Question Making a wireless hotspot?

Feb 16, 2019
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I"m in the process of looking at building a wireless WiFi hotspot. I have a specific wireless adapter I want to use and it will typically be one which will have a good chance of picking up a WiFi signal if one is near. Basically this modem will pick up a better signal than my phone or laptop will.

So I will have a WiFi adapter, but...... to make this work I will need a PC to connect it to. This is where I"m stuck!

Is there a unit made especially for this (like a mini pc specifically for creating a hotspot), or can I use one of those mini pc blocks you can buy, which you connect
all your monitors and keyboards into? I am probably looking for something with x86 cpu architecture.

I can't imagine I'm the first to think this up, so I'm wondering if any of you know how to go about this. Below are some of the things I am trying to achieve.

1 - This unit must be small and portable as it should act as a strong portable wireless repeater or wireless signal booster.
2 - The pc component (keeping in mind that it will have a WiFi adapter plugged into it) will need to be able to run off a power bank if possible? OR something small and portable.
3 - Please keep in mind that I want to use my own modem. I realize some of these mini pc's come with built in modems but I want to use my own.

Any help on this project would be greatly appreciated as at this stage I am not sure where to start. Maybe hotspot isn't the right word, it could be a signal repeater I'm asking about!
Thanks
 
Feb 16, 2019
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The key point is want to use my adapter of choice?
Ummm... I do not think you are really hitting the nail on the head as to what you are really trying to do? Router's have a CPU and are basically mini PC's that can for a cheaper price establish this.

Also, I am not understanding by what you mean by hotspot? Like... just wifi for you to use in your home? What adapter are you talking about? I mean there is just so much that doesn't make sense as to what you are actually going for are you saying that you have a Wireless NIC card like a PCIe card or something that you specifically want to use? The way you are approaching this seems like the hard way of achieving the same thing a wireless router or access point could achieve in half the time and a small percentage of the price.
 
Feb 16, 2019
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Same concept. I have a wifi source in my house. I live on a farm. I have a shed about 300m away. I can pick up the wifi signal with a good wifi adapter attached to my laptop, but I don't always want to have the laptop with me as a receiver. I just want to use my android device, like a phone or a tablet, and need to use the signal my router would pick up when I use my adapter attached to my pc.

The key point is that there will be no laptop to connect to,. I just want to make a small device which will pick up the signal from my house 300m away and be able to connect my phone to it via wifi.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Same concept. I have a wifi source in my house. I live on a farm. I have a shed about 300m away. I can pick up the wifi signal with a good wifi adapter attached to my laptop, but I don't always want to have the laptop with me as a receiver. I just want to use my android device, like a phone or a tablet, and need to use the signal my router would pick up when I use my adapter attached to my pc.

The key point is that there will be no laptop to connect to,. I just want to make a small device which will pick up the signal from my house 300m away and be able to connect my phone to it via wifi.
300m you may be able to get a signal but you can't broadcast back that far. I would recommend a directional wireless bridge. Either an Engenius or Ubiquiti. I have used Engenius units like this -- https://www.engeniustech.com/engenius-products/outdoor-wireless-bridge-enh202/ They can create a local WIFI source and connect to a remote WIFI source. You would have to have a power source for this type of device.
 
Feb 16, 2019
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We're getting there. But I want to use my own adapter / router.
It's battery powered as I want it to be (yes)
it's portable as I want it to be (yes)
But I can't use my own adapter / router ??
 
Feb 16, 2019
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Don't want to transmit, just receive. The router in the house does fine transmitting.
I think my original assumption is correct. I need a small pc to plug my router into.

Just imagine this was the only option... what would you come up with?
 
Oct 9, 2015
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I have a garage a distance from my house on my farm as well. I just took a lawn edger and put a quarter inch deep trench in the ground, ran cat 6 cable through it, and then covered it with dirt. Now i have a router out in the garage, that is set up to work in sync with the other 2 in the house, All one network on the list they all connect together seamlessly. They also sell a small range extender for most routers that plugs into a wall outlet and serves as a repeater.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Don't want to transmit, just receive. The router in the house does fine transmitting.
I think my original assumption is correct. I need a small pc to plug my router into.

Just imagine this was the only option... what would you come up with?
No, you have to transmit also. WIFI is not one direction. Your WIFI adapter has to transmit status back for received data.
 

obi1kenobi

Great
Jan 13, 2019
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The best Option is running a cat6 Ethernet cable from you router that way you will never loose signal.But if you cant run a cat6 cable because of inconviences buy a wireless adapter,find the nearest powersupply closest to your barn and run a cat 6 cable to it from your main router.so it wont be 300m if you have a power supply even 50m away im sure it will work.so just bridge the connection from your router to wifi extender then connect what ever device you have to that extender via wireless.thats what I would do
 

doolittle

Distinguished
Use whatever router you want, and get a long range dedicated AP - something like UniFi Mesh - check out the range

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_LRCnQXa8M

you can also extend the range of the client for literally miles if you get a proper antenna, like the WokFi, simply point it at an outdoor AP like one mentioned in the video. A $7 gooseneck lamp from Walmart works wonders for a semi-permanent mount.

We're getting there. But I want to use my own adapter / router.
It's battery powered as I want it to be (yes)
it's portable as I want it to be (yes)
But I can't use my own adapter / router ??
Ok I missed this before my reply above - so you need something like a mesh AP that's portable...

How about this: If you are driving a vehicle out to the farm, consider mounting the AP in your vehicle like in the video. I assume they are using some type of inverter like this to power up the mesh AP's POE injector in the vehicle. May work for you, unless you need a standalone solution so a car battery on it's own and an adapter like this may be a good solution, unless it needs to be pocket size...
Don't want to transmit, just receive. The router in the house does fine transmitting.
I think my original assumption is correct. I need a small pc to plug my router into.

Just imagine this was the only option... what would you come up with?
So I am reading this thread completely from the bottom up - apologies... So consider this setup - Enable Internet Sharing in Mac OS X to Turn Your Mac Into a Wireless Router - and it sounds like you want to do something similar, to take the laptop WIFI and share it between your devices. So do something similiar to the OSX laptop but in the reverse, taking the wifi connection from your house as the source, and sharing the ethernet port for clients. Then, take another WIFI router, and plug in to the laptop ethernet as your WAN port, and you have a DIY repeater. But in a single box... This may be a good solution for that: How to Build your Own Wireless Router from scratch and do the same, use your WIFI connection from the house and feed into the 2nd nic.

EDIT - Still think the mesh solution is best, one outdoor AP on the house facing the farm, and the portable AP on the farm. Simplest solution is to just add a wifi router to your existing laptop in ICS mode, since your laptop is already confirmed working and a cheap wifi router can be had for in the $20 range to do the job.
 
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gggplaya

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Jan 27, 2011
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I would just buy this and call it a day. It has external antenna's and is simply 5v USB powered which you buy a cheap 12v deep cycle battery to put in your barn and a solar panel which will power this thing for hours. 12v to 5V usb chargers are sold everywhere in the form of vehicle phone charger. You can remove the standard SMA antenna and install a directional antenna pointing to your WIFI source to get even better wifi strength, and even mount it high on top of your barn for the best signal.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07794JRC5/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07794JRC5&pd_rd_w=I2XBX&pf_rd_p=2bd81721-c115-4b8d-93a3-2ecd17466ded&pd_rd_wg=bL0Oj&pf_rd_r=VRYYZDB7S18FWR4H792P&pd_rd_r=30209636-33c0-11e9-8475-a331a0e2e9dd
 
Feb 16, 2019
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I would just buy this and call it a day. It has external antenna's and is simply 5v USB powered which you buy a cheap 12v deep cycle battery to put in your barn and a solar panel which will power this thing for hours. 12v to 5V usb chargers are sold everywhere in the form of vehicle phone charger. You can remove the standard SMA antenna and install a directional antenna pointing to your WIFI source to get even better wifi strength, and even mount it high on top of your barn for the best signal.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07794JRC5/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07794JRC5&pd_rd_w=I2XBX&pf_rd_p=2bd81721-c115-4b8d-93a3-2ecd17466ded&pd_rd_wg=bL0Oj&pf_rd_r=VRYYZDB7S18FWR4H792P&pd_rd_r=30209636-33c0-11e9-8475-a331a0e2e9dd


So just to confirm. This unit doesn' have to be connected to a PC to work. Just a 5v usb power source? Is that right?

If it is , this is what I'm looking for.

I could also use it for travelling. What is the most powerful (in terms of flexibility, and ability to pick up a wifi signal and transmit a wifi signal) unit of this kind on the market?

I just don't know what to search for when looking for this kind of thing.
 
Feb 16, 2019
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Well this is definitely what I'm looking for. I now realize the correct name is a 'Wifi Extender'

If that is the case then I'm looking for something Dual Band and something which is powered by USB 5v.

Any recommendations? The one above is single band by the way.
 
When using your laptop + adapter, do you actually get good reception in the shed? Like you've actually tried it out and you get acceptable network performance/speed?

Why do you need a dual band extender? Is the router in your house dual band? Can you actually pick up the 5 GHz band in your shed? I'd be very surprised.
 
Feb 16, 2019
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When using your laptop + adapter, do you actually get good reception in the shed? Like you've actually tried it out and you get acceptable network performance/speed?

Why do you need a dual band extender? Is the router in your house dual band? Can you actually pick up the 5 GHz band in your shed? I'd be very surprised.

Leaving my options open. I have found a decent dual band extender by TP Link.
I cannot receive wifi well from my shead so was looking for something which will have a better chance of picking up a wifi signal . Laptops and phones will always lag in this area unnasisted.
 
I cannot receive wifi well from my shead so was looking for something which will have a better chance of picking up a wifi signal
That is not what a extender is designed to do. It will get the same crap signal as your end device. A extender you place in a location that can get good signal and then send it to a location that does not get good signal. Generally 1/2 between the 2 but it is not that simple when it is inside a building.

I have not read this entire thread in detail but you generally use direction bridge equipment or antenna to improve a remote signal.
 
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