Your wireless signal is weak in some point of your office or home? You’ve an old modem-router but you haven’t an access point? Here you’ll read ho to turn your old modem-router into a powerful Access Point and switch!
The test was done with an old Netgear modem-router following this useful howto. It’s a summary with some addition to improve security and some tips.
- Reset the modem-router to factory default: usually you have to press some buttons on the modem-router itself
- Access the admin page in this way:
- Power up the modem-router with the only power cable in: do not plug any network table now
- Look for your modem-router IP address using the command arp -a (Windows): look for the MAC address of the modem-router (it’s printed somewhere on the modem-router with the default IP address)
- Connect to the wireless network of the modem-router from your computer
- Open the browser and access the modem-router IP address with default credentials
- Assign a new password for the administrator interface of the modem-router and choose a strong password easy to remember by human
- Disable DHCP server: the real router will do the job
- Disable WPS because it’s insecure
- Enable the strongest wireless encryption available (here a list) with a good password (point 4) you can tell to your friends when they are at your home begging for wifi
- Disable and then enable wifi to apply the changes
- Choose a network address in the available range of the real router: if your router has an address like 192.168.x.y then your Access point usually must have 192.168.x.z, where z is an unused number of that range: you can also statically assign that address statically from your real router
- You can also set a DNS server if you want to bypass the default one by the real router
- Now plug the incoming network cable to one port and check if you can reach the other network nodes: to do so you can use the command arp -a on Windows and look for the new router address or for the MAC address printed on the router
Now you can connect to your brand new access point via Wi-Fi or plug a network cable into the free ports of yout brand new switch. It’s a little degrading for an ex-router to be routed but come on, you’ve got a very powerful AP without spending a cent and you’ve one less electronic junk piece in your garage.