There’s nothing more frustrating than unreliable WiFi. If your home has WiFi dead spots, you can setup a WiFi Extender to blanket your home in coverage. Adding WiFi extenders is easier and more affordable than adding switches or running Ethernet cabling to the far reaches of your home. While a hard-wired Ethernet cable is generally faster and more secure, it isn’t always a practical solution.
Add A WiFi Extender To An Existing Network
To begin, you’ll need to know where your dead zones are located, and you can easily do this with a smartphone or tablet connected to your home network. Walk around your home and keep an eye on the bars. As you walk away from the router, you may see the drop of a bar or two on your device. As you get to the trouble area, you will see the remaining bars drop or disappear entirely.
Now that you know where the WiFi signal begins to degrade and where the signal is at its worst, you know where you want to put the WiFi Extender. Plug the extender into a wall outlet midway between the router and the trouble area.
We like the TP-Link N300 because of its price and the fact that it has an LED indicator on the front that shows its signal strength from the main router. You can plug the device into an outlet and easily find the point where the signal begins to weaken. It also has an Ethernet port on the bottom so you can get a wireless signal to a remote location and then plug in an Ethernet cable.
The TP-Link WiFi Extender will reconstitute the signal and boost it so the devices in the dead zone will now have a signal. If you find the devices in the furthest corners still cannot get a reliable signal, you can add a second WiFi Extender to bridge the gap.
How To Setup The WiFi Extender
There are two ways to setup the TP-Link WiFi Extender: You can use the automatic WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) if your router supports that, or the manual method.
Using WPS: To setup the extender, plug it in to an outlet relatively close to your router for convenience. Press the WPS button on your router and it should begin to blink. Next, press the button in the center of the LEDs with the lock icon on it. The TP-Link WiFi Extender will then begin to sync with the router and pull down all of the information it needs to connect. You can then move the extender back to the location where the signal begins to drop.
Using The Manual Method: Plug the extender into the outlet and wait for the wireless LED to change to solid. Go to a laptop or desktop computer with wireless capabilities and look for the new TP-Link access point that has appeared in your choices. Once connected, launch a web browser and go to http://tplinkrepeater.net and then login using admin for both the username and password.
Once in the control panel for the TP-Link, the first thing you will do is create a new username and password for future configuration changes. You will then select the region in which you live and then click Next.
Select your router from the list and then enter the router’s username and password (if you do not know this, it may be printed on the router sticker). At this point, you can name the extender whatever you want or copy the name of the router (recommended).
You should now be able to walk seamlessly through your home and have complete WiFi coverage.