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Extending Community WiFi


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Hi All,

I'm living in a self-contained flat in a retirement home, and I would like to be able to extend the community WiFi, so that I can use an Airport express and other devices as if connected to the net directly.

In normal use, when I access the free community WiFi, I need to click a check box (have I read the conditions etc.), then click a button that says 'Continue'. Then I am connected and the web is OK. Is there a way to extend this network so that I can use it as if I had my own personal broadband/DSL connection that is always on, without having to go through the web page?

Many thanks,

John O

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In my experience by doing the clicks and such you create a session if you will with the AP. While there's traffic going across that session, the AP will play ball... mostly. Those sessions tend to get killed after a number of hours at which point you're going to have to go through the motions once again.

Once you have such a session going, you can setup Internet Connection Sharing on the connected machine and any device that connects to this now-connected machine can get onto the internet via your machine. To increase performance somewhat you could even consider setting up a proxy server, but let's leave that out for the time being.

Here are instructions on how to set Internet Connection Sharing up on a Mac and here's the same for Windows 8/8.1.

What you should note, though, is that being an AP 'claims' 1 WIFI radio. Being a client to the community WiFi claims another, so you're going to have to have 2 wifi adapters to make this work. It also works a lot better when they're not active on the same channel, but chances are that gets worked out automatically.

An alternative to all this: Ask whomever is responsible for the community WiFi to see if it's possible to have this public WiFi around for guests, and a private WiFi with an incomprehensible password for residents which doesn't bother its clients with the "yes, I know I should behave responsibly" web page.

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Depends how they filter it usually. I've been to hotspots that ask you to sign in, start openvpn and it sometimes lets me on yhe network without hitting their firewall page (most likely because they arent filtering dns and ports properly) but you could try bridging your wireless router to theirs bit that usually inherits permission and rules from he gateway and should prompt you still for the consent to use he network.

Edited by digip
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