[SOLVED] Powerful router that can act as a WISP repeater (bridge)

Sep 4, 2019
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I'm trying to find a powerful router that can act as a WISP mode bridge / repeater. (connect to public wifi from the router and then rebroadcast it to a new SSID for our devices to connect to).

I have tried a "travel router" and it burnt out pretty fast, we have a very high throughput application for it. The output is broadcasting to a streaming server, and the reason for the repeater is that we need our own network behind public wifi to run static IP addresses, etc.. A travel router seemed ideal for this since that's basically what they do, connect to public wifi or hotel wifi and create a private network behind it, but it can't handle the traffic needed for streaming. I fried it in about 2 hours of streaming. It also lost FAR more than half of it's bandwidth in the process, last place I could speedtest at 60Mbps but on the travel router only about 5Mbps in WISP mode, that's too much of a drop, I understand it should be around 50% .

My first thought is to grab an Asus that runs on AsusWRT, but I'm not sure they all are WISP repeater/bridge capable. I would appreciate some suggestions in the $50-$100 range that have a solid WISP function to connect to a host WIFI and create our own network.

Cheers in advance.
 
The ubiquiti products can run in many modes but as you point out you do not want to use WDS. That is why you want a router behind the ubiquiti product so you only have 1 ip and 1 mac. You can then run the ubiquiti device as a simple client-bridge.

I know you can also run ubiquiti bridge devices as routers but I am unsure what restrictions that places. I know you still need radios inside so it likely is still cheaper to buy the ubiquiti run it in client-bridge and then buy a cheap router inside.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
How many wireless devices do you expect the router/network to support?

What are the bandwidth requirements?

Doubt that you will find a suitable router in that price range.

Reference:

https://www.lifewire.com/best-asus-routers-4159861

However, even the more expensive devices listed may not meet the requirements.

Another issue is the premise of your plan: i.e., connect to a public wifi or hotel wifi and use that service to run your own network service. Likely in violation of "terms of use" regarding connecting to that service.

May be viewed as theft.
 
You do not really want to run in repeater mode. In most cases it requires the site you are connecting to support WDS. Most repeaters you transmit the signal back on the same radio and most you can not change the SSID. There is nothing that stops your neighbor from using your equipment to connect to the remote public wifi.

You best option is to build your own. I would use a outdoor bridge designed for this purpose. You can get many in the $50 from companies like ubiquiti. You would then hook it to the WAN port of any router. You could us a AP instead of a router to provide the indoor signals but you then have the WDS issue again so I would use a router since that solution will connect to anything since it appears as a single end device.
 
Sep 4, 2019
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The GL-iNet AR750 for example does exactly what I need, but it's the one that melted down from the high data throughput , I suspect it was designed for much lighter usage. https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-ar750/

It connects to any wifi network and makes it's own SSID for me to connect my devices to, which then becomes it's own network where I can set up static IPs, etc.


How many wireless devices do you expect the router/network to support?

What are the bandwidth requirements?

Doubt that you will find a suitable router in that price range.

Reference:

https://www.lifewire.com/best-asus-routers-4159861

However, even the more expensive devices listed may not meet the requirements.

Another issue is the premise of your plan: i.e., connect to a public wifi or hotel wifi and use that service to run your own network service. Likely in violation of "terms of use" regarding connecting to that service.

May be viewed as theft.
There needs to be 2 devices connected, one IP camera, and one PC that encodes and broadcasts the stream. The IP camera is the sole reason we need the internal network so it can be assigned a static IP address and is plug-and-play simple for an intern to operate. As for bandwidth, 10Gbps is fine, we always have somewhere between 60-100Gbps on the host network.

Honestly not sure how it would be viewed as theft. I could connect the same exact devices directly to the network and do the same thing, but it would require reconfiguring the IP camera each time because of the network changes. That's a major PITA to do.



You do not really want to run in repeater mode. In most cases it requires the site you are connecting to support WDS. Most repeaters you transmit the signal back on the same radio and most you can not change the SSID. There is nothing that stops your neighbor from using your equipment to connect to the remote public wifi.

You best option is to build your own. I would use a outdoor bridge designed for this purpose. You can get many in the $50 from companies like ubiquiti. You would then hook it to the WAN port of any router. You could us a AP instead of a router to provide the indoor signals but you then have the WDS issue again so I would use a router since that solution will connect to anything since it appears as a single end device.
WDS won't work, from my understanding, WDS uses the same SSID as the host network. I need a unique SSID which my IP camera already has stored in it's config file. The thing is a real pain to reconfigure to a new network every time we want to use it. That's why I initially went with the trave router, but it was a dud. Maybe just bad luck as I've used an older one from that company many times for Netflix and Hulu streaming while I was overseas traveling, but this one died in the middle of a stream so I want something more robust. Size doesn't matter, just that the travel routers have the functionality already in an easy to use UI.

Security isn't an issue for our usage, and if someone somehow uses the signal, it doesn't matter. It's mostly used inside of an office building to stream meetings. It'll be on for 4-6 hours then stored in a box for a month when the day is over.

I'll check out ubiquiti, but I'm almost certain I need WISP, not WDS and I know WISP isn't as common.
 
The ubiquiti products can run in many modes but as you point out you do not want to use WDS. That is why you want a router behind the ubiquiti product so you only have 1 ip and 1 mac. You can then run the ubiquiti device as a simple client-bridge.

I know you can also run ubiquiti bridge devices as routers but I am unsure what restrictions that places. I know you still need radios inside so it likely is still cheaper to buy the ubiquiti run it in client-bridge and then buy a cheap router inside.
 

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