Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
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.
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.
To get this to work, we will need to make a few changes to the router firmware.
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.