. Create a blank file called ssh (no extension) to activate SSH.

Eject and reinsert the microSD card into your Pi. Now you can connect via SSH.

Find Your Pi's IP Address

Before you can SSH in, you'll need your Pi's IP address on your local network.

An easy way to find this is by logging into your router's admin console and looking under attached devices or the DHCP lease table.

Alternatively, you can use an IP scanner tool like Angry IP Scanner to scan your network and find your Pi.

Look for a device name like raspberrypi.

Connect to Your Pi via SSH

With your Pi's IP address, open a terminal on your computer and enter:

ssh pi@<ip_address>

When prompted, enter the default Raspberry Pi OS password: raspberry.

You are now remotely connected to your Raspberry Pi!

Set Up the WiFi Extender Software

Now for the fun part - setting up your Raspberry Pi as a WiFi extender!

I recommend using the open-source Create_AP software for this.

First, update the package manager:

sudo apt update

Then install Create_AP:

sudo apt install create_ap

With the software installed, run:

sudo create_ap wlan0 eth0 MyExtender MyPassword

This will configure your Pi as an access point named MyExtender, using the wlan0 wireless interface and eth0 wired interface.

Choose your own SSID, password, and interfaces as needed.

Connect Your Devices to the Extender

Your DIY Raspberry Pi WiFi extender should now be broadcasting its own SSID.

From your devices, simply connect to the extender's SSID and enter the password you set. It will bridge the connection between your existing router and your device.

Move around your home and test the extended signal coverage. Enjoy the speed boost!

Changing WiFi Channels

If your extender network seems slow, congestion from neighboring WiFi networks on the same channel may be the issue.

Scan for nearby networks with a tool like WiFiAnalyzer and choose a less occupied channel for your extender.

Then adjust your extender channel setting:

sudo iwconfig wlan0 channel 6

Setting Up the Extender as Repeater

For some situations, you may want to configure your Pi as a wireless repeater instead of an access point:

sudo create_ap --repeater wlan0 eth0 MyRouterSSID MyRouterPass MyExtender MyPassword

This will repeat and extend the existing WiFi signal from MyRouterSSID. Great for larger homes!


Setting up a Raspberry Pi WiFi extender is a fun DIY project to improve your home's WiFi coverage. With just a Pi and a few components, you can build an inexpensive and customizable signal booster tailored for your needs.

The Create_AP software makes it easy to configure the Pi as either an access point or repeater. Place your new extender in a central location and enjoy faster speeds across your house!

Let me know if you have any other tips for building a great DIY WiFi extender with a Raspberry Pi. I'm always looking to improve my setup.