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Created: 26.08.2014 21:47 Last Modified: 26.08.2014 21:47 Views: 2023
Keywords: TL-WR740N, asus, dd-wrt, firmware, flash, linux, network, router, RT-AC68U, tp-link, wifi

Extending the WiFi Network Coverage with DD-WRT Installed on an Old Router

After more than five years of faithful service I decided to replace my TP-Link Wireless router with ASUS RT-AC68U. According to a review at CNET RT-AC68U is a cutting-edge Wi-Fi router that has it all. According to the same article it has so many advantages and only two disadvantages: it is expensive and not wall mountable. I thought that both disadvantages are nothing compared for its advantages so a week ago I bought it. The first impressions of the dual band ASUS RT-AC68U were very good. Indeed it seems as a high quality router. But unfortunately it was unable to cover the whole apartment with strong signal. It was not a big surprise because I live in an area with a lot of WiFi networks, I am connecting a lot of devices to my network and I have to admit that I mounted the router on a not very suitable location. I tried out the router at other building and had much better coverage. Anyway I had to solve this issue at my apartment so I decide to extend to range of my network by combing my new ASUS RT-AC68U and my old TP-Link TL-WR740N.

Unsuccessful Attempts

The first thing that I tried to set up Wireless Distribution System (WDS). The idea was to connect the TP-Link router following an article from the vendor. I did everything as described at the tutorial but it did not work out.

My second attempt started with an update of the firmware of TP-Link TL-WR740N. Basically I had never before updated the firmware of this router so it was outdated. Again following user's guides from TP-Link I found you that I have version 1 of TL-WR740N and download the most recent firmware version, which still was quite old, from September 2010.

I made some progress with the new firmware but I did not achieve my goal again. This time the TP-Link router established a connection to the ASUS router but the there was not Internet connection for the devices connected to the TP-Link. Please note that as advised by the official TP-Link tutorials I had disabled the DHCP on the TL-WR740N but no luck. My second try was unsuccessful too.

Success

As in a fairy tail my third at temp was successful! I did a firmware update again but this time I installed DD-WRT. This is an open-source firmware for routers based on Linux. It brings advanced settings even for cheap and old WiFi such as my TP-Link TL-WR740N.

The first step is to visit DD-WRT and to check whether the router is supported. After that you have to download a binary file, connect the to router via wire and flash the binary file through the web interface of the router.

My next step was to configure the TP-Link router to work as a client bridge to the network provided by my ASUS router. After that I created a virtual access point on the TP-Link which was using the Internet connection of my primary network.

The final result was an Internet connection spread on two access points with two WiFi networks with different SSID. All devices connected to both routers receive IP from the DHCP from the primary network.



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