Extend your wi-fi reach with DD-WRT

I recently had the problem of getting a decent wi-fi signal to the kitchen and conservatory which are two solid walls away from my primary router. We have a music streamer in the conservatory for lazy Summer days, but sadly it was reporting 13% wireless strength and buffering every few seconds during use.

Initally, I thought about getting a pair of plug adapters to route the network traffic via the mains. Then I discovered DD-WRT – firmware that would allow an old router to act as a repeater and extend the wi-fi right out to the garden. The added advantage of course was that we could also use our other wireless devices instead of being limited to ethernet connections only.

There are various guides out there for flashing the DD-WRT firmware, but they sounded like quite a faff, and you need specifically compatible hardware. The easier option is to search eBay for “DD-WRT” and chose from the dozen or so routers for sale which have already been upgraded. I paid about £15 for a D-Link DIR 615.

Once you have your router, follow these instructions to configure the repeater functionality; it worked first-time for me!
Setting up a repeater bridge with DD-WRT and D-Link DIR-600

The repeater needs to be able to connect to your primary router, but does not need a very strong signal (otherwise what would be the point?). Ours is tucked away in the corner of the kitchen and seems to function perfectly well – we now enjoy >80% signal strenth in the conservatory and, more importantly, buffering-free music streaming!


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