How to Build a Low-Cost DIY WiFi Extender from Scratch


Having WiFi dead zones in your home can be frustrating. You may have areas where the WiFi signal from your router just doesn't reach. Purchasing a commercial WiFi extender can be expensive, but with a little DIY spirit, you can build your own for much less. In this guide, I'll walk you through the complete process of building a low-cost WiFi extender using cheap, easy-to-find components. With just a bit of technical know-how, you can boost your WiFi coverage and save money.

What You'll Need

Before getting started, you'll need to gather a few components:

Software Installation

With the hardware in hand, it's time to install the software on your Raspberry Pi. This involves imaging an operating system and WiFi extender software onto your microSD card:

  1. Download the Raspbian operating system image from the Raspberry Pi website. This Linux-based OS works well for a WiFi extender.

  2. Using imaging software like Etcher, install Raspbian onto your microSD card. Be sure to select the right drive to avoid accidentally wiping your computer's main drive.

  3. Insert the microSD into your Pi and connect it to a display. Log in and open the terminal.

  4. Update Raspbian by entering sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade in the terminal window. Hit Y to confirm.

  5. Install hostapd and other dependencies with sudo apt-get install hostapd dnsmasq.

  6. Download the Pi Repeater software from GitHub using git clone

With the software installation complete, your Raspberry Pi is ready to function as a WiFi extender.

Setting Up the Hardware

Next, it's time to connect the components:

  1. Plug the power supply into your Raspberry Pi. Be sure to use a sufficient power supply to avoid stability issues.

  2. Connect your Raspberry Pi to your router using the Ethernet cable. This uplink connection will provide the extended WiFi network access to your existing router and modem.

  3. If your Pi model does not have built-in WiFi, plug the external WiFi adapter into one of the USB ports.

  4. Once powered on, place the Pi in the case and position it in the WiFi dead zone you want to eliminate. Elevated locations between your router and dead zone are ideal.

With all the hardware connected, it's time to configure the software.

Software Configuration

To complete the WiFi extender setup, you'll need to log into the Pi Repeater software and modify some key settings:

  1. On another device connected to your router, browse to to access the web interface.

  2. Under Configure Hotspot, enter your desired SSID, password, and WiFi channel. Using a different SSID from your main network helps differentiate the extended network.

  3. Go to Configure DHCP Server and set the starting and ending IP address ranges for devices connecting to the extended network.

  4. Under Misc Settings, choose your country code and set the Wireless Regulatory Domain.

  5. Finally, click Save & Apply Changes to enable your new DIY WiFi network! Connect your devices to test.

With the proper settings dialed in, your DIY extender should now be broadcasting a new WiFi network throughout your home or office!

Optimizing Performance

To get the best performance from your homebrew WiFi extender, keep these tips in mind:

With some tweaking and testing, you should be able to build an awesome DIY WiFi extender that provides great coverage on a budget!


Building your own WiFi range extender with a Raspberry Pi is a fun, rewarding DIY project. With just a few cheap components and free software, you can banish WiFi dead zones in your home or office. Strategic placement and proper configuration will ensure your extended wireless network provides fast, reliable connectivity. Experiment with upgraded hardware and antennas if you need to boost speeds and coverage even further. With this guide, you now have all the knowledge to implement your own customized, budget-friendly WiFi extender solution.