Discombobulated Network – Wifi Access Point

Published on March 12, 2022 at 5:40 pm by LEW


I need to straighten out my discombobulated network! It is always a fun task straightening out a home local area network (LAN). In my specific case, the house was already wired for the Demark point to be in my office on the first floor where all other utilities enter or leave (like power, cable, and phone line). Unfortunately, said office area has now become a store room. So now I need to setup/modify several wireless access points.

My office is now in the second floor sitting area. While not as private, it offers an excellent view of downtown Manila on a clear day. Unfortunately this is a cement house, and the cat5 and coax cabling were installed during construction based on the assumption that   the down stairs store room was the office. It is notoriously hard to change wiring in a cement house post construction.

So setting up a couple of wireless access points was first on a lot of peoples list, getting full house network access setup so they could use their smart phones (amazing how we cannot get along without network access now days). Turns out the quickest way to do this was convert a couple of old wireless routers.

The Equipment

For this project I used a couple of NETGEAR WNDR3400 routers (not an endorsement for NETGEAR, I just happened to have a couple  of old ones so it was just convenient). These are fairly basic models that were easily modified. Note that the setup pages for other routers will be somewhat different than theses, so you may have to search for the settings I will list here.

These routers are basically three in one devices; 4 port switch, 2.4 and 5 GHZ wireless access point, and a functioning router. Some routers have a setting under advanced to set them up as Wifi Access Points (WAP).

These routers have a wireless repeater function which is slightly different than a wireless access point. A wireless repeater re-transmits wifi signals it receives. A wirless access point is connected via physical cable, and transmits singles from the cable though its wifi.

Router Setup

To get this to work, we will need to make a few changes to the router firmware.

  1. Reset the router if it is used, or you forgot how it was setup. This should be covered in your router manual. If you don’t have one, they are generally available on line via the model number.
  2. Connect directly to one of the router LAN ports. Open a browser and enter the default IP address, then log in with the default user name and password (from the user manual).
  3. If there is a setup wizard, you can run it or skip it. This will greatly depend on your router interface.
  4. Navigate to the Administrative section, and change the login password. Note this is different than your wifi password.
  5. Navigate tot he wireless settings (wireless setup in my case). Change the names of all your routers SSIDs (2.4 GHz and 5GHz in my case). Select a security mode (this should be something like WPA2) and enter a pass phrase for each wifi band also. Save your settings.
  6. Go to your LAN settings and give the router a static IP address for your LAN. Make sure this does not overlap with DHCP settings of your main router. Then turn off DHCP on the router you are working on. Apply/Save your settings.
  7. Disconnect your computer and shut down the router. Then connect it via cable to your main router and turn it on.

Your router has now been converted to a wireless access point. When you connect to your router/access point via wifi, it will pull an address from you main router DHCP server, and relay all your traffic also.


This has been a quick and dirty tutorial on setting up an old spare router as an access point to fill a gap in a pinch.

Dedicated commercial access points are specifically designed for the function and generally have additional functionality built in (higher power, mesh networks, etc). However, if for whatever reason, you don’t have the ability to acquire one, this method will work and fill the gap.

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