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If you have an old Wi-Fi router lying around, you can make good use of it as a Wi-Fi access point. For example, I have connected my old O2 Wireless Box to my Virgin Media Broadband network to create a hotspot way down at the back of my garden.
Over the years, you may have switched broadband providers one or more times to get cheaper deals or better internet speeds. Broadband providers often do not bother to collect their equipment when you leave them so you may have at least one Wi-Fi router gathering dust somewhere. Using your old router as a Wireless access point has a number of advantages:
- You can extend you broadband network both wirelessly and wired
- You get additional ethernet ports in another part of your house
- You reduce the amount of unused junk in your storage space
- You look after the environment by reducing the amount of waste you throw away
The process of setting your old wi-fi router up to be used as a wireless access point is pretty straight forward. Obviously it will vary depending on your equipment by the following steps provide a good guide for you to get going...
First of all you'll need:
- An unused Wi-Fi router with its power supply
- The admin username and password for the old router. This is often found underneath the box somewhere but you may need to Google around a bit to get this information
- Ethernet network cable
- A laptop or PC
- A spare network port on your current main router
Then just follow these steps...
- Use the ethernet cable to connect your PC to the old WiFi router and power up the PC and the router
- Hard reset the old router to set the configuration to the factory settings. This can often be done by using a pin to press the reset button on the back of the box and holding for 20 seconds. After doing so, wait a couple of minutes to allow the router to restart
- On the PC go to network settings where you'll see the details for the old router
- Note down the IP Address of the router which is seen as the Default Gateway. This is often 192.168.0.1 but do check as yours may be different. For example the O2 Wireless Box II IP address is 192.168.1.254
- Enter the the router's IP address in a web browser to display the router's admin login page
- Enter the admin username and password to login to the router's admin pages
- Go to the LAN or Local Network configuration options. These are often found in the advanced section.
- Set the IP Address of the old router to one that is different from the main router such as, "192.168.0.250". This will avoid the possibility of the IP addresses of the old router and the main router clashing and preventing you from accessing the admin pages of either router once they are both connected to the network
- Set the IP subnet mask or Mask to "255.255.255.0".
- Find and uncheck any option for using the old router as a DHCP server. This functionality which assigns IP addresses to devices connected to the network will be handled by the main router
- Go to the Wireless or WiFi network settings section and make a note of the (or set to a new)
- Network Name or SSID and
- Network Encryption Key or WiFi password
- Other options you should disable on the old router since they are handled by the main router are
- Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
- Apply and save the settings
- Use an Ethernet cable to connect the old WiFi router to your main WiFi router
If all goes well, you will now be able access your current broadband Internet service by connecting your device to the WiFi access point set up on your old router. You will also be able to connect your devices to the old router via Ethernet.