Home Gadgets Configuring TPLink MR3020/3040 as Wifi Repeater

Configuring TPLink MR3020/3040 as Wifi Repeater

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20JUN2016: This is now updated.

Configuring TPLink MR3020 and MR3040 as Wifi Repeater can be quite cumbersome. I wrote this guide long back and now it is updated with some changes after previous MR3020 setup guide and MR3020 review. I have configured both, MR3020 and MR3040 as repeater and tested them. I tested this process with Win XP , Win 7, Ubuntu, and CentOS and now Windows 10.

You will be able to repeat any network for which you know the SSID (Network name) or at least scan it. So, let’s go through the steps.

Configure TPLink MR3020, MR3040 as repeater

First thing to do, is a backup of current router config. Do it by using admin console on router from option System Tools (sidebar) -> Backup.

Prepare your MR3020 and MR3040 Router

Power on your MR3020 or MR3040 router and disconnect any network connection currently connected to. Now, set the hardware switch of router on ‘AP (Access Point) mode’. Wait for some minutes till the hardware reconfigures itself.

Next, you will need to hard reset your router. Just press and hold the WPS/RESET button for around 6-8 seconds. MR3040 has a dedicated Reset switch (pin-hole) just near USB port. When lights blink, release the button. Your router will switch to factory settings and you will see SSID something like “TP-LINK_POCKET_3020_xxxxxx” in Wi-fi setting of your PC.

Obvious question: Why I need to reset the router?
Answer: Random behaviour of router. Sometime, things will go well with current SSID and settings but sometimes they will not. It’s better to avoid the headache.

Prepare your computer

1. Go to wireless settings and remove previous networks related to this router and main network. It is not mandatory but may conflict if you are using same SSIDs across many devices.

Caution: You must have all the network keys or just remove the network related to this TP-Link router.

Next step is the most important. You can’t connect to a router in AP mode without a dedicated IP. In this case it is router’s IP. If you try to connect without configuring IP address, you may see Limited or No Connectivity as shown,

mr3020 mr3040 repeater geekact
Limited Connectivity

2. Configuring IP address for Wi-fi adapter.

For Windows XP:

Go to Control panel and then Network Connections. You can also use, Start Menu  → Connect to  → Show all network connections.

For Windows 7:

Control Panel → View network status and tasks → Manage network connection

For Windows 10:

Click on Network icon in taskbar-> Network Connections -> Manage network.

For Linux:

You can directly click on Wi-fi adapter sign and select properties from Status/Task bar.

Now, find your Wi-fi adapter. It will be named as Wireless Network Connection. Right click it and select properties.

For Win XP, scroll down in list and find ‘Internet protocol TCP/IP’. In Win 7 and Windows 10, it might be named as ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 TCP/IP’. Select properties or double click.

Wifi_adapter_properties_TP-link_GeekAct
TCP/IP address of Wi-fi adapter

Select ‘Use the following IP address’ and enter an IP address as 198.168.0.XXX. Here XXX can be anything from 1 to 253, your choice but keep first three subset as said.

Next, set the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0

Now, default gateway. People fails from here and further as they put 192.168.0.254. For some people it will work and for others it will not. Reason is that this gateway is actually IP address of your router. It may vary in models. You can find yours printed on router or under battery cover.

Leave the DNS server settings as it is. We don’t have one.

So, in the end, my config looked like as below, (you can use the same, just make sure your router IP = default gateway)

Wifi Adapter IP MR3020 and MR3040 repeater mode
Change IP

Hit OK and again OK.

Your Wi-fi will try to reconnect and this time it will show ‘Connected’ instead of ‘Limited Connectivity’.

Configuring router to repeat SSID/Network

I hope you are already have another Wifi or mobile Wifi hotspot. This one will be the network you want to repeat. Or why we might be doing this?

Fire up your favorite browser and type in your router’s IP in address bar (Default gateway IP) and hit enter. You will be welcomed with login prompt. As we did a reset the login and password will be ‘admin’ in most cases. Refer your Wi-fi device or its manual, if it’s not.

Enter login details and enter the admin panel. Now, go to Quick Setup and Select the Repeater mode as shown. Click Next.

Repeater Setup MR3020 and MR3040
Select Repeater Mode

Next screen will ask you SSID and other settings. You can enter manually but I prefer to Survey. Click Survey button. Your router will show any existing network it can see. It will also show some other details. Select ‘Choose’ at the end of table.

Select main Wi-fi SSID GeekAct
Select parent network

The details will be filled up automatically. Just check them to make sure they are correct. Leave the security settings as it is or configure them, your choice. You can configure this later also.

Note: Security settings shown here are not of your parent network. They are for this router MR3020 or MR3040.

 

Repeat SSID MR3020 and MR3040GeekAct
Selected network

So, hit next and you will be told that setup completed and now connecting. You will see that now there is only one network i.e. your original network with change in signal strength – means it’s extended. Great!

MR3020_3040 range before extending
Range before repeating

 

Extended range TP-link router GeekAct
Extended Range after repeating

Only thing is that, it will simply fail to connect right now. Reasons are fairly simple,

1. You will still need your parent network key or say password in lame language.

2. Remember, you had bind your adapter to a specific IP address which is not an IP of your parent device/router but of repeater router.

So, simply go back to Wireless adapter settings and select ‘Obtain IP address automatically’. Hit Ok and again Ok.

Remove Gateway IP GeekAct
Restore Wi-fi adapter settings

Try to reconnect now and it will ask keys for original network. Enter your password (lame lingo) and it will connect to your repeated network. You may need to wait for long time; say, 3-4 minutes (at least in XP, I saw this).

Troubleshooting

If you get ‘Acquiring Network Address’ or ‘Limited connectivity’ even after finishing everything then you can do the following,

1. Right click on Wi-fi icon from taskbar (near clock) and select repair. Many times Windows will offer itself. After repair, Cache will be cleared, IP will be renewed and you will be able to connect.

2. Switch off Wi-fi on system, repeater and main device. Start in this order; System Wi-fi -> Repeater router -> Main device (parent network) at last.

3. Restart the system and run following commands one by one from dos prompt (type cmd in Start -> Run to get MS-Dos prompt);

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

It should work now. Enjoy. Who said that configuring TPLink MR3020/3040 as Wifi Repeater would be an easy job.

Comments, queries and issues are welcome as always.

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15 Comments

  1. Mathur

    April 23, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Woo..hooo… Finally…. I got it working. I am so happy. 1 week of headache. That gateway IP thing is real nasty and easy to miss. My TP-link MR3040 now repeating my brother’s wifi from 1st floor. Thanks.

    Reply

  2. Brian Toss

    April 25, 2014 at 5:09 am

    step by step. this is great. thank you. now, i am able to repeat my wi-fi network using mr3020 router.

    Reply

  3. Shiva

    April 28, 2014 at 7:30 am

    ipconfig /flushdns turned out to be real deal for me. Thanks for this so complete guide.

    Reply

  4. John

    May 31, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Only working guide. Quite detailed. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Mrinal Buddekar

      May 31, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Thanks. I am glad it was useful for you.

      Reply

  5. Theressa

    June 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    This is great. Now my MR3020 is repeating network of my husband’s iPhone mobile hotspot and I am using it on my laptop (quite secretly…) 🙂

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Mrinal Buddekar

      June 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Enjoy.

      Reply

  6. Rishikesh

    July 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I bought a Tl MR-3040 router I want to use it as a wireless repeater It should receive wifi network broadcast it with out wire. Is it possible with this model
    if yes can you help me with it as i tried all the above procedure but could not make it as a wire less repeater

    Reply

    • Mrinal Buddekar

      July 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Rishikesh,
      Tl-MR3020 works as a repeater. You need to change the switch to repeater on MR3020 then configure it with existing wi-fi network being broadcast by another router. Just use the IP address correctly from your main ISP. If you have a dynamic IP then its a little trouble. However, for static it is no issue.

      Reply

  7. Sanjeev

    July 31, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I am able to improve the signal strength but still connectivity is limited. Tried troubleshooting information provided here. Another case is, i see the improved signal and when i get connected to wifi, signal strength will be same as before and if i turn-off the repeater, my laptop is still able to get the internet from main router, wifi icon on repeater rarely blinks. Could you suggest some more tips to get over from limited connectivity issue?

    Reply

  8. maulik

    September 6, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I have TPlink w8961nd wifi router and tplink mr 3020 as a repeater,
    when i use w8961nd router without any password then my repeater works well and i can conect it to the repeater.

    But when i set up a pass on w8961nd, then my repeter always shows obtaining IP address when i connect to repeater from my mobile.
    heeeelllp pls

    Reply

    • Mrinal Buddekar

      September 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Hi,
      When you set a password on Main router then you will need to configure the network on 3020 also. Reset the 3020 and try to configure from start.
      Regards

      Reply

  9. James George

    March 20, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Can I have the 3020 not use the same SSID name as the original Router?? Coz at places, my device gets totally confused between the two and doesn’t connect to neither.

    Reply

  10. […] It provides three working modes: 3G/4G router, AP and WISP Client Router. You can also use it as a Repeater. I have written a step by step guide here to use MR3020 as repeater. […]

    Reply

  11. gregor

    August 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    This guide is perfect and flawless for repeating configuration on mr3040. thanks!

    Reply

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