With my first time setting up a Wi-Fi extender and connecting it to my router, I needed a few tries before I actually got it working. It’s meant to be simple, and there are actually a couple of different ways of doing it, but as with anything in networking, a lot of things can go wrong and getting even one step wrong in the setup can mean that nothing works and you’re back to square one.
In this guide, we’ll give some common reasons for the extender setup not working and how to fix the issue. Often with extenders, a factory reset is the best option to wipe everything and start over, since it doesn’t take long with a repeater and just allows you to start fresh.
But we’ll cover this and other troubleshooting steps to try when you can’t get a Wi-Fi extender properly set up.
Quick Things To Check With Wi-Fi Extender Setup
Here are some quick tips if you’ve having trouble getting the initial setup working:
- Make sure the extender is in proper range of both the router and your device and is consistently broadcasting a signal that can be picked up on your Wi-Fi networks list. If it loses connection with your router, you may get a “connected, no internet“, message.
- If the extender is used, make sure it hasn’t already been configured to hide it’s SSID and therefore not show up on any network list.
- Make sure any usernames/passwords you enter are fully correct including case sensitive. If you’re required to enter a password twice to confirm, be sure it’s identical in both boxes.
- Try clearing browsing cache if you keep getting a “connection refused” error.
- With the final stage of completing the setup within the extender’s interface, make sure you fully do the last step of connecting the same device you just used to configure the extender setup to the new extender network you just created, and THEN click Finish/Save to finalize the setup. Some extenders require you to do this final step and confirm within the menu, or any configuration you’ve made won’t be saved and you’ll be back to square one.
- Also, when connecting to the extender once you’ve done the rest of the setup, it’s usually going to be your main router password you need to enter, not any other passwords configured in the setup. Most extenders clone the password of your main router during setup, so this will also be the password of your new extender network when connecting to it the first time after configuration.
But if you’re totally stuck, or these tips don’t work, it’s better to either use a different setup method or reset everything and start over. Let’s cover each option.
Solution #1 – Use WPS Setup Instead
Users run into these setup problems most often when trying to do it on a device browser connected to the extender. When you have to log in to devices with URLs/usernames/passwords, there’s more that can go wrong.
If you have physical access to the router, and the router itself has a WPS button, the easier way to set it up is just to use this. Using WPS, there’s no need to use any devices or setup menus – it’s just the press of a button.
Here’s the general process.
- Plug your extender in and wait for it to initialize
- Press the WPS/Pair button on your router until it flashes/blinks
- Press the WPS/Pair/Connect/Wi-Fi button on your repeater. Sometimes you need to press and hold for a few seconds until it starts blinking.
- Give up to 2 minutes for the router and extender to “find” each other via the WPS feature.
- Once the LED on your extender turns solid green, you know the router and extender are connected and working.
- When setup via WPS, your extender will share the same network name (SSID) and passwords as your main router.
Solution #2 – Factory Reset The Extender And Start Over
This can be especially useful if you’re doing everything right as far as you know, and completing the setup, but it just seems to never fully confirm or save, and the new extender network is never created.
Also, if you don’t have physical access to the router to use the simpler WPS method, but have got stuck with the browser/settings menu method, this can help reset everything and start over.
Just plug the repeater in, and then push a sharp object into the recessed reset hole for a few seconds until the LED blinks:
Then wait a few minutes for the repeater to re-initialize.
A factory reset wipes any custom settings configured, and resets them all back to the defaults listed on the sticker on the repeater, so you can use them again.
Therefore, note down the default credentials on the label again:
- Default SSID (network name)
- Default access/login/URL (eg. repeaterlogin.net)
And then reconnect to the extender’s (now open) Wi-Fi network, and log in to the configuration panel again:
- TP Link – http://tplinkrepeater.net
- Netgear – http://mywifiext.net
- Linksys – http://extender.linksys.com
- Wavlink – http://wifi.wavlink.com
The username/password are often both “admin” for a lot of repeaters.
From there, you can run through the browser setup process all over again, and as long as the extender isn’t broken, it will eventually work.
You just need to complete all the steps, make sure any usernames/passwords entered are correct, and always be sure to finish the setup fully (including connecting your device to the extender’s new network if asked), and saving/confirming, to make sure the new setup is fully registered and stored by the extender.
See our full step by step guide on setting up a range extender via a web browser, where you connect to the extender and log into it’s settings interface to connect it to your router and set up a new network.