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Turning a Pentium 3 box into an access point


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Hey,

I've got a pentium3 box next to me smiling, he wants to be used.

My friends wifi accross the way (MR WEP) is only just reachable from my home, what i was proposing to do was to put a wifi card in this P3, with an external antenna and then re-feed the wifi into my house.

That way i get a nice signal and i don't need to buy wireless cards for every PC i have, and definately not my netbook.

Would would also be nice is if i can then wire it into my main PC, via ethernet from my PC access point?

Wakka, any ideas guys?

Been hunting for a while, no luck.

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You have a few choices, you can either install 2 wifi cards, one in SoftAP mode (working as a makeshift access point) and another receiving the original signal, alternatively you could install a pile of wired NICs in the PIII and have a single card receiving the original signal, or you can use a single NIC fed into a router. For x86 router software I like pfSense, but I don't know what wireless support is like, so you'll have to do a little research.

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sorry for the late response, i didn't think any one had replied as i didn't recieve an email.

I have 2 wireless nics and 5 LAN nic's lieing around,

Plan;

1 wireless coming in

1 wireless going out

1/2 wired going out

SoftAP mode the way to go?

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Pretty sure smoothwall, monowall, pfsense, all support pci wireless cards. I'm also pretty sure dd-wrt has an x86 version. I'd skip using windows completely and use an os designed to be a router.

I would recommend PFsense here, but it does limit what hardware you can use for the role.

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Can pfsense work as a wifi access point?

http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=11217.0

I use Pfsense on my system at home but the wifi routers come into a switch and then go into a separate lan on the box and they're set to basically be pass through devices. That way I can move the routers if needed and the pfsense box can stay in the basement where it belongs.

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I did something similar to this with Smoothwall sometime ago to monitor wifi leechers with its transperant proxy server. It works a treat I must say but the wireless support in smoothwall was a lil funky hence I went with an access point running in client mode to attach to wireless network and redistributed that connection via another access point (you could do the same thing with a switch and use a wired connection).

One issue I did find however was torrenting under a dual NATed network. I tried a few things but couldn't resolve the issue.

Here is a diagram I did some time ago explaining the setup on the ausphreak forums.

1smoothWALL.jpg

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I did something similar to this with Smoothwall sometime ago to monitor wifi leechers with its transperant proxy server. It works a treat I must say but the wireless support in smoothwall was a lil funky hence I went with an access point running in client mode to attach to wireless network and redistributed that connection via another access point (you could do the same thing with a switch and use a wired connection).

One issue I did find however was torrenting under a dual NATed network. I tried a few things but couldn't resolve the issue.

Here is a diagram I did some time ago explaining the setup on the ausphreak forums.

1smoothWALL.jpg

I've got the WAPs coming in through Squid and the built-in captive portal. Makes it nice since I can limit who gets on and what they can do.

Yes, torrenting can be a little tricky it took 3 steps for me. Port forward on ISP router to pfsense, create firewall rule to allow incoming torrent port(s) and then create NAT forward rule on pfsense to torrent box.

Hmm, I do have another network open maybe I should have some fun.

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I have been hearing many good things about pfsense, never knew it had a captive portal which is a nice feature. Its a shame my old p3 box kicked the bucket and I am short on time other wise I would set it all up again for shits n giggles.

Thanks for the tip about the torrenting, I think I know where I went wrong now. XD

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Technically the skip is the way to go, and then onwards to linitx.com for a smaller, sexier piece of kit.

I have to agree with the skip part... although I do love putting old computers to a good use. An old P3 is going to use way more power than a simple device like a router station (ubnt.com) or other similar type devices that escape me at the moment.

Then again you already have all the required hardware to use with that P3, so power shmower.

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Yeah true, the power bill for running an old p3 alone would be more than enough to pay for a wireless device that utilizes client mode (2nd hand linksys WRT go for around $40 on ebay) and I have seen unmanaged 8 port 10/100mpbs TP-Link switches go for $25.00 brand spanking new.

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