DD-WRT firmware based routers have built-in support for using them as a repeater or repeater bridge, but not all of them have this feature out of the box (specially Atheros chipset based ones don’t have this feature). But luckily there is a workaround! I have configured an unsupported Atheros based dd-wrt router as repeater. Here is the process.
Let’s say you have a main router (Router 1) with SSID Hotspot (password: “secret”, wireless security: WPA2 Personal), which has the internet. We want to extend/repeat its network via a dd-wrt router (Router 2).
- Login to dd-wrt control panel of Router 2 (usually the URL address is 192.168.1.1 unless it’s been changed).
- In Setup > Basic Setup, change the connection type to Automatic Configuration-DHCP.
- In the same tab, scroll down to Network Setup > Router IP > Local IP Address and change it to something different from your main router (Router 1). For example, if Router 1’s local IP is 192.168.0.1, change Router 2’s local IP to 192.168.1.1 to avoid clash. Click on Save.
- In Wireless > Basic Settings tab, set the Wireless Mode to Client and Wireless Network Name (SSID) to Hotspot (same as your main router, Router 1).
- In the same tab, scroll down to Virtual Interfaces, Wireless Mode and set it to AP and Wireless Network Name (SSID) to Hotspot Repeater (you can set it to any name you want). Also, keep Wireless SSID Broadcast as Enabled. Click on Save.
- Now in Wireless > Wireless Security tab, in Physical Interface section, set the Security Mode to WPA, Network Authentication to WPA2 Personal (also WPA personal, if you have really old devices) and enter your main router’s (Router 1) password in WPA Shared Key field. In our case, it’s “secret”.
- Scroll down to Virtual Interfaces section and set Security Mode to WPA, Network Authentication to WPA2 Personal (also WPA personal, if you have really old devices) and enter a new password for your repeater/Router 2 in the WPA Shared Key field. In our case, it’s “super_secret”. Click Save.
- In Setup > Wireless tab, Scroll down to Wireless Nodes and click on Site Survey. You may see a list of available Wi-fi networks there. Find, Hotspot (the SSID of your main router) and click Join.
- After that the dd-wrt router will reboot and work as a repeater. If it doesn’t reboot or doesn’t work, go to Services tab and Reboot the router manually.