How to extend range of Wireless Network using DD-WRT and another router for free

Wireless LAN networks have a limited range. If you are a home user with a single internet connection, you can go wireless with one router. However, you may not get the wireless signal across your home. To make it work across a wider area, you need to extend your wireless network. You can extend the wireless network by installing a range extender. However, if you have 2 wireless LAN routers, you can extend your wireless network by setting up the 2nd router as a Wireless LAN repeater. There is no need to buy a range extender.

See the diagrams below. Figure 1 shows a single router (the setup we normally use at home). Figure 2 illustrates the same home network with another wireless router (Router B) used as a repeater which allows us to extend the primary wireless network.

In Figure 2, the primary router (Router A) has to be connected to the internet. There are no settings to be done on the primary router. You need to set up the second router (Router B) as a repeater. Router B extends the signal of the primary router (Router A) to other parts of the home. Users not in the range of Router A, need to connect to Router B to connect to the primary router and then to the internet.

Figure 1: One Router and Wireless Connection Figure 2: Extend Wireless Range with 2 Wireless Routers
OneRouter Repeater

All settings explained below need to be done only on Router B Repeater, shown in red text in Figure 2.

Equipment:
You may have different routers than those in Table 1 below. Therefore, you will need to install the relevant DD-WRT firmware on both routers as applicable to your router model.

1 Primary Router (Router A) WRT54G
2 Second Router (Router B) WRT54GS
3 ADSL Router ZyXEL

Table 1: Equipment

The IP Addresses for the devices are as shown in Table 2 below.

1 ADSL Router IP Address 192.168.1.1
2 Primary Router A IP Address (connected to internet) 192.168.2.1
3 Second Router (Router B) 192.168.3.1

Table 2: IP Addresses of the devices on the home network

Settings for Router A:
1. None to be done.
2. Make a note of the SSID and Wireless LAN password for Router A
3. Make sure you have enabled SSID broadcast initially. After it works, you can disable SSID broadcast.

Settings for Router B:
This router is to be configured as a WLAN repeater for the purpose of extending the range of the host router. In my case, this is the WRT54GS model and it needs to have an IP Address of 192.168.3.1.

The instructions below explain how to set up Router B (Client) as a Wireless LAN Repeater.

1 Do a 30/30/30 reset of the router, i.e. Hold down the reset button behind the router for 30 seconds with the power on, while holding the reset button down switch off the power and hold for another 30 seconds and again switch on the power while holding down the reset buttong for another 30 seconds.
Now restart the router.
2 Connect it to your computer using the Ethernet / network cable.
Visit the web GUI configuration page. It will be http://192.168.1.1
Enter a new router administration ID and password first, before proceeding.
3 Select menu option
Wireless -> Basic Settings
Wireless Mode = Repeater
Wireless Network Mode = Mixed (same as on the host router)
Wireless Network Name (SSID) = Same as on host router
Click Save.Add 1 virtual interface
In Virtual Interfaces
Wireless Network Name (SSID) = New SSID for the repeater
Wireless SSID Broadcast = Enable initially. Hide after successful configuration
Click Save.
4 Select Menu Option
Wireless -> Wireless Security
Physical Interface wl0 SSID [host SSID]
Security Mode = WPA2 Personal
WPA Algorithms = AES
WPA Shared Key = the WLAN password of the host routerVirtual Interface wl0.1 SSID [client SSID]
Security Mode = WPA2 Personal
WPA Algoriths = AES
WPA Shared Key = enter a WLAN password to use the Repeater connection.
Click Save
5 Select Menu Option
Setup -> Basic Setup
WAN Connection Type = Automatic Configuration – DHCPNetwork Setup
Router IP
Local IP Address = 192.168.3.1
Subnet Mask = 255.255.255.0
Gateway = 192.168.3.1
Local DNS = 0.0.0.0Network Address Server Settings (DHCP)
DHCP Type = DHCP Server
DHCP Server = Enable
Start IP Address = 192.168.3.10
Static DNS 1 = 8.8.4.4
Static DNS 2 = 192.168.1.1
Static DNS 3= 192.168.2.1
Use DNSMasq for DHCP = checked
Use DNSMasq for DNS = checked
DHCP Authoritative = checkedTime Settings
NTP Client = Enabled
Choose your timezone
Click Save
6 Select Menu Option
Security -> Firewall
SPI Firewall = Disable
Block Anonymous WAN requests (ping) = uncheck
Filter Multicast = check
Filter WAN NAT Redirection = uncheck
Filter IDENT (Port 113) = uncheck.
Click Save
7 Select Menu Option
Adminitration
Web Access
Protocol = HTTP
Enable Infosite = Disable
Web GUI Management = Disable
Telnet Management = Disable
Allow Any Remote IP = Disable
Enter range of IP addresses that can manage the router.
Click Save
8 Now go back to Wireless -> Basic Settings and click on Apply Settings.
The router will reboot.
9 Reboot both Router 1 and Router 2.Next, switch them both on and now place Router 2 at a distance from Router 1. Router 2 will connect to Router 1 using the SSID ID you entered in the Physical interface in Step 3. You need to connect to the Virtual Network SSID you entered in Step 3 for the Repeater.

You can now surf the internet from a longer distance.

10 Lastly, you can disable the broadcast of the SSIDs on both routers, after it works.