How to Build a Low Cost DIY WiFi Extender from Scrap Electronics

Building a DIY WiFi extender from scrap electronics is an inexpensive way to boost your home's WiFi coverage. With just a little bit of technical know-how, I was able to create a functional extender that expanded my network reach. Here's how I did it.

Gather the Necessary Components

The great thing about this project is that many of the parts can be salvaged from old routers, laptops, cell phones and other discarded electronics. Here's what I needed to build my extender:

In addition to the salvaged components above, I also used:

Connect the Router to Your Main Network

The first step is connecting your repurposed router to your existing home network.

  1. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into your main router's LAN port and the other end into the LAN port on the router you are using for the extender. This connects the two routers together on your network.

  2. Connect the 5V DC power supply to your extender router. Make sure to observe the proper polarity. This will power up your router.

  3. Verify that your extender router is connected to your network. Look for indicator lights showing it has a successful connection.

Configure the Extender Router

Next, you need to configure your extender router's settings:

Once configured, your extender router will join your home network and broadcast its own wireless signal. Make sure to test the connection before mounting it in the enclosure.

Assemble the Enclosure

The last step is assembling the plastic enclosure:

I positioned the router near the back and ran the Ethernet cable through a hole to connect to my main network. The power supply was mounted on the side.

Optimizing Placement

To get the best coverage from your DIY extender, you'll need to experiment with placement:

With some tweaking of location, I was able to extend my WiFi network to the back rooms of my home with a simple homemade wireless repeater! Let me know if you have any other tips for building or optimizing a DIY extender.