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Old 07-21-2003, 01:19 AM   #1
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Home-made wireless router?

I was recently gifted with a 400MHz Compaq workstation from a family friend. I was originally considering using it as a mail/mp3/samba server, until I discovered something: the workstation also has a Cisco Aironet wireless network card.

Now I'm considering using it as a router/WAP to replace the Linksys Wireless Router I currently use and loathe. Is this possible?

NOTE: I also have a few systems that use ethernet cables to connect to the network, so any router I build MUST be able to handle both wired and wireless network connections.
Old 07-21-2003, 06:23 AM   #2
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Yep, easy actually

Cisco cards, if I remember right, can't handle Host AP mode (master in "iwconfig" parlance), but they can do ad-hoc really well. You can set the card to ad-hoc, give it an essid and an IP address (say something in the conceptual land), and then put one of your other machines in ad-hoc, hand it an IP in the same subnet and they should be able to ping one another. Check to see if the cell # under "iwconfig" matches up with both of them.

Then, on the compaq its just a matter of setting up NAT between the wireless subnet and its real-world IP, and then setting up a dhcp server on the 192.168.1.x subnet if you want convenience.

Ad-hoc has a lot more overhead then a normal master/managed setup, but with only a few clients its actually much quicker sometimes.

Also, adding another wired card and bridging the two networks isn't that hard so they're both on 192.168.1.x for instance. In reality though, I'm a big proponent of firewalling off all ports (minus ssh) on the inside of the wireless network and keeping the wired LAN on a seperate subnet. It means making the router a file dumpster middleman when you want to move things between networks, but its more or less safe. It all depends on where you live and how much you trust your neighbors.



Last edited by finegan; 07-21-2003 at 06:25 AM.


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