Question Can I use an old router to extend my WiFi

Avik Basu

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I have a Netgear D1500 that I'm considering replacing because of its terrible WiFi range. But since I'm not sure why the range is terrible I was wondering if it turns out that the new router isn't giving me a good range either (maybe due to low range or external interference) then can I use the D1500 as an extender to extend my range?

I would like to know if it can be done wirelessly. But if that's not possible then can I connect it to the main router via LAN and then use it as an extender?
 
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RealBeast

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I have a Netgear D1500 that I'm considering replacing because of its terrible WiFi range. But since I'm not sure why the range is terrible I was wondering if it turns out that the new router isn't giving me a good range either (maybe due to low range or external interference) then can I use the D1500 as an extender to extend my range?

I would like to know if it can be done wirelessly. But if that's not possible then can I connect it to the main router via LAN and then use it as an extender?
The D1500 is a DSL modem/router and they generally cannot be used as an AP, but:

According to your manual it has a wireless extender mode. You would not get very good signals though as it will halve the signal that it gets on 2.4GHz.

I did see one thread HERE in the last post where a guy claimed that he got it working as an AP after a lot of difficulty.

Overall, I think that your better bet would be to buy a cheap AC router like D-Link and use it in AP mode, which is simple and very effective -- using a cable connection. If that is not possible consider a pair of AV2-1000 or higher powerline adapters where the second adapter has built in wireless. They run around $100 a set.
 
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Almost any router can be used as a AP even if it does not have a special setting. Look up how to use a router as a AP, it is mostly a cabling thing. When you use a ethernet to connect a remote radio unit it is best called a AP rather than a extender.

Using it wifi is not likely but you would have to check the feature. This is called a repeater and most routers can not do that but some can so you just have to check. You really want to avoid using any form of repeater especially if you have the option of using it as a AP instead
 

Avik Basu

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The D1500 is a DSL modem/router and they generally cannot be used as an AP, but:

According to your manual it has a wireless extender mode. You would not get very good signals though as it will halve the signal that it gets on 2.4GHz.

I did see one thread HERE in the last post where a guy claimed that he got it working as an AP after a lot of difficulty.

Overall, I think that your better bet would be to buy a cheap AC router like D-Link and use it in AP mode, which is simple and very effective -- using a cable connection. If that is not possible consider a pair of AV2-1000 or higher powerline adapters where the second adapter has built in wireless. They run around $100 a set.
I hadn't noticed that part in the manual. I understand that wireless connections lose signal due to all sorts of interference. That's why I would prefer connecting it through cable. But since I don't have the option to take it through the wall the cable will be hanging outside along the side of the house from one window to another. I suppose I'll have to decide on the situation. If both options are available to me then it makes things easier.

I'm worried about the IP settings like the guy too since my ISP has static IP instead of dynamic.

I am looking at a TP LinK router to replace the Netgear one. But the problem is that since the D1500 is a modem/router that I'm using with a DSL connection I only get one LAN and the other one is being used as a WAN port. So even if I get a router to use as an AP I won't be able to connect it with D1500 because I'm connected to my PC via LAN. The only solution then would be to connect the AC router (which would be in a different room) with the D1500 via LAN and then connect the PC to the AC router via LAN. That just sounds more hassle and cable than necessary.

Also, powerline adapters are not available in my country.
Almost any router can be used as a AP even if it does not have a special setting. Look up how to use a router as a AP, it is mostly a cabling thing. When you use a ethernet to connect a remote radio unit it is best called a AP rather than a extender.

Using it wifi is not likely but you would have to check the feature. This is called a repeater and most routers can not do that but some can so you just have to check. You really want to avoid using any form of repeater especially if you have the option of using it as a AP instead
I'm quite illiterate when it comes to networking so forgive my mistake.

I found this article explaining how to turn the router into an AP. Seems easy to follow.

I actually do have a Netgear repeater too. The WN3000RP-200INS. But it doesn't connect so well with the WiFi of the router. They are not only nearly on the farthest ends of the house but on different floors too. Its link is almost always on orange and red and rarely on the green. Pretty much defeats the purpose of it.
 

RealBeast

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I hadn't noticed that part in the manual. I understand that wireless connections lose signal due to all sorts of interference. That's why I would prefer connecting it through cable. But since I don't have the option to take it through the wall the cable will be hanging outside along the side of the house from one window to another. I suppose I'll have to decide on the situation. If both options are available to me then it makes things easier.

I'm worried about the IP settings like the guy too since my ISP has static IP instead of dynamic.

I am looking at a TP LinK router to replace the Netgear one. But the problem is that since the D1500 is a modem/router that I'm using with a DSL connection I only get one LAN and the other one is being used as a WAN port. So even if I get a router to use as an AP I won't be able to connect it with D1500 because I'm connected to my PC via LAN. The only solution then would be to connect the AC router (which would be in a different room) with the D1500 via LAN and then connect the PC to the AC router via LAN. That just sounds more hassle and cable than necessary.

Also, powerline adapters are not available in my country.

I'm quite illiterate when it comes to networking so forgive my mistake.

I found this article explaining how to turn the router into an AP. Seems easy to follow.

I actually do have a Netgear repeater too. The WN3000RP-200INS. But it doesn't connect so well with the WiFi of the router. They are not only nearly on the farthest ends of the house but on different floors too. Its link is almost always on orange and red and rarely on the green. Pretty much defeats the purpose of it.
You can get a pretty cheap 5 port switch to cure the single LAN port issue. Attach a cable from the LAN port to one of the switch ports and that will give you 4 free LAN ports to use.

And you can keep using the D1500 as your DSL modem/router -- add the inexpensive standard router set up as an AP with the cable running outside as you are considering.
 
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If you use a repeater it does not go in the remote location. It needs to go more or less 1/2 between the main router and the end device. Sometime this place does not exist because a floor or wall is blocking a lot of signal and it either gets bad signal or it gets good signal but then can't resend it to the end device.

You number 1 options is always ethernet with a wifi AP on the end. That has been the industry standard solution for coverage issues since the beginning of wifi. After that you consider poweline or moca device when you do not have the ethernet cable. They more or less look slower ethernet cable. The when you have no other options and any signal is better than no signal you consider using a wifi repeater.
 

Avik Basu

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You can get a pretty cheap 5 port switch to cure the single LAN port issue. Attach a cable from the LAN port to one of the switch ports and that will give you 4 free LAN ports to use.

And you can keep using the D1500 as your DSL modem/router -- add the inexpensive standard router set up as an AP with the cable running outside as you are considering.
Adding a switch will take care of the cable problem but I'm not looking forward to adding another device to an already full desk.

I'm looking at the TP Link Archer C6 to take care of the WiFi issue on its own without having to add another AP or a repeater because in the description it says that it can take care of regular WiFi usage up to 1000 sqft. Which is what I need the WiFi mostly for. To connect a few phones, a couple of TVs and a laptop for basic usage and streaming and occasional video calls. I've got 2 floors of 800 sqft. each. For anything major like big file downloads and gaming, I'm connected to the router via cable. But just in case the Archer fails too I wanted to know if I can use the D1500 as an AP or a repeater, whichever worked best.
If you use a repeater it does not go in the remote location. It needs to go more or less 1/2 between the main router and the end device. Sometime this place does not exist because a floor or wall is blocking a lot of signal and it either gets bad signal or it gets good signal but then can't resend it to the end device.

You number 1 options is always ethernet with a wifi AP on the end. That has been the industry standard solution for coverage issues since the beginning of wifi. After that you consider poweline or moca device when you do not have the ethernet cable. They more or less look slower ethernet cable. The when you have no other options and any signal is better than no signal you consider using a wifi repeater.
I know that the repeater needs to be in a good range of the main router to extend its signal. But it was more about the availability of outlets that made me plug it so far away.

Powerlines and moca devices are not available here. And at their price and import cost, I can easily get an expensive router.
 
I thought tplink made powerline unit for pretty much everywhere and if you can get a tplink brand router you should be able to get powerline units.

There is no magic router that goes more distance. The marketing guys not engineers are writing that crap about how many square feet routers cover. The actual distance the signal goes is purely a function of radio output power and almost every router puts out the maximum legally allowed by the government. In most cases the problems are the end devices. Many times these do not have full power radios or have very tiny antenna.

What the marketing guys are trying to do is mix the concept of network speed and the concept of signal strength. This gets extremely messy because unlike signal strength where there is a standard measure of DB. When you include the speed there is no consistent way to measure this so you can't actually compare numbers between brands.

Now why some routers work better in some houses and not in other is one of those strange things about wifi. Could be something as simple as the distance between the antenna on one router just happens to cause a slightly different path in the house than a different router. No way to predict this because the problem is the house. The only true test would be a huge open room but again pretty much any router on the market would cover 10,000 sq ft.
 
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Avik Basu

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I thought tplink made powerline unit for pretty much everywhere and if you can get a tplink brand router you should be able to get powerline units.

There is no magic router that goes more distance. The marketing guys not engineers are writing that crap about how many square feet routers cover. The actual distance the signal goes is purely a function of radio output power and almost every router puts out the maximum legally allowed by the government. In most cases the problems are the end devices. Many times these do not have full power radios or have very tiny antenna.

What the marketing guys are trying to do is mix the concept of network speed and the concept of signal strength. This gets extremely messy because unlike signal strength where there is a standard measure of DB. When you include the speed there is no consistent way to measure this so you can't actually compare numbers between brands.

Now why some routers work better in some houses and not in other is one of those strange things about wifi. Could be something as simple as the distance between the antenna on one router just happens to cause a slightly different path in the house than a different router. No way to predict this because the problem is the house. The only true test would be a huge open room but again pretty much any router on the market would cover 10,000 sq ft.
Honestly, I didn't know anything about powerline adapters until yesterday. And reading more about them today they definitely seem like the better choice. I did a search for TP Link adapters and I did find some cheaper than the ones I saw yesterday. But they are still double the price of a new router. And that's not the only obstacle. From what I read they need to be plugged in directly to the wall on the same circuitry. Not only do I not have a spare wall outlet (or a strip outlet) near the router but I don't have a spare outlet near the repeater either.
 
Powerline adapters do not need to be on the same circuit only very old models had that restriction. Now maybe you are looking at these older units because the price. AV500 units solve a lot of the problem and the newer AV2- based units improved it a lot more. There are powerline units that have passthrough plugs to solve he outlet blocking issue. I don't know when you budget is so low you have few options. I suspect though a new router is not going to fix much unless the one you have is defective in some way.
 

Avik Basu

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Well, the one I can find here does say that it requires to be on the same circuit. But even if that wasn't a problem, like I mentioned before, I lack the spare outlets required for them.

And the D1500 is kinda defective but I'm not sure how much its defect is affecting the connection, if at all. One of its antennas has come off from its base. While you can push it hard enough to keep it standing, it's always standing at a tilt. The cable inside the antenna seems undamaged.
 
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For India, the UK models will also work. From my research on my own netgear av500 units when I was planning on taking them to the in-laws in India, they do make some that are universal voltage so you just need that normal plug adapter and you're good to go.

For India, you can probably still use a power strip without issue (since they don't filter surges or anything like that) or an outlet further away and just run an ethernet cable. Also, there's no wifi that will penetrate the concrete walls of Indian construction. The stupid wood and paper houses these wifi devices are designed for don't even touch the signal compared to the concrete there which will pretty much stop the signal from getting out of the room, period. You will need to either use powerlines, moca, or just wire ethernet (best solution) and then put an ap in each area you want wifi.
 

Avik Basu

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For India, the UK models will also work. From my research on my own netgear av500 units when I was planning on taking them to the in-laws in India, they do make some that are universal voltage so you just need that normal plug adapter and you're good to go.
I'm guessing you don't live in India and actually bought them in UK and brought them to India.

Anyways, since everyone is saying a new router won't guarantee better WiFi I think I should go with an alternate plan of using the switch as mentioned by @RealBeast and connect it to the repeater and turn it into an AP. That should give a better WiFi on that floor even if it isn't excellent, right? The floor with the repeater is the main concern right now. And it would be a cheaper experiment than a new router and even cheaper than a powerline.
 
I'm guessing you don't live in India and actually bought them in UK and brought them to India.

Anyways, since everyone is saying a new router won't guarantee better WiFi I think I should go with an alternate plan of using the switch as mentioned by @RealBeast and connect it to the repeater and turn it into an AP. That should give a better WiFi on that floor even if it isn't excellent, right? The floor with the repeater is the main concern right now. And it would be a cheaper experiment than a new router and even cheaper than a powerline.
I live in the USA so I have the USA models, but knowing what I know about the plugs and availability, the UK models would probably be more available there.

You don't even need a switch if you want to do that--just get a long cable and put the repeater as an AP at the end of it.
 

Avik Basu

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We don't actually. At least not in my city. I checked major shopping sites such as Amazon and some local sites. Like I said before there's only set available here. Although double the price of the router I was looking at is still attainable if I can stretch my budget but it doesn't have the passthrough feature. And the ones that do have passthrough are way over my budget and will have to be imported. And returning tech products here are a big hassle. Major sites don't even take back tech products. So even if I'm willing to go out on a limb and give it a try. If I can't make it work then I'm stuck with it.

We are just not as sophisticated with tech as we should be. Which is ironic because many top tech companies employ a lot of Indians.

And, I would like to do a direct connection to the repeater but as I mentioned before, The D1500 has only 2 LAN ports, one of which is being used as a WAN. If I connect the repeater directly to the router then I lose the ethernet connection to my PC. And I like having a strong stable connection to my PC. If I swapped out the D1500 with the Archer then I wouldn't need a switch and can make a direct connection to the repeater. I'm trying out the switch first because it'd be the cheaper option.
 
Yeah, I know how finding this stuff can be hard and expensive even if you do (croma is nice, but it's no best buy).

Gotcha, yeah so then add the switch as that should help you take care of everything and it's a guaranteed solution. I honestly wouldn't even mess with wifi except in a particular space--the concrete walls are pretty much impenetrable.
 

Avik Basu

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Okay, so I'm gonna try out the switch setup and see how it goes from there. Thanks for all the advice guys. I really appreciate it. I got my answer and learned a few stuff.
 

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