Creating a WiFi hotspot is a popular way to share your mobile data connection with others. But what if you want to share your WiFi connection with other devices and effectively extend your WiFi coverage? In this article, we take a look at the different ways you can use your smartphone as a WiFi repeater / WiFi extender.
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Why should you use your smartphone as a WiFi extender?
While we know there are more reliable ways to extend the range of your WiFi network (for example, mesh WiFi like Google Nest), there’s no need to invest in a mesh network if you only use one occasionally. For single use cases, it’s cheaper to simply turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi repeater.
The main function of a WiFi repeater is to extend the coverage of a WiFi network to areas with weaker reception. For example, if you have a party on your terrace and the WiFi signal from your router does not reach you at all, you can place your smartphone between the terrace and the router. As soon as the smartphone acts as a repeater, you can access the Internet through the same router, even if it is technically out of range.
Depending on the smartphone model you own, there are different ways to turn it into a WiFi repeater. Let’s take a look at these methods.
Method 1: Extend your WiFi using your smartphone’s WiFi hotspot
The easiest way to turn your smartphone into a WiFi extender is to use the WiFi hotspot feature. However, the problem with this option is that not all smartphones allow you to activate Wi-Fi and hotspot at the same time. There are other solutions for these devices, described here and here.
On smartphones that support this feature, if you turn on the access point while connected to your WiFi network, it effectively acts as a WiFi repeater. The hotspot then shares your WiFi connection (and not mobile data).
I managed to do it this way on three smartphones that I own: the Google Pixel 3, the Xiaomi Mi 10i, and the Poco M3 (see screenshots).
You have to follow these steps for this:
- Make sure your smartphone is connected to your WiFi network (ideally on 2.4GHz, as the range there is higher than 5GHz networks) and check that the internet connection is working.
- opens settings -> Network and Internet either Links (may have different names depending on the manufacturer) > there then access point & tying and taps WiFi access point.
- Is writing ‘access point password’to see the default password. You can of course change the password.
- taps okay.
- Now you can activate the WiFi hotspot by turning the switch.
- To quickly turn Wi-Fi hotspot on/off, you can go to hotspot option in quick settings.
- Take the device you want to connect to this newly created hotspot.
- Make sure WiFi is turned on and let it search for networks.
- When you see your hotspot in the list, tap “Connect” and enter the password. And voila, you are connected!
- You can now connect to your WiFi connection indirectly through this new access point.
In the event that your smartphone does not support the simultaneous connection of WLAN and hotspot, it is time to switch to other options. The first of these methods assumes that you have enabled developer options on your smartphone. Please read our detailed guide on how to enable developer options on Android before proceeding.
Method 2: Enable “Wi-Fi Coverage Extension Feature” in Developer Options
Once you’ve enabled developer options, open the menu and look for an option that says “Enable WLAN coverage extension feature.” Please note that not all smartphones have this option. If you can’t find this menu on your phone, it’s time to move on to Method 3.
However, if your smartphone has this option, it can stay connected to a WLAN network and act as an access point at the same time. Then you can follow the steps mentioned in the first method above to turn the smartphone into a WiFi extender.
Method 3 – Use a WiFi Repeater App
If the first two options don’t work for you, this option should work. For this, you need to download a WiFi repeater app from the Google Play Store. On my Samsung Galaxy M02s, I downloaded an app called WiFi Repeater and was able to turn it into a WiFi repeater in minutes. This is how you do it:
A new: The downside of this option is that you have to manually configure each individual device to connect to this network (in addition to entering the WiFi password).
- Make sure that the phone that will act as a WiFi extender is connected to a WiFi network.
- Load the app” Wi-Fi repeater” from the Google Play Store and install it on the phone.
- Open the app and tap the big WiFi icon to launch the WiFi hotspot.
- Make a note of the IP address and HTTP port numbers that appear on the screen.
- Take the cell phone you want to connect and connect it to the WiFi hotspot (use the password displayed on the screen).
- Once connected, you may see a message that the network has no Internet connection.
- To fix this, tap the “Settings” icon next to the WiFi network to open the network details.
- Tap the “Edit” icon in the top right corner. Leave the Password column as it is and tap “Advanced Options”.
- Tap on Proxy and then select “Manual”.
- In the Proxy Hostname section, enter the IP address that is displayed on the screen of the phone that is acting as the Wi-Fi repeater. Then enter the HTTP port number in the Proxy Port section and tap “Save”.
- That is all! You have successfully turned your phone into a WiFi repeater!
A new: Even after you have entered the IP address and proxy, some phones may still report that the Internet is down. It then tries to open websites with a browser and checks that this is indeed the case.
Method 4: Use Bluetooth connection
The last way to extend your WiFi is to use the Bluetooth tethering option. We generally do not recommend this option as connection speeds are slow with this method compared to previous methods. However, it can be used as a last resort if none of the above methods work for you.
To find out how to extend and share your WiFi connection with Bluetooth connection, please refer to our article which covers this topic in detail.
So, now we are presenting four different methods that you can use to turn your smartphone into a WiFi repeater. Please let us know if these steps worked for you or if you know of other methods to turn your Android phone into a WiFi repeater.