[SOLVED] How to setup a virtual router using a laptop and existing wifi router

Nov 27, 2019
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I have been reading how to us a spare pc or laptop to setup a virtual wifi router. I want to do this because my existing router, which has very powerful signal, but not the features i need for monitoring network traffic and providing reports on what users are using the bandwidth and what they are doing on the network. My current wifi router has very poor traffic reporting and statistics. However, all the articles on setting up a virtual router rely on the pc or laptops single wireless antenna - which won't work in my case. I have 23 devices connected to my home wifi with multiple connections doing video streaming and several security video cameras that are wireless. I'd LIKE to use my existing powerful 5g multi channel/multi antenna router to host the signal/connection, but have it plugged into a laptop or pc acting as the virtual router and routing all the traffic, as I can get a virtual router software that will let me get the traffic statistics/reports i would like to have. Does anyone know if it is possible to have the wifi router hooked up in front of a pc/laptop running virtual router software, so i can get the best of both worlds - the great signal strength of my off-the-shelf hardware based wifi router, and the reporting i can get by setting up the core router functions on a virtual router with virtual router software installed on my pc or laptop? is that possible?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have been reading how to us a spare pc or laptop to setup a virtual wifi router. I want to do this because my existing router, which has very powerful signal, but not the features i need for monitoring network traffic and providing reports on what users are using the bandwidth and what they are doing on the network. My current wifi router has very poor traffic reporting and statistics. However, all the articles on setting up a virtual router rely on the pc or laptops single wireless antenna - which won't work in my case. I have 23 devices connected to my home wifi with multiple connections doing video streaming and several security video cameras that are wireless. I'd LIKE to use my existing powerful 5g multi channel/multi antenna router to host the signal/connection, but have it plugged into a laptop or pc acting as the virtual router and routing all the traffic, as I can get a virtual router software that will let me get the traffic statistics/reports i would like to have. Does anyone know if it is possible to have the wifi router hooked up in front of a pc/laptop running virtual router software, so i can get the best of both worlds - the great signal strength of my off-the-shelf hardware based wifi router, and the reporting i can get by setting up the core router functions on a virtual router with virtual router software installed on my pc or laptop? is that possible?
You can get some, but not a lot of insight, because almost all internet traffic is encrypted. Your router will see DNS traffic and then the SSL kicks in and all the URLs are encrypted. Not much use. You could get traffic stats by MAC or IP address.
To use your existing WIFI router, just convert it to an access point. Some routers have a single button in the GUI to toggle to AP mode.
 
Reactions: bgillette

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I have been reading how to us a spare pc or laptop to setup a virtual wifi router. I want to do this because my existing router, which has very powerful signal, but not the features i need for monitoring network traffic and providing reports on what users are using the bandwidth and what they are doing on the network. My current wifi router has very poor traffic reporting and statistics. However, all the articles on setting up a virtual router rely on the pc or laptops single wireless antenna - which won't work in my case. I have 23 devices connected to my home wifi with multiple connections doing video streaming and several security video cameras that are wireless. I'd LIKE to use my existing powerful 5g multi channel/multi antenna router to host the signal/connection, but have it plugged into a laptop or pc acting as the virtual router and routing all the traffic, as I can get a virtual router software that will let me get the traffic statistics/reports i would like to have. Does anyone know if it is possible to have the wifi router hooked up in front of a pc/laptop running virtual router software, so i can get the best of both worlds - the great signal strength of my off-the-shelf hardware based wifi router, and the reporting i can get by setting up the core router functions on a virtual router with virtual router software installed on my pc or laptop? is that possible?
You can get some, but not a lot of insight, because almost all internet traffic is encrypted. Your router will see DNS traffic and then the SSL kicks in and all the URLs are encrypted. Not much use. You could get traffic stats by MAC or IP address.
To use your existing WIFI router, just convert it to an access point. Some routers have a single button in the GUI to toggle to AP mode.
 
Reactions: bgillette

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