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With an increase of traffic and devices connected at home, I decided to add a WiFi extender since the signal is weaker in the 2nd story.

I found a cheap DLink DAP-1620 which by specs seemed that will do the trick. I ordered one.

After receiving it first thing I checked is the information printed in the case of the extender itself. I noted down the MAC address and added it into my router filtered list. I plugged the device to the wall AC socket and then connected to it. The setup was very simple, as per instructions. I added the Router SSID and password, configured the extender WIFI signal and rebooted the extnder.

Here is where the trouble started, the connection to the router was not established.

After many attempts of retrying to configure from scratch, I also upgraded to the latest firmware, get close to 1 meter of the router, nothing worked!

So i decided to disable the MAC filtering on my router and see what showed up in the client list.

THAT WAS IT!

The MAC address advertised in the extender did not match the one registered in the router!

Ok, now I have a clue, so I updated the previous added device MAC address with the one reported by the router, enabled MAC filtering and rebooted both devices, the router and the extender.

After both devices came back I attempted to connect to the extender to verify the connectivity to the router, however no client that I had at hand ever connected to the extender!

Here we go, one more time, I connected to the router and disabled MAC filtering and the attempted to connect to the extender, VOILA!
The client I used to connect through the extender was showing up in the client list on the router with a different MAC address than what it was registered before. I tried with other clients (laptop, scell, raspberry pi, tv) and constantly saw all the MAC address had the first 3 set of values matching the MAC address of the extender and the last 3 values to the device MAC address.

Example:

WiFi Extender MAC address: AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF
Client MAC: 11:22:33:44:55:66

Client MAC configured in Router: 11:22:33:44:55:66
When client connects through router, Not problem!

New Client MAC configured in Router to be able to connect through WiFi Extender: AA:BB:CC:44:55:66

After identifying this, then I went ahead and added the proper configuration of the new MAC address required to connect through the WiFi extender.

Now everything is working!

 

I called the DLink support when I was initially finding the extender was not connecting, however the tech rep that I was talking to, all he did was listen to my procedures and explanation of the tests that I was going through.
At the end of the call he suggested to disable MAC filtering, to which I told him that in totally unreasonable since I need security enabled on the router. He dismissed the case and sent a happy email. Thanks DLink!

 

Hope this tips helps someone to troubleshoot similar issues with other WiFi extender products. The manual does not cover anything about connecting to an existing WiFi network with MAC filtering.

 

Stay safe, stay healthy!