How to Build a DIY WiFi Range Extender for Under $5


Having a strong WiFi signal throughout your home can be a challenge. Walls, floors, appliances and other objects can weaken and block your wireless router's signal, resulting in dead zones where you can't get online.

Fortunately, there's an easy and affordable way to boost your WiFi coverage without spending a lot of money. In this guide, I'll walk you through how to build your own DIY WiFi range extender for under $5.

What You'll Need

Building your own WiFi range extender is simple and requires just a few cheap components:

That's it! With just those three things, you can build a powerful WiFi extender on the cheap.

How It Works

A WiFi range extender works by receiving the wireless signal from your main router, then rebroadcasting the signal further into areas it can't reach on its own.

We'll configure the secondary router to connect to the primary router wirelessly. It then amplifies that signal and retransmits it to extend the coverage area.

This gives you an instant WiFi boost without running long Ethernet cables or paying for an expensive commercial extender.

Setting Up the Extender Router

Follow these steps to configure your second wireless router as a WiFi range extender:

1. Update Router Firmware

Check the manufacturer's website for any available firmware updates for your router and install them. Keeping the router firmware updated helps ensure compatibility.

2. Connect Routers Via Ethernet

Connect your main router to the secondary extender router using the Ethernet cable. This initial wired connection allows you to configure the second router.

3. Access the Extender's Settings

Access your second router's admin interface by browsing to or Consult the router documentation for the correct default gateway IP address.

Log in with the admin credentials. The default username and password are often "admin" and "password" if you haven't changed them.

4. Disable DHCP Server

In the router's settings, locate the DHCP server settings. Disable the DHCP server on the extender router so it doesn't hand out IP addresses to connected devices.

Leave the DHCP server enabled on your primary router. Having two DHCP servers causes conflicts.

5. Set the Extender's IP Address

Under the router's IP settings, assign the extender router a static IP address that's outside of your primary router's DHCP address pool range.

For example, if your main router hands out IP addresses between and, assign the extender a static IP address like

6. Connect the Extender to Your Primary Router Wirelessly

Find the wireless settings on the extender router. Enter the SSID (network name) and wireless password of your primary router.

This connects the two routers wirelessly, allowing the extender to receive the WiFi signal from your existing network.

The extender can now amplify the signal and rebroadcast it with the same SSID and password. Devices will connect seamlessly as you move around your home.

Optimizing Placement

Where you place your new WiFi range extender makes a big difference. Here are some tips for getting the best performance:

Start with line-of-sight placement between the routers. Move it incrementally farther from the main router while testing the signal, until you achieve the coverage needed.

Enjoy Whole-Home WiFi

That's all there is to it! With just a few common components and some simple configuration, you can build a powerful WiFi extender to eliminate dead zones for less than $5.

No more spotty connections when streaming video or surfing the web on your devices. Extend your wireless network's range without busting your budget.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some quick troubleshooting steps if you're having issues getting your DIY extender working:

With minor adjustments, you'll be enjoying stable WiFi coverage throughout your home. Have fun going wireless for cheap!