Last Updated on August 1, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
I picked up a used Netgear R6300 cheaply last week to use as an access point. Here’s how to configure a Netgear R6300 as an access point.
I considered DD-WRT, but ultimately decided against it for now. DD-WRT isn’t as foolproof on the R6300 as it is on, say, a TP-Link TL-WR841N. Fortunately, the stock Netgear firmware is reasonably capable, and Netgear has been staying on top of updates for it.
Configure your wireless network
To configure the Netgear R6300 as an access point, connect it directly to a computer via a wired connection and disable the computer’s wireless connection, if it has one. You don’t need to connect the router to the Internet.
Navigate to http://192.168.1.1 and login as admin with the password of password.
Cancel out of any wizard that appears. Click Basic, then Wireless Setup. Enter your SSID and channel for your 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. Use the same SSID as your main router, but pick a different 2.4 GHz channel. The two devices will work out 5 GHz amongst themselves. Use the same security mode as your main router (I strongly urge you to use WPA2-PSK (AES)) and enter the same wireless passphrase.
Double check everything, then click Apply.
Configure a Netgear R6300 as an access point
Click the Advanced tab and click Advanced Setup. Click Wireless AP. Check the box that says Enable AP Mode.
Don’t forget this critical step. Scroll down! It’s incredibly easy to miss this step if you aren’t super-careful.
You’re scrolled down? Good.
Netgear recommends running access points as DHCP. I don’t. By using a fixed IP, if the main router dies, I can connect to the access point and reconfigure it as an emergency router. Assign it an IP address such as 192.168.1.2, with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, and the gateway is your main router’s IP address.
When you’re ready, click Apply. Your router will reboot and come back up as an access point. Plug one of the LAN ports into your network someplace where your wifi signal is weak, and enjoy. I talk more about positioning access points here.
Be sure to re-enable your computer’s wireless connection and change its network back to DHCP.
Caveats to the R6300 in access point mode
Unlike many routers, the R6300’s switch isn’t functional in access point mode. Don’t expect any of the LAN ports to work. I like my access points to double as switches, but the R6300 doesn’t do it.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started out in desktop support in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator, and now specializes in vulnerability management. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.
5 thoughts on “Configure a Netgear R6300 as an access point”
Just wanted to let you know, I’m not sure if this changed since your article since I just set mine up now, but the LAN ports do behave as a switch when the R6300 is in AP mode. I’m using R6300v1 so it should work it v2 as well. Maybe make sure your firmware is up to date and the DCHP server is disabled.
Thanks, it sounds like something may have changed. Next time I get a chance I’ll have to try that out. Thanks again.
Thanks, it was very useful for me.
But I just want to let you know the Netgear r6300v2 as acces point works well as a switch even
Thanks. I think my unit may have been failing and that was why I couldn’t use it as a switch.
Exactly what I did with a Linksys EA6400 (EA6300V1) as the router and the Netgear r6300V2 as the access point. The router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 and the Netgear is set to be an access point and the Netgear access point’s IP address is set to 192.168.1.2. Make sure the router and access point use the same security settings (WPA2-PSK [AES] is most secure) and G/A/N/AC and SSID settings (same SSID for both the router and access point wireless network but different SSID for 2.4GHz and 5GHz). Connect the router and access point with an ethernet cable from one of the LAN ports on the router to a LAN port on the Netgear.
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