What do I do with old routers

Increase WiFi speed - this is how it works

Use an old router as an access point or repeater

If you have left an old router, you can use it to improve the wireless range. It can be used as an access point or as a repeater. If the old router works as an access point, it is in contact with the main router via LAN cable or powerline connection and sets up an additional WLAN at its location in order to bring devices into the wireless network that are no longer or only connected can connect to the main router at a low data rate.

You can switch some routers to access point mode using the menu settings - you will usually find this option in the advanced settings. If the old router does not have a suitable setting, you have to switch off DHCP on it so that it can get an IP address from the main router. To do this, connect the old router to a computer that is not connected to the home network using a LAN cable and log in to the browser menu.

In the case of a Fritzbox with the latest Fritz OS, go to "Internet -> Access data" for the access point mode and select "Other Internet provider" for the Internet provider. Now mark the option “External modem or router” under “Connection” and the entry “Use existing Internet connection (IP client mode) under“ Operating mode ”. You can also enter the Internet speed in the connection settings.

An older router can also serve as a WiFi repeater. However, most routers that are a few years old only support the insecure method WDS (Wireless Distribution System). With WDS, routers from different manufacturers can work together as base stations and repeaters. But only with the now insecure WEP encryption, which is why you should avoid this variant.

This is why some manufacturers have developed their own methods: Fritz boxes from AVM that run at least with Fritz OS 5.50 can be connected as a base station and repeater and protect the connection with WPA2. To do this, set the main router as the base station in the menu under "WLAN -> Repeater". In the same menu on the router that is to serve as a repeater, select "Repeater".

More range for little money: WLAN repeater and access point

If the free tuning measures are unsuccessful, you will have to invest in better WLAN hardware. First of all, a WLAN repeater is recommended: Place it in a socket halfway between the WLAN router and the remote stations that you want to reach via WLAN. The repeater extends the range of the wireless signal from the router. Most repeaters help to find the best location via LEDs on the housing.

The WLAN repeater should definitely transmit on the two frequency bands 2.4 and 5 GHz: In this way, it can connect to the router on one frequency and to the remote station on the other and use the maximum possible speed on each band (cross-band). Technology). With repeaters that only handle 2.4 GHz, the data rate is halved because a data packet occupies the radio link twice.

Depending on the WLAN speed, recommended dual-band repeaters cost between 35 euros for the TP-Link RE200 (maximum 433 MBit / s over 5 and 300 MBit / s over 2.4 GHz) and around 80 euros for the AVM Fritz-WLAN Repeater 1750E (up to 1300 Mbit / s over 5 and 450 Mbit / s over 2.4 GHz).

In order to integrate the WLAN repeater into an existing wireless network, it must adopt the SSID and WLAN password from the router. You can do this via WPS by pressing the corresponding button on the repeater and shortly afterwards on the router - for a reliable connection, both devices should be next to each other as far as possible. You can also enter the WiFi information manually in the repeater: To do this, connect to the repeater's WiFi network using a PC or notebook and call up its user interface in the browser.

The repeater displays the WLANs it has discovered and you mark the ones that you want it to expand. If the connection to the main WLAN is established, place the repeater in its final location.

The WLAN repeater only extends the range of the main WLAN - not automatically the speed: The radio connection is still exposed to interference WLANs. The contact with the router becomes more stable if you cover the longest possible distance between the router and the remote station via LAN or Powerline and only set up a wireless network where you are using the WLAN devices. You can use a repeater as a LAN bridge or a powerline adapter with access point function. If you want to set up a Fritz repeater as a LAN bridge, load the factory settings by pressing the WPS button for at least 15 seconds until all LEDs flash. Then connect a PC to the repeater via WLAN, call up the menu and go to "Home network access -> Change access type".

If you have a powerline network, you can expand your WLAN via a powerline access point such as the Devolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac (adapter for around 130 euros, adapter kit for around 190 euros). Before you place the adapter in a socket, note down the WLAN password printed on the housing. If the adapter is in the socket, wait around a minute until it is ready for use. Now press the encryption button on another Powerline adapter in the home network and within two minutes the house symbol on the new adapter. It now takes over the password of the powerline network. Then connect to the WLAN of the powerline adapter using the password you wrote down previously.

In the factory state, the Devolo adapter spans a WLAN with its own SSID and its own password. It makes more sense if the adapter WLAN extends the existing home WLAN and you can log in under the usual SSID with the known password. To do this, use the "WiFi Clone" function, with which the Powerline WLAN receives the relevant information from the main router. To do this, press the encryption button with the house symbol on the front of the powerline adapter and then the WPS button on the WLAN router whose access data are to be adopted. If this doesn't work, use the dLAN Cockpit tool. In the software, call up the symbol for the powerline adapter and go to "WLAN configuration -> WiFi Move". Activate "WiFi Clone" there. You then have to press the WPS button on the router so that it forwards the network information to the powerline adapter.