Wifi repeaters are the pieces of kit that we can use to extend the range of our modem’s wifi by plugging them into electrical sockets around the house. They pick up the modem’s wifi signal and resend it back out to extend your wifi reception. The easy way connect these to your current wifi is to click the WPS button often found on the back of your modem. We do NOT recommend that you do this. The reason is quite simple. Just as was the case for the modem, wifi repeaters/extenders ship with default user names and passwords that are easy to find on the Internet. In other words, what you need to do first is change the user name (if possible), definitely change the password, and change the name of the wifi repeater to a name that is different to the make and model of the repeater – after all, why make a cyber criminal’s job easier by telling them the equipment you have or your name or address.
These are the steps to access and secure your wifi extender:
1. Plug your wifi extender in.
2. On your computer, switch from your normal wifi over to it. This will be easy to see as it will identify itself with the make and model.
3. In the set up instructions there will be a web address (e.g. www.companyname.com) or IP number (e.g. 192.168.1.1) to sue for set up. Using your web browser (firefox, chrome, brave or edge) go this web page and use the default user name and password to log into the wifi repeater. This highlights why we need to change repeater defaults. Anyone could do this.
4. Change the user name.
5. Change the password. You don’t need to keep re-entering it so go ahead and make it complete gibberish e.g. Y35uiTr#1w6@ . And yes, I suggest you write it down and keep it somewhere safe. Your house is safer than the Internet.
6. You’ll likely need to relogin now with the new user name and password.
7. Now you need to follow the instructions for attaching your wifi repeater to your main modem. Most of them are pretty similarish – you’ll be shown a list of wifi connections, choose yours, and you’ll be asked to log into it.
8. Then you’ll be asked to give your repeater wifi a name. You can usually use your existing wifi’s name but then you won’t know which wifi you’re connecting to (the modem’s or the repeater’s) as you’ll have two wifi stations. When setting the wifi access password, use the guest access one from the modem if you have that set up, otherwise go ahead ahead and use your regular wifi password.
9. Hit save and then go back to your computer’s wifi choices and select the new wifi and connect to it by entering the wifi password. Once you connect successfully (check this by visiting a website), you’re done.