So an engineer from Sky upgraded your router and you’re not sure what to do with the old model. Instead of storing the old router, having it collect dust until you throw it out, why not put them to use? Don’t throw out the old router just yet. Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to clear up some common misconceptions.
WiFi Repeater vs Mesh Network
First of all, an old router in repeater mode is not exactly the same as a Wifi mesh network. Mesh networks use special Wifi extenders to improve the range of one access point. In other words, a mesh network uses one Wifi network (access point). Mesh networks use special Wifi extenders to improve the Wifi signal of one access point.
Old Wifi routers in repeater mode can use the same configuration as the original Wifi network but on a new Wifi network. For example, if your home’s network is called Sky1, the old router on repeater mode could be Sk1 EXTENDED. The good news is most devices are smart enough to automatically connect to the Wifi network that has the strongest connection.
Generally, it’s easier to use Wifi extenders (I recommend the TP-Link AC1750) to improve the range of the Wifi network because they have WPS buttons that sync with your original router and they’re cheaper.
However, if you have an old Sky router sitting around, you can use that too. Configuring an old Sky router to be used as a repeater can be a little tricky and not every router will have the option.
Can You Use an Old Sky Router as a Repeater?
Most Sky routers do not allow you to use wireless repeater mode with two Sky routers. However, you can use an old Sky Router as a repeater if you connect it to the primary router via an ethernet cable. The steps will vary depending on the router model.
To use your old Sky Router as a repeater, follow these steps:
- Reset your old router to factory settings
- Login to your new router, Advanced, and LAN IP, configure the starting IP from 192.168.0.3
- Login to your old router’s configuration and change its IP Address to 192.168.1.2
- Disable DHCP on the old Sky router (in Advanced Settings)
- Disable UPnP
- Enter the “Wireless” menu and fill in the information with the same information as your new router
- Connect both routers via ethernet cables through the red ethernet ports
You should be able to use an old Sky router as a repeater using the above steps. It might take some time to find and configure the settings. It’s always best to take a look at your router’s manual for more information.
The main downside with this method is you have to connect both routers via an ethernet cable, which can be a hassle. While possible, it’s not the best option to extend the range of your Wifi network.
Sky and other companies that rent their equipment to members often lock the firmware on their hardware, making setups like this one more complicated.
Using a Non-Sky Router as a Repeater
If you have a non-Sky router, look in the admin settings for a “Repeater” mode, usually under the Wifi menu. Restart the router, and then choose “Connect to a Host Network” and enter your host network’s information.
In most cases, there will be a “Wireless Scanner” button to make it easier to find your router’s information. Connect, save the settings, and your router should work as a repeater. Now there will be two access point names instead of one, but one of them will have better coverage in your home. You can feel free to move your repeater router to a different area to further improve the coverage.
Note: If you have an old non-Sky router lying around, I would try this option. However, most Sky routers don’t have a repeater mode.
Router Does Not Have Repeater Mode
If you do not see an option for repeater mode in your router settings, chances are it’s not available. You can some times unlock more features by flashing the firmware and installing a new one, or updating it, but it’s not a guaranteed fix. Most Sky routers do not have a repeater mode.
DD-WRT is a router firmware that you can install to unlock more features. Although installing DD-WRT is easy, there’s a risk that you’ll completely corrupt your router. I would only test that on an old router that you can afford to lose.
Buy a Wifi Booster
If you’re looking to improve the range of your Sky router, the easiest way is to buy a Wifi booster. These are little devices that have two or more antennas and plug into the mains in your home. A Wifi booster does not need to be connected to your main router via an ethernet cable. Luckily, Sky routers are compatible with most third-party Wifi boosters, so you can use any Wifi extender with a Sky router.
Bear in mind, a Wifi booster will not improve the speed of your Wifi. What a booster does is capture the Wifi and broadcast it again with a stronger frequency. Most of the time, the new improved signal will be on a different network too. I personally recommend the TP-Link AC1750 Wifi extender. I also recommend looking for Wifi boosters that have a WPS button because that makes the setup a whole lot easier.
Sky Router not Connecting to Wifi Booster
If your Sky router is not connecting to the Wifi booster, you can try running an ethernet cable from the router to the booster. Leave the cable for a minute or so until a connection is made, remove it, and the booster should connect over Wifi. From there, unplug the booster, and move it to the area in your home that needs a better Wifi signal.
In my opinion, the best way to improve the range on your Sky router is by using an official Wifi booster or non-Sky router. Unfortunately, old Sky routers don’t seem to work in repeater mode, although you can try flashing the firmware. I would personally stick to a regular Wifi extender.