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Using an old router as a DIY wireless Access Point - The parts that you will need

Got an old router collecting dust? Why not put it to good use for better network coverage. We explain how today.

By: | Guides | Posted: Aug 27, 2008 4:00 am

The parts that you will need


Before we actually get into setting up the new wireless connection, we should first cover what parts you will need for the project.


1) Old wireless router - it really doesn't matter what type of router you use, as long as it includes wireless and any radio mode (802.11a, b, g or n), that will do. Just make sure your notebooks and other wireless devices use the same radio mode. If you want the fastest speed possible, hunt around for a high-end 802.11n draft 2.0 wireless router.


As I mentioned in the introduction, I have a bunch of old wireless routers hanging around doing nothing much at all. I decided to use a Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G broadband router, which worked very well during our testing for this guide. It was chosen mostly due to the fact that its wireless radio operates at 54Mbps (or 6.75MB/s) and at close range (within the same room), we should go pretty close to hitting that speed or at least around 36 - 48Mbps (or 4.5 - 6MB/s), which is enough to stream audio and even 720p HD movies. We had issues streaming 1080p HD movies properly without losing frames, and that is something that you should keep in mind.


Using old router as a DIY wireless Access Point


You can buy one of these Linksys WRT54G routers refurbished for as low as $35 USD (at the time of writing) from our shopping comparison website.


2) Network Ethernet cable - connecting the main router to the old wireless router. You can use CAT5, CAT5e or CAT6 depending on your speed requirements and how much money you have to spend. Use CAT6 cabling if you can afford it as it provides the best performance of all three cable options.


Using old router as a DIY wireless Access Point


If your house is not already wired up with Ethernet cabling or you don't want to run cables over your floors, you can consider investing in a HomePlug AV power line kit, such as the TRENDnet product we reviewed recently. We will be using this product in this guide. You can buy one of these TRENDnet power line kits for around $120 USD (at the time of writing) from our shopping comparison website.


That's all you need, just two things. Now let's get going and tell you how it is done.


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