How to setup a DD-WRT WiFi repeater bridge


How to setup a DD-WRT WiFi repeater bridge

Overview

DD-WRT is really a powerful router firmware and one of many cool things you can do with it is – to setup a WiFi repeater bridge. Why do that? To effortlessly extend your WiFi’s signal range.  DD-WRT is an open source universal router firmware. And it’s free. It’s packed with many features and various tools which can be quite useful. It supports many commercial grade routers(ASUS, Tp-Link, D-Link, Linksys etc…). Basically what it does – once you install it on your router, your router is then equipped with many tools that can often be found on enterprise grade routers. We already covered the installation process of DD-WRT on TP-Link routers, which you can check out here. And on this post we are going to cover the process how to setup a wifi repeater bridge in DD-WRT.

Necessary information to acquire before configuration

There are couple of parameters that are necessary to acquire in order for this to work:

  • Primary IP address of your current router which provides WiFi,
  • From your primary router, you need to know the starting IP address from it’s DHCP server – some routers start their IP pool from 192.168.1.100 or something like that,
  • WiFi name(SSID) and it’s password,
  • Encryption type of the password for the WiFi,
  • WiFi network mode and channel width.

All these information can be acquired once you login in your router and check for LAN or DHCP section and WLAN or Wireless section.

WiFi repeater configuration

Once you gather all that info and you installed DD-WRT on your router, login to the DD-WRT router. It’s default IP address to access is – 192.168.1.1. Router will prompt you to change the admin user name and password. Make sure to write it down so you can access it later and to avoid reseting it to factory defaults.

dd wrt wifi bridge repeater setup

Open the Wireless tab and under that, navigate to the basic settings. First option – Wireless mode, change it to – Client bridge(Routed).  For – Default GW mode, check the option – Manual. Next, Gateway field. For gateway field enter the primary address of your primary router of which we need to extend the WiFi. Wireless network mode and chanel width needs to be exact as on the primary router. Example – my primary router works only in N mode and has channel width of 20 Mhz.

Your router can have the same setup or it can have – a mixed Wireless network mode(B+G+N) or just two Network modes. Anyways, set those parameters to match your primary router. Wireless network name(SSID) field – in there, enter the WiFi of your primary router, the WiFi you use and which we need to extend.

On the bottom of the page, there is a section – Virtual interfaces. Click on the Add button. Wireless mode set to – AP. Wireless Network Name SSID – Set the name for the new extended WiFi. You can set a new WiFi name or you can set the name of the primary WiFi. Once you entered all the parameters, click on the – Save changes button.

WiFi repeater configuration – WiFi security

Next switch to the Wireless security tab. Here we need to provide the security parameters of our primary WiFi network and the new one. Example shown in the image bellow.

dd wrt wifi bridge repeater setup

Like stated in the previous heading, for the WiFi security also, the security parameters in the first field must be the same as on our primary router. Otherwise, our DD-WRT repeater won’t be able to establish the connection. My primary router has WPA2 network authentication type with AES encryption.Check the options for your WiFi security settings, enter the passwords for both WiFi networks – from the primary router and for the repeater WiFi. Click on the – Save changes.

Finishing the setup

Go to the setup tab and you’ll get a window like in the image bellow. The first option – Connection type, leave it as – Disabled. Router name can be whatever you like. The important part is the – Network setup field.

dd wrt wifi bridge repeater setup

The first field – Local IP address, that’s gonna be the IP address of our DD-WRT repeater. By default, it will be – 192.168.1.1. But that needs to be changed. The local IP address must be in the same IP pool range that our primary router has. And it must be in the range that the DHCP of the primary router is providing. At the beginning of  the post I mentioned that we need to check the DHCP server on our primary router and to see what’s the first starting IP address.

The DHCP on my router provides the IP addresses starting from 192.168.100.10, and that’s the first IP address it provides in that IP range. Meaning, I cannot put the IP in the Local IP address lower than 192.168.100.10, otherwise, the setup will not work. As on image bellow, for the Local IP address, I entered the IP – 192.168.100.200. You can leave the subnet mask field as is, no need to change it. For the Gateway and Local DNS – enter the primary IP address of the primary router. Example on the image bellow.

dd wrt wifi bridge repeater setup

Save the settings. Last thing to do is – Switch to the security tab and just disable the firewall. Save the changes and then go ahead and click on the – Apply the settings button. DD-WRT will take a minute to save changes and reboot. After that, your new extended WiFi should be up and running.

 

Summary

To be sure that the setup is working properly, you can test it by running ping command on your PC once you connect on the repeater or straight from the DD-WRT command interface. Ping your primary router – it’s primary IP to be precise to be sure that there’s a connection between DD-WRT repeater and your router. Then you can ping IP of Google to make sure that the DD-WRT is having internet access.

We use the Client bridge method to setup our DD-WRT as a repeater. By default, DD-WRT will have that mode for most of routers. On some routers, depending on the chipset they have, it will have the – repeater mode by default, which you can use that as well.

Thank you for your time. I hope the post is useful to you.


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