Everyone uses Wireless connectivity nowadays, and most of us have had a number of routers from various ISPs over the years. Some may even have some more enterprise grade kit lying around. Here’s where we show you how to improve that flaky Wireless network when you’re in your greenhouse!
This isn’t something that we cover here at MTT often but it is something that is certainly worth knowing how to do with VoIP (Voice Over IP) becoming more and more popular and with apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Three in Touch being used more often etc. Basically any app/service that allows your to transmit your voice to someone else using the internet is where all communications are going and indeed most are already there. In order to use such services you need a fairly good connection.
Now if you have poor WiFi signal you should try moving the router and seeing if works. If not, adding an AP can be an easy fix. There are many options ranging in price and if you have been a follower of the site you’ll know that one of my earliest reviews was of the TP-LINK TL-WR702N (click here to read the review), a pocket router that was full of features that didn’t cost too much. The main reason I purchased this at the time was to actually use it as an AP. But I could have saved myself a few quid if I’d known about this at the time. So all your going to create your own Wireless Access Point is:
- Old router
- Ethernet Cable
So you want to connect to your existing router and download WiFi Analyzer (click here to download it) for your smartphone. Open it and tap the 3 little dots in the right had corner. Press Tools then LAN Neighbors and you should be greeted with these screens.
The key piece of information we are looking for here is the IP address labelled Gateway. We will need this later so take note of it.
Take your old router, and using the Ethernet cable connect it to the PC and power it on. Once the it has turned on and the PC detects the connection, open a web browser and for the URL box type “192.168.1.1” (without the speech marks). You may need to Google the default IP address for the particular router you are using. You should then be promoted to input a username and password. Most routers user admin as the username and admin as the password by default, but again Google is your friend here. Click advance and a pop up box saying “Warning: For advanced users only”, just hit OK.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. The precise options you need to click on and settings menus you need to navigate will depend on the old router you’re using. We’re using an old D-Link router here, and most interfaces are relatively similar. Just bear that in mind.
Once logged in press Wireless Setup and give it a name and password. Hit save and then press save.
In the Router IP Address enter the IP address from gateway in the WiFi Analyzer app and type it in. Take the last number and change it to anything up to 253. Make sure that it isn’t the same as any in the list. So in this case we can’t use:
These are all taken by another device on the network so I will use a .2 IP instead. You also can’t use 126.96.36.199 as this is the default gateway for you main router. You also need to de-tick the Enable DHCP Server so we don’t swamp the network.
You should end up with a screen like this. Press save and wait for the device to restart. Going back to the phone you should then see the new name of the router. In this case its DSL-2680.
That’s the hard bit done. Simply grab the Ethernet cable and plug one end into your main router and the other into a LAN port on the one you’ve done the work on. Make sure you don’t plug it into the WAN port. Put it where you want it and run some power to it and Bob’s your Uncle. Connect to it and away you go. Tuck the cables away and surf the web at your leisure. You can also connect wired devices to the other Ethernet ports and use it a switch too.
There you go – a super cheap and easy way to increase your WiFi coverage in your home. If you don’t have an old router you can easily pick one up from eBay or a car boot for a few quid. A long Ethernet cable is also in expensive too. Just Google the length you want and you’ll find loads of results.
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