The Short Version: I only purchased this to extend an existing network. Once I figured out that it could only setup a new wifi network by using the original one as an Internet connection I ditched it. I had no interest in setting up multiple wifi networks just to extend my range. I probably could have configured the device to successfully setup another wifi network, but since that wasn’t why I purchased it I didn’t bother tweaking it any further. For more information about setting this device up you might find the many comments more useful.

I came across a very cheap wireless router at the local CVS (CrystalView Wireless Instant Router and Repeater). Now, I’m not in need of a router but what caught my attention was that it also claimed to have a repeater mode. It was marked at $25 and I thought it might serve as a good alternative to other wireless extender options. I didn’t need anything fancy but I wanted to increase the wireless coverage in part of our home.

After tinkering with it I found that it doesn’t work the way I expected. Technically, I don’t think it’s appropriate to call this device a repeater.  As far as I can tell it doesn’t repeat a wireless network. In my mind this should mean that the wireless configuration is the same and that all devices appear to be on the same network. It does not seem to be capable of extending an existing wireless network.

It can connect to an existing wireless network but it treats it as the WAN connection. In this case you won’t be able to receive DHCP from the existing network or connect to other devices.

I don’t know if it works well as the primary router. I didn’t test that aspect. I only tried the repeater mode. It’s possible that there’s some quirk of the configuration that I overlooked but I do not think this is the case (this isn’t the first time I’ve bridged or extended wireless networks). I couldn’t get the Internet to work in that mode even though it was connected to my other wireless access point though I didn’t spend all evening trying to make it work that way. I was trying to extend my network.

The manual that comes with it isn’t great but it does cover most of the functions. The router comes pre-configured with a single wireless network that is secured. Oddly enough, the manual didn’t mention anything about the password for the default wireless network. However, the default wireless network password is printed directly on the device itself.

Is this even worth $25? Probably if you’re in a tight spot and can’t (or don’t want to) spend more money on a name brand device, assuming that it lasts. Would I replace an existing Linksys, Netgear, Asus, or Apple router with this device? No.

If you want an inexpensive wireless router with LAN ports that has most of the functions you would expect from a name brand router then an ASUS router might work well.

Note that all client connections are wireless. It only has one ethernet port and that’s reserved for the WAN connection (cable mode, DSL modem, etc).

I’m going to sell this to a friend at a discount. He’ll use it as an actual router and hopefully he won’t have any problems since he’s not trying to use it the same way that I did.

Updated 12/4/2012: I still hold to my statements regarding the device’s apparent inability to actually repeat an existing wifi network. However, I thought it would be worth mentioning that the friend that took the one I purchased has been using it only as a wireless router without problems for about a week.

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Join the conversation! 69 Comments

  1. It is capable of extending an existing wi-fi network. You must go to the configuration screen (connect and go to 192.168.2.1 in your web browser), then go into advanced settings > WAN Medium Type and select “Wireless LAN” then input the security key to your existing wi-fi network, click “Open Scan” then select the SSID of your existing wi-fi network and it will connect.

    Reply
    • Scott,
      Do you have any more information about this? I followed the steps in the manual and tried several different changes but it wouldn’t work. The Crystalview router showed that it was connected to my other network but it did not extend the network. Did you successfully set one up to extend an existing network? Or did it just setup a second network that uses the first as an ISP?

      Reply
    • Scott
      I followed your instruction but the format would not complete. I received the following error message “password limited to 8 characters” Can I get around this limitation?

      Reply
    • Scott
      Need to RE config, Lost internet connection in the whole house Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, we disconnected the Crystalview router and our internet service came back. Since then, the Crystalview hasn’t worked. Any ideas?

      Reply
    • mine still wont connect with all those settings correct…
      anyone know of a solution…?
      it would fully connect but keep going to the login screen and then if i logged in it would try connecting and say err connection or something of that sort…???

      Reply
      • I too am unable to get this to extend my WiFi network to service the other half of my house. I am doing exactly what has beed stated in numerous treads “Go to the configuration screen (connect and go to 192.168.2.1 in your web browser), then go into advanced settings > WAN Medium Type and select “Wireless LAN” then input the security key to your existing wi-fi network.” Doing a scan and connecting to the appropriate SSID usually ends up in a time-out issue and never connects to the internet on the other side. Who can explain the magic here??

      • YES! MINE TOO!! PLZ SOMEONE HELP….

    • Scott,
      in WAN medium they ask for your WPA/WPA2 algorithms….. wat does that mean?

      Reply
    • Thank you so much, I have struggled with this for months.

      Reply
  2. [...] More expensive versions of the retro-handset concept have been around for a while. A buddy of mine used to have a Bluetooth version that he used with his iPhone. I wasn’t interested in buying one at the time because they typically cost around $40 at the time. However, I just couldn’t pass this one up at only $10. I came across it at our local CVS (during the same visit when I purchased a cheap router). [...]

    Reply
  3. I’m having trouble setting it up as a repeater on my Apple network at my home. It does appear on the initial scan with a very strong signal, but when you try to enter the default password you can’t move forward to the next step. It might have to go back.

    Reply
    • It may be worth mentioning that I’m also using an Apple device for wifi (Airport Extreme Base Station). I doubt the issue is related only to Apple devices but I haven’t tested it with other brands. I’ve sold my CrystalView to a friend, who has reported that it’s working fine as just a wireless router. I simply never could get it to actually extend my network. It just seemed to create another wireless network that didn’t even work properly.

      Reply
  4. I have one working for me. The password to access the router setup pages is printed on the device itself. Plug it into the wall and then on your computer try to connect to crystaview using the password printed on the device. From there, load 192.168.2.1 in your browser and you can configure it.

    Reply
    • Just a followup to my original inquiry: I was never able to really get it working with my iMacs and Apple Wireless router network. The problem was that I was not able to enter the “admin” default password and move forward. I have returned the device.

      Reply
    • Thank you misteretrain about the password. I was look for it all over the place until I found your posting.

      Howie

      Reply
  5. I bought this for a friend who doesnt have internet thinking she could plug this in and use a ethernet cord and get internet….was i mistaken? I tried it here at my house and i cant get it to connect…or do i need a router to go in between box and computer? also do i need to go thru settings and make changes to get this to work….any help would be appreciated!!!

    Reply
    • The device works as a wireless router but it only provides Internet over wifi. The wired ethernet connection on it can only used for connecting it to a cable or DSL modem. You won’t be able to plug your friend’s computer into it. However, if the computer isn’t very old there’s a good chance that it has wifi built in.

      You shouldn’t have to do anything to make it work out of the box (sometimes I have to restart my cable modem if I connect a different device to it).

      If you can get it working and your friend’s computer has wifi I highly recommend setting up a secured wireless network (WPA or WPA2) and change default passwords and the network name.

      Reply
  6. What if you used the Crystal View for a router and then take your Apple airport express and use it as a repeater? Then will this work. Am looking for extend my wifi network, but without spending another $100. I have 2 coupons for CVS, so I may be able to get this for about $11.

    Reply
    • It might work but since I’ve sold it to a friend I don’t have one to test with. Personally, I don’t think I’d set the CyrstalView as my router if I have other options available even though extending the wifi is important.

      Reply
  7. I bought one from a friend and I don’t have the manual it came with and I was wondering how it worked It shows a very strong connection while it was plugged which I do think it worked some what due the kids connections and ours which is about 8 connections at sometimes

    Reply
  8. I also was able to fairly easily get this to work as a repeater. Right its sitting all alone plugged into a wall socket half way between my Netgear WiFi router and my home theater system. You do need to go into advanced settings and scan for your active networks to start.

    Too bad you gave up so early and still left a negative review.

    Reply
    • Steve – I appreciate your comment and I’m glad that you were able to get it to work. I did go to advance settings. I scanned for my network, found it, and connected to it successfully. It setup its own wifi network as well but it simply wouldn’t work (I tried several different configuration changes that I didn’t go into detail about in the post). I didn’t give up early but I wasn’t going to spend days trying to make it work (failure to work out-of-the-box is often an indication that a piece of equipment will continue to be a headache). Perhaps it was defective but I’m not alone in my opinion of this device. It’s possible that the device simply can’t play well with certain security protocols or that it has issues with specific devices but I’m not going to troubleshoot for the device manufacturer.

      Reply
      • I’m with Michael!! I’ve gone to Advanced Settings several times, put in all the correct information, it looks like it accepts it. Then it just goes back to the main screen, and I can’t get internet access through that connection. It’s a piece of crap that doesn’t work!!!!

    • It logs onto the network, but will not connect to the internet.

      Reply
  9. Do I need to connect the device to the ethernet port on my DSL modem to work? Can It get my actual wireless signal and work as a repeater without any cable connected to it?

    Reply
    • Edwin – No. If you’re planning to simply use it as a repeater than you don’t need to connect anything to the ethernet port. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck than I did. So far the comments to this post have shown mixed results.

      Reply
  10. Than You for your promt response!

    Reply
  11. Well I plug in my device into thw wall outlet/ I get 130Mbps on my computer,and it reports
    excellent connection. Now it wont connect to the Internet?

    Reply
  12. I just got this to boost the wifi signal in my home office and for for when we travel. I think it seems to work fine. Its a nice small design and I’ve run very simple tests for downloading files and it matches my LAN cable speed. I’ve had the home office PC, mac, printer and my phone and tablet all hooked up and the printer utility shows 100% signal strength, usually I get 40%. Now I can stop having these LAN cables all over the place. Getting into the settings was no problem and, while I’m no router whiz, I see I can set up a VPN to my clients if needed and disable SSID broadcast, all the usual stuff. If I’m missing something then its what I’ve missed with linksys and dlink etc over the years.

    Reply
  13. I would not have bought this. It was a gift. Do not buy this for anyone unless you know their networking needs. A single person that just has 1 or 2 devices in the home, sure. But any other use will be problematic if it is even functional for the purpose.

    Ran into the WTF is the password hurdle same as most, but after that the instructions were adequate in connecting it to the existing network, yet not as a repeater. So now the network attached storage and the remote printer are not able to be found when connecting through the additional network.

    It does indeed set up as a self-contained network and all it does is use the existing router to pipe the WAN connection to it. Hopefully I can flash it with DD-WRT firmware, but I doubt it.

    I don’t trust it at all. This is coming from a small manufacturer in China. If I’m unable to flash it I will at least be running Wireshark to see if it’s doing strange things.

    I must also correct one aspect in your last segment: if you set it up to connect to an existing wireless LAN wirelessly, then the RJ-45 does function as an access point rather than an input point.

    wtf

    Reply
    • Can you offer any insight on using the RJ-45 as an access point rather than an input point when the device is connected as wireless? I’ve been successful with getting it to work with other wireless devices, but I was under the impression (as you mention) that the RJ-45 could serve as a wired port when connected wirelessly, but I can’t get it to work. At least not connecting it to my internet-ready blue ray DVD player.

      Reply
  14. This Router is NOT capable of being a Repeater – what it does allow for is piggybacking on your existing router – from there (once configured – and this can take several attempts) it assigns its own IP’s on its own LAN. Documentation is poor and English challenged. Default password as everyone notes is on the router itself. Updates to this password apparently do not take even if the new one shows in the default configuration page (go figure). It seems like it would work just fine for basic wifi needs but don’t buy as a repeater as it isn’t capable of doing what we call repeating/extending.

    Reply
  15. pepe that is correct. It will use the main router to access the Internet but it will be as a separate network within your network. I can see some applications for that configuration. Like a guess access or your private network within your network.
    By the way thanks for the information in this blog I didn’t have to many issues configuring it.

    Reply
  16. Hey Edwin Rivera Rosario. It is you unbelievable…this Edwin Torres from PR what are the chances to find you here….

    Reply
  17. I need the SSID for initial log in … when I enter my computer SSID it says it is a mismatch … can I get some help.

    Reply
  18. I finally got it to work as repeater of my network, you would have to connect to its own SSID. The security mode option in its WAN medium menu is the key in my case, the “open” option is actually WEP actually.

    This unit does not have nice document and interface is quite confusing. but as long as it works, I do not care much

    Reply
  19. We got it working as an access point on our wireless network. It took us a while to figure out that ‘Open’ is WEP security. Once we got the key entered for our old router using the Open option, it works. I just wanted it so I could use wi-fi on my phone in the other end of the house from the router. Speed tests are the same for pinging and upload, but 1/2 to 2/3 slower than the original router. For the price, it does what I need.

    Reply
    • This is exactly what I’m trying to achieve! But running into road blocks along the way. Are the following steps correct? “Go into the configuration screen (connect and go to 192.168.2.1 in the web browser), then go into advanced settings > WAN Medium Type and select “Wireless LAN” then I enter the security key from my existing wi-fi network/router.” Once I scan and connect to CrystalView WiFi network, I cannot cross over to my primary router and to the internet. Simple http://www.yahoo.com connections time out. What the trick?

      Reply
  20. at first had problems getting it to work as a extender after reading your post here I now have it working great as a extender the key is the password that’s on the item itself that your not told about anywhere BUT HERE

    Reply
  21. I was able to setup the router,although could have done without the headache of the password, etc.. Now it shows up as a separate network, after completing the configuration in the WAN Medium setup and I can connect to it, however I am unable to access any site on the internet by name, but can access if I know the IP address. Do I need to configure DNS or something else to get it to work ?

    Reply
  22. Bought it and for my tablet it works fine, but my wireless netgear dongle will connect and tell me there is a server issue when I trythe internet on my pc,

    Reply
  23. Can anybody tell me how to configure this device for windows 8… I have windows 8.. I cannot cannot configure it on windows 8.. Thanks

    Reply
  24. I have re-configured, rebooted and powered off my CrystalView Wireless Router/Repeater numerous times and still unable to get this to extend my wifi’s inhouse network for use in those week area. I have followed the manual and tips above to:
    Avanced setting -> WAN medium -> open scan -> select my SSID -> enter my wifi security key -> apply -> reboot. What’s the trick or is this impossible?

    Reply
  25. Ive used one for a week now. You have to set up the secondary network for the repeater function to operate, then when you are beyond the original range of your first wifi, properly setup your mobile devices will switch to the crystal view network :clue: first change the name of the network, the name has most of the factory password . Second, set up password. Make it automatic and whenever you lose the “first” network, the crystal network comes into play

    Reply
  26. With stuff like this, you could pay someone to come do set up repeaters for you and it would end up costing less in the time involved in getting the damn thing to work. i am so glad i read this before i bought one. i bought a different one, also really poor documentation but it came with excellent customer service. 5 minutes on the phone and it was working. Also some weird password thing and some setting labelled OPEN which is where the WEP key went (as i recall) but in the end i went from about 12mbs in my upstairs office to average of about 58.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833168045 also some negative feedback but i didn’t spend more than 30 minutes on getting it to work and it has worked great for me for 5 months so far.

    Reply
    • I was thinking of buying another one to put in another area of my house – now i think i buy another of what i have that works.

      Reply
  27. I read part of the comments. Let me preface this with the fact that I work in IT, and have for years.
    I bought 2 of these for about $17 each after someone else bought one, and I set it up for him.
    The hardest part was reading the manual. The print is small :-).
    And getting the password (it’s on the device on a label).

    It worked as a wireless repeater right off the bat. What some might not realize is that it makes a second wireless network to do that. Your original is still there, and the new one.
    The one i set up was because the original signal was too weak in parts of the house. This new device reads the original, and sets up the second network. And it works really well.

    So well, I bought two for myself. And I think I might go back and get another for travel or as a spare.

    What I did was got wifi set up on my phone. It is a hotspot. My problem with *that* was I have a cheap android tablet that just would not talk consistently with the phone hotspot. And I needed to revise the whole network at home anyway. So I tried this Crystalview (Takashi) to extend the phone wifi. And it works great. I point all the wireless devices in the house to the Takashi, and it picks up the phone hotspot automatically when it is on. I even jump back to wired networking from wireless with another device.
    And the Takashi so soooo small and can go anywhere there is an outlet. The perfect solution to my situation. I retired the old and reliable Lynksys wireless router.

    Anyone having problems with this is just not using the proper setup options. I have set up two, and it can be a bit confusing, but simple and obvious once you get the hang of it.

    Maybe I’ll get around to documenting some of this when I have time.

    Reply
  28. when i try to connect for the device, it asks for a security phrase but the manual says it shouldn’t ask for one initially, so i’m unable to connect to the device. I tried entering admin and I tried resetting it by holding in the reset button for 7+ seconds and I’m still unable to connect. I’ve connected it wired to my modem, my router and my computer, also tried wireless connections. What else can I do?!?!?!?! PLZ HELP…

    Reply
  29. When I put in the IP address 192.168.2.1 in my brower I it times out, I’m unable to get the the site at all please help need to change the SSID and my password but without being able to get into the IP address everything is impossible!

    Reply
  30. go in do what it tells in the in the in stall go to advance settings and disable the security settings thats how i got mine to work and its the best damn extender ive found for cheep i got mine from a friend that couldnt get it to work and i would buy 3 more if i could find them ive looked everywere local

    Reply
  31. Got to reboot stage But failed and now I can’t get back there

    Reply
  32. i finally figured it out, when setting up the password it is your CURRENT password for your other router. the passwords have to match for both or it wont connect and work

    Reply
  33. THe trick to first connecting is that the manual(s) are missing a step, when you first connect to the Router, you must enter a password , and YOU FIND the password: To find the Router Password look on the unit itself, is on the sticker by the plugin of the Takashi Instant wireless router and repeater.

    Reply
  34. okay I set my first one up working fine, now I want to add another to boost it in the other part of the house, any ideas?

    Reply
  35. I too bought this device to extend my current wi-fi signal. I have a MacBook Pro and I am using an Apple Airport station. It show on my network list, but it won’t accept the password “admin”. I’ve tried on my computer, my iPad and my iPhone. Same with all three. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  36. I was having the same issues as some were here but I managed to get it working as a “repeater (although it is on a secondary network.

    My wifi security was originally set up with WPA-Personal. The repeater would connect to my home network but the internet would not work.

    SOLUTION: Change my home network security to WPA2-Personal (same password). I then changed the settings on the repeater accordingly (Wireless WAN connection – security type WPA2 & enter the proper password). Worked instantly.

    Reply
  37. I did a search on the filename of the firmware version and found that:
    – it was made by Tenda
    – Tenda support website included a real manual and firmware (it is the Tenda A5 travel device)
    http://www.tenda.cn/tendacn/DownLoads/show.aspx?productid=393
    – The html for the device does not run well in Chrome – it was much better in Firefox
    – Their is a wireless security screen that lets you set the lan connection AND the wireless connection

    This should make it much easier to set up, with better security.

    Reply
  38. I had all the problems mentioned but I couldn’t let this thing beat me :)

    My problem was my original router was set at WES and the new router (CrystalView) didn’t have that as an option so,

    1) In your browser type 192.168.1.1
    2)This will log you in to your existing router. When prompted enter User Name:admin and Password:password
    Yes the username is admin and the password is password (These are the original settings from the factory)
    3: On the left side you will see, Wireless Settings. WES is probably selected. Change this by selecting,
    WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES]
    4) Press Allow. You will be prompted to enter your password. Enter the word password
    5) Now access your new router (CrystalView) by entering 192.168.2.,1 in the browser
    Follow the instructions to set up the new browser but this time where it asks for SECURITY MODE choose WPA-PSK
    6) Right below Security Mode you will see WPA/WPA Algorithms, select TKIP&AES
    Press Allow. It should re-boot. Now try google.com in the browser

    I hope this works for you

    Reply
  39. I was able to get this to work as a repeater and it works great. My mother has wifi in her house but the signal was just not strong enough to reach my cottage (summer locations) the repeater works great…. Full strength w repeater. I just followed the steps on a YouTube video and it worked, excellent deal. I got 2 on groupon for $25.

    Reply
  40. 1. Connect to the Crystalview router using password on label
    2. Open browser – should open to router login screen – if not 192.168.2.1 Password is “admin”
    3. Advance Settings
    4. Wan Medium Type
    5. Wireless WAN
    6. Open Scan to choose your existing router and Apply changes.
    Make sure you choose the correct settings and verify they are correct.
    *SSID
    *Channel
    *Security type – Mixed
    *WPA/WPA2 – TKIP/AES – choose OPEN if using WEP
    *Key – your existing router’s password

    Check status page in router settings to verify CONNECTED and good 192.XXX.XXX.X IP address.

    Mine works great and should for you too if setup correctly – might have to reboot Crystalview router for any changes to take effect and/or close and reopen browser.

    Reply
  41. how to reset it default setting

    Reply
  42. I haven’t seen this problem anywhere here nor can I find it discussed elsewhere on the Internet. I have a cable modem (not wireless) with an ethernet cable connection to my XP laptop. I bought this Crystalview wireless router in order to have wifi for my laptop and smartphone. I plugged the Crystalview into the wall outlet and the ethernet cable into the Crystalview. It took me to the page to enter “admin” and 192.168.1.1 which I did; it said I was connected. My computer says I’m connected. But my browser can’t connect to the Internet.

    Any ideas for what I can do?

    Reply

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