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All, need some help with a Wireless Networking Issue.

I need to increase number of connections that my Hotspot device supports (without rooting or changing current config of the device).

My Current Setup

  • HotSpot Device -> Android phone that supports upto 8 connections

  • WiFi Extender -> Netgear EX6150, which connects to Android phone via WiFi, and then extends WiFi to other devices in the household

  • Devices -> Then I have 10+ devices in the household that connect to WiFi extender, and in turn access the internet. Note, none of these devices is a laptop or computer. They are all either smartphones or smart devices e.g. TV, wifi enabled electrical devices, xbox etc.

Problem

Although all devices connect to the wifi extender, the hotspot device still detects all the connections, and blocks the 9th device from internet access.

As the hotspot device (a mobile phone) can only support up to 8 devices, remaining devices in my household cannot access the internet.

What I want to know

1 - If my devices connect to WiFi extender, which then accesses the hotspot, why does the hotspot still detect other devices as direct connections?

Is there a way to hide the additional connections to the wifi extender, so that the hotspot only sees 1 device connected to it, the wifi extender.

2 - If above is not possible, then is there any other way to somehow increase max connections ? (sharing USB connection to a computer, and then share wifi is not an option, as I have no access to a spare computer which can serve as internet distribution point)

Appreciate any help you can offer.

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Get a WiFi extender or a client bridge device (something that can connect to WiFi and allows connections via an ethernet port), and connect it to your phone's hotspot.

Then, disable the access point (repeating/extending function) on the WiFi extender and plug an ethernet cable from a LAN port on the extender to the WAN port of a router.

You can usually find old routers on Craigslist for about $15 to $25. Connect all your devices to the access point broadcasted from the router, and that should do. The router, is given one IP, and then splits it up for other devices.

WiFi extenders do not have routing functionality. The reason for this, is because it would be more expensive to build it that way, and... Traditionally it would cause less issues because it connects to one LAN network pool. Aka, the devices on the main access point can still initiate connections with devices connected to the repeater.

  • Welcome to Super User. I inserted some paragraph breaks for formatting and rephrased a little for clarity; but you may wish to consider some further editing to make it clearer. – bertieb Feb 21 '17 at 23:04
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Additionally and/or alternatively to @Brad's answer you could look at a wireless router that has wireless WAN connectivity so you can still have your wireless hotspot (phone, for example) but the router will connect to your hotspot as a client to get an internet connection (a "public" IP).

The router will also have a wireless transmitter to create your "private" LAN and it'll do all the routing for you between the devices and your hotspot.

Your hotspot will only see "one" device connected.

As an example DrayTek's Vigor 2860 does exactly this.

enter image description here

You may be able to do it much more cheaply using, for example, a DD-WRT router but it must be capable of having the multiple modes so that you can connect to a hotspot and be a hotspot.

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