As the wireless technology progresses, more powerful wireless standards are introduced to the consumer market. For instance, the new wireless N is outperforming the old wireless G in terms of the network speed and range. Many of us bought new wireless router to take advantage of the new technology. That left the old wireless router unused. That is wasteful. However, I can tell you for sure that your old wireless router is not yet at the end of its life. If you find that you are in one of the following situations, this is the right article for you.

1. You have a out of range computer / laptop in your house which cannot get the wireless signal.

2. You have a computer, laptop, TV, or Xbox which does not have wireless adapter to receive the signal.

3. You want to set a separate internet wireless network.

Wireless Router to Wireless Adapter
Wireless Router to Wireless Adapter

In this article, I will show you how to configure your unused wireless router as wireless receiver or adapter. The first thing you must do is to check whether your wireless router is running a custom firmware. Without the custom firmware, it is impossible to do this as the stock firmware does not provide the functionality. If your router does not have custom firmware, you can research how to upgrade it. The instruction can be obtain from dd-wrt website. The upgrade instruction is out of the scope of this article. To find the custom firmware for your router, you can search for it directly from this link.

Now, you may already have a custom firmware running. If you have DD-WRT as the firmware, no matter what wireless router you are using (e.g. Linksys WRT54G, Linksys WRT54GL, etc.), the configuration will be simple and easy. The following steps will guide you to configure it as a wireless receiver or wireless adapter.

STEP 1: CHECK THE HOST WIRELESS ROUTER’s SETTINGS (YOUR CURRENT ROUTER)
The purpose of this step is to take notes the current settings of your host wireless router. Information collected will be used in next step.

1.1. Connect your laptop to the host router wireless network or use wired Ethernet cable.

1.2. Open Internet Explorer or other browsers and navigate to the router’s configuration web interface page (default is 192.168.1.1)
Note: A login prompt will be presented, use the username and password that you set. If you cannot remember what they are, press and hold the reset button at the back of the router for 30 seconds, username and password will be reset to factory defaults (username: <keep it blank>, password: admin)

1.3. Select Status -> Router – take note the DNS1 and DNS2 value.

1.4. Select Setup -> Basic Setup – take note the host router’s Local IP, Subnet Mask, and Starting IP Address.

1.5. Select Wireless -> Basic Settings – take note the router’s Wireless Network Name (SSID).

1.6. Select Wireless -> Wireless Security – take note the security info (e.g. WEP key or WPA or WPA2 key depend on what type of security you are using).

STEP 2: CONFIGURE THE CLIENT ROUTER (YOUR UNUSED ROUTER) AS WIRELESS RECEIVER OR WIRELESS ADAPTER
Please read carefully then follow the instructions step by step.

2.1. Disconnect your laptop/computer from wireless network. Connect one end of an Ethernet cable to your laptop’s/computer’s Ethernet port and the other end to LAN 1 Port of the client router.

2.2. Open Internet Explorer or other browsers and navigate to the client router’s configuration web interface (usually default 192.168.1.1)
Note: A login prompt will be presented, use the username and password that you set. If you cannot remember what they are, press and hold the reset button at the back of the router for 30 seconds, username and password will be reset to factory defaults (username: <keep it blank> , password: admin)

2.3. Select Wireless -> Basic Settings – Change Wireless Mode to Client. Change Wireless Network Name (SSID) to the SSID value that you have collected in step 1.5 above. (Note: the client router’s SSID needs to be the same as the host router’s SSID so that the client router can look for the host’s wireless network to connect). Then hit “Save” button at the end of the page to save all changes.

2.4. Select Wireless -> Wireless Security – Change all values so that they look the same as host router’s values collected in step 1.6 (Note: this step tell the client router the security info so that it can connect to the host router). Hit “Save” button at the end of the page to save all changes.

2.5. Select Security -> Firewall – Change Firewall Protection.SPI Firewall to Disable (Note: As the host router already has firewall enabled, we do not need firewall on client router. Enable firewall on client router may prevent you to access other computers or devices on the host network).

2.6. Select Setup -> Basic Setup
– Change WAN Connection Type.Connection Type to Static IP
– Change WAN Connection Type.WAN IP Address to 192.168.1.2 (or any IPs between the host router’s IP 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.100)
– Change WAN Connection Type.Subnet Mask to the Subnet Mask value collected in step 1.4 (usually 255.255.255.0)
– Change WAN Connection Type.Gateway to host router’s Local IP from step 1.4 (usually 192.168.1.1)
– Change WAN Connection Type.Static DNS 1 to host router’s Local IP from step 1.4 (usually 192.168.1.1)
– Change WAN Connection Type.Static DNS 2 and DNS 3 to the values collected (more specifically DNS 1 and DNS 2) in step 1.3
– Change Router IP.Local IP Address to 192.168.2.1 (Note: to keep client router’s IP different from host router’s IP)
– Change Router IP.Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0
– Change Router IP.Gateway 192.168.2.1
– Change Router IP.Local DNS to Host Router’s IP (usually 192.168.1.1)

Then, hit “Save” Button at the end of the page to save all changes. You can now hit Apply Changes to apply all changes. It is a good idea to restart client router too.

To see the changes you need to open CMD prompt and type in “ipconfig /release”, hit [Enter]. Wait a moment. Then, type in “ipconfig /renew”, hit [Enter]. Or, the simpler way to see changes is that you unplug the Ethernet cable from your computer or laptop that you are working on. Unplug the client router’s Power Adapter. Then, plug in everything again. Wait a moment for the router to restart and connect to the host router’s wireless network. Then, you can navigate to 192.168.2.1 to double check if everything is correct. Try to browse the internet. If you have the internet connection, you have successfully configure your unused wireless router as a wireless receiver or wireless adapter. The client router’s wireless signal will not visible to any device or other wireless adapter. Any device connects to LAN 1 to LAN 4 port through Ethernet cables will have internet connection. So go ahead hook up your TV, XBox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Computer or other devices to the client router LAN Port.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTES:
If you have trouble access other computers or devices on host network, try to go to Wireless -> Basic Settings and change Wireless mode to Client Bridge Mode. Then, hit Save button to save all changes and hit Apply button to apply changes. Restart the router. That’s all you have to do. Then, you will be able to access computer and other devices from XBox 360 and TV.

Client mode vs Client Bridge mode (You may ask?)
Client Bridge Mode is similar to Client mode except that it makes your client router as a “pure” wireless adapter. This means DHCP server is disabled. Instead, all the client connected to client router through LAN 1 to LAN 4 port will be assigned IP addresses by the host router (e.g. 192.168.1.131 instead of 192.168.2.100). Client mode is on the other hand. It acts as wireless adapter and it can also manage its own network. All devices connected to LAN 1 to LAN 4 port will be assigned IP addresses by the client router, using its own DHCP server (e.g. 192.168.2.100 and so on).

Have fun and enjoy. I am sure you will save a lot of money from this instead of buying new cables, wifi adapter for TV, XBox, etc. If you have any issue please comment. I will try to help. Thanks for reading.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Worked for me on my Linksys WRT54G2 router. However, I’m not able to access shared folders from other computers on the network, nor can I access other shared folders from the PC using the router as a WiFi adapter.

    Any thoughts? File sharing had been working fine on other networks, but not with this setup.

  2. Great post. Is there a way to do this if you dont have access to the router you are trying to receive the signal from (i.e. unprotected neighbors wifi, public hotspot nearby)?

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