Router to AP: My LAN Part 7

Published on April 19, 2022 at 3:41 am by LEW


In this post we will discuss converting an old router into a Wireless Access Point. In this case I used a NETGEAR WNDR3700v3 Wireless Dual Band N600 Router I picked up at a thrift shop for a buck US (literally).

Note: not an endorsement for NETGEAR, it just happened to be the router I used.

While this post is specific to the router I am using, I will endeavor to keep things generic enough that the process can be applied to most consumer routers. I like the N600 series NETGEAR routers because of no external antennas. They can easily be set on a shelf or hung on a wall and are not visually obtrusive. The router also has a built in four port switch which makes a few extra wired connections available.

I am assuming you have run already run a network cable from your Main router/switch to new location, power is available, and there is enough physical separation to make using the wireless Access Point (AP) practical.

I am also assuming you have done a factory reset on the router and know the default user/password/IP address login.

If you have not done so already, please review theses posts on routers and Access Points.

Boring Theory Part

Your router should have two interfaces, most likely labeled WAN and LAN. The WAN interface is a single network jack, and depending on your router the LAN interface is probably four network jacks (builtin switch).

Your routers NAT service is located between the WAN and LAN interfaces. Since we are keeping everything on the LAN, we are not going to use the WAN interface or the builtin NAT.

By default most routers come with DHCP enabled. We want to use DHCP on our main router, so we will need to turn this service off.

Because we will probably need to access the router interface at some point, we also want it to have a Fixed static IP address.

The way this works is your wireless device tries to connect to your homemade AP, it forwards the request back to the main router, which determines a network IP address and sends it back to your homemade AP, which in turn sends it to your wireless device, establishing the connection.

This is similar to how the built in AP of your main router works, except on your main router it is built in and does not require a separate static IP address.

The Setup

  1. Connect your computer network port to one of the routers LAN ports, then point your browser at the default IP address, and use the default user name / password to connect to the router interface.
  2. You will probably not be able to change the admin user name or the router network name (not the SSID). If you can, great, change them to something that matches your LAN scheme. At a minimum though you should be able to change the default login password, so do so. You did write all this stuff down in case you forget?
  3. Find the section in the router interface dealing with LAN. Here you want to set the default IP address. It needs to be in the same segment As our main router, but have a different ending. For example if our main router is at, then we could set our AP router to or As long as it is in the same segment, but has a different final number, and does not overlap with our main router DHCP range (may need to log into your main router and check/set its DHCP).
  4. Next we need to go to the wireless settings, and set the SSID and passphrase for each frequency range (2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz if your router is dual band), along with setting the security to WPA2 (or WPA 3 if it is supported). Note the settings can be the same or different from your main wireless settings. If they are the same then this simplifies login, being done by signal strength, however you are sometimes not sure which AP you are connected too. If different, it requires more connection settings on your device, but you can also tell which AP your are connected too.
  5. At this point you are basically finished. Connect the cable from your main router to one of the LAN ports. And restart your AP router. If all went well you should be able to log into your AP router WiFi with a DHCP address provided by your main router.
  6. In this sort of setup, nothing should connect to the WAN port of your AP router. If you feel it necessary to remind yourself, you can block the port in some manner.


We have created a quick procedure for turning an old router into a Wireless Access Point (AP). It should work with most older routers you come across. As I stated the one I did this to I picked up in a thrift store.

This is a quick way to expand your Wifi Network to cover areas of your home where the signal is weak.

Add New Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *