How To Extend Your Wifi Range Using A Netopia 2247NWG/3347WG

howto

In this How To I will guide you through increasing the range of your Wi-fi home network so you can have access through your home and garden.

This topic has been covered by various online sources ( heres an excellent guide : http://lifehacker.com/5563196/turn-your-old-router-into-a-range+boosting-wi+fi-repeater) But they all require that you have a router which supports wireless bridging and has DD-Wrt installed. Both routers which I have don’t support either of these, so I am going to use an Ethernet bridge with some power-line Ethernet adapters.

This method should work for any router which supports bridging, but in this guide I am going to show you how to do it with netopia routers.

So firstly you will need:

  • 1 router  which you have already setup and using
  • A second router which Is going to extend the signal ( mine just happens to be a 2247NWG )
  • 2 power-line Ethernet adapters ( These are readily available on the net. )
  • some Ethernet cables

 

1.

To start, Plug 1 power-line Ethernet adapter in and connect it to your main router with an Ethernet cable. You will need to plug the second one in where you think you will the the signal most. In my case I have 1 in the main office and another in a bedroom in the other end of the house giving me signal through the house and garden. You can then plug this PoE adapter into your second router.

2.

Next we need to configure the 2nd router which we are using to extend the signal. I order to access it you will need to connect to it via Ethernet or wireless. I used a laptop and Ethernet cable to connect. Then in your browser type http://192.168.1.254 in the address bar to access the router. You may need to enter a password here if the router has one set. Doing so should bring you to this screen:

 

3.

The first thing we want to do is set up our wireless, so we click the wireless option on the left.

Here you want to set the SSID to be the same as your other router along with the same privacy settings. If you like you can call this another SSID ( eg. Home-Extender ). In this case you will see 2 wifi signals on your laptop/computer and can connect to the one with the strongest signal. I name them the same so I only see 1 wireless signal and the laptop will connect to whichever point has the strongest signal. Make sure to save changes!

4.

Now to the important part. You will need to enter expert mode and select Configure -> Connection. This should bring you to the following screen:

What you need to change here is the Protocol: Change it to RFC-1483 Bridged Ethernet LLC/SNAP. You will also need to enable Bridging. This is what you should have after doing so:

 

5.

Finally you will need to disable DHCP, otherwise you may get ip conflicts. Do so by going to Configure -> Advanced -> DHCP Server. Untick the DHCP Server Enable box.

 
You might also want to change the Router IP address, Just so you can access both routers if needed. I changed mine to 192.168.1.253. You should end up with a screen like this :

 

 
And thats it! Make sure that you saved changes after each step and if anything went wrong you can always reboot the router by inserting in into the hole in the back (until the light at the front turns red) and try repeating the steps again.
As you can see, this has given me great signal from where before it would have been dropping.

 

I hope this guide proves useful to those of you that were in my situation. It was made in 15 mins so Leave a comment if you have any questions or spot something that I may have left out.
Thanks.

-Dan

25 thoughts on “How To Extend Your Wifi Range Using A Netopia 2247NWG/3347WG

  1. Fintan

    Hi, this is exactly what I looking for thanks. When I set it up I can no longer access router 2. My primary router is a Belkin on 192.168.2.1 so I left the address of the secondary eircom router as 192.168.1.254. Any idea how I could login to the eircom router again?

    Thanks,
    Fintan

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  3. Pat

    This is very confusing! You refer to Power-line Ethernet adapters which are units that plug into the mains and carry the Ethernet between the units without the need for cat5 cable, and then refer to them as PoE units which is something COMPLETELY different. PoE units are devices which add in power to Ethernet cat5 cables so that the remote unit can operate without a need for a wall AC to DC converter.

    As far as I can tell you really mean Power-line Ethernet adapters, not PoE adapters.

    The settings for the router are helpful – thank you.

  4. Dan Post author

    @Pat. thanks for your comment. You are correct in pointing out the difference between Power-line Ethernet adapters and PoE units. I have updated the guide with the correction.

  5. Pat

    @Dan
    Thanks Dan. Sorry – I didn’t mean to sound snarky about the PoE thing. By the way – seems not all the Eircom Netopia 3347WG boxes have their menus exactly the same as you show. I have one that does, and one that does NOT, have a “DHCP Server Enable” tickbox. It probably depends on the firmware revision.

  6. Dan Post author

    @Pat. I will have to dig out the 3347WG to check for myself but you are more than likely correct in saying that it depends on the firmware revision. The 3347WG is a discontinued model and checking the official website wasn’t much help in researching this. Ill have a look for mine at the weekend and get back to you.

  7. Ronan

    Hi Dan, my eircom modem doesn’t have the DHCP server enable tick box either. Would it be somewhere else. Ronan

  8. Aaron Hastings

    Cheers for this Dan. I’m going to try and adapt this same method to a TP-Link router being used as a second router on top of a Cisco EPC2425. Might actually get a decent connection downstairs now.

  9. Rita

    Hi ,Please advise how I can configure a netopia 3347NWG Router with TP- Link extended Range booster to receive Wi Fi in another area of the house.
    RITA

  10. jerry

    Hi Dan,
    if there’s a second phone point at the other end of the house, can i use the second router following this set up without the powerline ethernet adapters ?

  11. Dan Post author

    Hi Rita,

    I am not familiar with TP-Link range extenders but the setup process should be relatively easy. Depending on what model of range extender you have it should be as simple as connecting the extender to the router via a cat5(LAN) cable and then setting up the wireless extender to your own preferences.

    Depending on your model, have a look at the following Guide, It might help guide you.

    http://www.yoingco.com/how_to_install_configure_tp_link_tl_wa830re_wireless_signal_range_extender_access_point_windows_7.htm

  12. Dan Post author

    Hi,

    To my knowledge you can only have 1 DSL router connected to your phone line. In order to operate a second you would have to pay for a second line subscription. In order to extend your Wireless range your looking at either an Access point or a wireless range extender. (In this guide I am using the second router as an access point.)

    I hope this helps,
    Dan.

  13. Darragh

    Hey Dan,
    First of all cheers for putting this up. I looked at the lifehacker article and that couldn’t work so I stumbled upon this one.
    I’ve followed your instructions for this and can’t seem to get a connection on the extender router. The DSL light is not showing up at all after reboot and accessing the router again requires a restart.
    I’m currently using a TP-link powerline adapter kit and a eircom 2247nwg.
    Do I need to do anything to the primary router which is the new eircom Zyxel.

    Would really appreciate a hand.

    Darragh

  14. Dan Post author

    Hi Darragh, cheers for the intrest.
    I imagine your setup is something like this?:
    Example
    Firstly you should not need to do anything to your primary router. The DSL light on the second router should not light as you are not using DSL, your only using the LAN section of the router.
    In order to connect to the second router you have to change its default IP address of 192.168.1.254. This is done on the DHCP server configuration page. I set my extender to 192.168.1.253. This allows my access to both routers on the network.

    A suggestion for troubleshooting the problem; Try plugging the second TP-link powerline adapter directly into your laptop/computer to see if you have connectivity. Then you know the adapters are working and the issue is with the 2nd router.

    I hope some of this helps, let me know how you get on.
    -Dan

  15. rog

    hi, is it possible to make a connection/setup (with no powerline adapters) like this: internet -> eircom router 1 -> wireless bridge -> eircom router 2
    thanks

  16. Dan Post author

    I haven’t looked into this myself so I am unsure as to whether it is possible at all. According to a few boards.ie threads It does not look like you can bridge 2 Netopia routers via wireless. Sorry I cant be of more help.
    - Dan

  17. Dave

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the Tutorial , Great to see one using the same hard ware as myself, my configuration is slightly different, i have one long Ethernet cable connecting the two routers, If i connect with a wired connection to the second router all is good, though when i use the WiFi i get problems , it constantly disconnects or doesn’t even work in the first place. Am i missing something ?

    Dave

  18. Charles

    Hi All

    Just to add to the thread. I have found when adding the more recent 3347WG model router to a lan cable(from your main house route) simple by un ticking the DCHP box instantly converts it to a wireless repeater. I have successfully installed an addition 4 routers to my my house router in this manner. My house and garden is now saturated with a strong wifi signal.

  19. Charles

    Sorry please note my typo in my post above — I am actually using 2247NWG routers (and not the 3347wg).

    Leave a message if any body needs further info on my set up (Main router Buffalo air station N150 -€57 in powercity + 4 x eircom 2247NWG routers – €20 for all in car boot sale)

  20. Justin

    Great article thanks for clarifying the setup, if I can get the first unit up & running will be adding more which is brilliant

    Have 2 questions
    (1) The DSL light on the bridged modem ( the second one) is flashing constantly, not sure how to turn it off or even if it matters.
    (2) On the SSID & WEP keys – what is the best way to arange this – should I make the WEP keys for both modems the same or how does that work. Also should the SSIDs be the same? Not sure how devices are going to handle switching between wireless routers
    Any advice appreciated

  21. Justin

    Third question . What should I do with the channels that each of the routers uses – should they be set to be the same / different / auto or it doesnt matter – thanks again

  22. Alan Bourke

    This guide was exactly what I needed to use a 3347WG to boost wireless signal with an ethernet connection to the main router via powerline networking. Many thanks!

  23. Mark Moran

    @Charles,
    Did you have to use powerline adapters mate or was it possible to just use the Buffalo air station N150 and the 4 x 2247NWG routers??

    I want to use my Cisco EPC2425 cable modem\router and an Eircom router to act as a repeater.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  24. Eugene O'Loughlin

    Hi Dan,

    First – great set of instructions, very clear and concise, just what I was looking for.

    Last year I switched ISP from Eircom (4MB) to UPC (100MB), but the UPC router sucks with WiFi signal dropping dramatically even a short distance away and not working at all at times upstairs (I don’t live in a mansion!). Your idea prompted me to try out using the old Eircom modem upstairs, and your instructions to set this up were PERFECT! Within minutes I had a second WLAN running upstairs with a good signal.

    But…

    While following your instructions I noticed that just like “Ronan” above that my old router (2247NWG) doesn’t have the DHCP server enable tick box either. But it did not prevent the new WLAN from working. However, my (first) existing WLAN can no longer be connected to. You warn to untick the DHCP server enable tick box to prevent conflict, so I guess this is what’s happened.

    Is there any way around this problem? I’ve had to switch off my (new) WLAN so that the original is back working again.

    Any help appreciated, even if it means going out and buy a more modern router.

    Eugene

  25. Robin Benn

    I would recommend setting the wireless channels at 1, 6 and 11 as this avoids conflict between the wifi radios within each device (i.e. your main DSL router with internal wifi access point and each of the extra Netopia devices that are acting as wifi access points on your home network). If a 4th device is being added, then you have to assess which of the above three devices it is going to be furthest away from the 4th device on your network and then select channel 1 or 6 or 11 again. Bear in mind that microwave ovens can also interfere with wifi access points, as they operate in the same frequency range. The idea is to have each access point operating on a different channel in such a way that they don’t drown out a neighbouring access point that happens to broadcast on the same channel. The techies call this co-channel interference. Using this arrangement (at a wireless level) should optimise your wifi setup. As Dan as has said in his note, you should be able to set the same SSID and password in each device (wifi access point) so that your laptop, smarphone/tablet will roam from wifi access point to wifi access point as you move through your home/garden/mansion/garage/attic or whatever your living arrangements are, without having to sign-on each time you roam from one access point to another. Bear in mind that your neighbour’s wireless router will also use one of the above channels (1, 6 or 11) so you might want to take account of this in planning out what channels you are going to use. You can download some free software from and organisation called “nutsaboutnets” and use this to scan the airwaves to see what channels your neighbours are using and plan your channel usage accordingly. Take a look at the following for a reasonable explanation of whay this is important: http://www.metageek.net/support/why-channels-1-6-and-11/
    The chances are that Eugene has both devices on his network set to the same wireless channel and one is drowning out the other. I’m guessing here but it’s very likely. Dan has placed his devices so far away from each other that they happen not to interfere with each other, even though they’re on the same channel.
    In relation to DHCP Server enable/disable, I found that when I set my Netopia to bridge mode that it automatically removed this configuration option. An alternative would be to set the DHCP server to disable, before configuring the WAN port to bridging mode, just to make certain. Sorry for being a bit long-winded……….

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