Use an Old Netgear Router to Create a Mesh Network

How to Use an Old Netgear Router to Create a Mesh Network?

Having good Wi-Fi these days is crucial with how much we rely on the internet. Between all our smart home gadgets, gaming systems, streaming shows and movies, and everything else dead zones where the signal drops out are so annoying. But you can actually take an old Netgear router you’ve got sitting around and use it to extend your network’s range. It takes a little work, but it’s way cheaper than buying a whole new mesh system.

Here’s the basic idea – you set up your main router like normal, then you do Nighthawk setup as an access point instead of a router. You disable DHCP on it so it doesn’t conflict with your main router and then you give it a different network name and password from your main one. Now devices will automatically switch between it and your main router as you move around, giving you better coverage without interruptions.

It’s not quite as seamless as those fancy mesh systems but for most people it gets the job done on a budget. The process does involve some nerdy network tweaks, but if you follow the steps carefully it’s pretty straightforward. Just takes some patience. But once it’s up and running you can enjoy streaming and surfing without all those annoying dropouts.

What is a Mesh Network?

But before we dive deeper into how to use an old Netgear router to create a mesh network, it’s worth explaining a little more about what a mesh network actually is: Picture a sea of nodes: router-like devices that work together to cover your home in Wi-Fi. These systems are adaptive, and coordinate your connection as you move through your home, handing you off to the best router so that you’re always connected to the strongest signal.

Use an Old Netgear Router to Create a Mesh Network Like This

1. Check the Router Compatibility

The first step is to check if your old Netgear router supports creating a mesh network. Netgear’s firmware for your router, may allow you to set up the old router as a repeater or a bridge. This step is essential for creating a mesh-like network. Go to the Netgear website, or check the database to see if your model is compatible.

2. Update the Old Router Firmware

If your Netgear router is compatible for creating a mesh network, the next step is to update the router firmware to the latest version. Updates are usually available online. You can update the firmware in the router’s administrative interface and that can be accessed using the router login credentials. Keep the Caps Lock key off while doing so.

3. Change the Router Settings

Your main router is the one that connects directly to your modem router. Besides, it will act as the gateway for the mesh network. Log in to the router’s admin page and change the wireless settings. For more information like this, read the user manual.

4. Set Up the Old Netgear Router

In the wake of refreshing your old Netgear switch with good firmware: Interface it to your PC utilizing an Ethernet cable. Open the administrator page, explore to the remote settings. Once done, change the working mode to ‘Repeater’ or ‘Extension’ mode. Enter the SSID and encryption key. Click save and execute the reboot process.

5. Position the Netgear Router

The position of your old router assumes a significant function in its exhibition. Your old router ought to be inside the room which is near the dead zones that you need to eliminate. The objective is to locate a spot where the old router can get a solid sign from the main router and stretch out it considerably further.

6. Verify the Mesh Network

When everything is set up, and your old router is set up, you have to test the connection by connecting various devices to the all-encompassing network. You ought to where the Wi-Fi signal was recently frail or nonexistent.

7. Optimize Your WiFi Network

Subsequent to establishing that your cross-section network is working effectively, make sure that you: Change default passwords, empower organization encryption, consistently update firmware and screen associated devices.


Learning how to use an old Netgear router to create a mesh network is a frugal method to improve your house Wi-Fi reach. It probably won’t offer all the advantages of a mesh framework, yet it’s an extraordinary method to repurpose old device and increment your Wi-Fi insight. With a tad of specialized skill and some persistence, you can inhale new life into your old Netgear router and bid farewell to the Wi-Fi dead spots.

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