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Anobody knows about any wifi routers that have a button (or switch) to turn the wifi signal off?

BTW: there are a few reasons I can think of why one would want to do this but not turn of the complete router:

  • save energy / gain security, when no one is home, but you still want your wired network to be operational to have access to e.g. a NAS
  • turn off the wifi signal when you go to bed because the basestation is close to your bed and you're are worried about too much RF signals slowly destroying your brain
  • make sure children upstairs can't access the internet instead of doing their homework

The whole point of having a button instead of a software solution would be that anybody could do it, including your non-technical wife for example.

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closed as off topic by random Sep 16 '11 at 12:36

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I have not seen one of these in a long time. Is there a reason you don't want to turn off the whole router, just Wifi? –  Joshua Nurczyk Sep 9 '09 at 12:49
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Maybe he's got some machines connected via wire. –  ldigas Sep 9 '09 at 12:53
    
Given the tag "energy" (much appreciated!) I wonder if switching of Wifi actually saves energy for all such devices. –  Arjan Sep 9 '09 at 12:57
    
I do have weird dreams of surfing the internet when my wireless is on - maybe that's that. –  caliban Sep 9 '09 at 12:58
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@Rabarberski : Have you considered the alternative thinking that your kid might gain a few IQ points because of that? :P –  caliban Sep 9 '09 at 13:17

3 Answers 3

Some versions of the Linksys WRT54G have a button on the front (under the Cisco logo), initially used by the Linksys firmware for SES (easier setup of wireless security).

Using the alternative DD-WRT firmware, the button can be remapped to switch on/off the wireless radio.

Unfortunately I'm not sure it's possible with the DD-WRT "mini" that you have to install as of the versions 5+ of the WRT54G (due to the smaller ROM/Flash they put in them).

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Refer: dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/SES_Button. SES -> Linksys, AOSS -> Buffalo, EZ-SETUP -> Asus. Not an off-the-shelf solution since you have to install DD-WRT, but it's an option. –  hyperslug Sep 9 '09 at 14:37
    
Only the first few (i think v1, v2) versions of the WRT54G has the SES button... the rest does not have that feature anymore. –  caliban Sep 9 '09 at 20:12
    
I have a v5 and it has the SES button. –  Snark Sep 9 '09 at 20:44

Back before (nearly) all home routers had wifi built-in I had a setup that let me do exactly this.

A (4-port+external) ethernet router connected to my broadband and a separate wireless router plugged into one of the ethernet ports on the back (that just passed DNS/DHCP through to the main router).

Any non-technical person can then switch off the wireless box, or even just pull the plug out of the wall to disable the wireless.

In your case, if you've already got a router, just permanently switch off the WiFi on that, and then plug a cheap, dumb wireless AP into it.

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+1, @Rabarberski, since you're considering buying hardware, this might be the easiest way. An AP + disable wireless on the router. –  hyperslug Sep 9 '09 at 14:41

I came across this feature in some Netgear wireless routers before... let me search...

There ya go : the DG834G has it. Under Features :

"WiFi on/off switch to turn off wireless signals"

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...would have been nice if that stated "to save energy". Some (or all?) Netgear routers have this flashing Christmas-tree-like LED lighting that makes me feel they don't care to much about saving energy... –  Arjan Sep 9 '09 at 12:59
    
This "christmas-tree-like LEDs" can be turned off in the settings. After that, it's nice and quiet. Even quieter than my current router (a Zyxel, which illuminates the whole room...) –  Wolf Sep 9 '09 at 20:08

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