Besides high-speed Internet connection for streaming and online gaming, you need consistent and stable Wi-fi coverage throughout the home. Unfortunately, a single wireless router or modem isn’t sufficient to ensure seamless coverage leading to Wifi dead zones.
That’s why you need a Wifi extender to enhance the wireless range without compromising the existing speed.
Founded in 1996, TP-Link is known for manufacturing reliable network equipment, including routers, gateways, range extenders, and wireless access points.
Read along to learn how to set up a TP-Link Wifi extender without requiring technical assistance. Also, you’ll find troubleshooting techniques in case the extender doesn’t connect to the Internet.
Everything About TP-Link WiFi Extenders
Before proceeding to the Wifi extender setup methods, let’s briefly discuss the features and functionality of the TP-Link Wifi extenders.
As the name suggests, a Wi-fi extender receives the original wireless signal from the Internet service provider (ISP) modem and repeats or extends it towards the Wifi dead zone of your home. These dead spots include the basement or deep indoor areas.
You can connect the Wifi extender to the modem using an Ethernet cable or wirelessly. Also, it’s essential to keep the Wifi extender within the router’s range to maximize signal reception.
For instance, if the Wifi extender is out of the range of the modem, the signal strength will be weak. Hence, the extender won’t be able to increase wireless coverage. So, ideally, you must place the Wifi extender midway between the wireless router and the Wifi dead zone.
You must ensure minimal interference and obstructions between the TP-Link range extender and the existing router. For instance, TV, refrigerators, microwaves, etc., severely affect signal strength. Therefore, in case of interference, your extender won’t be able to improve the wireless coverage.
You should know that the TP-Link Wifi extenders have specific data rates and maximum transmission rate that varies from one modem to another. For instance, if the primary router offers 1 Gbps downstream speed, the TP-Link AC1750/RE450 will offer 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz bandwidth.
Buying a faster Wifi extender won’t improve the download speed of the extended wireless network if the existing Internet connection is slow. However, you can buy an advanced Wifi extender to future-proof your home if you upgrade the existing Wifi connection shortly.
Types of TP-Link WiFi Extenders
One of the most significant reasons behind buying the TP-Link extenders is that they are compatible with several router manufacturers by different companies.
TP-Link offers a variety of extenders ranging from plug-in powerline repeaters to advanced extenders with multiple antennas and beamforming extenders.
The Wi-fi range extender uses the home’s electric circuit to receive and transmit the signals. The TP-Link powerline extenders feature 2×2 multiple-input, multiple-outlet (MIMO) antennas to combine two data streams into one high-speed signal.
You can’t place the TP-Link powerline extender more than 300 meters away from the base access point, connecting directly to the router.
One of the most significant reasons behind using a TP-Link Wifi extender is the streamlined and compact design. Hence, you can conveniently plug the Wi-fi range extender into the power outlet.
The TP-Link beamforming extender features an array of two to four robust antennas to transmit and receive the wireless signal. However, you must ensure the extender is within the router’s range to receive the wireless signal and repeat it towards the dead zone.
You can invest in buying a beamforming antenna if you want to rebroadcast the Wifi signal at a longer distance.
You can use various extenders with different configurations to improve the Wifi coverage in tricky areas, such as basements and deep indoors.
In other words, you use a combination of extenders by placing one repeater in another extender’s range to maximize the wireless coverage.
Features of TP-Link WiFi Extenders
The more miniature TP-Link Wifi extenders have antennas enclosed within the outer case. Alternatively, the large-sized extenders have external antennas which you can adjust in different directions to improve the signal reception and retransmission.
Lucky for you, the TP-Link range extender includes at least one Ethernet port allowing you to establish a reliable and dedicated wired connection to the computer or printer.
The sturdy exterior case protects the internal circuitry of the TP-Link extender from bumps and accidental drops. Also, the LED lights indicate the connectivity and online status of the extender, while some advanced TP-Link extenders include a touchscreen interface.
You can use the TP-Link Tether app on your Android or iOS smartphone to manage the extender remotely and update the firmware.
Finally, if you add more extenders, you can enable the Wifi auto-sync option to synchronize the existing Wifi network.
TP-Link WiFi Extender Setup Process
You can select two ways to set up the TP-Link range extender in your home – Ethernet cable or WPS method.
The TP-Link extender setup requires the following things:
- An Ethernet cable for wired connection.
- Wireless device information includes SSID, wireless password, and default IP encryption type. A label on the back or sides of the ISP router contains this information.
- An Internet connection and an active default gateway.
- A laptop or computer with Chrome, Safari, or Firefox web browser.
Manual Wifi Extender Setup Using Ethernet Cable
As the name suggests, you’ll use a wired connection between the TP-Link extender and the computer.
- First, place the Wifi extender closer to the router and plug it into an electric socket.
- You can wait around 20 seconds for the wireless extender to boot until you see the lights turn solid.
- Next, you can use an Ethernet port to connect the extender to the computer or laptop.
- Open the web browser, type 192.168.0.254 in the search bar, and press Enter.
- Go to the “Quick Setup” on the TP-Link web page and press “Next.”
- Here you need to choose your region and proceed to the next steps.
- The TP-Link extender takes a couple of minutes to scan the available network.
- You can select your home Wi-fi network and connect to it by entering the correct password.
- There is an additional step where you can copy the Wi-fi network name SSID from the router or access point or customize it according to your preference.
- For instance, you can use the same SSID to maintain a single enhanced wireless network. Alternatively, you can set up a different wireless network for the guests and friends.
- Once you select next, you’ll be able to review the final wireless settings before completing the Wifi extender setup. You can check the network settings before you choose “Finish.”
- Once the online setup finishes, the TP-Link extender reboots. Finally, you can test the Internet connectivity via the extender using an Ethernet cable or wirelessly.
Manual Method Using Wireless Connection
Besides the computer, you can also use a tablet or smartphone to configure the TP-Link extender without using an Ethernet cable.
- First, you can plug the extender into the power socket and wait for it to boot by checking the LED lights are turning solid.
- Enable the wireless network on the tablet, smartphone, or laptop.
- You can refresh the available network settings, where you’ll be able to see the TP-Link network. Note that this network is initially unsecured, so you can tap on the network to connect to it without entering the password.
- Once connected to the network, you’ll be automatically redirected to tplinkrepeater.net. If not, you can open the web browser and type the IP address 192.168.0.254.
- You can enter the TP-Link extender’s default username and wireless password, usually admin.
- On the setup page, you can choose “Region,” allowing the TP-Link extender to search for the available wireless networks automatically. Hence, selecting the correct region is crucial instead of randomly picking one.
- Under the “Quick Setup” tab, you can select your home Wifi network, enter the host 2.4 GHz password, and select Next to proceed.
- You can either copy the host SSID as an extended 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz SSID or enter the new names to create two separate networks. Similarly, you can check the box to hide the SSID from broadcasting to ensure your online protection and security.
- Once you enter the above information, press the Save button to confirm your preferences.
- Lastly, you can review the settings before selecting “Finish” to complete the TP-Link extender setup.
- The TP-Link Wifi extender reboots to implement the changes. Now, you can relocate it to repeat the wireless signals in Wifi dead zones within the home.
Using WPS Method
It’s one of the most convenient methods to connect the TP-Link extender to the existing router if done correctly. One of the most significant reasons behind using this option is that it doesn’t involve any wired connection or a web portal.
The Wifi protected setup (WPS) is a network security standard that helps you add different devices to the Wifi network in no time.
The only requirement for this method is that both the router and the extender should have a WPS button. Then, you can follow these steps to synchronize the TP-Link extender with the existing wireless network.
- The WPS button is usually available on the back of the main router with a WPS label.
- You can turn on the router and the Wifi extender. Be sure to keep the extender closer to the router.
- First, you can press the WPS button on the router, and then immediately after that, you can press the WPS button on the TP-Link extender.
- You can’t press the two WPS buttons on both devices simultaneously. Instead, press the WPS button on the router first and then on the extender.
- The TP-Link extender includes LEDs showing ON status, WPS, and wireless connectivity.
- The connection is established if you see the green light for a wireless signal on the extender. However, if the status light is red, the extender is out of range of the router.
- Once the setup is complete, you can relocate the TP-Link Wifi extender to the area where you want to repeat the wireless signals.
- Don’t worry; you don’t need to reconfigure the wireless settings after relocating the extender. First, however, place the repeater within the wireless router range. Then, the LED lights on the extender notify you about the status of the received signals.
Using TP-Link Extender as Wifi Hotspot
Some TP-Link extender models have a feature that allows you to configure them as wireless access points (AP). However, it would be best to connect the extender to a wired network instead of a wireless one. This way, the extender serves as a Wifi hotspot for a particular area.
Changing TP-Link Extender Settings After Initial Setup
The good news is you can always change the TP-Link extender settings once the initial Wifi extender setup is completes.
- Once the TP-Link extender is online, you can connect the computer or laptop or use the Ethernet cable.
- In the web browser’s address bar, type 192.168.0.254 and press the Enter key.
- An Extender Login Wizard will open on the screen where you must enter the username and password.
- Usually, the username and password are admin; however, you can check the login credentials from the user guide or the label printer on the extender.
- The TP-Link extender management wizard allows you to change different security settings, SSID, and other related information.
- If you want to change the SSID, go to “Advanced Settings” and open “Wireless Settings.” Here, you can enter a new SSID on 2.4 GHz wireless bandwidth.
Updating Firmware on TP-Link Wifi Extender
You need to update the firmware of the TP-Link extenders to ensure seamless and uninterrupted Wifi coverage. But don’t worry; you can update the firmware yourself by following these steps:
- Open the web browser on your computer, type the IP address 192.168.0.254, and press Enter. You can log in by entering your username and password.
- On the web portal, go to “System Tools” from the menu, where you’ll see a drop-down menu containing time settings, LED control, firmware upgrade, admin account, and system log.
- You can click “Firmware Upgrade” and check for the available upgrades.
- If a new firmware version is available, you can proceed to the update process, which takes around two minutes to complete.
- Once the firmware is updated, the TP-Link Wifi extender automatically reboots.
Reset the TP-Link Range Extender
If you cannot connect to the Internet via the TP-Link extender, you can reset the device and perform the initial setup again. You can either use the web console to reset the extender or press the restore key on the range extender. Restoring the default factory settings usually eliminates Internet connectivity issues.
You require a paperclip or a pen to push the reset key and hold for ten to 15 seconds before releasing it. For instance, once you see the Wifi extender reboot while the LEDs blink, you can let go of the reset button.
Wait another minute or two and reset the device to restore the default settings. Then, you must complete the initial TP-Link extender setup again as the resetting formats the stored information and settings.
Some people find it tricky to use the reset key, so they opt for a safer option to reset the Wifi range extender using the online dashboard.
The hard reset can sometimes lead to hardware failure, so it’s better to use the console to reset the Wi-fi range extender by following these steps:
- First, connect the laptop to the Wifi range extender.
- Next, open the web browser and type the IP address 192.168.0.254.
- Next, you must enter the login credentials to access the online web portal.
- Finally, navigate to “System Tools” and select “Backup and Restore.”
- You can press the “Restore” button and wait for the process to complete. Meanwhile, you can follow the on-screen instructions and let the Wi-fi range extender reboot.
- Once the Wifi range extender is live, you can configure it and connect it to the wireless router.
Using a TP-Link range extender is one of the most affordable and convenient solutions to maximize wireless coverage within your home. Also, you can set up the Wi-fi range extender using any of the methods discussed above to improve the wireless range to improve your browsing, streaming, and gaming experience.