Use a TP-Link W8968 as a wireless repeater

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Problem :

I have two TP-Link W8968 routers, I’m using one of them for my internet connection.

I would like to know how to configure the second one to work as a:

  • Wireless signal extender/repeater
  • Wireless bridge
  • Or a Wireless client to the first


Solution :

Please note: these routers do not support third party firmware, which would add better functionality.

You are stuck with the firmware that was created by TP-link. The firmware supplied by the manufacturer supports WDS (wireless distribution system), which will allow you to extend the range of your wireless network without an Ethernet cable between the two.

A friendly warning: WDS on these routers supports open encryption (no password) or WEP which is almost as bad as no encryption. (Seriously, it takes seconds to break WEP keys, and gives users a false sense of security.)

A much better option would be bridging the two routers with an Ethernet cable, and keeping WPA2 encryption on both with a strong password.

Look into dd-wrt or OpenWRT compatible routers, they are inexpensive second hand, and do not have this limitation for bridging, or repeating wirelessly.

If you would like to ignore my warning at your own risk you can find instructions here to setup WDS:


Yes, it is possible, but not with all the functionality of third-party firmware such as “DD-WRT”.

From my experience/ignorance WPA2 not supported does not necessarily mean that it will not work.

Having recently set up a Client Bridge on a DD-WRT enabled router, I thought I would see what I could do with the old TD-W8968v1 that I had lying around.

I followed the guide in the link below.

Setup as Bridge via. the ADSL option and select ISP = OTHER and Bridge.

Under Wireless > Basic Settings >

  1. Enable Wireless
  2. Change Channel from “Auto” to match the Channel of the primary router that you are connecting to, or just select a number to enable the next step.
  3. Check the box for Enable WDS.
    Proceed with the Network ID Security etc. WPA2 worked for me.

Under LAN Turn off the DHCP and give the router the IP Address and Subnet in the range of your Primary router.

Note that you have to set/fix the Channel from “Auto” to match the Channel of the primary router that you are connecting to.
So, probably worth setting that on the Primary router to prevent future issues.

Also note that the network speed will be significantly impacted.
From the supposedly 300Mbps I measured 75Mbps via the LAN and 20Mbps via. the Wireless.
In any case, the speed will be limited by the 100Mbps LAN ports.
Something to take into consideration if you purchase another router to flash a third-party firmware.

Hope someone finds this useful.

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